A Noragami New Year Message from Adachitoka

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Akemashite Omedeto! New Year's is a special time of year. To start the year off right, we're sending you a New Year card from Adachitoka, the creator of Noragami: Stray God. 

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Special message from Adachitoka:

Happy New Year!! May our fates intertwine.
—Adachitoka  2016.1.1

Creator Spotlight: Adachitoka 

To kick off the new year, we're showcasing Noragami: Stray God and its creator Adachitoka:

Noragami Manga Interview
Read the never-before-seen creator interview with Adachitoka … in manga! 

Noragami Work-in-Progress
Yohei Takami, the editor of Noragami, reveals the behind-the-scenes of making manga.

Did you know new volumes of Noragami come out every month?

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Noragami: Stray God Volumes 1-9 available now

Don't forget to check out the Noragami side-story collection, Noragami: Stray Story! 

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Noragami: Stray Story Volume 1 available now

 

 

 

 

Rare peek into Noragami work in progress

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On December 12 Kodansha Comics hosted an event for our hit manga series Noragami:Stray God at Kinokuniya Bookstore in San Francisco. Yohei Takami, an editor at Monthly Shonen Magazine in Japan and the editor of Noragami, was the guest speaker. Takami-san provided a rare step-by-step look into the process of how artist and editor work together to make manga.

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What’s Noragami about?

Noragami is about a homeless god named Yato, who doesn’t have a shrine or worshippers. It’s his business to help those in need, for a small fee. But in reality he's only good at one thing––slaying what’s in front of him.

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early sketch of Yato

Every god owns a shinki, regalia used as weapon or tools. A shinki is made from the spirit of humans who passed away. Without a shinki, a god like Yato is practically powerless. This story begins when Yato meets his new shinki, Yukine.

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early sketch of Yukine

For a god to exist, there has to be a worshipper. That's when Hiyori comes into the picture. Hiyori is the only human who believes in Yato. She constantly bugs Yato to fix her problem with "going out of body” from time to time.

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early sketch of Hiyori

My first impression of Noragami was just WOW! I’ve never seen a god in a tracksuit. [laughs]

Concept

The artist and I spent a lot of time looking at these images of the characters. Then I asked a lot questions like, how do they talk? Where do they sleep? What’s their favorite food? And so on. This process helps loosen up the imagination, to get as many ideas and details out of our heads as we can. These ultimately become the powerful engine that drives the story. It’s important to go through this process before the manga starts. Because once it starts serialization, there’s no turning back and rebuilding a better engine.

"Name"

[Note: in manga editorial parlance, the first panel-by-panel rough drafts are called the “name.”] At this stage, what was loose, formless ideas start to take shape in the form of manga. An editor reads through it to see if it makes sense. I look for things like if the phrases in the speech bubbles make any sense, if a panel should be omitted for pacing, or if explanation needs to be added.

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"name"

Pencils

By this stage, an editor doesn’t push back on the concept or story. Instead we focus on converting the handwritten text to actual typeset. For example, in this scene, Yato says to Bishamonten, "What are you doing shaking your boobs?" [laughs] So I asked to make the font bigger and bolded.

pencil stage

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Inks

This is the last stage before it goes to print. But our work isn't done until we look and read through everything. I check for last-minute details like typos and page count before it goes to print.

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What’s the artist like?

At first I thought Adachitoka-sensei was a bit of a bumpkin. [laughs] But we’ve been together since our rookie years, and we got to know each other really well through working together. We’re close in age too, so we’re like friends.

Want to learn more about the artist, Adachitoka? Check out the Noragami Manga Interview!

Special thanks to Yohei Takami for sharing his behind-the-scenes stories of making manga and Kinokuniya Bookstore San Francisco for hosting this event!

Read the Noragami Interview Manga with Adachitoka

Just who is Adachitoka? Besides being the creator of Noragami: Stray God, very little else is known about this great artist.

Who else could get the deepest insights from a mangaka, besides another mangaka? Fellow artist Kazushige Miyazaki went deep in his interview with Adachitoka … in manga!

This interview originally ran in Monthly Shonen Magazine (October 2015) as Getsumaga Chronicle. © Kazushige Miyazaki / Kodansha Ltd.​

 

December 15 New Releases: Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE + more

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And now, a deluge of new manga releases for the holidays. Let's take a look at what's new to both brick+mortar and digital bookshelves:

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At last, Volume 17 of manga phenomenon, Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama, is finally here. You can have it 2 (or 3) ways: in our regular print or digital editions—or also as the Attack on Titan 17 Special Edition, featuring an exclusive DVD containing an Attack on Titan anime episode never before released in the U.S.

The half-hour episode "Ilse’s Notebook" is the first time a side story from the manga has been animated. It's by the the same producers and voice actors as the hit anime series and was previously only available as part of a limited-edition manga package in Japan. The Attack on Titan 17 Special Edition is the only way this episode will be available in English.

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Fantasy overload! It's Volume 51 from the long-running hit by Hiro Mashima, Fairy Tail. At the same time, we've got the long-awaited sequel to all-time bestseller Tsubasa by CLAMP, Tsubasa WoRLD CHRoNiCLE. Free Chapter 1 preview at the cover-image link.

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As many mangaphiles already know, Kodansha Comics publishes some of the best shojo comics aroundSay I Love You. by Kanae Hazuki has been a recent breakout hit, but LDK by Ayu Watanabe, now just on its second volume, has gotten off to a strong start.

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We've been making waves in the world of digital comics as of late, rapidly expanding our selection through digital channels like comiXology and Kobo. This week on the digital front, new volumes from a pair of "dark" science-fiction thrillers: Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki, the basis of the hit Adult Swim anime, and the post-apocalyptic-Tokyo-story COPPELION by Tomonori Inoue. 

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Finally, we have new volumes in our accelerated weekly digital-only series: Space Brothers, My Wife Is Wagatsuma-san, As the Gods Will: The Second Series, and Fort of Apocalypse. (Look for Fuuka to come back into the rotation in February.) Along with COPPELION, these series are currently only available as Digital Editions—as part of our accelerated publishing program to offer a broader selection of our titles in English translation. It's been a great experiment, so far. And while there's no plans for print releases yet, you never know!

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Noragami Talk Event at Kinokuniya SF

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Kodansha Comics is hosting a Noragami: Stray God Talk Event at Kinokuniya Bookstore in San Francisco on Saturday, December 12. Yohei Takami, the Japanese editor of Noragami from Kodansha, goes behind-the-scenes to talk about the making of the hit manga series.

Plus! First 50 attendees will get an exclusive Noragami sticker!*

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*while the supply lasts

Talk about Noragami
December 12 (Saturday)
2-3
Kinokuniya Bookstore 2F
1581 Webster Street

San Francisco, CA 94115
http://www.kinokuniya.com/us/

 

See you there!

 

New Digital Editions: Vertical Comics library, Parasyte, COPPELION

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Look for a surge of darker-edged manga coming to digital bookstores early this month.

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At last, as announced last week, Digital Editions of the surreal alien-invasion classic (and now anime on Adult SwimParasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki and the apocalyptic schoolgirls-in-radioactive-Tokyo saga COPPELION by Tomonori Inoue go on sale today. Previously Parasyte was only available in print and COPPELION was only available as a simultaneous streaming title on Crunchyroll Manga. New volumes will be released weekly. Check out full Chapter 1 previews at the cover links above.

We're also very, very happy to announce we're now working with the estimable gang at Vertical Comics to release new Digital Editions, starting with Ajin: Demi-Human, The Flowers of Evil, and Witchcraft Works. Every available volume from these 3 series goes on sale next week, December 8th—that's 24 volumes of manga previously unavailable on digital on sale in one day. Like Parasyte and COPPELION, these series will be available at digital retail partners comiXology, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook.

Finally look for every volume of another trio of Vertical hits, Chi’s Sweet Home, Knights of Sidonia, and The Drops of God, to be available for the first time on comiXology, also on December 8.

For media inquiries, contact pr@kamsf.com or info@vertical-inc.com. Click here for a PDF of the joint Kodansha-Vertical press release.

Click on the cover-links for release info and full Chapter 1 previews:

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Ajin: Demi-Human volumes 1-6. By Gamon Sakurai. The dark supernatural cult hit about a high school boy who attains immortality—and all the problems that go along with it. To be released as a Netflix anime series in 2016.

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The Flowers of Evil volumes 1-11. By Shuzo Oshimi. The acclaimed, and oddly moving, manga series about a bizarre love triangle among perfectly normal (?) high school kids seeking decadence in a small town.

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Witchcraft Works volume 1-7. By Ryu Mizunagi. The manga comedy about supernatural wars in an unusual Japanese high school and the poor guy caught in the middle, adapted into the anime series, now streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Chi’s Sweet Home volumes 1-12. By Konami Kanata. The award-winning, bestselling all-ages manga about the adventures of a mischievous, and painfully cute, stray kitten adopted by a human family.

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The Drops of God volumes 1-4 (plus “New World” volume). By Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto. The acclaimed wine manga that changed the way people drink wine and perceive manga around the world.

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Knights of Sidonia volumes 1-14. by Tsutomu Nihei. The manga that became a hit anime on Netflix, by manga science-fiction legend Tsutomu Nihei, set in the coldest reaches of outer space.

 

 

Kodansha Comics now available on OverDrive

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MediaDo-Kodansha Advanced Media Joint News Release (click here for PDF version)
December 1, 2015 

Popular Kodansha Manga eBooks now available 
to public and academic libraries in U.S. and Canada

Bestsellers "Attack on Titan" and "Fairy Tail" expand manga eBook selection

SAN FRANCISCO – December 1, 2015 – MEDIADO Co., Ltd. (TSE Mothers 3678; head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; led by CEO Yasushi Fujita) has signed a contract with Kodansha Advanced Media LLC (head office: San Francisco; led by President Hiroaki Morita), an affiliate of Kodansha Ltd. (head office: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo), under which MediaDo and its exclusive partner, OverDrive, will distribute Kodansha Comics’ eBook manga titles to the world's largest network of digital libraries, including public and academic, in the United States and Canada.

Kodansha Advanced Media will make available more than 400 books from over 50 series in this distribution agreement, including the enormously successful graphic-novel series Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama https://www.overdrive.com/media/2505523, which has more than 52 million copies in print and has spawned television, film and video game versions. "Fairy Tail" by Hiro Mashima https://www.overdrive.com/media/2505583, another extremely popular series, has more than 25 million copies in print and has also been adapted for film and television. The Kodansha Comics titles, which will be rendered in the browser-based MediaDo Reader, will be available to libraries in the OverDrive network beginning December 1, 2015.

“Manga and libraries have always been a great fit, because of the crossover with younger readers, and because of the amount of manga out there, digital distribution through libraries presents great opportunities to build readership, ” said Alvin Lu, General Manager of Kodansha Advanced Media.  “Very exciting to finally make our graphic-novel digital editions available to young readers through libraries in North America, with smart, savvy  partners like MediaDo and OverDrive.”

MediaDo has been entrusted to distribute Kodansha Advanced Media’s contents to North American eBook stores since June 2015. MediaDo and OverDrive announced their strategic partnership in May 2014, providing access to the world’s largest network of libraries that offer eBooks to their users.

Building on their partnership with Kodansha Advanced Media, MediaDo plans to work with other Japanese publishers who wish to expand their customer base and similarly distribute to OverDrive-powered digital libraries. MediaDo’s mission is to "deliver more digital content to as many people as possible,” not just within Japan but worldwide as well, thus continually playing a role in advancing quality domestic content into the world and promoting Japanʼs "Cool-Japan" strategy. 

Inquiries: Contact pr@kamsf.com

About MediaDo
MEDIA DO Co.,Ltd.(TSE Mothers 3678) after establishment in 1999, launched internet business in 2000, expanded into the online music distribution service business in 2004, and begun it's current eBook distribution service business from 2006. 

Media Do is known as one of the three main digital distributors within Japan. With its contents distribution platform CAS(Contents Agency System)supported by the distribution "md-dc" and its storage system "MDCMS", Media Do distributes many contents to digital stores like "Line Manga". On November 2013, Media Do was listed on TSE Mothers, and later affiliated with "OverDrive", an American company  world's largest digital library system , and "Scribd", America's largest eBook subscription service as well as extending its business rapidly overseas with "Line Manga"'s joint corporation "LINE Book Distribution". For more information, visit www.mediado.jp.

About OverDrive
OverDrive is the leading digital distribution platform, supplying the industry’s largest catalog o
f eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and periodicals to 34,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. We support all major computers and devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle® (U.S. only). OverDrive delivers all digital media on a single platform, and offers innovations such as OverDrive Read, the breakthrough EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience, and Read-Alongs.  Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and is owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten. For more information, visit www.overdrive.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.

About Kodansha Advanced Media
Established in San Francisco in 2014, Kodansha Advanced Media is a digital graphic novel publisher and media content distribution company, focused on the digital distribution and promotion of a burgeoning list of premier English-language manga, including bestsellers Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail. The majority of its list are translations from the original Japanese editions published by its Tokyo-based parent company, Kodansha Ltd., while the print versions of its books are published by New York-based Kodansha USA Publishing and distributed by Penguin Random House Publisher Services. For a full list of titles, visit kodanshacomics.com.

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