Mainichi Shimbun Publishing, with their introduction of μNOVEL, are taking the chance to help the light novel’s pulpy, horny teen image feel just a little bit more mature and refined. The concept is now forty years old, with its birth being widely credited as the 1975 launch of the Sonorama Bunko imprint, so it’s about time it grew up anyway.
The μNOVEL imprint is aimed at adult readers in their thirties and forties, and its goal is to help them rediscover old favourites through well-established artists and writers. With a plan to release three or four titles every other month starting October 27th, the project can already boast some huge names and beautiful art. The standout team-up is Ghost in the Shell creator Masamune Shirow working with Ryo Hoshino on The Third (also pictured above), a post-apocalyptic action manga left unfinished at 17 volumes by Hoshino, which was also adapted as a 2006 anime.
The Seiun and Hayakawa Award-winning author of The Lord of the Sands of Time, Issui Ogawa, will also be teaming up with Yuuki Masami, of Tetsuwan Birdy and Mobile Police Patlabor, on Icarus’ Birthday.
And Hideyuki Kikuchi, author of Vampire Hunter D along with more of the earliest and most influential light novels, will write with Jun Suemi, the cover artist for several novels in the Guin Saga series, on Aristocrat (Vampire) Dorobō Steel.
The releases set for December are:
Jōji Hayashi’s New Battleship Birth
Akira Hoshino’s The Third Book 2
Shinobu Saeki’s Sands of Sleep, Water of Dreams
And the titles slated for Febrary are:
Ko Hiura’s How to Spend the End of a Bright Century
Akira Hoshino‘s The Third Book 3
Shoji’s Takashi’s Dancing With the Devil (a new complete edition of a 1992 series)
Kazuo Koike’s Yume Genji tsurugi no saimon (a new collection of existing work)