Yen Press Announces 15 New Licenses at Anime Expo 2023

higurashi when they cry meguri volume cover feature image
© Ryuukishi07, Tomato Akase

During the opening day of Anime Expo 2023, Yen Press announced the acquisition of 15 new titles at its industry panel, including eight manga series (Beastrings, God Bless the Mistaken, Bungo Stray Dogs: Dazai, Chuuya, Age Fifteen, A Witch’s Life in a Micro Room, Bride of the Barrier Master, Higurashi When They Cry: MEGURI, holoX MEETing!, Taking Care of God) and seven novels (Durarara!! Side Stories?!, Re:ZERO Short Story Collection, The Contract of the Phantom and His Servant, Babel, Playing Death Games to Put Food on the Table, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Astrarea Record, The Kept Man of the Princess Knight).

Along with these fifteen titles, Yen Press announced the print publication of the Blade & Bastard novel under its JNC imprint with J-Novel Club

All the licensed titles are set to release in December 2023 and January 2024. 

Here are the full details for each new license: 


Manga

Beastrings

beast rings manga volume one cover
© Shikaku Yamamoto

Story and art: Shikaku Yamamoto

Synopsis

Welcome to the city of Juso! The hero who once saved the city serves as mayor—now he and his two secretaries are hard at work running Juso. Elsewhere, a young elf and her wolfman butler live out a rom-com plot, and a dragon and a bard form an unlikely musical duo. Everyday life in this diverse and harmonious city is already full of adventure and surprise. But when disaster threatens to strike, will these citizens become part of an all-new legend? 

God Bless the Mistaken

god bless the mistaken volume one cover
© Nio Nakatani

Story and art: Nio Nakatani

Synopsis

Middle schooler Kon lives in a world with periodic exceptional phenomena—more commonly known as bugs. As the unofficial assistant of his landlady, Kasane Himesaki, a leading researcher in the field, he helps study the effects and impact of these mysterious abnormalities. Some bring fun, others bring intrigue, and still others cause inconveniences to their daily lives, but one thing’s for sure—in a world like theirs, every morning may bring a new surprise!

Bungo Stray Dogs: Dazai, Chuuya, Age Fifteen

bungo stray dogs dazai chuya manga volume one cover
© Kafka Asagiri, Shiwasu Hoshikawa, Sango Harukawa

Story: Kafka Asagiri

Art: Shiwasu Hoshikawa

Original Character Design: Sango Harukawa

Synopsis

Not long after Ougai Mori takes the reins of the Port Mafia, he orders a young Osamu Dazai to investigate an ominous rumor of something called “Arahabaki.” Whoever or whatever it is seems to have some connection to Mori’s deceased predecessor—and the new boss would very much like for the dead to stay buried. Along the way, Dazai runs into a gravity manipulator named Chuuya Nakahara, leader of the Sheep gang of youths. Together, the two will one day achieve infamy as the fearsome duo known as Twin Dark, but for now, they’ll have to learn to put aside their differences if they want to get to the bottom of this mystery…

A Witch’s Life in a Micro Room

a witch's life in a micro room manga volume one cover
© Akitaka

Story and art: Akitaka

Synopsis

Maj and Lilica are novice C-rank witches living together in a cramped, single-room apartment. The jobs they can get don’t pay much—barely enough for a sad dinner of plain cabbage. They want a better life where they can have pets, buy lots of grimoires, and even eat meat for dinner! It may seem like a long shot, but if they work a little bit harder, their dream life might just be within their grasp! 

Bride of the Barrier Master

bride of the barrier master manga volume one cover
© Kureha, Odayaka, Bodax

Original Story: Kureha

Art: Odayaka

Original Character Design: Bodax

Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Hana, born to a branch family of a clan of guardians, has always been stuck in the shadow of her more capable, beautiful, and popular twin sister. When a strong power awakens within Hana, she chooses to hide it so she can continue living a quiet life out of the spotlight. But that ideal lifestyle begins to slip out of reach when Saku Ichinomiya takes over as the new head of the Ichinomiya clan and sets out to find a bride strong enough to stand by his side!

Higurashi When They Cry: MEGURI

higurashi when they cry meguri volume cover
© Ryuukishi07, Tomato Akase

Story: Ryuukishi07

Art: Tomato Akase

Synopsis

June 1983…has passed. At long last, through many trials and tribulations, Rika and her friends have finally escaped the tragedy! The gameboard has been cleared, the pieces scattered, and all that remains is the rest of her life. Or so Rika believes, until she gets pulled into yet another fragment…

Will the sequel to the Higurashi Gou manga unravel its mysteries…? Or leave even more questions behind…?!

holoX MEETing!

holo x meeting manga volume cover
© Anmitsu Okada 

Story and art: Anmitsu Okada  

Synopsis

La+ Darknesss. Takane Lui. Hakui Koyori. Kazama Iroha. And Sakamata Chloe. Collectively known as Secret Society holoX, their goal is nothing less than world domination! …But how exactly did they end up as Virtual YouTubers? Discover the origins of the self-proclaimed “rightful rulers of Eden’s planet” in this story based on the megapopular stars of hololive. “YES MY DARK!”

Taking Care of God

taking care of god manga volume cover
© Liu Cixin, Jun Yokoyama, Golo

Original Story: Liu Cixin

Adaptation: Jun Yokoyama

Art: Golo

Synopsis

One strange day, roughly 20,000 otherworldly spaceships flew into stable orbit around the Earth. After six months with no contact from the mysterious crafts, in a certain Asian village, a young girl named Zihan discovers an old man who fell from the sky. Soon, many more elderly drifters in similar clothing begin popping up all over the world—their numbers surpassing two billion in total. What is the goal of these mysterious visitors? Find out in this adaptation of a story by popular Chinese sci-fi author Liu Cixin!

Novels

Durarara!! Side Stories?!

durarara short stories book cover
© Ryohgo Narita, Suzuhito Yasuda

Story: Ryohgo Narita

Illustration: Suzuhito Yasuda

Synopsis

This collection of short stories and vignettes provides nine tales of not-so-ordinary life in Ikebukuro, including some reminiscing at Celty and Shinra’s big hot-pot party, the coming-of-age ceremony of the older Raira gang, and another supernatural visitor to Tokyo!

Re:ZERO Short Story Collection

re zero short story collection volume cover
© Tappei Nagatsuki, Shinichirou Ootsuka

Story: Tappei Nagatsuki

Illustration: Shinichirou Ootsuka

Synopsis

The world of Re:Zero continues to grow with every new tale and this collection of short stories is the perfect place to learn more about everyone’s favorite characters! What will Rem and Ram have to deal with today? Where will Emilia’s new adventures take her? And how will Subaru land himself in yet another scrape?

The Contract of the Phantom and His Servant

the contract of the phantom and his servant novel volume cover
© Michiru Sawarano

Story: Michiru Sawarano

Synopsis

Masamichi Adachi has been having the worst luck. He failed his college entrance exams, locking him into a second year of spinning his wheels; he lost his part-time job; and then he nearly died in a hit-and-run. But while he’s bracing for the end, a frighteningly handsome man appears and invites Masamichi to be his servant in exchange for his life. When Masamichi agrees to the terms, he finds himself bound to an antique-shop owner who only appears to be human…

Blade & Bastard

blade and bastard light novel cover
© Kumo Kagyu, so-bin/DRECOM Media

Story: Kumo Kagyu

Illustration: so-bin

Synopsis

Deep in the unexplored reaches of the dungeon, a corpse is discovered—one that shouldn’t exist. After Iarumas is resurrected, his memories of life before death are gone, and he spends his days delving into the dungeon to retrieve the bodies of dead adventurers. Can they be revived as well? Or will God reduce them to piles of ash on the altar? Either way, Iarumas collects his finder’s fee. And though his skills earn him some grudging respect, he’s also scorned for his cold, utilitarian attitude. The living keep their distance—Iarumas consorts primarily with the dead. That is, until he meets Garbage, a feral young swordswoman who’s the sole survivor of a massacred party. With Garbage by his side, Iarumas ventures deeper to scour the dungeon for clues to his past, all while avoiding monsters, traps, and the inevitability of a permanent ashen demise.

Babel

babel light novel cover
© Kuji Furumiya

Story: Kuji Furumiya

The sequel series to Unnamed Memory

Synopsis

One day, college student Shizuku Minase stumbles from modern-day Japan into a fantasy world. While wandering through a backwater region of this world of sword and sorcery, she meets Eric, an eccentric young man studying a magical script. The pair strike a deal: He’ll help Shizuku return home if she teaches him Japanese. Thus the pair set off across the magical continent of Farsas in search of a way back to Earth.  

Playing Death Games to Put Food on the Table

paying death games to put food on the table light novel volume cover
© Yuji Ukai, Nekometal

Story: Yuji Ukai

Illustration: Nekometal

Synopsis

Yuuki wakes up to find herself wearing a maid’s uniform in a strange manor. After wandering into the dining room, she comes across five other girls, each in the exact same outfit. Soon, the girls learn that the manor is brimming with lethal weapons and an array of deadly traps…and that they can only escape by playing the most gruesome of games. As the terrifying truth sets in, each girl’s face goes pale—except Yuuki’s. Why? Because this isn’t her first go-round. That’s right—Yuuki is a professional death game player who lives off the prize money she collects from winning brutal killing competitions, and she’s not about to let this chance pass her by. 

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Astrarea Record 

is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon astrarea record novel volume cover
© Fujino Omori, Kakage

Story: Fujino Omori

Illustration: Kakage

Synopsis

Seven years before a certain boy will arrive in the Labyrinth City, an era of chaos and strife reigns supreme. Ryu Leon spends her days serving the goddess Astrea while searching for a brand of justice she can believe in. She’s not alone, for the rest of Astrea Familia are a rare source of light in these dark times. In the shadows, however, something evil is stirring—a threat that will shake Orario to its very foundations…!

The Kept Man of the Princess Knight

the kept man of the princess knight light novel volume cover
© Tooru Shirogane

Story: Tooru Shirogane

Synopsis

Matthew is just another parasite in the chaotic dungeon city of Gray Neighbor. People say he’s a lazy weakling who gambles and drinks away all the money he gets from his keeper, princess knight Arwin. But the truth is, no one in this town knows what he’s really like—a ruthless protector who works in the shadows and will do whatever it takes for the sake of his mistress.


Source: press release

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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