October – November 2019 LN Licenses

In the Land of Leadale

We’re long-overdue for another LN license announcement roundup, since I keep failing to put together news posts in a timely manner. So I guess I’ll finally ask for some help — if anyone is interested in being a news person for this site, send me an email! (englishlightnovels@gmail.com) I could probably use another person to help with making LN entries as well, if that interests any of you. I can’t promise much in the way of payment, but I can go into greater detail on that via email.

Seriously though… about thirty new titles were announced the past couple months.

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At New York Comic Con in early October, Viz Media announced licenses for three novel tie-ins for some of their popular shounen manga series:

  • One Piece: Ace’s Story — by Sho Hinata — set to release May 2020
  • Naruto’s Story: Family Day — by Mirei Miyamoto — set to release June 2020
  • Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World — by Ryohgo Narita — set to release July 2020

Also in early October, Cross Infinite World announced an English release for Of Dragons and Fae: Is a Fairy Tale Ending Possible for the Princess’s Hairstylist? by Tsukasa Mikuni (with artwork by YukiKana). In Japan this standalone was published by PASH! Books (Shufu to Seikatsusha), and featured artwork by Fuyuko Aoi.

The ebook for this is available now! (Amazon affiliate link)

At the end of October, Yen Press licensed the novelization of Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You (AKA Tenki no Ko). This will release in hardcover and ebook formats on December 17th. Yen Press has released Makoto Shinkai’s novelization of Your Name, and Vertical has released books in English for Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second. Vertical has also announced a license for the manga adaptation of Weathering With You.

You can preorder the Weathering With You novel now! (Amazon affiliate link)

Early in November, Sol Press announced a license for the Chivalry of a Failed Knight series, written by Riku Misora and illustrated by Won. So far GA Bunko (SOFTBANK Creative) has released 17 volumes of the magical school action series in Japan. A 12-episode anime adaptation aired in fall 2015, and can be watched streaming on Hulu. The first three volumes were released as ebooks simultaneously on November 16th, with paperback editions planned for the future.

Volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3 are all available now! (Amazon affiliate links)

Also in early November, J-Novel Club added two LN series to its digital catalog:

And now we get to all the announcements that were made at Anime NYC convention a couple weeks ago…

Square Enix licensed a novel tie-in for the Nier: Automata video game, this one titled NieR:Automata – YoRHa Boys. It was written by Jun Eishima and includes artwork by Toshiyuki Itahana. Viz Media has already released two other novels for this series in English. Yorha Boys is an adaptation of a Japanese stage play of the same name. The English translation of this novel will release in October 2020.

Yen Press had a lot of novel announcements for its Yen On imprint:

  • High School DxD — by Ichiei Ishibumi (with artwork by Miyama-Zero) — so far 25 volumes published in Japan by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko (Fujimi Shobo)
  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! — by Riku Misora (with artwork by Sacraneco) — so far 9 volumes published in Japan by GA Bunko (SOFTBANK Creative)
  • The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy — by Yuu Shimizu (with artwork by Asagi Tousaka) — so far 2 volumes published in Japan by MF Bunko J (Media Factory)
  • Banished from the Heroes’ Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside — by Zappon (with artwork by Yasumo) — so far 5 volumes published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten
  • In the Land of Leadale — by Ceez (with artwork by Tenmaso) — so far 3 volumes published in Japan by Enterbrain
  • Three Days of Happiness — by Sugaru Miaki — standalone novel published in Japan by Media Works Bunko

These are all planned to start releasing in 2020.

Next up… thirteen LN announcements from J-Novel Club:

  • Teogonia — by Tsukasa Tanimai (with artwork by Kouichiro Kawano) — so far 3 volumes published in Japan by PASH! Books (Shufu to Seikatsusha)
  • The World’s Least Interesting Master Swordsman — by Rokuro Akashi (with artwork by Shiso) — so far 3 volumes published in Japan by PASH! Books (Shufu to Seikatsusha)
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Isekai — by Carlo Zen, Natsuya Semikawa, Hoko Tsuda, Tappei Nagatsuki, Katsuie Shibata, and Hyuganatsu (with cover art by Shinobu Shinotsuki) — a short story anthology
  • The Economics of Prophecy — by Norafukurou (with artwork by Rei Shichiwa) — so far 2 volumes published in Japan by Legend Novels (Kodansha)
  • Kobold King — by Syousa (with artwork by sime) — so far 2 volumes published in Japan by Legend Novels (Kodansha)
  • Outer Ragna — by Kasugamaru (with artwork by NAMCOOo) — so far 2 volumes published in Japan by Legend Novels (Kodansha)
  • Her Majesty’s Swarm — by 616th Special Information Battalion (with artwork by Eiri Iwamoto) — so far 3 volumes published in Japan by Legend Novels (Kodansha)
  • Isekai Rebuilding Project — by Yukika Minamino (with artwork by Kotakan) — so far 2 volumes published in Japan by Legend Novels (Kodansha)

The next five series are part of J-Novel Club’s new shoujo LN label called J-Novel Heart:

  • Tearmoon Empire — by Nozomu Mochitsuki (with artwork by Gilse) — so far 2 volumes published in Japan by TO Books
  • The Tales of Marielle Clarac — by Haruka Momo (with artwork by Maro) — so far 6 volumes published in Japan by Ichijinsha Bunko Iris NEO (Ichijinsha)
  • The Bibliophile Princess — by Yui (with artwork by Satsuki Shiina) — so far 5 volumes published in Japan by Ichijinsha Bunko Iris NEO (Ichijinsha)
  • I Refuse to Be Your Enemy! — by Kanata Satsuki (with artwork by Mitsuya Fuji) — 6 volumes published in Japan by PASH! Books (Shufu to Seikatsusha)
  • The White Cat’s Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King’s Lap — by Kureha (with artwork by Yamigo) — 5 volumes published in Japan by ArianRose (Frontier Works)

Also worth noting, J-Novel Club announced that there will be paperback editions released for Sexiled and Bakarina next year.

They also had a successful Kickstarter for a print run of Invaders of the Rokujouma — ten omnibus volumes will be made. Stretch goals for collector’s boxes and the translation of drama CDs were also met.

Lastly, Vertical (via the Kodansha Comics panel) announced an English release for Pretty Boy Detective Club (AKA Bishonen Tanteidan), by Nisio Isin (cover art by Kinako). Nisio Isin has written at least ten volumes in the Bishounen series, published by Kodansha Taiga (Kodansha) in Japan. (I’m assuming it’s just the first one that’s been licensed for the time being, though.)

And I think that’s everything… Which ones are you looking forward to the most?

One response to “October – November 2019 LN Licenses

  1. Thanks so much, this was really interesting! This is exactly the kind of news I subscribe for, and pretty much the most exciting thing to hit my inbox today – which is a major achievement considering this is Black Friday! ;-)

    I’m most excited about those Shoujo LNs from J-Novel Heart. I’ve enjoyed what Cross Infinite World publishes, but I want more than just the drip-feed of ultra-romantic mystical adventures they’ve been serving up!

    I’m also looking forward to the more serious- and sophisticated-looking LNs like Weathering with You, In the Land of Leadale, and Three Days of Happiness. I still buy most of the slapdash postmodern Isekais being published just to give them a chance and support the nascent LN industry, but what I REALLY WANT is books that make a genuine effort to advance fantasy fiction as an art-form…

    Disappointing is the absence of any older licenses from the 80s or 90s. Most of my favorite anime, manga, and video games are from ~’82-’04, and most of my favorite LNs so far (like Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch, Crest of the Stars, Orphen: The Wayward Journey, and Full Metal Panic) have been from that time period as well. I honestly consider that period in Japan to be a high watermark in pop culture (with the mid-90s being the crest of the wave), and think it should be considered a source of perennial instruction and inspiration for all present and future otakus. Seven Seas specifically asked for “Classic” LN Recommendations in a recent survey, though, so hopefully publishers are preparing to tap into that Golden Age as the LN Industry matures!

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