Manga Widget Investigates: Nijigahara Holograph

New licenses always get me excited for the future. There are things I’m waiting for from Vertical IncKodansha USAViz Manga, and Yen Press including Mobile Suit Gundam: Origin, Wolfsmund, and Vinland Saga. I wasn’t really expecting to get any new license announcements from other places, but recently, two other publishers have made some pretty fantastic announcements. Picturebox, the micropublisher that is releasing The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame in late April has announced two books to be a part of a line of manga called “10-Cent Manga.” The fist release, a surrealist Japanese remake of “The Last of the Mohicans” is slated for April 30th, and an Osamu Tezuka title The Mysterious Underground Men, is due out in October. Fantagraphics, publisher of The Heart of Thomas and Wandering Son has announced the publication of Inio Asano’s Nijigahara Holograph.

Nijigahara-Holograph-Cover-203x300Inio Asano is no stranger to manga readers in the United States. His work inclues Solanin and What a Wonderful World! both published under Viz Media‘s Sig IKKI line.Both books follow young men and women in their 20s trying to find their way in the world. While Asano is not afraid of tragedy in his previously published works, Nijigahara Holograph looks to be much darker.

The story is told in two parts running concurrently – one as many of the main characters are children in school, and the other 10 years later. A tragic act obscured by flashbacks and memory is somehow linked to an apocalyptic future filled with butterflies, frank violence, and the suspense of a good Stephen King novel. This kind of manga doesn’t usually make it to the USA. Horror and suspense have been making a comeback as far as popular shonen titles like Attack on Titan and Bloody Monday, but the indie stylings of Asano make him a hard sell to your shojo and shonen buying crowd. It makes sense that Fantagraphics, whose main audience loves these types of comics, is the one who eventually picked up this title.

Nijigahara Holograph was published by Ohta Shuppan, the publisher behind Manga Erotics F. My best information tells me that Nijigahara Holograph was published in QUICK Japan, but I can’t verify that to be certain. It’s 200 pages, 1 volume, and will be published by Fantagraphics as a hardcover. No release date has been announced, but you can bet your buttons I’ll be preordering this bad boy. In the meantime, I have Wolfsmund, Gundam: Origin, and other goodies to tide me over. It’s a great time to be a manga reader.