Kodansha USA Take Over Del Rey Titles, Announce New Series


In October, Del Rey Manga’s parent company, Random House, announced that they would cease to publish manga and transfer their licenses back to original Japanese publisher, Kodansha. Kodansha’s USA division would then continue to publish these titles in the U.S. under their own brand from December onward, with Random House assisting in an editorial, production and marketing capacity.


As of December 1st, this sales and distribution arrangement has been established, and Del Rey Manga associate publisher, Dallas Middaugh, is transferring to Random House’s “Publisher Services” division, which supports third-party distribution to remain with the company’s involvement in the manga space.


Del Rey’s ongoing manga titles which were licensed by Kodansha will be gradually taken over by Kodansha USA on a per-title basis. Additionally, Kodansha USA also announced a number of new titles that will make their debut in Summer 2011. From Kodansha’s release list:


  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney returns in this new manga series written by Kenji Kuroda and illustrated by Kazuo Maekawa. Volume 1 releases in June followed by Volume 2 in August.

  • Monster Hunter Orage, by Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima, is adapted from the Capcom game and debuts in June, with a second volume in August.

  • And speaking of Hiro Mashima, his bestselling Rave Master series wraps up with an omnibus collecting the final three volumes of the series in May!

  • Deltora Quest, adapted by Makoto Niwano from Emily Rodda’s novels, debuts in July. The anime is currently running on TV on The Hub.

  • The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex adapts the story from the anime, which is inspired by the works of Masamune Shirow. TGITS:SAC is adapted by Yu Kinutani.

  • Sanami Matoh’s Until the Full Moon makes its triumphant return to the U.S. in July. This story of a boy who becomes a girl under the full moon turns the werewolf legend on its head!

  • Mardock Scramble is adapted by Yoshitoki Oima from Tow Ubukata’s novel. This exciting sci-fi tale has also been adapted into a stunning anime. The first volume releases in August.

  • Animal Land, by manga legend and Zatch Bell creator Makoto Raiku, tells the hilarious and heartwarming story of a baby raised by animals. This is set for an August release.

  • Masashi Tanaka’s Gon returns, giving fans a chance to rediscover the adventures of this ferocious, tiny dinosaur! August release.

  • Bloody Monday, written by Ryou Ryumon and illustrated by Kouji Megumi, is an exciting thriller about a computer hacker’s attempt to foil a terrorist plot! August release.

  • Cage of Eden by Yoshinobu Yamada is best described as Battle Royale meets Lost by way of Negima! August release.

  • And finally, Negima! gets an omnibus release in June, collecting the first three volumes with a new translation!


And making their return under the Kodansha brand will be :


  • Air Gear 18 (June), Air Gear 19 (August)
  • Arisa 2 (May), Arisa 3 (July)
  • Fairy Tail 13 (May), Fairy Tail 14 (July)
  • I am Here! 2 (July)
  • Negima! 29 (May), Negima! 30 (July)
  • Negima?! Neo (June)
  • Ninja Girls 5 (May), Ninja Girls 6 (July)
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei 9 (June), Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei 10 (August)
  • Shugo Chara! 10 (May), Shugo Chara! 11 (July)
  • The Wallflower 25 (June)
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.