Date: 2006 October 27 08:18
Posted by Jeremy
Seven Seas Entertainment will be launching a new publishing imprint for its library of manga titles. Called Strawberry, this new imprint will focus on yuri, or girl-on-girl, flavored romantic titles. The first titles of the new line are expected to be released sometime in 2007.
For those who don't know, yuri is the female equivalent of yaoi - which features male same-sex romance. Like yaoi, yuri titles are generally done in shojo-style format, targeting female readers, though romantic relationships between females can also appear in shonen manga geared towards male readers. While not as big in Japan as yaoi is, yuri-style relationships and/or themes can be found in such popular titles as Revolutionary Girl Utena, Rose of Versailles, My-Hime, Noir, .hack//SIGN, "Read or Die and Project A-ko.
"I expect the readership for yuri manga in the U.S. to be primarily the same as for yaoi: females," explained Jason DeAngelis of Seven Seas on the expected popularity of the new line. "However, yuri should have a wider readership among males than yaoi does."
One prominent manga with yuri themes, Kasimashi, has already been announced for publication by Seven Seas. However, it will act as a mainstream introduction of the genre to manga fans and not be part of the new Strawberry imprint. Titles that will be published under the imprint will include Sakurako Kimino's Strawberry Panic, Mera Hakamada’s popular Saigo no Seifuku (The Last Uniform), and the occult fantasy series Tetragrammaton Labyrinth.
Seven Seas press release as follows:
(LOS ANGELES, October 24, 2006) – Seven Seas Entertainment announced today the launch of North America's first mainstream "Yuri" line. Yuri is a genre of Japanese manga that focuses on girl-girl romantic relationships and is a category that has been all but overlooked by American manga publishers until now. Seven Seas will dub its new Yuri line of licensed manga: "STRAWBERRY."
The company has already begun a foray into the Yuri genre with the upcoming manga series Kashimashi, to be released December, 2006. Kashimashi, a comedy about a boy who turns into a girl caught in an all-girl love triangle, will act as a mainstream introduction of the Yuri genre to manga fans, but will not be part of the STRAWBERRY line proper. In 2007, however, Seven Seas will officially inaugurate its new STRAWBERRY line, which will include such titles as Sakurako Kimino's Strawberry Panic (the manga), which will act as a sister release to the previously announced Strawberry Panic light novels; Mera Hakamada's popular series Saigo no Seifuku ("The Last Uniform"), about the crushes and heartbreaks at a girls' boarding school; and the Yuri-flavored occult fantasy series Tetragrammaton Labyrinth. The company will be announcing several additional Yuri licenses that it has acquired in the near future, which are also slated for a 2007 release. Seven Seas' new STRAWBERRY line will be printed in large 5 7/8" x 8 1/4" format.
About Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC
Established in 2004, Seven Seas Entertainment is devoted to producing original manga, comics, graphic novels, and youth literature, and bringing the best in Japanese licenses to North American audiences. The company's current line-up includes such original manga properties as Amazing Agent Luna, Aoi House, Destiny's Hand, Last Hope, No Man's Land, and Ravenskull; a trio of full-color collections of the fan-favorite webcomics Chugworth Academy, Earthsong, and Inverloch; and English language releases of such hit licenses as Kashimashi and Boogiepop, as well as an all new Light Novel line coming out in 2007. Seven Seas' web site, www.gomanga.com, has become a daily stop for thousands of visitors eager to read manga online and contribute to an ever-growing forum community.