Required Reading: Kodansha's Yoshio Irie Speaks

Topic started by gia on Oct. 6, 2009. Last post by gia 5 years, 5 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
 Kodansha Comics' logo
 Kodansha Comics' logo
Yesterday I posted about how Kodansha has finally gone official and on the record about Kodansha Comics in the US, and today Calvin Reid's full interview with Kodansha veep Yoshio Irie went live. There's a lot of industry and economy talk, so you should read the entire thing yourself, but here are a few highlights:

If you're curious as to why Kodansha waited so long to do all this, apparently 2009 is the Japanese publisher's 100th anniversary-- that's kinda sweet. In the first year they will only be publishing the Akira and Ghost in the Shell volumes currently planned-- and "there are movie projects" that they've been working on, which they can't disclose details of. They'll also be releasing the new manga for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

 The cover for the 2009 Akira release from Amazon
 The cover for the 2009 Akira release from Amazon
Just to reiterate, "Kodansha Comics doesn't aim to be the exclusive label for titles from Kodansha," leaving Del Rey Manga in business. They are hoping to find a "new generation of readers" for Akira and GitS, both of which are "aimed at an older and more general audience." Considering that the anime versions of each manga were an entry point for many sci-fi geeks in the '90s, this may not be a bad strategy-- especially if they tie in with strong Hollywood films (ahem!).

No Japanese-style anthologies are on the plate at the moment, and it is "one of [their] ambitions to eventually become involved in original publishing." They also are looking at simultaneous releases of manga in Japan and the US, though it requires a lot of lead time and "not many titles are eligible."

And finally-- they are preparing for digital publishing to become a more significant player in the market, but they aren't sure what form it will take in the US (of course, I don't think anyone is sure at the moment), so it's just planning for the time being.

Whew! Okay, now check it out with ALL the nitty gritty details.
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