Kodansha Comics kicked off its New York Comic Con panel by announcing a slate of newly licensed manga that range from fighting gemgirls to a comedy about a man who is reincarnated as a sentient blob of slime. Ben Applegate, who oversees the Kodansha Comics line together with Kana Koide of Kodansha Japan, introduced the ten new titles, all but two of which are due out in summer 2017.
Here’s a rundown:
“Land of the Lustrous,” by Haruko Ichikawa
The cast of this manga is all based on gemstones. Sounds lovely, but there are two who don’t fit in: Phosphite, who is loud, brash, and unskilled, and Cinnabar, who emits toxins that cause the others to avoid her. Of course they are formidable fighters as well. The result is a mix of magical girls, science fiction, and a slice-of-life story with art that editor Lauren Scanlan described as “graphically stunning” The manga placed in the 2014 Kono Manga ga Sugoi!! contest.
“Regarding My Reincarnation as a Slime”
A 37-year-old man dies and returns as a blind slime demon. What do you then? Use your powers and level up, of course, because this story is a parody of fantasy role-playing games. The title is tentative.
“Love and Lies”
In a future world, the government chooses who you will marry when you turn 16. But, as Applegate says, “You can’t tell a bunch of teenagers who to love!” The result is a high school romantic comedy with a dark side and a dystopian thread that balances the awkward encounters and cute character designs.
“Kigurumi Defense Squad,” by Lily Hoshino
Kigurumi are full body mascots, and in this spoof of magical-girl manga, they also transform into beautiful boys to help Hakka and her schoolgirl friends fight off invading aliens. Hoshino is the creator of “Penguindrum,” “Love Quest,” and “Alone in My King’s Harem,” and she draws this romantic-action story in a super-cute style.
“Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight”
Another shoujo romance, this one features a studious girl who seems to be very serious, but secretly is a fan of sentimental romances and yearns for a fairy-tale romance. She’s also obsessed with a handsome actor, and she’s thrilled when he comes to film at her school—but dismayed when she learns about his less savory side.
“Frau Faust” by Kore Yamazaki
Yamazaki, creator of “The Ancient Magus’s Bride,” starts retells the story of Faust, but with a gender switch: The real Faust, it turns out, was a woman, and not only that, an ass-kicking scholar to boot. This series will launch in fall 2017.
“Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty”
More shoujo! This one is a supernatural romance about a boy who is a housecleaner and a girl who is possessed by ghosts. The first volume is due out in fall 2017.
“Waiting for Spring”
“A classic shoujo romance about a shy girl who befriends the boys’ basketball team,” is how Applegate described this series.
“Ahogaru: Clueless Girl”
A four-panel gag manga with humor that may be more accessible to Americans than most, “Ahogaru” is the story of a truly ditzy schoolgirl who will, for instance, follow a trail of bananas almost anywhere. Applegate compared it to the classic gag manga “Azumaga Daioh.”
“Fairy Tail Rhodonite”
This standalone story is set in the world of the long-running “Fairy Tail” shonen series, and it focuses on the character Gajeel, the dragon slayer, with some insight into his backstory. It’s due out in summer 2017.
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