10 Years of Kodansha Comics—April Spotlight: A Silent Voice


10 years of Kodansha Comics!

The year 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the first Kodansha Comics manga published in English. Please join us in celebration as we select
one classic Kodansha Comics series each month for exclusive content, promotions, and other surprises!

A Silent Voice Volumes 1-7 are available now from Kodansha Comics in a beautiful complete collector’s-edition box set for old and new fans alike!

April Spotlight: A Silent Voice

Our April Spotlight title is Yoshitoki Oima’s moving coming-of-age manga A Silent Voice, and with the release of the A Silent Voice movie now out on Bluray and DVD, it couldn’t be better timing to celebrate this Eisner-nominated series! So what kind of “special surprises” do we have waiting for you this month? Check these out …

Surprise 1: Exclusive A Silent Voice pin!
As a part of the 10 Years of Kodansha Comics project, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Rightstuf to bring you these awesome exclusive A Silent Voice pins!


Visit Rightstuf and order any volume of A Silent Voice or the A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set and you’ll receive an exclusive A Silent Voice pin for FREE! Available this month (April 2019) only or while supplies last.

Surprise 2: A Silent Voice Survey Sweepstakes!

Here’s your chance to do all of the following: (a) check out the original A Silent Voice manga, (b) complete your collection with the brand new A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set, and (c) check out more manga from creator Yoshitoki Oima! For the month of April only, ONE lucky winner will win a copy of the A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set, one copy of the A Silent Voice Bluray/DVD from our friends at Eleven Arts / Shout Factory,!, AND a complete collection of Yoshitoki Oima’s previous manga series: Mardock Scramble and Volumes 1-9 of To Your Eternity!

All you have to do is take this survey by April 30 to enter for a chance to win.

Surprise 3: Yoshitoki Oima long interview excerpt

Kodansha Comics is also proud to present a special interview with Yoshitoki Oima! First appearing in the A Silent Voice Fanbook (Japan only), this interview with A Silent Voice creator Yoshitoki Oima has never before been translated into English … until now!

About Yoshitoki Oima

Yoshitoki Oima won the 80th Weekly Shonen Magazine Rookie Manga Prize, and debuted in 2009 with Mardock Scramble. Following A Silent Voice, her new series, To Your Eternity, began serializing inWeekly Shonen Magazine at the end of 2016.

Really See, Really Hear: A Silent Voice Yoshitoki Oima Long Interview

An excerpt from the interview first published in the A Silent Voice Fanbook (September 2016)

 

A Theme of Communication

Q. A Silent Voice deals with a lot of very serious themes, including bullying and hearing impairment. The series comes across as a very brave act. Do you feel that way?

Yoshitoki Oima (YO): I’m a little uncomfortable reducing the work to simplistic statements like “It’s about bullying.” Personally, I never saw the series as being “about” bullying or hearing impairment; instead, I was attempting to illustrate, literally, how difficult it can be for people to communicate their feelings to each other. So while the title may be A Silent Voice, I very much intended to depict communication as a whole. Shoko can’t hear, that’s true, but that’s really just one of the things that makes her who she is; and in the same way, the bullying in this series is one result of a particular kind of communication.

Q. Is there something specific that motivated you to take on communication, and the difficulty of communicating feelings, as your theme?

YO: A Silent Voice actually draws a lot from my own experience: the regret over my failure to take notice of and listen to the voice of one girl in particular; it deeply influenced Shoya’s commitment to “really see, really listen.” It’s not that my friend couldn’t hear, but in this story, Shoko’s inability to hear is partially a nudge to help readers key in to the main theme. It wasn’t intended to be the core of the series, per se.

Q. It’s true that Shoya never once uses the word “bullying” to describe his own actions.

YO: Shoya is all too aware how it would sound if he described his past behavior toward Shoko as “bullying,” so he strongly resists using that word and labeling it that way.

In contrast, the people around him, including Miki, Naoka, and Mr. Takeuchi, are perfectly happy calling it “bullying”. That compartmentalizes the bullying, and sort of lets them feel that they weren’t involved. That’s a relief for them, and they find “bullying” a very convenient term as they create their own narratives of themselves.

Q. Miki and Naoka sometimes use the word “karma” to describe the events of the series. Is this something else they say simply because it’s convenient for them, like “bullying”?

YO: “Karma” is a word the characters use as an easy dodge. They’re trying to live their own lives, and “karma” is a box they can compartmentalize things in to help make sense of them. For me personally, “karma” is not a significant factor in the series.

It’s possible one reason people focus so much on the word “karma” is that it gives readers a certain sense of relief, too. Words like “karma,” or phrases like “crime and punishment” and “good is rewarded; evil is punished,” are frameworks that lend themselves very well to stories. Some readers might expect characters who do something wrong to be punished, but I wasn’t specifically thinking about that during the writing.

I do want to be clear about one thing, though: I didn’t write Miki, or even Mr. Takeuchi or Shoko’s paternal family, to be “villains.”

Q. Do you mean they’re each right in their own way – or at least have their own feelings about all this?

YO: I drew each scene with empathy for the character in question—like how Mr. Takeuchi acts in the elementary school, and when Shoko’s paternal grandfather says, “We don’t want anyone like that in our family” (vol 4, ch. 32: Gum Syrup). These characters all realize that “If I say something like this, I might come off as a bad person.” But they all say these things convinced that “raising a child with disabilities isn’t as simple as you think.”

While each character says these things in their own way, the words they speak and the attitudes they exhibit spring from brutally honest feelings they can’t deny. These are things I might have even said myself if I were ignorant of people with disabilities. For example, when faced with serious issues and cornered to make a decision, maybe I would’ve also said something like, “This may be taboo, but I’m going to speak my mind.”

Of course, it’s up to each individual to think about what’s good and bad, and that is what Shoko’s mother found troubling.

Shoko’s Feelings, Conveyed in the Communication Notebook

Q. The communication notebook plays a crucial role in the meeting, conflict, and finally reunion between Shoya and Shoko.

YO: With her grandmother, Shoko practiced speaking aloud; she was making an effort to use her voice to talk. But when she stopped speaking, that notebook became her one line of communication with hearing people.

Q. Why does Shoko stop talking?

YO: It has a lot to do with her mother and Yuzuru. It made Shoko unbearably sad to see Yuzuru getting bullied because Shoko couldn’t speak like everyone else; that’s the first reason. The second reason was that her mother wanted Shoko to be able to speak well, but when things don’t go as smoothly as planned, her mother becomes frustrated—Shoko picks up on that. So she slowly stops using her voice.

The message Shoko displays in the notebook when she transfers to Suimon Elementary School—“I would like to get to know everyone through this notebook”—really says it all. For her, the communication notebook isn’t just the one tool that allows her to communicate; it’s a symbol of Shoko’s hope that she can be friends with her classmates.

Q. But some pretty cruel things end up written in that notebook.

YO: Shoko starts out being able to converse normally with everyone through the notebook, but gradually all the notes turn to complaints, and then to outright meanness. Shoko sees all this as her own fault, so—as a means of self-defense and to smooth things over with everyone else—she hides how she really feels and just starts to apologize all the time. It culminates in Shoya throwing the notebook into the pond, and even though she immediately rushes to fish it out again, Shoko herself decides to throw the notebook away immediately afterward. It was her only haven, and now she’s abandoning it: she’s given up on communicating. This encounter with Shoya is the last straw; Shoko can no longer hold back all the feelings she’s been keeping inside, and confesses to Yuzuru that she wants to die. The notebook was just that important to her.

How can everyone write such awful things in this precious notebook of hers? It’s because nobody can see how important it is—not even her mother. That’s why her mother can throw it off the bridge like she does. I gave that chapter the title “I Gave Up Once Before” because it answers the question “What did Shoko give up in elementary school?” When, in high school, Shoya suddenly shows up with the notebook Shoko thought she’d abandoned, to her it’s much more than just an old notebook. It’s as if Shoya has brought back with him the whole hope of being friends with everyone that Shoko had thrown away in elementary school—friends she was going to make with that notebook.

When Shoya asks, “Is that notebook really that important?”, Shoko responds, “It matters because you brought it back to me.” She clasps it to her chest with one hand over the other, letting him know how precious it is.

Q. Shoya pulled the communication notebook out of the pond and kept it all that time. Does that show that, on some level, he had a sense of how much it meant to Shoko?

YO: Having experienced bullying himself, Shoya can look at the notebook and realize what awful things everyone wrote there. But at the same time, he sees how Shoko never wrote anything but “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He starts to ask himself, why would she throw away something that mattered so much to her? And he starts to wonder: was there more she wanted to say? That’s why he held onto it for so long.

Q. So when Shoya hits Shoko, that’s because he thinks she ought to be more open about herself, right?

YO: The way Shoko only ever wrote “I’m sorry” in the notebook gnaws at Shoya. He wanted to bring out—maybe you could call it—Shoko’s true self. He wanted to know how she really felt.

 


Wanna read more interview like this?

Then check out Kodansha Comics’ exclusive interview with Yoshitoki Oima from 2016! 

Don’t miss A Silent Voice out now on bluray/DVD, available now from Shout Factory!

 

Celebrate 10 Years of Kodansha Comics with us all year long by following us on KodanshaComics.com!

Be sure to check back again next month, when we’ll be throwing the spotlight onto yet another Kodansha classic!

 

A Silent Voice The Movie returns to theaters January 28 and 31!

ICYMI: A Silent Voice The Movie Returns to theaters for a limited time!

Did you miss your chance to see the animated film adaption of Yoshitoki Oima’s beloved manga, A Silent Voice during the film’s run last year? Or maybe you did—and have been dying to see it again? Either way, you’re in luck! Eleven Arts and Fathom Events are bringing A Silent Voice back to theaters again for a limited time!

Subtitled screenings of the film will be held on January 28th, and dub screenings will be held on January 31st. Tickets are now on sale so follow the link to find a participating theater near you and to secure your ticket before they’re all gone!

Can’t wait to see the movie? Check out a preview of A Silent Voice below—or pick up the A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set—which includes an exclusive double-sided poster and a replica of Shoko’s communication note! The A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set is now available wherever books are sold!

 

 

 

Animal Land Final Volume Celebration! HUGE digital sale + special tribute comics by Hiro Mashima, Hajime Isayama, Yoshitoki Oima

From the hilarious hijinks to the heart-wrenching battles, Raiku Makoto’s Animal Land has painted a wondrous and fearsome world of humans and animals … along with chimeras and clones! As this story draws to a close in its final Volume 14 on October 30, we’d like to share the special moment with you with the Animal Land Final Volume Celebration

The biggest Animal Land Digital Sale EVER!
Starting October 23, for the week leading up with the release of the final volume, we are offering the best deal ever yet on Animal Land volume 1 for ONLY 99¢ and the additional volumes for $4.99 on all of our digital retail partners: BookWalkercomiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. If you’ve been thinking about catching up to the series, now is your chance! (Sale ends October 29.) 

Special Tribute Comics featuring Hiro Mashima, Hajime Isayama, Yoshitoki Oima & MORE!
In Japan, Animal Land was first serialized in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine’s debut issue, alongside many other titles like Attack on Titan and The Flowers of Evil to name a few. The following special tribute comics are by fellow authors from the monthly manga magazine—maybe you’ll recognize a few names, and even see some familiar characters!


To read more of these 4-panel comics, you can check out Animal Land volume 14, available October 30
th, 2018. Or read from the beginning and follow Taroza and his animal allies throughout their perilous journey filled with heart and tears!

Digital volume 1s by Yoshitoki Oima, Hiro Mashima, Tsutomu Nihei

Kodansha Comics is the home of awesome manga creators. Did you know we publish multiple manga by Yoshitoki Oima (critically acclaimed creator of A Silent Voice and To Your Eternity), Hiro Mashima (hit-machine creator of Fairy Tail and Rave Master), and Tsutomu Nihei (mad genius of BLAME! and Knights of Sidonia)?

As a continuation from last week, we’re hosting our second installment of  the Creator Spotlight Sale to showcase our amazing creators and their work 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 28!

~ Kodansha Comics Creator Spotlight Sale Part 2  ~
May 22-28
Click on the cover to read Chapter 1 for FREE!


Yoshitoki Oima

Yoshitoki Oima became a global bestseller  with A Silent Voice, a realistic yet dramatic story of redemption about a boy who used to bully a hearing-impaired girl. But did you know that Oima worked on Mardock Scramblea 7-volume hard science-fiction epic, and To Your Eternity, her stunning current series that could be her biggest hit of all?

Check out this exclusive creator interview with Yoshitoki Oima! A Silent Voice, To Your Eternity, and Mardock Scramble volume 1s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/28)

Hiro Mashima
Needless to say, our most iconic shonen manga artist is Hiro Mashima and he’s just completed his long-running bestseller series Fairy Tail earlier this year! But don’t be sad! It’s  just been announced that Mashima will start a brand new series in June 2018. Plus, we’ve brought back his debut masterpiece, the groundbreaking Rave Master on digital, because it is too good to be left out!

Check out this creator spotlight video of Hiro Mashima! Fairy Tail and Rave Master volume 1s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/28)

Tsutomu Nihei 
Tsutomu Nihei has been the big star of our sibling publisher Vertical for quite some time. Some of you may recognize his works like BLAME! and Knights of Sidonia from their anime adaptations on Netflix. Since then, Nihei has been working nonstop on his newest series APOSIMZ, which is currently available as simulpub from Kodansha Comics.  This is where science-fiction manga begins and ends!


Check out this creator spotlight video of Tsutomu Nihei! BLAME! and Knights of Sidonia volume 1s are only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/28)

Ken Akamatsu 
Ken Akamatsu has been the king of rom-com shonen manga since the 2000s. You know his hit manga and anime Love Hina and his even bigger follow-up series Negmia! But Akamatsu-sensei’s hit-manga-maker career doesn’t stop there! His current series, UQ Holder!, is a sequel to Negima!  and recently became an anime on Amazon Anime Strike!

Check out Ken Akamatsu’s Love Hina, Negima!, and UQ Holder! volume 1s for only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/28)

MORE Creators!
Here are few more creators Kodansha Comics creators that you wanna check out during this Creator Spotlight Sale!

Yoshinobu Yamada
Wanna see some beauty, guts, and glory? Check out Cage of Eden and Deathtopia  by Yoshinobu Yamada! 

Yuu Kuraishi, Kazu Inabe
As you may know, the creator team of of Fort of Apocalypse and Starving Anonymous specialize in dark fantasy. But the storywriter Yuu Kuraishi had also worked on the screwball timeslip comedy My Wife Is Wagatsuma-san, which may give you an idea of how diverse their storytelling style could be. 

Mitsuru Hattori
Did you know the creator of  the zombie girl series Sankarea  also works on the manga adaptation of Imperfect Girl by NISIOISIN (creator of the Monogatari series), published by Vertical?

Check out all these series’ volume 1s for only 99¢ + all other volumes are up to 50% off during the Creator Spotlight Sale! (ends 5/28)

 

Yoshitoki Oima’s To Your Eternity makes its debut in digital along with new Samura, Deathtopia

Kodansha Comics is proud to announce the debut of Yoshitoki Oima’s newest manga serial, the spiritual fantasy To Your Eternity. You can read the entirety of Chapter 1 for free, below!

The first 10 chapters of To Your Eternity are available on January 24th as digital editions on comiXology and Kindle. January 24th is the same day Chapter 10 appears in Japan; new chapters will follow every week in simultaneous timing  thereafter. Chapters will be priced at 99 cents each.

Following the critically acclaimed A Silent Voice—which was nominated for an Eisner and named one of 2016’s “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” by the American Library Association—Oima goes in a completely new direction with this compelling tale of an abandoned native boy journeying alone in the frozen north with only a mysterious wolf for a companion. Read our interview with Yoshitoki Oima here.

 

That's not all! January sees the beginning of an aggressive ramp-up in new digital manga series from Kodansha Comics, and we've got the hot new title by legendary manga-ka Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal, Die Wergelder), Wave, Listen to Me! also debuting January 24th. Something of a departure for the action-oriented Samura, Wave turns its attention to modern life in the big city, as a despondent, hard-drinkin' young woman inadvertently finds herself the host of a hit talk-radio show. 

 

Also on the 24th we release Deathtopia, the latest gonzo thriller from Cage of Eden’s Yoshinobu Yamada, about a young man who gains supernatural powers from an accident but then finds himself embroiled with a serial killer with a disturbing fondness for eyeballs and a band of intriguing beauties in hot pursuit.

 

 

This month also saw the digital release of Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. The Descending Stories anime was the surprise fan and critical fave of 2016—with Season 2 now simulcasting on Crunchyroll. Now you can read Haruko Kumota's multi-generational epic that delves deep into the world of rakugo, a rich form of Japanese storytelling theater. We announced the print edition of Descending Stories for May 2017, but digital readers can jump into Volume 1 right now—at a steep discount, as part of our current weeklong "Manga to Anime" sale!
 

 

Volume 1s of Descending Stories, Wave, Listen to Me!, and Deathtopia are available for purchase or preorder across all Kodansha Comics digital book channels: BookWalker, comiXology, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook.

Media: read our press release here.

Creator Spotlight: Yoshitoki Oima (A Silent Voice)

400x300-oima_spotlight

A Silent Voice is this year’s Eisner Award nominee from Kodansha Comics. It’s the story of boy meets girl … except its main focus is on how difficult it is for one person to communicate with another, especially if that other person can’t hear you. A Silent Voice came to its conclusion with the release of the final volume (Volume 7), which went on sale May 31.

Within those seven volumes you’ll find real-life drama so painful and heartwarming, you can’t keep your eyes off it. What’s the secret of A Silent Voice’s acclaim? Find out for yourself!

Creator Interview: Yoshitoki Oima on A Silent Voice 
Creator Sketch Video: Yoshitoki Oima drawing Characters from A Silent Voice 
Win the Sketch by Yoshitoki Oima
Catch up to A Silent Voice—while volumes 1 through 6 on sale!

ASV_vol1

The complete series of A Silent Voice (volumes 1-7) is available now from Kodansha Comics!

ASV-400x300-kc-smallr2-2

A Silent Voice digital volumes 1-6 are on sale for $4.99—for limited time only (June 7-14)

Watch Yoshitoki Oima Draw Characters from A Silent Voice

As a part of the Yoshitoki Oima Creator Spotlight, here's a rare video of Oima-sensei drawing Shoya and Shoko from A Silent Voice (from Kodansha Comics' YouTube series, These Hands Make Manga).

 400x300-oima_autograph-01

WIN THIS AUTOGRAPH!
But that's not all. You can actually win the autographed sketch Oima-sensei draws in this video. 
All you have to do is take this quick survey*. 
*Sweepstakes ends on July 7, 2016

ASV-400x300-kc-smallr2-2

For limited time only (6/7-6/14), A Silent Voice digital volumes 1-6 are on sale for $4.99!

400x300-oima_spotlight

Click here for more features on Yoshitoki Oima, the creator of A Silent Voice. 

Catch up on A Silent Voice—Volumes 1-6 on sale now

ASV-400x300-kc-smallr2-2

A Silent Voice is a nominee for 2016 Eisner Award for "Best U.S. Edition of International Material––Asia." With the release of its seventh and final volume, the complete series (volumes 1-7) is available now from Kodansha Comics. 

ASV_vol.7

To celebrate the occasion, we're also making all previous 6 digital volumes of the series available for $4.99 on all platforms, which includes:

comiXology
iBooks
Kindle
Kobo
nook

Sale runs through Tuesday, June 14!

400x300-oima_spotlight

Click here to check out more Creator Spotlight features on Yoshitoki Oima (creator of A Silent Voice).