New Vertical and J-Novel Club Licenses (March 2019)

March 2019 LN licenses

Zaregoto volume 3! At long last! Zaregoto volume 3!

And some other stuff got licensed too, I guess. ;)

Better start with Vertical’s announcements:

  • Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose Resurrection at Nineteen (by Takaya Kagami, with art by You Asami)
  • Hanging High SchoolZaregoto volume 3 (by Nisio Isin, with art by take)

Synopsis for Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose has sinned. He broke the taboo on human resurrection. He tried to bring back his fallen friends and family with the Seraph of the End experiment. Now humanity once again faces destruction. The only survivors are demons and children. With the human population less than a tenth of what it was, monsters multiply across the earth and vampires hunt humans as prey. But the humans that remain cling on to the hope that the world will be restored. Keeping the knowledge of his crime to himself, Guren Ichinose must take a step forward once more.

From what I understand, this is another prequel LN series for the Seraph of the End manga–the other prequel LN series being Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose Catastrophe at Sixteen. I’m going to assume the Resurrection at Nineteen books will be a direct continuation of that. So far there are two volumes of this in Japan. Not sure if Vertical’s release will be in omnibus form again, as was the case for the first six parts of Catastrophe at Sixteen (released in three books). It sounds like the first Resurrection at Nineteen will release in December 2019.

Synopsis for Hanging High School: The mission is: save the girl! The tragedy I saw at school: in order to get along well with someone you don’t know, there is one promise you have to keep. That is, you must have feelings of friendship towards the other person. In other words, it is not possible to get along well with someone you don’t know. No; to begin with, even the desire to get along with someone you don’t know is a bit off the beaten path, don’t you think? This June, an honest person who doesn’t like pipe dreams, who physiologically simply cannot allow even one contradiction to stand--namely, me--was dragged by the Most Powerful Entrepreneur In the World, Jun Aikawa, to the renowned private all-girls Sumiyuri Academy. And there was no point in me protesting. The incident happened at the academy. You could say I was dragged into it, or that I leapt into the whirlpool. Well, whatever you say, however you explain it, there definitely isn’t any meaning in it. Everything that happened, after all, is nothing but nonsense.

I really liked the first two volumes of the Zaregoto series, originally released in English by Del Rey a good while ago. (Kubikiri Cycle in 2008, Kubishime Romanticist in 2010.) When Vertical announced they picked up the license for the series and would re-release those two books (as Decapitation and Strangulation), my hope was that the rest of the series would also be translated and released. And for now at least, it looks like we’re going to be getting the third volume this September 2019. I’ll certainly be looking forward to that…

Next up are some announcements by J-Novel Club. Four new series! As always with new J-Novel Club titles, these are already releasing their first volumes digitally in regular increments.

  • The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan (by Izushiro, with art by Ruria Miyuki)
  • Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill (by Ren Eguchi, with art by Masa)
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm (by Miya Kazuki, with art by You Shiina)
  • Full Metal Panic! (by Shoji Gatoh, with art by Shikidouji)

Synopsis for The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan: In a world where the Fiends run rampant… Magicmaster Alus Reigin, the young prodigy that has defeated more Fiends and reclaimed more of humanity’s lost territory than anyone else alive, requests retirement from military service at age 16. But due to the twists and turns of fate surrounding his status as the No. 1 Magicmaster in the nation--the top Magicmaster out of more than 100,000--he ends up as a student at a special magical institute, hiding his identity and training his successors – a pair of beautiful Magicmaster girls! Not to mention continuing to defeat Fiends in secret… Get ready--the epic adventure of the Greatest Magicmaster Alus Reigin begins now!

This is another LN series from HJ Bunko, and has eight volumes out in Japan so far, where it is titled Saikyou Mahoushi no Inton Keikaku.

Synopsis for Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill: Mukouda Tsuyoshi was nothing special in modern Japan, so when he was summoned to a world of swordplay and sorcery, he thought he was ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Too bad the kingdom that summoned him only got him by mistake! Not only was he not one of the three summoned heroes, but his stats were laughable compared to theirs. On top of that, there’s something really sketchy about this kingdom… “Ah, these people are the kind to try and use the Hero,” he realized, and immediately left to make his own way in this other world. The only thing Mukouda can rely on is his unique skill: the “Online Supermarket,” a skill that allows him to buy modern goods in a fantasy world. It’s useless for combat, but if he plays his cards right, he could lead a comfortable life, maybe? At least, that’s what Mukouda thinks, but it turns out modern food bought with this skill has some absurd effects! What happens when Mukouda introduces ridiculously tasty modern cooking to a fantasy world like this? He gets some ridiculous repeat customers begging for more…!

This is another LN series from Overlap, and has six volumes out in Japan so far, where it is titled Tondemo Sukiru de Isekai Horo Meshi. I have to admit, what stands out the most to me about this one is the fact all the covers for this series feature the protagonist boy, rather than a heroine. Pretty much all LNs of this sort rely on having a cute girl front and center on all the covers, even if she doesn’t have a significant role in the story.

Synopsis for Ascendance of a Bookworm: A certain college girl who’s loved books ever since she was a little girl dies in an accident and is reborn in another world she knows nothing about. She is now Myne, the sickly five-year-old daughter of a poor soldier. To make things worse, the world she’s been reborn in has a very low literacy rate and books mostly don’t exist. She’d have to pay an enormous amounts of money to buy one. Myne resolves herself: If there aren’t any books, she’ll just have to make them! Her goal is to become a librarian. This story begins with her quest to make books so she can live surrounded by them! Dive into this biblio-fantasy written for book lovers and bookworms!

This is a light novel series from TO Books, and appears to have eighteen volumes out in Japan so far. It is titled Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen — in English the subtitle is “I’ll do anything to become a librarian.” This is a series I expected to get picked up by J-Novel Club as soon as they announced their English release of the manga adaptation a while back. Bookworm won the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! contest in 2018 for tankoubon-size books, and Kastel wrote a bit about the series in this post.

Synopsis for Full Metal Panic!: Sagara Sousuke isn’t your typical high school student. He reads military enthusiast magazines; he responds to questions with “affirmative;” he brings grenades to school in his bag. Though everyone at school takes him for a hopeless military geek, Chidori Kaname thinks there might be something more to him. When their plane is hijacked in the middle of a field trip, Kaname’s instincts will prove correct: Sousuke is an elite, mech-piloting mercenary… and he’s here to protect her!

This was J-Novel Club’s surprise final announcement, and something a lot of fans had long been hoping for. Full Metal Panic! was a twelve-volume light novel series that ran from 1998 to 2010 in Japan, and gained a following around the world thanks to its popular anime adaptations. Tokyopop released the first five volumes of the series (volumes 4 and 5 combined in one book) from 2007 to 2011, around the time the company discontinued all their light novel series. J-Novel Club will be retranslating those volumes, and will continue on with the rest of the series. They’ve noted that it’s possible for the sequel series and spinoff novels to be licensed as well, should the main series sell well enough. Worth noting is that J-Novel Club is already releasing volumes for Amagi Brilliant Park, another LN series by the same author.

Full Metal Panic! is one of those series I never got around to reading or watching back in the day, so I don’t know too much about it. I might have to give J-Novel Club’s release a try to see if it lives up to the hype.

There is one more recent novel license announcement I think is worth mentioning, this one from Yen Press:

  • The Miracles of Namiya General Store (by Keigo Higashino)
The Miracles of Namiya General Store

Synopsis: Originally published by Kadokawa Shoten in 2012, The Miracles of the Namiya General Store is the story of three delinquents who hole up in an abandoned convenience store after their most recent heist. When, to their great surprise, a letter drops through the mail slot in the store's shutter, the three find themselves assuming the former proprietor's role of offering advice, through the lens of time, to those seeking it.

This is not a light novel, though that technically isn’t a first for a Yen Press license. Stuff like Tomihiko Morimi‘s Penguin Highway and Walk On Girl are releasing under their Yen On imprint, but those have gotten anime film adaptations. Makes me wonder if Namiya General Store has something in the works in that regard, or if this is simply Yen Press branching out a bit more. Either way it sounds interesting to me at least, and the author is a successful mystery author with several books already translated into English. This one will release in September 2019 as an ebook and in hardcover.

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