Kodansha Comics Gift Guide Part 3: With Manga from Me to You

Kodansha Comics Gift Guide Part 3: With Manga from Me to You

One of the best things about manga is the community it creates: how it brings people together and allows you to bond with and make new friendships that last a lifetime, all the while giving you something to talk about that you’re incredible passionate about.

When working in manga, however, it’s not often that we get to speak face-to-face with our readers about our favorite series, so our third, and final, part of our Gift Guide is dedicated to all the amazing Kodansha Comics fans, and is a gift from us to you—our personal favorite staff picks! If you haven’t checked these series out already, we hope we can help you discover a new favorite series—and that you come to love them as much as we do!

Attack on Titan Season Manga Box Sets (Ages 16+)

Tiff Ferentini, Publishing Associate

It’s no secret in the Kodansha office (or to anyone I meet, really) that my favorite manga series of all time is Attack on Titan—so two of the things I was looking forward to the most this year was the premiere of Attack on Titan Season 3 and to the release of our Attack on Titan Season Manga Box Sets (and to rereading the manga before the new season premiere!).

One of the aspects that I love the most about Attack on Titan is that it never fails to surprise me, and that just when I think I have of an idea of what Isayama is planning, he throws another curve ball—to both his characters and his readers. Eren, especially, has faced some of the most difficult and interesting challenges and character developments as the story has progressed, and the arc covered in the Season 3 Manga Box Sets is one of my favorites of the series thus far. We not only get to see Eren get the same spark he had at the beginning of the series back, but we also get even more depth and development of Levi, Armin, Erwin, their relationships and interactions with one another, and more. This is also when we finally get a little closer to the truth about the Titans—and of the world Eren and his comrades live in—and were the chapters that had me most on the edge of my seat. Couple that with the Season 3 anime premiere this summer, and I couldn’t have been any more proud to be an Attack on Titan fan—it was not only great seeing the start of my favorite arc animated, but while the new season aired I couldn’t resist rereading the manga, which made me fall in love with the series all over again.

Not only did I think the timing couldn’t be any better for Titan fans, but the Attack on Titan Season Manga Box Sets were something I hoped both older and newer fans of Attack on Titan would come to enjoy. The design of the box sets themselves are not only super cool (and feature the Titan trio staring you down when you turn them on the side), making them great collector’s gifts for old and new fans alike, but they also feature exclusive bonus items—such as a wicked double-sided poster of Eren (in the Season 2 box set), and a bonus booklet of never-before-seen short stories (in the Season 3 Part 1 box set). If it’s one thing any Attack on Titan fan knows it’s that the Titans show no mercy when it comes to taking the lives of our favorite characters, so the short story collection is especially great because it allows us to see our favorite characters interacting in ways in which we haven’t had a chance to see in the manga—and gives even more depth to characters such as Eren, Levi, Armin, Jean, and more.

The Attack on Titan Season Manga Box Sets are something I loved both working on and enjoying as a fan, and are definitely sets I’ll keep coming back to as I wait for the return of Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2.



Attack on Titan Season Manga Box Sets Season 1 Part 1 through Season 3 Part 1 are available now. Season 3 Part 2 box set coming Summer 2019! Need more Titan? The latest volume, Attack on Titan 26, is out now!


Want more recommendations? Tiff’s previous Attack on Titan-themed staff recommendations include Spoof on Titan—check out their review here!









Again!! (Ages 16+)

Tiff Ferentini, Publishing Associate

… ok, so it’s also no secret that another favorite Kodansha series of mine is Again!!, and between that and Attack on Titan, I couldn’t possibly choose between the two, and had to write about both of them.

While Again!!’s story couldn’t be any more different from Attack on Titan or Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (one of my previous staff picks), one of the main reasons why I love Again!!is for the same reasons that draw me to Attack on Titan and Descending Stories—it has a compelling story that leaves me wanting to read more and not sure what to expect next, starring characters whose genuine experiences and emotions hit me at my core, and whom I can’t help but relate to.

Again!!is the story about Kinichiro Imamura, who, on the last day of high school, realizes he had gone three years without joining any clubs or making any friends. He’s not exactly bittersweet about graduation, and would now much rather leave it all behind him, But a tumble down a flight of stairs soon sends him three years in the past—back to the first day of high school. Now, Kinichiro not only has the chance to do high school all over again, but he also gets wrapped up in saving his school’s ouendan cheering club from the brink of disbandment.

Right off the bat, there were so many things about this series that captivated me—the mystery regarding Kinichiro’s time travel (is this all a bad dream, or did he really go three years into the past?), his mixed feelings of preferring solitude but also feeling isolated and disregarding by his classmates, and the overarching thought—what would it be like to do things all over again? Again!! creator Mitsurou Kubo is nothing short of a storytelling genius, and crafts not only a gripping story, but also has a way of making Kinichiro’s experiences and feelings so incredibly sincere and candid. From his musings about what if he had done high school differently, regretting choices he did or did not make, or wondering if it even mattered if he was around or not, Kubo centers Kinichiro as not only an interesting, relatable protagonist, but also couples incredibly real, sometimes dark moments with natural humor, and an all-star cast of characters that are just as enjoyable to cheer on.

If you’re looking for a step up from your ordinary high school manga, or for a new series that blends excellent characters with both reality and humor, you’ll definitely want to give Again!! a read.

Again!! Volumes 1 through 5 are available now. Volume 6 coming December 13, 2018! Want to give it a read now? Read the first chapter here!

Want more recommendations? Tiff’s previous staff recommendations include Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju—check out their review here, and read a first chapter preview here!



EDENS ZERO (Ages 13+)

Haruko Hashimoto, Associate Editor

This sci-fi/fantasy series features two kids taking on the vast, mysterious cosmos: Rebecca, a social media girl (think avid Youtuber) piloting her spaceship to shoot her next viral video, along with Shiki, a clueless boy with ancient and rare robotic powers. And of course, there’s Happy, their cute cat companion … weapon? Yes, that’s right—our beloved Happy starts whirring and spinning and transforms mid-battle! This is what’s so exciting about EDENS ZERO. Mashima leans in to all the grand, science-y, mechanical ideas that couldn’t fit in to the lore and tone of his earlier series, Fairy Tail and Rave Master. Back when Fairy Tail was wrapping up its final story arc (and even during its origin story in Fairy Tail ZERO), it seemed as if Mashima wanted to go bigger and badder with each reveal. EDENS ZERO does just that, right from Chapter One.

He’s clearly built up EDENS ZERO as a masterful shonen adventure. I love to imagine new readers and younger readers experiencing Mashima’s world for the first time through EDENS ZERO. It showcases all the polished skills (both art and story-wise) that the author has gained over his two decades of making hit manga. How lucky you get to experience that from the beginning, at the height of his craft! Rave Master was the first series I ever bought with my own allowance, and I’ve worked on so many of Mashima’s English releases, so when I read EDENS ZERO, I read it from my heart, and in awe of how he just keeps improving. And for fellow returning Mashima readers, let yourself be swept off your feet too! From a holographic space goddess, to space pirates, to mechanic space dragons, EDENS ZERO hints at both fun and tragic back stories to come. But while we await Volume 2, you can catch me flipping through EDENS ZERO just to count every Plue and every Fairy Tail member sketched in the crowd scenes.

EDENS ZERO is a fresh new start for a creator who clearly has so many ideas churning in his mind at all times. If you’re feeling nostalgic, or want a good laugh, or are curious to look inside Mashima’s brain a bit more, you can also check out his short story compilation, Hiro Mashima’s Playground.

EDENS ZERO Volume 1 is available now. Volume 2 coming February 2019! Want to give it a read now? Read the first chapter here!

Want more recommendations? Haruko’s previous staff recommendations include Animal Land and Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty – check out her reviews for those series here and here!



Toppu GP (Ages 16+)

Paul Starr, Editor

You might know Kosuke Fujishima as the creator of the long-running magical romantic comedy Ah My Goddess. What you might not know is that all of his manga—even Ah My Goddess!—tend to feature cars, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles with a remarkable frequency. Fujishima-sensei is a major gear-head, and with his latest title, Toppu GP, he goes full-throttle on his love of motorcycles. Toppu GP follows the career of Toppu Uno. We learn in the first volume’s opening pages that he’s destined to make it to MotoGP, the highest level of motorcycle road racing—but then we’re immediately taken to his days as a tween racer in Japan, just starting out on his journey to the top. In typical Fujishima style, the motorcycles and racing action are depicted with meticulous precision, and the comedic interludes between races are a delight. The young Toppu has a crush on Myne, an older girl who also races, and getting to watch her outrace the boys in her class is just as thrilling as Toppu’s races. This is this a great gift for any Ah My Goddess fan, but thanks to its mechanical accuracy and dynamic racing art, it’s perfect for the motorsports maniac in your life. If they’re not a manga fan, they will be once they finish Toppu GP!

Want more recommendations? Paul’s previous staff recommendation was Welcome to the Ballroom —check out his review here, and read a first chapter preview here!



Want to save big?
Head on over to Books a Million for their Graphic Novels and Manga: Buy 2, Get 3rd Free Sale!

This wraps it up for our Gift Guide series this year! We hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas for what to wrap up for your loved ones—and put on your own wish list!

Did you check out the KC Gift Guide Part 1 & 2? Click here!

All of us at Kodansha Comics wish you a safe and happy holiday. Thank you for helping us make 2018 a great year to read manga—we can’t wait to give you more in the New Year!

Digital volume 1s by Akiko Higashimura, Mitsurou Kubo, Makoto Shinkai

Kodansha Comics is the home of awesome manga creators. Did you know we publish multiple manga by Mitsurou Kubo (one of the minds behind YURI!!! on ICE) and Makoto Shinkai (of Your Name. fame)? Are you familiar with all the works of shojo manga maestro Akiko Higashimura (Princess Jellyfish, Tokyo Tarareba Girls) or up-and-coming best-sellers like Taamo (House of the Sun, I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World)? 

To showcase our amazing creators and their work, we’re hosting our first installment of  the Creator Spotlight Sale at all of our digital retail partners: BookWalkercomiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook. 

Here’s the deal

First of all: all digital Volumes 1s of all series listed below only 99¢!
Next: if you like what you’re reading, keep going—because the all other volumes are up to 50% off!
And to make it even easier for you, we’ve put some of the series available as a complete series bundles up to 60% off!

Pretty sweet deal huh? But you gotta hurry, because the sale will end on May 21!

~ Kodansha Comics Creator Spotlight Sale Part 1  ~
May 15-21
Click on the cover to read Chapter 1 for FREE!

Akiko Higashimura
Akiko Higashimura is HILARIOUS. Princess Jellyfish, her award-winning first work published in English, is the rollicking saga of fangirls taking on Tokyo. In her follow up series, Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Higashimura once again sharpens her razor wit on the lives of young women in the big city. This time she hones in on one single thirtysomething and her dystopian dating problems—”One day I woke up and I was 33”!

Check out this exclusive creator interview with Akiko Higashimura! Princess Jellyfish and Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 1s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)

Ema Toyama
Psst … do you like secrets? Ema Toyama’s works are full of attractive girls and boys who are bounded by the power of secrets! In her first long running breakthrough series, Missions of Love, the high school girl with the heart of an “ice queen” appoints 
the ever-popular, yet black-hearted student body president to be her sim-boyfriend … all for the sake of research for her novel! Toyama’s latest work, Aoba-kun’s Confessions is about a very shy girl who just started a peculiar job at a “Listening House” and ends up getting the basketball star from her school as her first client!

Missions of Love and Aoba-kun’s Confession volume 1s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)

Mitsurou Kubo
You may have heard of her name as the original concept/character designer of the hit iceskating anime series Yuri!!! on ICE . And she’s also the latest rising superstar manga creator from Kodansha Comics! Her first two manga to appear in English are Again!!a dramatic, funny, time-traveling high school story about what it means to cheer on a friend—and  Moteki (from Vertical Comics) a romantic comedy about love, coming of age, and hope … at age 30! 

Again!! and Moteki volume 1’s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)

Mari Yoshino
The talented Mari Yoshino comes up with something spicier than your typical shojo manga with Peach Heaven, the story of a seemingly average high school girl—who’s a famous erotica author in disguise. All goes well until her supermodel classmate—and the biggest playboy in school—learns about her secret! Mari Yoshino’s follow-up work isn’t quite so salacious: Beauty Bunny is a modern day Cinderella story about a spunky protagonist and the rich boy makeup artist she gets mixed up with!

Peach Heaven and Beauty Bunny volume 1’s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)

Taamo is just one of the many “hidden gem” creators fans are discovering through our digital-first program. Her first work, House of the Sun, is the moving account of a young woman who reconnects with a childhood friend as she puts together the pieces of her life following her parents’ broken marriage. Her follow up work I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World is about a girl who’s always seen herself as the negative to her twin sister’s beautiful photograph, and the handsome boy who just won’t give up on her. Not too many creators tackles the subtle yet complex relationships around a family like Taamo does. If you’ve liked one of her works, you’ll probably like the other one too!

House of the Sun and  I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World volume 1’s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)

Makoto Shinkai
Kodansha Comics’ sibling publisher, Vertical Comics, has been publishing fine manga adaptations of the films of anime auteur Makoto Shinkai (the director of Your Name.) for some time now. Four standalone manga based on Shinkai’s films—Voice of a Distant Star, She and Her Cat, Garden of Words, and 5 Centimeter Per Secons are ALL only 99¢ during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)

Kouji Seo
Kouji Seo is a master of “boy-meets-girl” stories—some of you may recognize Fuuka from the recent anime adaptation. But did you know that SuzukaSeo’s previous work, is a prequel and about the parents of  Fuuka? Find out more connections between Suzuka and Fuuka, while both series are on sale! 

Suzuka and Fuuka volume 1’s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/21)



Mitsurou Kubo’s manga are here at last!

Superstar creator Mitsurou Kubo (original concept and character designs for Yuri!!! on ICE) has two new manga from Kodansha Comics and Vertical!—a dramatic, funny, time-traveling high school story about what it means to cheer on a friend and a romantic comedy about love, coming of age, and hope … at age 30! Scroll down, or click on the cover, to read Chapter 1 of Moteki for free! 

Again!! volume 1 comes out February 27. Preorder your copy now!

Kinichiro Imamura isn’t a bad guy, really, but on the first day of high school his narrow eyes and bleached blonde hair made him look so shifty that his classmates assumed the worst. Three years later, without any friends or fond memories, he isn’t exactly feeling bittersweet about graduation. But after an accidental fall down a flight of stairs, Kinichiro wakes up three years in the past … on the first day of high school! Has he really gone back in time, or is this just a crazy dream? An encounter with an awkwardly eccentric fellow student might give Kinichiro the chance to live a different version of his dull high school life—if he can just bring himself to seize the chance …



Moteki volume 1 comes out April 3. Preorder your copy now!

Yukiyo Fujimoto’s life has been in a rut. He is about to turn thirty and has never held a steady job or had a girlfriend. And at a time when the prospects for hope seem at their lowest, suddenly his phone blows up! Out of the blue he is contacted by several women from his past! Yukiyo may seem to have many options now, but is he ready for love? And are any of these women? The stage for love might be set, but the time might only be right for him to finally grow up!




About Mitsurou Kubo
Mitsurou Kubo is a manga artist born in Nagasaki prefecture. Her series 3.3.7 Byoshi!! (2001-2003), Tokkyu!! (2004-2008), and Again!! (2011-2014) were published in Weekly Shonen Magazine, and Moteki (2008-2010) was published in the seinen comics magazine Evening. After the publication of Again!! concluded, she met Sayo Yamamoto, director of the global smash-hit anime Yuri!!! on ICE. Working with Yamamoto, Kubo contributed the original concept, original character designs, and initial script for Yuri!!! on ICE. Again!! is her first manga to be published in English.

© Hasetsu Townspeople/Yuri!!! on ICE PROJECT

Watch Yuri!!! on ICE on Crunchyroll!

Kodansha Comics at Anime NYC: license announcements updated 11/19

Going to Anime NYC? Kodansha Comics is exclited to join this new anime convention in our hometown!

Kodansha Comics Booth #416 
Come and check out pre-streets and new release books and exclusive products at the Kodansha Comics booth (#416)! 

Kodansha Comics Manga Announcement Panel
We've got a slew of reveals for new manga coming in 2018! Plus, a chance to ask your questions to our editorial and publishing team and free books, art cards, and other goodies straight from Japan!

Date Saturday, November 18
Time 11:00-11:45 a.m.
Location Panel Room 1

Vertical Comics Industry Panel
The publisher that brings you the Monogatari series, Chi’s Sweet Home, and nichijou will be making special announcements and reveal brand-new titles for 2018! Plus Q&A andsome special giveaways!

Date Sunday, November 19
Time Noon- 12:45 p.m.
Location Panel Room 3

Can't make it to the show? 
Don't worry! Check back on this page for the updates on our panel announcements! 

See you there!


Update 11/18: Kodansha Comics made new announcements at Anime NYC today!

Attack on Titan Season 1: Part 1 and Part 2 manga box sets
coming April 2018
four volumes each
includes exclusive bonus items

Golosseum by Yasushi Baba
Coming Spring 2018
Scientists discover a new material that renders people immune to all existing weapons. But these “peacemakers” instead transform world war into a martial-arts free-for-all! Rasputin plots with Russian President Putinov to control the global supply. Opposing them are the unstoppable Axe Bogan under American President Billary Quintone and a slew of other muscular heroes!

Two shojo digital-firsts debuting November 28!

Lovesick Ellie by Fujimomo
Eriko Ichimura spends her high school days in complete obscurity. Her sole hobby is staring at handsome, smooth-spoken Akira "Omi-kun" Ohmi, and tweeting her daily fantasies under the screen-name "Lovesick Ellie." One fateful day, she accidentally bears witness to Omi-kun's true self—and if that weren't enough, he sees her mortifying Twitter, too! Follow along with a plain, perverted girl, a two-faced boy, and their curious romance!

My Brother the Shut-In by Kinoko Higure
Every family has its share of problems, be they big or small. Shino Tadokoro has the perfect high school life, full of romance and friendship. Her biggest problem is her shut-in brother Tamotsu. She stubbornly keeps his existence a secret, telling even her closest friends that she is an only child. Completely oblivious to Shino's concerns, Tamotsu suddenly declares that he is giving up the shut-in lifestyle. Is there still time? The curtain rises on a tale of family reconstruction!


Update 11/19: Vertical Comics made new announcements at Anime NYC today!

APOSIMZ by Tsutomu Nihei
From acclaimed master mangaka Tsutomu Nihei, the creator behind BLAME! and Knights of Sidonia, comes his newest science-fiiction epic, APOSIMZ. The 200,000 KM diameter artificial celestial body of APOSIMZ: most of its volume is its core space, which is covered by a superstructural shell. Fifty centuries ago, the people who lost a war against the core lost their right to reside legitimately in APOSIMZ and were left behind on the extremely cold surface. They face the spreading Frame disease and aggressive automatons which appear frequently on the ruins level. Even so, somehow people survive.

Print edition releasing Fall 2018!
Ongoing series now available as simulpub on comiXology and Kindle!


Updates 11/20: Here's the recap of Kodansha Comics Spring-Summer 2018 new licensing announcements from NYCC 2017: 

Again!! by Mitsurou Kubo 
Coming February 2018 
Kinichiro Imamura isn’t a bad guy, really, but on the first day of high school his narrow eyes and bleached blonde hair made him look so shifty that his classmates assumed the worst.  Three years later, without any friends or fond memories, he isn’t exactly feeling bittersweet about graduation. But after an accidental fall down a flight of stairs, Kinichiro wakes up three years in the past… on the first day of high school! Has he really gone back in time, or is this just a crazy dream? An encounter with an awkwardly eccentric fellow student might give Kinichiro the chance to live a different version of his dull high school life – if he can just bring himself to seize the chance…
From the co-creator of Yuri!!! on Ice!

Tokyo Tarareba Girls by Akiko Higashimura
Available now digital-first & Coming in print June 2018
Rinko has done everything right. She’s hustled her whole life, got a job right out of college, and is doing everything she can to make it as a screenwriter. Everything should all have gone according to plan… So at 33, she can’t help but lament over the fact that her career’s plateaued, she’s still painfully single, and spends most of her nights drinking with her two best friends in their favorite pub. One night, in a booze-fueled delusion, Rinko swears to get married by the time the Tokyo Olympics roll around in 2020. But finding a man – or love – may be a cutthroat, dirty job for a romantic at heart!
A sharp new comedy about female friendship from the creator of Princess Jellyfish!

Grand Blue Dreaming by Kenji Inoue & Kimitake Yoshioka
Available now digital-first & coming July 2018
After moving out on his own to a seaside town, Iori Kitahara makes a college debut he never anticipated. A new chapter of his life unfolds, full of diving with beautiful girls and shenanigans with a gaggle of lovable bastards! Idiot-expert Kenji Inoue and au naturel authority Kimitake Yoshioka bring you a glorious college tale filled with booze-fueled antics!