Jan 15

Nekogahara – English Volume 5 Placeholder Release Date

Since American booksellers tend to need a 6-month window to purchase and stock books before their release, we can get some good estimates on when the next Nekogahara volumes will be released in English. As such, Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai volume 5 is currently slated for an October 10, 2017 release date in the United States with it’s English release. The ISBN for this is 9781632365033. This is just a placeholder date, as volume 2 in English was moved about a month later than originally planned. There are no dates yet for volumes 3, 4, or 5 in Japan. Other countries who have Kodansha Comic‘s English editions will have their release dates be some time after the United States.


The current release dates for Nekogahara in the United States are as followed:
Volume 1: October 25th, 2016
Volume 2: February 14th, 2017
Volume 3: April 11th, 2017
Volume 4: July 18th, 2017
Volume 5: October 10th, 2017

Jan 03

Buy Nekogahara Vol 1 Digital for $1.07 USD!!

A combination of two sales, for a limited time only, has resulted in the English volume 1 digital edition of Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai for a bargain price of $1.07USD! Also, this is available from BookWalker… which means that you can buy this anywhere worldwide (excluding Japan) for the English release!!! To read the manga, they also have iOS/Android apps as well as in web-browser (no download).

How to get the deal:

  1. Go to Bookwalker and add the book to your cart: https://global.bookwalker.jp/deec18cbfd-009d-4a94-855f-c813979c240f/
  2. If you don’t have a Bookwalker account, you’ll need to create one
  3. In the checkout, apply the code Happy2017 (screenshots)
  4. The price should reduce down to $1.07USD or 130yen at the checkout.
  5. The complete the purchase with your credit card or Paypal!

The coupon code is only active until January 6th, 2017, and can only be used once. The Kodansha Comics digital sale is active through January 10th, 2017. So if you want probably the cheapest price it will every be… do it before January 6th!


Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. When there are great deals, we sometimes post them (example 1, example 2). We would love for everyone to support Hiroyuki Takei and the manga industry whenever possible! And even getting manga for super cheap helps! That’s a win-win!

Jan 01

2017 News Headline Predictions!

Last year I had a post for the 2016 News Headline Predictions…. Let’s see how I did!

  • New Shaman King Toys/Figures via a cross-promotion campaign – Didn’t happen
  • Jumbor concludes… in light novel form – Didn’t happen
  • Hiroyuki Takei creates new Gundam manga series – Didn’t happen

Oops, struck out! None of those happened! Well, it was 2016 was a less eventful year for Takei’s older series. He was more focused on Hyper Dash! Yonkuro and Nekogahara than Shaman King. But at least we got some good news with that he’s working on the next plotline for Flowers and that more will be in the works for the 20th anniversary. Even if my predictions for 2016 didn’t happen, all of them could very well happen this year!

So now that 2017 has started, let’s make some more bold predictions on what could happen in 2017!

Note: These are just guesses. They are not real news stories. (unless reported here later)

New Shaman King Remix chapters posted online!

So at the end of 2016, Hiroyuki Takei started posting some high quality images from the Shaman Files. These Shaman Files were originally printed in the Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang editions of the manga. They were never officially printed/released anywhere else. So continuing that line of thought… next Hiroyuki Takei will start putting up the “Remix Chapters” that he did as bonus non-canon extras for the print Remix editions of Shaman King. Unless you bought those volumes as they came out bi-weekly directly from your local store, you would have never have read them. But! Hiroyuki Takei isn’t going to stop there with just putting those extras online. He’s going to start drawing a couple more new ones! The content will probably be short (a page or two), but he may venture into Remix chapters for Shaman King Zero or Shaman King Flowers! It might not be the full scale new series arc we’re looking for, but something is better than nothing!


Nekogahara will have a TV anime series in Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Hiroyuki Takei has had a “missed the mark” with adapting his mangas into anime. Yes, the Shaman King anime did come out at the right time for making products and money. But, when it was being created, the series was aiming towards a conclusion, which caused the end of the anime at 64 episodes. We didn’t expect Takei to write one of his best story arcs during that time. If the ‘Osorezan Revoir’ arc was animated, that might have been enough to keep the anime on the air longer.

Next with Jumbor, Takei was having success with his second take at the story. But the story progressed too slowly and he missed the mark. Similarly with Ultimo, but here they even had a small production committee setup! But Ultimo just didn’t catch on as much as they liked, and nothing came of the anime.

Finally with Shaman King Flowers, Takei was having enough success with the manga that an anime adaptation could have been possible if the magazine continued. But that burden of connecting the plotlines left open from the original Shaman King series… made that anime adaptation much more trickier.

So with all of that from above… This is the year to strike down and get the Nekogahara anime while the series is still “hot.” With it’s meandering plot line, it doesn’t have to take too long to get to a conclusion. With it’s current direction, it”s looking to be about a 6 to 8 volume series. It’s already a year old, and in the Fall 2017 it would become 2 years old, which would be a perfect time to launch the anime series! It will have enough manga to adapt into a 12 episode series, and a prime time to launch a couple product lines. The stars could align and the anime and manga could even have a similar end, or it could be left open. I’m also leaning towards this it could be a Winter 2018 anime, but with the announcement (and trailer) launching in 2017.

There is also a possibility that it could get a single OVA episode pack-in with a special edition manga for volume 4 during the summer. However, I think it’s going to go straight to TV anime, and save the OVA-pack-ins for 2018. Even more so, if the anime is left open ended and the manga continues to a more 8 or 10 volumes.


Nekogahara gets monthly simulpubs for chapters

Let’s say that there is that hit new Nekogahara anime coming out in the Fall. Great! The manga is being printed in English by Kodansha Comics and is less than 100 days from the Japanese volume releases. Excellent! But with an anime happening… you might only get one volume release out while the anime is airing in Japan. With simulcasts and simuldubs being the normal for anime in English now… and no real marketable products for the series… it needs something else to keep it going.

Luckily Kodansha Comics has been laying the groundwork for this over the last two years. Take a look at Crunchyroll’s simulpubs list of manga (all of which comes from Kodansha Comics) and you’ll see a bunch of series that also had or will have anime series. It’s the way to keep fans involved with a manga on a monthly basis. Plus these simulpubs will also available from Comixology and Bookwalker (in 2017), so there is plenty of revenue streams where this makes alot of sense. And getting the manga, faster? Love it!

I don’t know exactly when this will happen. Maybe closer towards summer, as it takes some time to “shift” the production cycle for the manga. But if you see the English simulpub happen before an anime announcement… then that only gives more reason to say that an anime is on it’s way!



So with two Nekogahara predictions, does that make 2017 the “Year of Nekogahara?” It could be! But hey, I was wrong with 2016, so who knows! I think it will still make 2017 a busy year, but one that I’m looking forward too. So I hope you have a Happy New Year, and enjoy on what’s to come in 2017 here at Patch Cafe!


Dec 31

High Quality “Shaman File” Images Officially Posted on Twitter

As a late 2016 present, Hiroyuki Takei has started posting on Twitter some high quality images of the “Shaman Files” that were included in the original Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang releases in Japan. When he originally did the drawings, he drew them much larger and with greater detail than what was printed. These drawings were only printed in the original KZB (Kang Zeng Bang) editions of the Shaman King manga, and not included in the later Remix edition reprints. These images were also included in the official Italian release of Shaman King: Perfect Edition.

Below is a gallery of these images from Hiroyuki Takei’s twitter. This post will be updated sporadically when new images are posted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 13

Nekogahara Volume 2 Cover and English Release Date Delay

nekogahara-volume-2-english-cover-hqThe official English cover (left), volume summary (below), and updated release date for Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai has recently been announced. The English-language cover matches the same cover artwork as the original Japanese that came out November 17th, 2016 in Japan.

The release date was also delayed from the original date of January 10th, 2017 to February 14th, 2017 for the United States and Canada for both the print and digital versions. Other international release dates have not been updated, but are expected to follow with a similar delay. Our release calendar will be updated with those new dates once they have been announced. Volume 3 & 4 have not had their release dates changed yet either, but those are most likely placeholder dates and will likely change.

With the new release date, the English language release of Nekogahara volume 2 will be only 89 days after the Japanese release. Hiroyuki Takei’s final volume of his Ultimo manga was released earlier this month by Viz Media.


Volume Summary:


Proud stray-samurai, Norachiyo, continues his journey to find his peace while escaping his haunting past. Along the way, he’s crossed paths with a few ne’er-do-well cats and now his shadow is trailed by a clowder of fiendish felines out for blood. The secret police, a molly ninja, and a self-righteous pretty boy are just a few of those looking to take on Norachiyo. But can they prevail against a cat who once slew a “god”?

Nov 18

English Nekogahara Volume 1 Digital Edition Available Worldwide From BookWalker

BookWalker‘s International Webstore announced today that all of their English digital manga volumes from Kodansha Comics will no longer have region-blocking. This includes the digital edition of Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai volume 1, for all regions except Japan. Previously, the volume was only accessible in Australia, Canada, France, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, & the United States of America.

The pricing of the manga is based off the Japanese yen. As such, the manga can be purchased online right now for $9.04USD (which was down from $9.59 at launch). Unless there is some changes in the future, it is reasonable to expect all future volumes of Nekogahara will be available in English digitally worldwide. Volume 2 of the manga is planned for it’s English release on January 10th, 2017.

In slightly related other BookWalker news, they have also announced on Twitter that they are currently working on supporting “simulpub” releases of individual chapters. This would be individual manga chapters that would be released in English the same day they are printed in Japanese. Kodansha Comics does currently publish some titles in this format (such as Attack on Titan, Space Brothers, and As The God’s Will Second Series). Nekogahara currently is not one of these titles, but it may be possible if Kodansha receives enough demand.

Oct 25

Nekogahara Volume 1 Purchasing Guide

Hiroyuki Takei’s latest manga series, Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai is now officially out in English! Kodansha Comics has been taking great efforts to make this as accessible as possible. And with accessibility comes many purchasing options! Below is a list of purchasing recommendations (other options may be available, prices are at time of launch).

Update 1 (10/25): Added BookWalker, and updated some prices as they’ve shifted during the day.

Print Edition (US/Canada):

Amazon – $12.99 + shipping (unless order is +$25 of books, then free)
Barnes & Noble – $12.99 + shipping
Right Stuf – $9.74 + shipping (unless order is +$49)
Your Local Bookstore! – Price may vary, but helps support your local economy!

Digital Edition (US/Canada):

Amazon (Kindle & cross-buy in comiXology) – $12.34
BookWalker Global – $9.59USD/¥950 (with coupon code “oct18” it’s $7.27 until Oct 31st)
comiXology – $12.99
iTunes Store iBook – $9.99
NOOK Book (via Barnes & Noble) – $8.49

Note: BookWalker is currently having a promotion where new BookWalker accounts will get a free 500yen (about $5USD) coupon. You will need to register before October 31st and apply for the coupon here. Then you will receive the coupon on November 2nd (which expires by the 22nd). So for the cheapest digital version of, if you want to wait a week, this is your best bet (which the price will come down to about $4.59USD)!

Also, Bookwalker allows for the manga to be read on your computer (or via their app) and is available in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • England
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • United States

Since this volume is already released, even in countries that may have other print editions (or no announced releases yet), you can purchase it here!

Print Edition (UK):

Amazon – £9.99 + shipping (unless order is +£10 of books, then free)
Book Depository – $9.52USD + free international shipping

Digital Edition (UK):

Kindle & comiXology – £8.99 – (via Amazon)  £9.49
Note: From Amazon, it appears you can purchase the digital version now, though it’s print release date isn’t until October 27th.


Please do your part to help support the manga industry and purchase manga (in any form, print or digital). Purchasing the manga has a direct impact back to it’s creator, Hiroyuki Takei, and allows him to continue to create more manga like Nekogahara and Shaman King. Strong sales numbers in one series can often lead to his other series being officially licensed in English.

Oct 23

Nekogahara vol 2 cover preview & vol 4 English release date

Inekogahara-volume-2-cover-lqn the latest issue of Shonen Magazine Edge (which runs the Nekogahara manga series) there is an ad for the upcoming Japanese volume 2 of Nekogahara. To the left is the preview of the cover. The volume will be on sale in Japan on November 17th, 2016.

The release date for volume 4 of Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai (the English edition) is currently scheduled for a July 18th, 2017 release date in the United States & Canada. The international release dates for this volume should be shortly after. These dates are subject to change as the Japanese release dates for volume 3 or 4 has not been announced yet.

Volume 1 of Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai will be on sale in English on October 25th, 2016. Additionally, the volume will be sold digitally as well as in print form. Previously Kodansha Comics had only commented on it’s licensing for the print-version of the manga. There is no digital preview of the first volume available yet.

Be sure to check out our new Release Calendar to keep up-to-date with all of the latest Hiroyuki Takei releases of Shaman King, Nekogahara, and Ultimo! Our website’s sidebar has also been updated with all of the new releases (including all international releases!)

Updated 10/27/16: A color version of the cover is now available and linked above.


Sep 24

Nekogahara (猫ヶ原) Volume 2 Release Date in Japan Announced!

It has been recently announced that the second volume of Hiroyuki Takei’s Nekogahara (猫ヶ原) series, will go on sale in Japan on November 17th, 2016. The ISBN for this volume is 978-4063910384 and will be priced the same as the first volume. It is assumed that the digital release of the volume will be the same day in Japan.


Previously, the Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai‘s  volume 2 was announced with an English release date of January 10th for the United States and Canada by Kodansha Comics. Since then, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand currently also have January tentative release dates as well. This will have the English release only be 54 days behind the Japanese release.

Below is the latest listing of release dates for Nekogahara:

Nekogahara Volume 1

Japan: April 15th, 2016

United States & Canada: October 25th, 2016

UK & Ireland: October 27th, 2016

Australia: October 31st, 2016

New Zealand: November 14th, 2016


Nekogahara Volume 2

Japan: November 17th, 2016

United States & Canada: January 10th, 2017

UK & Ireland: January, 2017

Australia: January 30th, 2017

New Zealand: January 30th, 2017


Nekogahara Volume 3

United States & Canada: April 11th, 2017

Sep 06

Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai – English Cover Art Released for Volume 1

Kodansha Comics released the final design for their upcoming Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai English volume 1. This also shows the official English logo, which will most likely be used on all future international releases and products.Nekogahara -Stray Cat Samurai English Volume 1 cover HQ

Additionally, last week, the official volume description and volume title (“Mewshido”) was also published:


In medieval Japan, it’s a hard life for a stray cat. Every day is filled with struggles and prejudice, from oppression by fellow cats working for cruel masters to extortion by catnip druglords. But being a stray also means incredible pride and independence. The wandering samurai Norachiyo has no master, though he still wears the telltale bell of a cat who has a “person.” This rogue warrior travels across Japan, protecting the weak and cutting down those who have forgotten the virtues of being a stray – all with unrivaled swordsmanship. Although Norachiyo leaves little trace but his fearsome reputation, this enigmatic warrior has made plenty of enemies who are more than willing to get their claws on his head. Will Norachiyo’s past catch up with him, or can he spend his nine lives in freedom?

This will most likely be the text on the back cover of the first volume (however that design has not been released yet).


The following is the current release dates for Nekogahara:

Nekogahara Volume 1

Japan: April 15th, 2016

United States & Canada: October 25th, 2016

UK & Ireland: October 27th, 2016

Australia: October 31st, 2016

New Zealand: November 14th, 2016


Nekogahara Volume 2

United States & Canada: January 10th, 2017

UK & Ireland: January, 2017

Australia: January 30th, 2017

New Zealand: January 30th, 2017


Nekogahara Volume 3

United States & Canada: April 11th, 2017


Source: Penguin Random House

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