As the number of still-competing soccer teams dwindles in a certain high-profile tournament, we here at Kodansha Comics have been cheering on our favorite team … IN MANGA! Did you know that we publish not one, not two, not three, but four soccer manga series? This week, we’re hosting our inaugural Soccer Manga Sale at all of our digital retail partners: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook.
Here’s the deal
First of all:all digital Volumes 1s (or chapter 1s) of all series listed below only 99¢! Next: if you like what you’re reading, keep going—because all other volumes are up to50% 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 July 16!
Here’s the lineup!
~ Kodansha Comics Soccer Manga Sale ~ July 10-16 Click on the cover to read Chapter 1 for FREE!
From Tsuyoshi Yasuda comes the most exciting soccer manga in the world! During his last spring break before starting high school, Tsukushi Tsukamoto meets Jin Kazama, who invites him to a pick-up soccer game. Their chance meeting, and his first-ever experience with soccer, move kind-hearted, timid Tsukushi to enroll in his new high school’s soccer club, which is among the strongest in all of Japan. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, there’s something amazing hidden inside Tsukushi’s heart … and through his trials and tribulations in the soccer club, it’s beginning to blossom!
A truly great coach makes the game of soccer interesting! Tatsumi Takeshi is 35 and has spent the last few years coaching in England before being brought back to Japan to coach his old team. His favorite pastime? Causing giant upsets—a.k.a. Giant Killing!
Before Farewell, My Dear Cramer and Your Lie in April, there was … Sayonara, Football, Naoshi Arakawa’s breakthrough soccer manga! 14-year-old Nozomi Onda has only one thing on her mind: playing beautiful soccer. There’s just one problem: no matter how much she longs to participate in official matches, she’d have physically superior boys as opponents. But when a boy from her past confronts her on the street, she decides she can’t wait any longer.
Naoshi Arakawa was the Guest of Honor at Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles. And while Arakawa’s best known work Your Lie in April has gained recognition from the popularity of his manga and its anime adaptation, there’s not much public information about the man himself. But during a rare Stateside appearance, Arakawa spoke candidly about himself in front of a large audience there for his highlight panel, hosted byKodansha Comics.
Your Lie in April volumes 1-9 are available in print and digital editions from Kodansha Comics.
Kodansha Comics (KC): How did you come up with the story of Your Lie in April? Naoshi Arakawa (NA): It was actually one of the scrapped story ideas I had after debuting as a mangaka. When I got a spot in a monthly magazine to start my own series, I brought up one of my old ideas. I think I just saw a girl a playing violin on TV or something. I thought it was cool, so I wanted to do that. Originally, I was going to make it a story about a boy and a girl violinist. But it’s hard to keep drawing scenes with two violinists. So I decided to make the girl a violinist and the boy a pianist.
KC: Why did you pick the subject of classical music for your manga? NA: At the time there was already a really popular rock manga called BECK. So no one dared make a manga about music that went head-to-head against that manga. There was also a manga about classical music called Nodame Cantabile. But it was focused on the orchestra and not so much on playing a single instrument, like violin. So if I were to draw a manga about music, I definitely wanted to focus on the violin. I wanted to make sure my own music manga didn’t seem second string.
KC: Did you play any instruments when you were growing up? NA: Actually no, I didn’t play any instruments.
KC: What? Then how can you draw scenes like this one? NA: People often ask me that and are surprised to know I’ve never played an instrument myself. But I did other things like kendo when I was growing up. So I’m familiar with the tension in the air at competitions. I drew these scenes based on those experiences. My editor was the one with the experience of playing music, actually, particularly violin. So I often asked any questions about classical music to him. I also went and did research myself.
KC: Beside the music, romance is another big theme in Your Lie in April. Why is that? NA: When I first became a mangaka, I worked with a storywriter to make a slice-of-life manga about teenagers. My next manga was about soccer, but it was also in a slice-of-life style. When I got a chance to make my own series, the editors told me to do the same thing, but I’d already started to get bored of that, since I’d drawn so many of those in a row. So I started to think, “What if I did a shonen manga with some romance, like in a shojo manga?” Eventually, though, I even got bored of that, so I decided to make the musical performance scenes more like in a shonen manga, so I could blow off some steam.
KC: Why did you decide to become a mangaka? NA: I think I wanted to be a storyteller. I have an older brother who was into reading Shonen Jump and Shonen Magazine. So I remember being surrounded by manga all the time. I also joined a manga club in college because my friends wanted to. But I never told anyone I wanted to become a mangaka. I grew up in the countryside where people are bit conservative. So if I told anyone I want to be a mangaka, they’d definitely look at me funny or tell me to “get a decent job with the government.” I was a rare breed. I was super-shy, so I didn’t want to get involved with people and just wanted to get into making stories. Only later I found out you need a certain level of communication skills and to involve yourself with other people to make manga.
KC: Do you have any hobbies? NA: Hobbies? Hm … I collect figurines, like Iron Man. I actually like three-dimensional objects more than just pictures. I like statues over poseable figurines. I don’t know if you would call it a hobby, but I definitely have a collector tendency.
KC: After you’ve completed Your Lie in April, you’ve started to a new manga, Farewell, My Dear Cramer. Could you tell me a little bit about your work? NA: Personally, I’ve been calling it “a manga that supports women’s soccer.” The world of women’s soccer is pretty rough, because they don’t get much funding. Even the American team, which is the best team in the world, they’re treated so differently compared to the men’s team. So there’s a talk about them boycotting from the Olympics. Japanese team seems to be the same way. Most of them are in business group team, so all the players have to work regular hours, then go to practice. I just wish that by making this manga, there will be more awareness about women’s soccer.
KC: The characters in this manga is not really typical girly-girls. NA: I’m not interested in drawing girls who are just cute or “moe.” I want to draw girls who are cool and awesome. Of course later down the line, I would like to introduce more unique characters. But for most of the part, I want to focus on the three main characters. It’s a story about them working together. One of them was actually a lead character from my old work, Sayonara Football. So if you read Sayonara Football first, you’ll understand Farewell, My Dear Cramer even more deeply.
KC: Could you show us your work process? NA: Here’s a rough sketch storyboard. We call it the “name” stage.
NA: And here’s the same page after linework. I do most of inking with G-pen. All the human characters are hand-drawn by me. After this stage, the assistant draws in the backgrounds and effects like speedlines.
NA: This is the same page, but fully inked. Sometimes I do this process myself, but I like to leave it up to the assistant. After it’s fully inked by hands, I scan it and make minor adjustment on the computer.
KC: Could we watch you actually draw?
KC: Thank you!
Here's a highlight video of Kodansha Comics at Anime Expo 2016:
Click here for more recaps of Kodansha Comics' announcements from Anime Expo 2016.
Naoshi Arakawa Panel
Saturday, July 2
Room 403AB Don’t miss this chance to see Naoshi Arakawa in person!
Your Lie in April Quest July 1-4, during convention hours full info at the Kodansha Comics HUB at Booth #3501 (part of Kinokuniya booth)
Every day of AX, we’ll be hosting a scavenger hunt-style quest based on Arakawa-sensei’s hit manga Your Lie in April.
First 1000 participants will get an AX Exclusive Your Lie in April tote bag as a prize.*
Plus, the 10 fastest players each day will win a free copy of Your Lie in April volume 1!**
*while supplies last
**You can only compete on one day.
More events related to Kodansha Comics, and our sibiling-publisher Vertical Comics:
Attack on Titan Anthology Panel
Friday, July 1
Room LP3 Meet some of the creative minds behind this unprecedented collaboration between Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama and an all-star list of the best Western comics artists and writers! We’ll reveal never-before-seen art from the book and give away exclusive trading cards and other goodies.
Read-along with KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan
Featuring the voice actors for the KIZU and Titan audiobooks and MONOGATARI editor Mariko Yajima.
Friday, July 1
Room LP3/LACC 408AB
Kodansha Comics Panel
Saturday, July 2
Room LP4 The publisher of Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon, Fairy Tail, Noragami, and many more debut their new publishing plans for 2016 and beyond! Come speak with some of the editors, ask your questions, and get free books, posters, art cards, and more!
Come Visit Us!
Kodansha Comics HUB
Exhibitor Hall Booth #3501 (part of the Kinokuniya booth) Your information center for everything Kodansha Comics
Show Exclusive: free digital editions (courtesy comiXology) of Your Lie in April, Farewell My Dear Cramer, and Ajin: Demi-Human
AX Guest of Honor Naoshi Arakawa Gallery
Netflix Original Series Ajin: Demi-Human Photo Op
Start and prize point for the Your Lie in April Quest
Kodansha Comics booth
Exhibitor Hall Booth # 911 Your place to buy Kodansha Comics!
Show debuts Fairy Tail Zero volume 2 Queen Emeraldas volume 1 Sweetness & Lightning volume 1 Attack on Titan volume 19
Giveaways Attack on Titan Anthology trading cards
Art cards featuring 5 different manga series
It's morning in the Land of the Rising Sun. Manga fans across Japan are at their local convenience store picking up the just released issue of Monthly Shonen Magazine, where they will find the 70-page Chapter 1 of Farewell, My Dear Cramer (Sayonara Watashi no Cramer), the new series by Your Lie in April creator Naoshi Arakawa …
… and you, everywhere outside of Japan, can read the debut of Farewell, My Dear Cramerat the same time as Japan in English—only on Kindle and comiXology!
Enjoy! Look for Chapter 2 on June 5!
And for those who missed it, here's a reprise, and link, of our announcement of Naoshi Arakawa's forthcoming visit to Anime Expo in Los Angeles this July:
Naoshi Arakawa, creator of the critically acclaimed manga about the struggles of a teen piano prodigy, Your Lie in April, will be attending this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 1-4 as an official Guest of Honor.
This marks the first time Arakawa, who lives in Japan, will be making a Stateside appearance in person. Arakawa’s activities at Anime Expo so far are to include a Q&A panel, media interviews, and fan autograph sessions. More at the link.