In the last newsletter, I made a promise that I could possibly come to regret: that the next few newsletters would offer a revealing, Behind the Music-style exposé of the inner workings of Del Rey Manga, complete with paparazzi pictures, grainy bootleg video, candid interviews, blind items, and completely unsubstantiated rumors. So I’m going to start by pulling back the curtain on one of the darkest secret rituals in publishing: the acquisitions process.
How do we choose which books we publish? Why Mushishi, for example, instead of that hilarious mahjong manga everyone’s talking about? Even though this decision-making process seems really mysterious, we don’t look into a crystal ball or hold a séance to commune with the soul of Osamu Tezuka.
We do go right to the source, the giant, phone book-sized Japanese magazines in which manga series are first published. Every couple of weeks, we get a stack of magazines, just like this one:
Each magazine is targeted at a specific readership. For example, our new shojo series, Shugo Chara! and Mamotte! Lollipop first appeared in Nakayoshi, a super-cute magazine for young girls (it even comes with a glittery sticker sheet and sparkly pens)! The magazine on top of the stack is the latest Nakayoshi. Meanwhile, the seinen series Mushishi and Genshiken come from Afternoon magazine, which is aimed at male twentysomethings. We page through these enormous books, looking for new series with great stories and art that we think will appeal to American audiences (this is the part for which a crystal ball would really come in handy!). It’s really hard getting paid to read manga all day, but somehow we manage to get through the days.
Speaking of acquisitions, we’re pleased to announce the latest new manga coming to you from Del Rey Manga: Yasunori Miitsunaga’s Princess Resurrection!
We all know that there are monsters in this world. Demons and vampires and werewolves and all sorts of things that generally go bump in the night. But one new warrior has them quaking in their supernatural boots: Princess Hime, who fights off the forces of evil with plenty of attitude and flair. Armed with a chainsaw and a killer smile and accompanied by her sidekicks (an undead servant and a super-cute robot!) she’s on a mission to rid the world of the dark forces that plague it. All while looking good in a tiara, too!
It’s a bit of Buffy and a bit of Evil Dead and a whole lot of fun. Look for Princess Resurrection on bookshelves everywhere in early summer 2007!
MUSHISHI MOVIE TRAILER!
The gossip you’ve heard about legendary anime director Katushiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) is true: he’s directed a live-action feature film! It’s an adaptation of the gorgeous, moody manga series Mushishi—coming from Del Rey Manga in February 2007. Meanwhile, go to the movie’s official site, click on the blue box on the right to see the trailer, and get started with all the chatting, posting, buzzing, hyperlinking, and plain old rumor-mongering that gets the advance word out: this movie looks amazing!
WHICH HOT NEW SHOJO MANGA IS IN STORES RIGHT NOW?
And now for a whole new low for the Del Rey Manga newsletter: our first-ever blind item! Guess the identity of the stars of this month’s new release then scroll down for the answer.
WHICH hopelessly nerdy otaku, formerly on the downtown express to permanent singledom, was recently spotted living happily ever after with a certain tea-sipping, French scarf-loving office lady?
If you said, “Densha Otoko and Hermès,” you might already know about Machiko Ocha’s charming manga Train Man: A Shojo Manga—and the pop culture phenomenon this story ignited in Japan. Pick it up in stores now to get the whole story!
By the way, the story of Train Man is a real-life blind item: it really happened that a sweet but geeky Japanese otaku logged onto a singles Internet forum, looking for help winning over the girl of his dreams. Thousands of people responded with encouragement and advice, and the anonymous otaku claimed he and the girl were now a couple. Is it really true? Are there real people behind the screen names “Densha Otoko” and “Hermès”? Nobody knows, but just like the stories in US Weekly, just because it’s not true doesn’t mean it’s not fun to read!
THE KOUGA NINJA SCROLLS: IN STORES DECEMBER 26, 2006!
Have you ever gotten to the end of a manga series and wanted more? More stories. A deeper look into your favorite characters. A detailed history of the world the manga’s creator made. Well, Basilisk fans are about to see their wish come true! The Kouga Ninja Scrolls is the novel Basilisk is based on, and it gives you more of everything you love about Basilisk. But even readers who aren’t familiar with Basilisk will get swept away by this story of warring ninja clans and epic true love. A classic bestseller in Japan, The Kouga Ninja Scrolls is simply unforgettable storytelling.
Be the first to know the story behind the story with The Kouga Ninja Scrolls. E-mail us, and if you’re selected, we’ll send you a set of advance page proofs to read. We only ask one thing: Write back to us and tell us what you think!
Send your emails to email@example.com with KOUGA NINJA SCROLLS in the subject line, including your full name and address in the body of the e-mail (NOTE: your personal information will not be used for any purpose other than this contest). Ten (10) lucky winners will be selected at random and will receive a set of Kouga Ninja Scrolls advance page proofs and a copy of the book when it is published. All submissions must be received by Wednesday, December 6th, 2006.
WHICH Del Rey Manga editor now writes the first draft of her newsletter using a pink sparkly pen she got with Nakayoshi magazine? Tell anyone and I think I’ll die of embarrassment.
NEW IN STORES
AIR GEAR 2
When his new Air Treck skates need maintenance, Itsuki Minami takes them to a local sports shop, where he finally meets Simca Noyamano, the mysterious and very sexy girl he’s had his eye on.
by Kio Shimoku
On a lunch break at the Genshiken, Madarame is minding his own business when in walks Angela, a blond, blue-eyed otaku unlike anyone he has ever seen.
GURU GURU PON-CHAN 6
by Satomi Ikezawa
Ponta is a Labrador retriever puppy who uses the amazing Guru Guru Bone to transform into a human girl.
LOVE ROMA 4
by Minoru Toyoda
Hoshino’s never been afraid to tell Negishi just how he feels about her.
NODAME CANTABILE 7
by Tomoko Ninomiya
Shinichi has always wanted to conduct his own group of musicians.
PICHI PICHI PITCH 3
by Michiko Yokote
Mermaid princess Lucia Nanami has survived several villainous attacks that also threaten her fellow princesses, her relationship with her beloved Kaito, and the health of the seven seas!
SUGAR SUGAR RUNE 4
by Moyoco Anno
Sociable Chocolat and shy Vanilla were best friends until a cutthroat contest to determine who would be the next Queen of the Magical World ended it all.
The Dragonfly Race is set to begin in Piffle World, and the prize for one lucky lightweight aircraft pilot is an amazingly powerful battery in the shape of a feather.