Kodansha USA Licenses BLOOD BLADE, The World is Dancing, & More Titles at SDCC 2023

blood blade manga cover feature image
© Oma Sei

At San Diego Comic Con 2023, Kodansha USA revealed its latest slate of new digital series coming August 2023, as well as print announcements for Spring 2024. 

The print titles include BLOOD BLADE, which will be published and released first in English, as well as Fed Up With Being the Spoiled Queen’s Genius Butler, I Ran Away and Built the World’s Strongest Army, and Mermaid Prince. BLOOD BLADE will begin serializing digitally at Kodansha USA’s website starting Fall 2023, followed by a print release in Spring 2024. 

Additionally, Kodansha’s digital releases will debut in August 2023 with The World is Dancing, Issak, and Blade Girl.

Here are the details for each new license: 


Print Releases: Spring 2024

BLOOD BLADE

blood blade kodansha visual

Story and art: Oma Sei

Synopsis

Count Dracula is reborn as a katana-wielding young vampiress in a new, never-before-seen action manga set in a gritty, alternate-history Europe. Fans of cinematic, gory, supernatural alternate histories, like Vampire Hunter D, Hellsing, and Dance in the Vampire Bund, will want to sink their fangs into BLOOD BLADE.

Having fallen in battle long ago, Count Vlad Dracula is reborn as a katana-wielding young vampiress in an alternate-history Europe. After the reincarnated Dracula rescues a girl named Clara from a mysterious stranger, Clara explains that she is the creation of a certain Victor Frankenstein. She also reveals that she is fleeing from an organization called Cerberus, which seeks to capture and study “monsters” such as herself in order to create an army of human-monster hybrids. Clara begs the vampiress to flee with her to an island of monsters where the two of them will be safe…but as they set out for Monster Island, the sinister forces of Cerberus are in hot pursuit.

Fed Up With Being the Spoiled Queen’s Genius Butler, I Ran Away and Built the World’s Strongest Army (Manga)

fed up with being the spoiled queen kodansha visual

Story: Skyfarm

Art: Reiga

Synopsis

A butler whose talents are wasted on domestic frivolities leaves his pampered noblewoman’s household for a life of adventure in this fast and funny fantasy manga based on the hit web novel series from the creator of Rise of the Outlaw Tamer and His S-Rank Cat Girl!

Leet isn’t just any butler. His mistress, Princess Kilik, demands the impossible–and he delivers it, seven times before breakfast. But one day, Leet decides enough is enough, and he flees for a neighboring land where the talented rise up through the ranks instead of languishing in thankless, dead-end jobs. Under a new name, Lilt, he enrolls in a training and job placement program, and rapidly discovers that, easy as “wax on, wax off,” his butlering skills make him a valuable asset!

Mermaid Prince

mermaid prince kodansha visual

Story and art: Kaori Ozaki

Synopsis

Where do you belong? On the edge of death and danger, to feel life flowing through you? Can you find shelter in a space not meant for you? When new people move into your life, will there still be enough room left for you?

From the author of the gods lie. and The Golden Sheep, Mermaid Prince explores such complex themes in a series of short stories that highlight the beauty, wonder, pain, and loneliness that can come from feeling adrift in the world, as well as the joy that can accompany finding your own anchor amidst the seas of change.

Digital Releases: August 2023

The World is Dancing

the world is dancing kodansha visual

Story and date: Kazuto Mihara

Release Date: August 1, 2023

Synopsis:

Born into a life of acting and dance with a traveling theater troupe in 14th-century Japan, 12-year old Oniyasha has one problem — he doesn’t know what the point of any of it is. Why must I step with the left foot here instead of the right? Why is one performance good and another, bad? Why do people dance at all? It all seems perfectly arbitrary, until a chance encounter in a run-down shack sets him down a path to revolutionizing the art form and influencing much of Japanese culture to come. A fictionalized account of the early life of Zeami Motokiyo (Oniyasha), the founder of modern Noh theater — the world’s oldest surviving theater art — this coming-of-age artist’s journey vividly brings to life a man far ahead of his time during one of Japan’s most culturally and socially vibrant eras.

Issak

issak kodansha visual

Story: Shinji Makari 

Art: DOUBLE–S (Ji-Hyung Song)

Release Date: August 15, 2023

Synopsis

Anno Domini 1620. Europe is riven with the conflagrations that will grow into the Thirty Years War. Catholic and Protestant forces clash across battlefields ruled by sword and gunpowder alike, and mercenaries of every stripe ply their trade. Among them is Issak, a lone Japanese warrior bearing a matchlock of strange design, and fighting in service to his sworn mission; to find and kill the man who murdered his master and fled Japan for the other side of the world. Meticulously researched and gorgeously illustrated, Issak is the next character-driven, historical action epic that fans of Vinland Saga can sink their teeth into.

Blade Girl

blade girl kodansha visual

Story and art: Narumi Shigematsu

Release Date: August 29, 2023

Synopsis:

One year after losing her leg, 16-year-old Rin is tired—tired of the painful physical therapy, tired of being treated differently, and tired of her stupid, heavy, awkward prosthetic leg. All that changes when she encounters the Blade Runners, a group of one-legged athletes who run with “blades” — carbon fiber prosthetics specialized for competitive running — made by their gifted prosthetist, Kazami. The blades are light, flexible, and formidably difficult to control ;Rin can barely walk with one, much less sprint. But as she tumbles to the ground again and again, she rediscovers many of the things that she’d forgotten, and finds a new goal: to compete in the Paralympics.


Source: press release

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He also contributes work to the website Yatta Tachi. 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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