Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Spin-Off Novels Coming To U.S.

By Ishaan . July 29, 2014 . 10:29am

A series of books based on the Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga series is being published in the U.S. by Bento Books, Anime News Network reports. Penned by Yu Godai, There are five books in total, which are Godai’s own take on the Digital Devil Saga story.


The first book is titled Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner. It will be published in hardcover ($24.99) and trade paperback ($14.99) versions on July 31st, and will also be available on the Kindle ($9.99). Here’s a story summary:


In the post-apocalyptic Junkyard, warring tribes fight to unify the six territories, and thus gain access to Nirvana, the promised land. This is Avatar Tuner, Vol. I, a novel set in the landscape of the Shin Megami Tensei video games. After one battle Serph, the leader of the upstart Embryon tribe, rescues a mysterious girl and discovers he and his fellow fighters have gained the ability to transform into mystical, demon warriors. But these new abilities and the enigmatic Sera threaten to upend the balance of power in the Junkyard, and within the Embryon tribe itself.


The book has been translated by Kevin Frane. If you’re curious, you can read the first chapter for free. Additionally, an interview with Frane can be found here.

  • Tincho Kudos

    Man this is great! The story in DDS is one of the best of all time

  • Spirit Macardi

    It’d be neat if we could get the original Digital Devil Story Novels (the ones that birthed the MegaTen series itself), published over here as well. I understand they’re kind of trashy, especially since there’s an incident involving tentacles in book one, but it’d still be neat to be able to see the origin of the series.

    • chroma816

      I agree – reading the actual Shin Megami Tensei novels would be pretty cool. Maybe if these do well they’ll bring the others over.

      • Eefara

        That should actually be “the actual Megami Tensei novels”; the Shin Megami Tensei games were never based off of anything.

        • chroma816

          Ah, my bad.

  • chroma816

    I’m glad we’re getting these, but fuck, I really wish publishers would do this more. Especially when it comes to LNs, which would have a niche, but dedicated following if they ever came over.

    Like, we’re never gonna get the Monogatari series LNs and online translation seems to be at a standstill. Fuck.

    • ninjabart122

      We’ll get it when kizu movie comes out.

      • chroma816


    • Suzaku

      I agree. Light novels and setting material collection books are huge in Japan but only rarely get released in English.

      I of course understand that the amount of time and money it takes to translate those for such a small niche audience in the US means it probably isn’t worth it, but it’s still a huge bummer.

      • chroma816

        Sure, it’d take a lot of time and money but I’m sure it’d be worth it. at least for us fans.

        That said, I see a lot more niche vidya titles being brought over these days (like the Miku games now coming over), VNs are starting to get a foothold here in the West, and manga/anime sales aren’t bad so hey, maybe LNs are going to be the next thing brought here. I seriously didn’t expect that VNs would begin getting official translations like they have been recently.

    • DyLaN

      I salute any publisher who dared to pick up the Monogatari series. All those wordplays must be hell to translate.

    • A big part of Bento Books’ mission statement is to find contemporary Japanese fiction that might get overlooked by other publishers, with the belief that there IS a legitimate fanbase over here that would support an English release.

      It was a real privilege getting to be part of this first volume of Quantum Devil Saga, and I hope it opens the door for similar such books to come over to the West as well.

      • chroma816

        Is that true? I love supporting small, niche companies who know their fanbases. What else has the company brought over?

        That said, while I already decided to buy the novels, this cements my decision.

        • So the publisher website is here:

          As you can see under their Publications tab, they’ve got several books already available; I know the Math Girls books have been doing well, and I’ve seen a few rave reviews of Cage on the Sea, too.

          Thanks for your support, by the way! I’m a freelancer and not technically an employee of the company, but as a translator I certainly appreciate that folks out there are happy to support publishers like this and folks like myself, by extension.

          • chroma816

            Very cool, very cool. I wish you luck in your translation work!

  • Princess_Eevee9

    That’s cool.

  • ryne11

    Preordered weeks ago. Can’t wait

  • flameraver64

    Is that supposed to be Argilla?

  • Alexandra Cordes

    I’m so happy. Why doesn’t this happen more?
    Pre-ordered hard copy. Yesss.

  • leadintea

    I’m usually not a fan of things like this, but for Atlus, I’ll make an exception.

    • machomuu

      Not a fan of what, exactly? Books, the genre, extended media, etc…?

      • leadintea

        Extended media, of course. I tend to think of merchandise for games as a waste of money; aggravating in the case of merch that tie into the games (like the novels for Dragon Age and .hack).

  • I want that hardcover! D:

  • Wow! Read the first chapter, and it seemed to follow closely to the video game! Seems really good! I really want to read it now! :D

    • Suzaku

      The story behind this novel series is that Yu Godai wrote them to complete her original vision for the Digital Devil Saga games, as she wasn’t able to finish scripting them due to medical problems that required her to leave the project.

      As a result, the books do end up diverging from the game, and are written differently since she no longer had to adhere to any sort of video game framework.

      • KanjiLikesBoys

        I had no idea about any of this background info on the game. Had no clue the original conept was by a woman. I am gonna buy all of these

        • I didn’t even know that the author was a woman myself until I was done with my first draft of the book’s translation! So don’t feel too bad. :)

      • Thanks for letting me know! I’ll definitely make sure to read them! :) It’s good in some ways that they do diverge from the games since they won’t be exactly the same, but similar. I loved the games, so it’ll be fun to read these. :D It’s also good that I can read the original vision for the games which she was not able to do because of her medical reasons. :)

      • Göran Isacson

        Holy heck add me to the people who had no idea of this background story. Might actually pick these up if I ever find them available here, I do love the DDS storyline, so seeing what the “original draft” was could be quite interesting.

    • Glad to hear you liked the first chapter, and I hope you like the rest of the book, too!

  • ZEROthefirst

    Definitely getting these. I saw this and thought it was just going to be a manga publication, but seeing how they’re actual books I’ll definitely pick them up. I have nothing against manga, but I prefer to avoid reading manga because to me it’s the awkward step-child of an actual book and anime/show, etc., etc. I just get bored reading manga because I don’t have to imagine anything and it’s right in my face own, but at the same time it’s not as engaging as actually being able to watch it if there’s an animated adaption, etc.

  • thaKingRocka

    I want to read this on my tablet, but I don’t see any ebook version. I’ll hold off until then and work through some of my backlog. This seems like it could be pretty cool.

  • Arcade Bumstead

    Wow, they’re even doing a hardcover version. This is pretty sweet.

  • Firekitty

    Wow, I didn’t even know there were novels, but this just made my day…Digital Devil Saga is one of my favorite games ever.

    That hardcover will be mine!

  • FivePointedTheStar

    Wow, for a moment there I thought the people on the cover were Vayne and Jessica from Mana Khemia. In my head, “What? What do they have to do with Digital Devil Saga?”

    • 07thCrow

      Wow, I thought I was the only one! XD

    • Mr_SP

      I just thought they were new characters…

  • Jadfish

    Wow, I’ll start my post with “Wow” too!

    5 volumes sound really neat and tidy. Plenty room for a good story without too much filler :)

  • Mika Moreno

    I’ve never played the SMT games (yet) but I’m totally getting these, and if the story is close to this one I’ll get Digital Devil Saga also!

  • SerChief

    Wow, the cover is really pretty. Look at dat Serph!

    • Bigabu Beaze

      Its pretty!

  • IkariShinji

    I’m totally buying these just in case they release more~

  • Ric Vazquez

    Count me in for this.

  • FTM

    …so we’re getting spin-off novels, but still aren’t recieving English translations of the original trilogy that SMT is based off of?
    I know there’s the fan-translation of the first 2 books on the net, and it’s a good translation too— but I, and I’m sure many other SMT fans, would still appreciate something official. And the much desired 3rd book would be a treat to finally be able to read.

    • Mr_SP

      I hope these actually all come out. I got the Code Geass novels, but they went and stopped after R1, presumably due to a lack of profit.

    • Aunna Terrell

      It was said that if volume one does really well, they’ll attempt to look into other SMT novels. However, all the novels are spread between different publishers in Japan. So getting some might be harder that others.

  • Black Heaven

    Is that Serph… and Argilla?
    The cover looks like some kind of post-apocalyptic sci-fi bishounen art. Looks pretty cool.

    Could they show us their Varna and Prithivi forms too? Just a peak. :)

    • Unfortunately, the only artwork for the series is on the books’ covers, and none of them feature any of the Atma Avatars.

      Which is a shame, in my opinion, since I’d love to see them in that style too.

  • Warboss Aohd

    that’s quite a unique anime artstyle he has there. And it’s a really good one.

  • 07thCrow

    *dies from happy*

  • pressstart

    100% buy! I never got around to playing DDS2 on PS2, but I enjoyed the first one a lot. Kindle eBook seals the deal!

  • Rose Spinoza

    “It will be available in trade paperback and hardcover…”

    Me: Pssh.

    “….And also Kindle.

    Me: I’M IN!

    Hope I remember to buy this though. The Kindle page doesn’t seem to exist yet D: .

    • Fox

      Damn straight.

      I’ve been skipping out on a number of Japanese titles I’m interested in simply because they’re not available; and, alternatively, trying stuff I’d normally ignore simply because it is available on Kindle (like xxxHolic and Vinland Saga).

      • Rose Spinoza

        You are the best ever sir :D !

  • TheCynicalReaper

    “can turn into mystical demon warriors.”
    Well that’s a nicer way of saying “cannibalistic, demonic mutilators”
    The “mystical” part makes it seem fun. haha

    Interesting. I might look into it.

  • TheCynicalReaper


  • Fox

    That is… really weird.

    These are novels based of a game series that is based off a game series that is based off novels. The chains… they run deep.

    I’m all for more Japanese science fiction getting translated. Viz’ Haikasoru line hasn’t really gone anywhere, which is disappointing.

    Also really glad for the digital releases. It always irritates me when great stuff is physical-only. Take Gundam: The Origin, for example. Easily some of the best science fiction I’ve read, and definitely the best manga I’ve read–sure, the phsyical books are really well made… but Im STILL pissed off that Kodansha won’t allow Vertical Press to sell a Kindle version.

    Kodansha seems a good 20 years behind the curve on digital media.

  • Sav

    bah give us DDS spin off games.

  • Ecchitori

    So.. what’s the difference from this plot and the game’s plot? They sound alike..

    • Quantum Devil Saga is a series of novels by the games’ original plot creator, Yu Godai. This is essentially her vision for the story, told as novels without having to rework it to be the plot to a video game. There are a lot of similarities between the two, but a number of major differences as well.

  • Rabbit

    Well… Okay then? Why you would choose this and not the original MegaTen beats my understanding.

    • Stephen

      I believe there was a translation somewhere that mentioned the story of the game didn’t go exactly the way the writer had originally wanted it. Due to executive meddling, time constraints, or some combination of the two, things were changed to how they are now.

      Quantum Saga Avatar Tuner seems to be the way in which the writer will get his original story through, which Digital Devil Saga Avatar Tuner was unable to do.

    • Technically speaking, Quantum Devil Saga isn’t related to Shin Megami Tensei at all (and really, Digital Devil Saga was pretty much its own thing, anyway), so there’s not any continuity between these books and the original Digital Devil Story series (by Aya Nishitani) to worry about anyway.

      Bento Books, the publisher of the English version, got the translation right from the Japanese publisher, Hayakawa, as part of a package that included several other novels to be released in the West; the original Digital Devil Story novels belong to a different publisher.

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