“Japanâ€™s highly respected Nikkei financial news service is reporting that Kodansha has set up a U.S. subsidiary â€œto publish and sell translations of its Japanese mangaâ€ in the U.S. starting in September. “
So I was able to actually confirm this a little while back, but in such a way that I couldn’t blog about it without getting a few people in some trouble.
I can also confirm that Dark Horse no longer has the license for AKIRA (licensed from Kodansha) and that Tokyopop has canceled Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad volumes 13 and 14, and this is a Kodansha-licensed title as well, so it looks like they might have lost that license (edit: or they canceled them for sales issues or another reason. It’s too bad too, because I always thought that was a title that could benefit immensely from a brighter spotlight, the kind that canceling 50 or 60 of their other titles might provide. Sigh…).
There’s more coming too, but I’ll let it go until an official statement is made somewhere.
Also, just a quick guess here, but I would find it surprising if Kodansha pulled any licenses back from Del Rey, as they’ll likely be relying on Del Rey parent company Random House for distribution in America (under the auspices of the Kodansha/Random House “deal”), and that would likely sour the working relationship. Which isn’t to say that it won’t happen of course, but is far less likely and has not, to the best of my knowledge, happened yet.