Acclaimed English-language light novel and manga publisher Yen Press – whose licensed offerings include Bungo Stray Dogs, Solo Leveling and Goblin Slayer – has opened Ize Press, a new brand dedicated to bringing Korean content such as manhwa and light novels to Western audiences.
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Officially announced on April 15 as part of the Yen Press Industry Panel held during the recent Sakura-Con 2022 anime fan convention, Ize Press will be a collaborative effort between Yen Press, Korean manhwa studio REDICE Studio, and an entity no apparent English. linguistic web presence known as RIVERSE for publishing “print editions of Korean content that have captured the imagination and dedication of readers around the world.”
In response to the company’s new initiative, Yen Press publisher and managing director Kurt Hassler said in a statement, “The overwhelming rapacity that has swept the world for Korean content in recent years cannot be underestimated. estimated. From K-pop and film and TV to webcomics and novels, there seems to be no limit to the influence Korean creators will increasingly wield with international audiences.
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The man in charge of the project, Yen Press Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief JuYoun Lee, added, “Yen has always believed in the power of Korean content, and we couldn’t be more excited to have the chance to really open the doors to put these beautiful books in the hands of English-speaking readers. With the launch of Ize Press, we hope to be just a small part of helping connect these extremely talented artists with their fans.
According to Yen Press, the new brand will debut a solid lineup of series in fall 2022, starting with three original story “IP-based” “webnovels and webcomics” from studio HYBE centering on a trio of bands. K-pop boys.
Notably, all three were originally posted on WEBTOON – in ten different languages no less – and, in a single month, collectively received over 70 million views on the platform.
These first offers will include:
7FATES: CHAKHO (BTS)
“A collaboration with BTS, the dynamic story follows seven young men bound by fate,” reads a synopsis for the series provided by Yen Press. “After growing together through a series of trials and tribulations, they must become a unified group of seven to unlock their destinies. 7FATES: CHAKHO is an urban fantasy story set in the near future, inspired by the Chakhogapsa tiger hunters of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea. Filtered through the imagination of HYBE, the story reimagines traditional Korean tiger tales and a mythological world of wild beasts.
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DARK MOON: THE ALTAR OF BLOOD (ENHYPEN)
Described as “Blending urban fantasy and teen romance”, DARK MOON “follows the confrontation, confusion and chemistry between a group of vampires, a pack of werewolves and a mysterious girl with a secret.
“The story of DARK MOON is told as a series of stories, beginning with DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR. Combining a heroine with incredible abilities, youthful friendships, and a powerful secret, DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR brings a new lightness and energy to teenage romance,” its synopsis adds.
THE STAR SEARCHERS (TOMORROW X TOGETHER)
As Yen Press explains, “THE STAR SEEKERS follows a group of young men in a pop band who live in a world where magic is part of everyday reality. The group wake up one day to find they have dormant magical abilities. This fantasy tale features imaginary creatures, magic, and a fun take on the world of entertainment.
In addition to these three K-Pop inspired series, Ize Press will also handle the physical releases of several popular webcomics, such as:
Tomb Raider King
Based on SAN’s original novel and adapted into manhwa form by writer Yuns and artist 3B2S, Tomb Raider King envisions a world where “in the year 2025, mysterious tombs have appeared all over the world, each of which houses an ancient relic granting supernatural abilities”.
“The lucky few who quickly obtained these relics ruled over powerful monopolies,” reads a synopsis for the series. “Others came to serve them, like Jooheon Suh, a thief who hid in tombs to steal relics.”
He continues, “Betrayed by his employer, Jooheon is left for dead but instead finds himself transported fifteen years in the past. Armed with years of raiding experience and knowledge of what’s to come in the relic world, does Jooheon have what it takes to become the Tomb Raider King?”
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The world after the fall
Adapted from the original novel by singNsong courtesy of Omniscient Reader’s creative team S-Cynan and Undead Potato, The World After Fall is set after “a tower appeared one day in the sky, standing out as a beacon of chaos and apocalypse”.
“A heroic and powerful group known as the Walkers cleared the floors of the tower in order to save humanity, until the day the Stone of Regression was discovered,” explains Ize Press. “The walkers could now ‘return’ to the past, and little by little, everyone left. The brave few who remained formed Carpe Diem, a group of people who refused to give up on the world and who represented humanity’s last hope. But once the last Walker reached floor 100, he didn’t know what to believe.
With JH’s story and art, The Boxer is about the enigmatic Yu, a young man who “”does not have the same lust for superiority that drives every human being””.
“The enigmatic Yu lives his life without joy or purpose,” reads the description for the series. “Every aspect of the young man is a mystery to those around him…except for his superhuman athletic abilities.”
“Yu has pace, grace and power at the level of the best pound-for-pound fighters, and his potential is too great for legendary Trainer K to ignore,” Ize Press teases. “Taking the young prodigy under his wing, the two shock the boxing world, fight after fight, as Coach K attempts to make Yu the greatest of all time. But what exactly drives Yu to keep entering the ring…?”
My gently raised beast
An illustrated adaptation of the novel of the same name by Early Flower with lyrics by Yeava and drawings by Yeoseulki, My Gently Raised Beast follows the story of Blondina, an orphan who “lives a difficult life on the streets” and who “doesn’t stay only with a memory of her late mother – a memory that proves that she is the child of the Emperor of Ates.
“From the streets, Blondina moves into the royal palace, where she lives a lonely existence…until she befriends a brash, surly cat named Amon,” reads an official synopsis. provided by Ize Press. “Not only can Amon talk, but he also transforms into a cute boy! The truth is that Amon is not just a cat but rather a member of the Divine Leopard Clan, a group of powerful demi-humans often at odds with humanity. Will the two be able to remain friends despite all the conflicts?
The remarried Empress
Written by Alphatart and drawn by Sumpul, The Remarried Empress is about Navier Ellie Trovi, “the lifelong companion of Sovieshu, the Emperor of the Eastern Empire, with whom she spent her youth discussing the empire that they were going to build together”.
“She was smart, compassionate and courageous,” notes Ize Press. “She was the perfect Empress of the Eastern Empire, until one day Sovieshu fell in love with another woman, asking for a divorce. However, it was Navier who shocked Sovieshu, his beloved mistress, and a speechless court as she coldly declared, “I accept this divorce…and seek approval for my remarriage!”
The wicked are meant to die
Based on the original novel by Gwon Gyeoeul and adapted by SUOL, Villains are Destined to Die centers around the fictional dating sim Daughter of the Duke Love Project! and the girls featured inside.
“In Easy Mode of Daughter of the Duke Love Project!, you play as Ivonne, the Duke’s long-lost daughter, who quickly gains the affections of the various male characters to win the game. Very easy!” reads the official synopsis from Ize Press. “On Hard Mode, you play as the evil Penelope Eckhart, the Duke’s fake daughter, who begins her adventure with negative affection points. Very tough…and filled with gruesome deaths?!”
“Misunderstood and in need of love, a girl discovers that she has a lot in common with Penelope and tries again and again to obtain her good ending”, writes the publisher. “She gets one more try…when she falls asleep and wakes up as Penelope herself in the hostile game world!”
Now that Yen Press has pledged to license more Korean comics, Western readers will have even more alternatives to mainstream American comics.
What series are you hoping to see coming from the state side? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments below!
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