Yen Press has revealed yet another set of light novel licenses for their Yen On imprint. Titles to be released in 2015 will include Log Horizon (March 2015), The Devil is a Part-Timer! (April 2015), No Game No Life (April 2015), and Pandora Hearts: Caucus Race (May 2015).
The announcement was made via this article on Publishers Weekly, which delves into the state of English light novels in general and the effort Yen Press is currently conducting with Yen On. Further details were then given here on Manga Comic Manga, including synopses for each of the light novel series. On top of that, there is an interview with Yen Press’s Kurt Hassler (VP and Publishing Director) and JuYoun Lee (Editor-in-Chief), where they discuss quite a bit about light novels in general.
As can be seen from some of the tweets I’ve gathered from my timeline, this announcement has made quite a splash:
For convenience, here is the synopsis for each of the announced light novels:
Log Horizon — by Mamare Touno (with art by Kazuhiro Hara)
When 30,000 Japanese gamers are suddenly trapped in the online game world of “Elder Tale,” the realm of swords and sorcery that was up until yesterday very much a fantasy is now their cold, hard reality. Severed from their everyday lives, they’re faced with fighting monsters, eating food with no flavor, and being unable to die?! Amid the chaos in “Elder Tale” Akihabara, veteran gamer Shiroe locates his old friend Naotsugu and teams up with the beautiful female assassin Akatsuki, embarking on an adventure to change the world as they know it!
The Devil is a Part-Timer! (AKA Hataraku Maou-sama!) — by Satoshi Wagahara (with art by 029 [Oniku])
After being soundly thrashed by the Hero Emilia, the Devil King Satan and his general Alciel beat a hasty retreat to a parallel universe… only to land plop in the middle of bustling modern day Tokyo! Lacking the magic necessary to return home, the two are forced to assume human identities and live average human lives until they can find a better solution. And to make ends meet, Satan finds gainful employment at a nearby fast food joint! With his devilish mind set on working his way up the management food chain, what will become of his thirst for conquest?!
No Game No Life (AKA NGNL or Noge Nora) — by Yuu Kamiya (story and art)
Meet Sora and Shiro, a brother and sister who are loser shut-ins by normal standards. But these siblings don’t play by the rules of the “crappy game” that is average society. In the world of gaming, the genius pair reign supreme, their invincible avatar so famous that it’s the stuff of urban legend. So when a young boy calling himself “God” summons the siblings to a fantastic alternate world, where war is forbidden, and all conflicts—even those involving national borders—are decided by the outcome of games, Sora and Shiro have pretty much hit the jackpot. But they soon learn that in this world, humanity, cornered and outnumbered by other species, survives within the confines of one city. Will Sora and Shiro, two failures at life, turn out to be the saviors of mankind? Let the games begin…!
Pandora Hearts: Caucus Race — by Shinobu Wakamiya (with art by Jun Mochizuki)
In this first ever novelization based on the work of The New York Times-bestselling mangaka Jun Mochizuki, the elaborate, charming, and bittersweet world of Pandora Hearts is woven into short stories that peer into the houses of the four great dukedoms and reveal yet more facets to the series’ beloved characters. Making each volume of this series even more special are the manga shorts drawn specially for the novelization by Jun Mochizuki herself!
As you all might imagine, I’m excited for these light novel announcements, and look forward to seeing how well Yen Press’s efforts pay off in the years to come. I’ve mentioned before my hopes for Log Horizon to get an official translation, so I’m quite pleased with that development. And I’ve also said it would be great for more comedy series like Hataraku Maou-sama to get localized–and that has materialized as well. What I’m anticipating the most however is definitely the Pandora Hearts light novels… Suffice to say, that series is my #1 favorite manga, and I even bought the Japanese LN just to have that lovely book on my shelf. I’m glad to see that these books will arrive in English too!
I’ll certainly have plenty to read from Yen Press over the next year (and onward). How about you?