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    Taking a Peek at English Manga Publishers

    There are a TON of official English manga distributors in North America!

    Our point of discussion today will be how to get Officially Licensed English Manga from Official English Manga Publishers. The world of manga is vast and wonderful. I LOVE manga. There’s so much variety and so many creators in this magnificent comic medium. It’s crazy that so much comes out of a single country. Japan.

    I will be discussing manga originating from Japan. I understand that we have western comics inspired by manga and that Chinese and Korean comics are great too. However, I classify these other comics differently. They do have different names and cultures attached. I will be discussing them eventually so don’t think I’m playing favorites (I totally am).

    Manga is an ocean of entertainment, yet the English-translated manga available is but a kiddie pool. There’s still a ton of stuff that we get, but even if you add in unofficial translations we still don’t stack up.

    Soooo. Let’s check out some of our Offical English Manga Publishers! Keep in mind, this is not all of them. I’m covering North American publishers that are still active. I will not be talking about English Asian publishers, Australian, or UK publishers. Even then, I do have this broken into a series that discusses publishers and distributors in more specific and granular detail. Stay tuned!

    Cross Infinite World

    Site Bookwalker Twitter

    Cross Infinite World is more focused on Light Novels than Manga. They only have a handful of manga series published and over 40 Light Novels series published. They are still acquiring licenses, so their library will continue to grow. Their books can be bought on Amazon, Bookwalker, iBooks, and other services/retailers. It does seem that their library is either mostly, if not entirely, ebooks.

    Dark Horse Comics

    Dark Horse Comics logo

    Site Twitter Instagram Apps: iOS Google Play

    Dark Horse Comics deals in all manners of comics. I mean they’ve been around since the 80s and have had series like Hellboy and The Mask. Their manga offering is quite strong too! They’re responsible for publishing Mob Psycho 100 and Berserk. ‘Nuff said. Besides those, they also have published some small series called Neon Genesis Evangelion (manga adaptation) and Oreimo. Y’know just some small indie stuff. Dark Horse has even assisted SQUARE ENIX in publishing English versions of the FINAL FANTASY ULTIMAINA books.

    Their app allows you to buy digital volumes for your in-app library. Quite simple! You can also buy their physical books from various retailers.

    Denpa

    Denpa logo

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    Denpa is a growing publisher that already has a decent selection. I mean, they have English rights to Kaiji. They also have series like The Girl with the Sanpaku Eyes and even an artbook from artist Yom. I’m looking forward to Denpa’s growth, as they already have some interesting things. Their books can be bought from various retailers.

    Digital Manga

    Digital Manga Publishing logo

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    Digital Manga is a conglomeration of 4 imprints. eManga, June (Yaoi/BL), Lilyka (Yuri/GL), and ProjectHentai(NSFW). Each of these will be individually discussed in more Manga March content!

    Drawn & Quarterly

    Drawn & Quarterly logo

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    Drawn & Quarterly is a diverse imprint with a wide range of comics. Their manga library isn’t large but it has some historically significant manga and interesting picks. One of the standouts in their selection is the Yokai manga Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki. 

    J-Novel Club

    J-Novel Club logo

    Site Twitter Facebook Instagram Bookwalker Apps: iOS Google Play

    J-Novel Club has an absolutely GARGANTUAN library of 57 manga series and 192 Light Novel Series. J-Novel has some of the biggest names in the Isekai and Fantasy genres. They have series such as Ascendance of a Bookworm, Infinite Dendrogram, and How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom.

    J-Novel lets you purchase volumes from various retailers, buy digital volumes on their site/app with coins, or purchase a subscription. The books purchased on their website/app gives you an EPUB file, so that you can view your content with any EPUB reader on any device you wish. The editions of books on their app/site are considered special editions and come with bonuses other physical/digital editions do not.

    Coin worth is easy to remember, 1 coin = $.01. The subscription model is Regular: $4.95/month, $54/year and Premium: $10.95/month, $120/year. The subscription nets you coin discounts, forum access, free LN/Manga chapters before they are compiled into volumes, and a monthly selection of stuff to read. The Premium subscription has everything in the Regular Subscription along with giving you 699 coins per month.

    Kaiten Books

    Kaiten Books logo

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    Kaiten is a fairly recent publisher. They don’t have many series under their belt, but they do already have some great titles available. They have two series in particular that I have read and immensely enjoy, The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting and My Dad is the Queen of All VTubers?! Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting even has an anime! Personally, I’m also deeply interested in their series UzaMaid and Outcast Restaurant. They may be a new publisher, but they’re doing great so far. I am pretty excited about their future endeavors!

    Kodansha

    Kidansha logo

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    Kodansha is one of the biggest publishers in the world. You’ve probably read or at least heard of some of their manga. Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro and Attack on Titan are just a couple. They even have their name on classics like AKIRA and The Ghost in the Shell. Whether it’s new or old, Kodansha as a brand does carry weight!

    Their books can be bought digitally on services like Bookwalker, Amazon Kindle, and iBooks. You can get their books physically through various retailers as well.

    Vertical Inc. is now an imprint of Kodansha. You may still see their logo on some volumes and such. They have titles like Nagatoro and Mysterious Girlfriend X under their name in Kodansha’s catalog of manga.

    Manga Planet

    Manga Planet logo

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    Manga Planet has over 200 manga available. It also has a BL/Yaoi library with over 400 titles called futekiya. Manga Planet is constantly making acquisitions of licenses and expanding its library. It does also have NSFW content as well, not necessarily 18+ in all cases but definitely spicy (even on the front page so be warned!). However, their library has manga that ranges from Kodansha classics like Air Gear to comedies like MAOMAO! I also have titles like Ao-chan Can’t Study and A Silent Voice added to my list. Some titles are available on other services, but the variety you get here is worth it.

    The subscription can be purchased per week, per month, every 3 months, every 6 months, or per year. The best deal is the yearly package which costs $47.99. 1-week is $1.99 and a month is $6.99.

    One Peace Books

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    One Peace Books has been translating Japanese manga and Light novels since 2006. They even have some original publishing going on these days. They’re most well known for publishing the English versions of both the manga and light novels for The Rising of the Shield Hero (anime? hello!). They also handle a couple of series I enjoy like HigeHiro (which has an anime!) and I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School.

    Ponent Mon/Fanfare

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    Ponet Mon/Fanfare doesn’t have a huge selection of manga, and it breaks my rule of NA-only publishers (whoops! but they do have USD prices soooo). They even have some comics and books from other countries translated into English. Their current English catalog contains less than 50 books currently. What interests me most is that they seem to have many works from manga creator Jiro Taniguchi. They have about 20 of his works translated, and while I wasn’t previously aware of this creator; I’m now interested after paging through some previews. They also have Spanish translations. It’s also great that they’re still an active publisher and are seeking to expand. 

    Seven Seas Entertainment

    Seven Seas logo

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    Seven Seas Entertainment is a huge publisher of English manga. Their entire selection has hundreds of series (over 500 manga series and nearly 100 Light Novel series) and it’s growing more and more. They currently have four imprints that focus on different mediums/genres. On top of their normal offerings, they have their Airship imprint which specializes in Light Novels, Ghost Ship which specializes in older teen series with ecchi elements, and Steamship which goes hotter than Ghostship. Seven Seas has published many great series from A Certain Scientific Railgun, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Airship), Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs (Ghost Ship), and the recent Ayakashi Triangle (Ghost Ship). Personally, I’d say Seven Seas is one of the best English publishers of manga. They even have surveys every month asking readers what they want, including asking for new/untranslated series.

    Square Enix Manga & Books

    Square Enix Manga & Books logo

    Site Twitter Apps: iOS Google Play

    Square Enix is also a huge publisher of manga. Of course, they publish many game-related books and manga but they are also responsible for publishing series like Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater. They even have newer series that I love like The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses and My Dress-Up Darling.

    MangaUP! Is their app where they put chapters of their manga, new and old. You can read more about that here.

    Star Fruit Books

    Star Fruit Books logo

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    Star Fruit Books is a smaller publisher with a selection of manga around 30 books in size. I haven’t really heard or read of some of their selection, but now that I’m aware of them… You can sure bet that I’m going to personally buy and check out their catalog when I can. I’m currently interested in Pop Life and Drunks

    I do wanna say a few awesome things about Star Fruit Books. When buying Digital copies of their books, they give you a PDF, EBUP, and a CBZ file. All DRM-free. I can’t understate how wonderful that is, giving customers choice. They also have a page on their site where you can suggest a Manga to them. There aren’t any promises made to license your suggestions, but I like this feature regardless.

    Tokyopop

    Tokyopop logo

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    Tokyopop has been publishing manga for 25 years now. That’s a long time! They seem to publish a lot of Disney manga. They also have the rights to classics like Aria: The Masterpiece. I’m not particularly familiar with their catalog if I’m being honest, but some titles such as The Fox & Little Tanuki and Vampire and No Happy Ending did catch my eye.

    Udon Entertainment

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    Udon is a publishing company that works on a TON of art books and merchandise. They’re responsible for publishing a ton of comic adaptions of Capcom properties like Darkstalkers and MegaMan and artbooks for series like Street Fighter. As far as manga goes I highly recommend Summertime Rendering. I’m quite interested in Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu, as well. Udon also has the manga for Persona 3, 4, and 5. So you really can’t go wrong if you like games and some other offerings.

    Vast Visual

    Vast Visual logo

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    Vast Visual hasn’t been around long and only has 3 manga volumes and 2 series under their belt. These manga do interest me, however. A translator I really like works on their Tokyo Interstellar Immigration series. They also have two volumes of a manga called Paranoia Cage, which is made by the creator of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

    VIZ/Shonen Jump

    Shonen Jump logo

    Site Twitter   Apps: Viz(iOS)Viz(Google Play)SJ(iOS)SJ(Google Play)

    Let’s be real for a second. If you are a fan of anime or manga, you know Shonen Jump. I assume it’s a ubiquitously known brand worldwide. To be fair, Western Shonen Jump has things the original Japanese magazine doesn’t run like Blue Exorcist and One Punch Man. However, Dragon Ball, Naruto, and My Hero Academia are known worldwide. There’s even series from Japan’s Shonen Jump Plus app in our service like SPY X FAMILY. Viz also has series that aren’t Battle Shonen like Fly Me to the Moon. Viz and Shonen Jump also have the newer, and very popular series, Chainsaw Man. You really can’t go wrong with Viz’s selection because they have variety despite a big Shonen push. Oh yeah, they also publish the Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda manga.

    The Subscription on offer here costs $2.99/month and lets you access to up to 100 chapters per day out of their “Shonen Jump Vault”. This doesn’t include all of Viz’s manga but it is a huge selection. The subscription is tied to your account and works on both the Viz app and the Shonen Jump app. This is nice because I feel that using the Viz app is better because you can buy digital volumes of manga that aren’t in the Shonen Jump lineup to read.

    Yen Press

    Yen Press logo

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    Yen Press is a pretty big English manga and light novel publisher. They have their hands on so many great series. This usually includes both light novels and manga (if a given series has both that is). I’ll just list a few: Konosuba, Bungo Stray Dogs, High School DxD, Kakeguri, Delicious in Dungeon, Log Horizon, and Toradora! Many of these are super popular and personal favorites of mine. I’m also glad that they license BOTH the manga and LN versions because it lets you experience the original work (this depends on the series whether the original is a manga or novel) and experience another talented creator adapt it to a different medium. Interestingly, Yen Press publishes the KingdomHearts and Final Fantasy Type-0 manga over Square Enix themselves.

    English Manga Publishers Related Links

    I’ll be working tirelessly to provide more and more content for Manga March here on Final Weapon. Here are some other choice manga articles and reviews, conveniently linked here for your viewing pleasure!

    PayneFusion
    PayneFusion
    Payne aka PayneFusion is a huge fan of JRPGs. SQUARE ENIX owns his heart, especially their 'FINAL FANTASY' series. He is currently an aspiring artist and a studier of Japanese.

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