Light Novel News Digest (January 2020)

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Weathering with You (motion picture)

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I’m like a kid on Christmas, rushing down the stairs wide-eyed with anticipation to see what wondrous new light novel license announcements our loving-ish English-language publishers have bestowed on us all this month! I’m skidding on my socks, balancing with outstretched arms, rounding the corner, and

~ there were none ~

*wracking sob*

But, okay, growing up for just a second, let’s try to salvage this month’s magical moment together; back in all the frenzied excitement of our October-November post, we somehow ~like~ forgot(?) to mention that there were –five whole new light novels- announced by Seven Seas Entertainment. And one of those is even in the news this week! So, without further ado, let’s officially record those announcements here on the blog.

“New” Light Novel Announcements

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear – “The tale of a girl transported into her favorite video game world equipped with her magical bearsuit! Fifteen-year-old Yuna prefers staying home and obsessively playing her favorite VRMMO game to doing anything else, including going to school. When a strange new update gives her a one-of-a-kind bear outfit that comes with overpowered abilities, Yuna is torn: the outfit is unbearably cute, but too embarrassing to wear in-game. But then she suddenly finds herself transported into the world of the game, facing down monsters and magic for real, and the bear suit becomes the best weapon she has!”

Seven Seas will publish the light novel series Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear (Light Novel) for the first time in North America in print and (early) on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released on June 9, 2020 for $13.99 USA / $17.99 CAN.

I Had That Same Dream Again – “A layered coming-of-age story by the creative team behind I Want to Eat Your Pancreas! An unhappy girl who engages in self-harm, a high schooler ostracized by her classmates, and an old woman looking to live out her twilight years in peace–what could three such different people have in common? That's what grade schooler Nanoka Koyanagi is trying to find out. Assigned by her teacher to define what “happiness” means to her, Nanoka tries to find her place in the world by exploring her relationships with these three strangers, and through them, comes to know herself.”

Seven Seas will publish I Had That Same Dream Again (Novel) for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in a single large-trim edition. The book will be released on May 26, 2020 for $14.99 USA / $18.99 CAN.

PENGUINDRUM – “The novels for the supernatural anime by the acclaimed director of Revolutionary Girl Utena and Sarazanmai! Twins Kanba and Shoma live with their terminally ill little sister, Himari. One day, they visit the aquarium, a place full of warm memories for Himari, but she suddenly falls ill--and dies! At that very moment, a voice cries out, “Survival Tactic!” and Himari, wearing a penguin hat, comes back to life…?!”

Seven Seas will publish the novel series PENGUINDRUM (Light Novel) for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released on May 19, 2020 for $13.99 USA / $17.99 CAN.

The Invincible Shovel – “A light novel series about a legendary miner who teams up with a runaway princess to combat demons and track down cursed jewels! Alan is the strongest miner in the world, able to reduce mountains to rubble with simply a swing of his trusty shovel. But when Princess Letitia begs him to escort her on a quest to save her kingdom from an invading demon force, he agrees to leave his solitary mountain abode and venture forth, on one condition: she must help him find a successor to train. In this hilarious fantasy tale for fans of RPGs, evil doesn't stand a chance against the mighty power of the shovel!”

Seven Seas will publish the light novel series The Invincible Shovel for the first time in North America in print and (early) on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released on May 19, 2020 for $13.99 USA / $17.99 CAN.

Adachi and Shimamura – “A fan-favorite yuri romance that will soon be adapted into an anime series! Adachi and Shimamura, two young women who attend the same high school, are inseparable friends. Whether playing table tennis, chatting about favorite TV shows, or just relaxing together, they're happy to share their days. When Adachi's friendship turns into romantic attraction, the relationship begins to change, one day at a time. This beloved yuri series has been charming audiences in Japan for years, and was one of the top-requested yuri light novels in Seven Seas' reader surveys.”

Seven Seas will publish the light novel series Adachi and Shimamura for the first time in North America in print and (early) on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released in print on June 2, 2020 for $13.99 USA / $16.99 CAN.

Wow, October 2019*sepia-toned sigh* Those must have been really exciting times to blog in…

Anyways, kudos to Seven Seas Entertainment for licensing light novels with such a wide variety of theme and tone! Since each novel sounds like it’s either putting a new twist on an established genre, or bravely exploring the new modern frontiers of exciting anime-style experiences, it’s hard to know what to expect from any of those novels – but the wide range of stories should appeal to lots of old and new light novel fans.

News Stories

Fatestrange Fake
Fate/strange Fake

Fate/strange Fake Novels Get Animated Promotional Video – “The novels take place in a city called Snowfield in the United States a few years after the fifth Holy Grail War, and center on a “completely false Holy Grail War.

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Light Novels Gets TV Anime – Wow, and we just announced that LN license this month! (⊙_⊙’)

A Sister’s All You Need Novels End on 14th Volume – This series (ASiAYN) is currently licensed by Yen Press and is on its 6th volume in English.

Ascendance of a Bookworm Anime’s OVA Episodes Previewed in Video – “The two OVAs will debut with a limited edition of the first novel of the series’ fifth part on March 10.” The English LN series is currently on its 5th volume (of 23+).

New Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Anime Gets 13 TV Episodes, Unaired Episode – On a personal note, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen has been one of my favorite LN series so far! Publishers, take note – what’s old is new in the world of overseas otaku! Every time a Japanese franchise gets a new entry, a wave of publicity will create sales for any classic light novel in the franchise you can license and bring over! ;-)

‘So I’m a Spider, So What?’ TV Anime Listed With 2020 Premiere – The English LN series is currently on its 7th volume (of 11+).

Infinite Dendrogram Anime Has 13 Episodes – “The first Blu-ray Disc volume will bundle a novel by Kaidō.” The English LN Series is currently on its 10th volume (of 11+).

EX-ARM the Novel

EX-ARM Spinoff Novel Gets Manga Adaptation – “The story of the novel is set in Shin Kagurazaka, a town that avoided a terrorist plot at the Tokyo Olympics. The story follows the EX-ARM countermeasure division’s Arma and Minami as they seek to resolve a certain incident.” Whoa, this looks like it could be Dirty Pair for the 21st century!

‘The 8th son? Are you kidding me?’ TV Anime’s 1st Promo Video Previews Cast Voices – “The novels’ story begins with Shingo Ichinomiya, a normal, average employee for a trading company. He wakes up one day to find himself inhabiting the body of Wendelin -- a five-year-old boy, and the eighth son of a destitute noble family in a fantasy world.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Author Yasutaka Tsutsui’s Fugō Keiji Detective Novel Gets TV Anime – “The story follows the incredibly wealthy Daisuke Kanbe who audaciously solves cases in unconventional ways. Whereas Tsutsui serialized the original novel from 1975 to 1977, the anime moves the setting into the modern day. Kanbe is assigned to the “Modern Crimes Task Unit” -- a unit created to keep problematic officers away from others. There, Kanbe becomes partners with Katō.

Vertical, Kodansha Advanced Media Consolidate Under Kodansha USA – Vertical has published a lot of Japanese novels (light and otherwise) in English over the years, including the Attack on Titan, Guin Saga, Monogatari, Seven Deadly Sins, and Seraph of the End series. Hopefully we’ll be getting even more of those from Kodansha USA in the future.

Weathering With You Anime Film Gets 4DX Screenings in U.S.

Atsushi Kagurazaka’s Uchi no Danna ga Amachan de Novels Get Manga – “The manga takes place in Japan in the Edo period and follows a husband, who is a constable but also an “idiot,” and his wife, who disguises herself as a man.

Dr. Stone – Star’s Dream, Earth’s Song

Dr. Stone Manga Gets 2nd Novel This Year – “The first story follows Senku in high school before humanity was petrified. The second story follows Chrome, Kohaku, and Suika as they form a musical band.

Isekai Izakaya “Nobu” Light Novels Get Live-Action Show in May – “The novels center on a bar called “Nobu” -- located in Kyoto, Japan, but with a door that is connected to the bar in another world. The visitors include denizens of the other world, and customers seek out its excellent “Toriaezu Nama” ale and cuisine.”

Weathering With You Film Earns Estimated US$6.6 Million in North America

Lord Marksman
Lord Marksman and Michelia

Lord Marksman and Michelia Light Novels Get Manga – “The Lord Marksman and Michelia novel series is an alternative parallel world to Kawaguchi’s Lord Marksman and Vanadis light novel series, with Ludmila instead of Eleonora as the main heroine. In this alternate world, Zhcted does not declare war on Brune, but instead forms an alliance to wage war against the kingdom of Muozinel. A young man named Tigre goes to war in his father’s place, and his first taste of battle begins to go well, until Brune’s battle lines crumble to an ambush. The commander of Tigre’s unit flees, until Ludmila, the Vanadis warrior of Olmutz, comes to the rescue. Two years after that battle, Tigre and Ludmila have a chance reunion, just as the curtain is raised on a new war, and a legendary evil awakens.

Ga-Rei Sequel

Ga-Rei Gets New Prequel Novel by Ga-Rei: Zero Writer – “Kensuke Nimura has always been able to see spirits, but he never expected to find himself helping a girl named Kagura who battles evil spirits with her spirit beast, Byakuei. As it turns out, she’s a member of the Ministry of the Environment’s top-secret Occult Disaster Response Agency, and she’s out to recruit him, too…




Kodansha USA Does Some RestructuringKrystallina from The OASG searches for hints to the future of light novels (and anime, and manga, etc.) in the consolidation of Vertical and Kodansha Advanced Media.

The Top 5 Makoto Shinkai Movies – The movie adaptation of Weathering with You (recently released as an English LN) has been making waves recently with its relatively impressive showings at the box office and on the awards circuit (see news story above). In this video/article, Jacki Jing & Zac Bertschy countdown their favorite films by the prodigious author/artist/filmmaker.

“We'll be alright” – Thoughts on Weathering with You – ELN staff member Carriage also saw Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering with You recently, and posted her thoughts on her personal blog.

Weathering With You is Worse if You Read it as a Climate Change Analogy – Meanwhile, Frog-kun, an industry insider and a sometimes-contributor to this blog, playfully teases possible new meanings out of the movie through an exploration of its metaphorical meteorology.

Weathering With You: Tokyo Streets and a Sunshine GirlScott, who writes the blog Mechanical Anime Reviews, shares his own perspective in this very thorough exploration of what he sees as the film’s good and bad aspects.

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