Top Publishers of Japanese Manga & Novels Announce Exciting 2019 Titles

Kodansha Comics, Vertical Comics, and Vertical, Inc., three leading imprints for Japanese novels and comics in translation, announced their upcoming slate of new titles, running the gamut from new manga series to re-releases of classics.

Vertical Comics announced the highly anticipated manga adaptation of NISIOISIN’s Bakemonogatari series by creator Oh! great (Air Gear). The series will begin October 2019. Another major announcement was a new novel by the acclaimed Monogatari franchise creator, Hanging High School, the third book in the Zaregoto series, in September 2019. Fans have clamored for the next episode in the series since the release of the second book in 2018, preceded by the first volume in 2017. During the announcement, Vertical revealed new cover art by VOFAN, the illustrator of the Monogatari series, for Makoto Shinkai’s Voices of a Distant Star (novel), to release in July 2019, and for VOFAN’s own full-color artbook previously only published in Taiwan, Colorful Dreams, to release in October 2019. Vertical also added Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose Resurrection at Nineteen, the prequel novels of the manga series for their light novel lineup in December 2019.

The publishers unveiled three new highly anticipated box sets. The Monogatari series will see a “Season 2” box set later in 2019 from Vertical, Inc. To coincide with the work’s 25th anniversary, Kodansha Comics will re-release CLAMP’s Magic Knight Rayearth in two beautiful three-volume hardcover box sets. The first is due Fall 2019, and on top of the three volumes of manga, each will include one full-color art book of rare pieces by the creators and an additional bonus item to be revealed.

Also coming to the box set format is the fantasy epic Fairy Tail, which will see its first 11-volume box set released in Fall 2019, with two per year to follow. Kodansha also announced Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, the sequel to Fairy Tail, which will continue the adventures of Natsu, Lucy, Erza, and the entire magical guild in Summer 2019, with layouts and story by creator Hiro Mashima.

In another addition to a beloved Kodansha Comics series, Cells at Work! CODE BLACK will be released in Summer 2019. Where the original series followed a Red Blood Cell and a White Blood Cell through a (relatively) healthy body, this spin-off is set in one that’s falling apart, with smoking, drinking, fatty liver, gout, and more intimate ailments to deal with. The book will carry a “surgeon-general’s warning” that it’s only for ages 18 and up.

Joining Yuri Is My Job!, Kodansha’s premier yuri (girl-girl romance) manga title that debuted in January 2019, Kodansha will publish If I Could Reach You, a serious yuri title about a teenage girl coming to terms with her own sexuality through her crush on her brother’s wife. Volume 1 is coming in Fall 2019.

Kodansha will publish the manga adaptation of the online game Granblue Fantasy, which featured design work and music by key creative figures from the Final Fantasy series and has proven a global hit. The manga, by cocho and Makoto Fuugetsu, will begin in Fall 2019. Finally, Kodansha will bring to print the digital-first title Drifting Dragons, about a “whaling ship” that floats through the air and hunts dragons. Volume 1 is coming during holiday season 2019.

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