After all the rumors and half-answered questions, ICv2 makes the news official. The Japanese manga publisher Kodansha is planning on setting up its own U.S. imprint that will publish English versions of their books:
The reason for the move, according to Nikkei, is “to boost its earnings in America, where its income has been limited to royalties received from U.S. firms.
Rumors of Kodansha entering the U.S. market were circulating at the BEA, but were contradicted by statements from Ali Kokmen of Del Rey manga, who told the Japanator Website earlier this month that Del Rey had reps in Tokyo acquiring the rights for manga series for 2009 and 2010. Del Rey and Kodansha did not respond to ICv2 requests for comment at the time.
There are lots of questions to be sorted out. What books will Kodansha debut? What does this mean for Del Rey? Will series like Fairy Tail still fall under their imprint or will they be picked up by this new subsidiary? What about Dark Horse? Hopefully more details will be coming soon.