Jan 10 2018

SK on Cover of Shonen Magazine Edge with Reprint of Chapter 1

Amazon.co.jp has listed the cover for the February 2018 issue of Shonen Magazine Edge that will be on sale on January 17th, 2018 in Japan. Yoh, as designed for the upcoming Kodansha reprint of the Shaman King manga volumes will be featured on the cover.

The cover also contains some additional text which helps point to some of the issue’s content. In the center it lists “2018春,蘇る!” for the “Spring 2018, Revival!” that reconfirms new Shaman King chapters will begin in the Spring. In the bottom right-hand corner it also says that the original first chapter, “The Boy Who Dances With Ghosts” is also included within the issue! This will most likely contain the original color pages. Hiroyuki Takei’s other manga series, Nekogahara also appears in the issue.

As previously reported, if you purchase the issue from Animate, you also get a bonus Shaman King 20th Anniversary sticker. You can pre-order the issue online from here.

[1/11 update: Larger version of cover has been added from the official magazine twitter account. Click to enlarge.]

Jan 08 2018

Shaman King 20th Anniversary Character Popularity Contest Opens

Announced on January 9th, the official Shaman King 20th Anniversary website has been updated with a Character Popularity Contest. The contest features 376 “characters” from the Shaman King and Shaman King Flowers manga series. You can vote once per day on the website for your favorite character. The character drawings are the same ones that were used in the “Shaman Files” for the Kang Zeng Bang releases and also later posted by Hiroyuki Takei on his Twitter account.

The most popular characters will be featured in future publications. The contest concludes on January 31st, 2018. There is no limit or regional restrictions for entering. You are only allowed to select one “character” per day.

The website also linked to a Twitter announcement from Shonen Magazine Edge for the upcoming February issue going on sale January 17th for the Shaman King 20th Anniversary. A limited number of copies of the February issue of the magazine will contain a special Shaman King 20th Anniversary sticker that are sold at Animate stores. A sample of the sticker is shown to the right.

Jan 07 2018

Hiroyuki Takei to appear on “Nosy’s Inspiring Atelier” TV Show

On Saturday January 13th,  at 7:30am, Hiroyuki Takei will have a short segment on the Japanese kids TV show “ノージーのひらめき工房” (“Nosy’s Inspiring Atelier”) being broadcast on the NHK Educational TV channel. This is a show targeted toward children in the 4-5 years old and focuses on the world around them and being creative. This specific episode’s theme is based around “pens” and their different types. In the “How to draw” segment, Hiroyuki Takei will show how to draw a “gentle face.”

It’s unclear if it’s related to the previous interview being recorded back in December.

The show is only 15 minutes long and contains 4 segments, so the segment with Hiroyuki Takei will be short. He will most likely be introduced with his Hyper Dash! Yonkuro manga as that is currently his most kid-friendly manga. His most recent TV appearance was a short guest spot on “Great Connection” in August 2017. Prior to that he was the main feature in “imagine-nation” program (also a NHK production), which featured his Nekogahara manga series for an English-speaking audience.

“Nosy’s Inspiring Atelier” will be airing on Japanese Broadcasts, but it is possible to view the video through other means internationally. In the USA and Canada it will air on the paid premium channel “TV Japan”in  your time zone’s specific morning time (see the Program Schedule for your local time). There is no subtitles, or anything in English for this program. “TV Japan” is available through your Cable or Satellite Dish TV Providers (and potentially through their own web/app services). There is no internet streaming options available. The program may also be available through “NHK Cosmomedia” in other regions.

Jan 01 2018

2018 News Headline Predictions!

For the last two years (2016 & 2017) I’ve started the year by making some predictions on what will happen within the upcoming year. So far my predictions haven’t panned out but that’s not going to stop me from trying!

Before we get into 2018’s predictions, let’s see how I did with 2017:

  • New Shaman King Remix chapters posted online – Didn’t happen
  • Nekogahara will have a TV anime series in Fall 2017/Winter 2018 – Didn’t happen
  • Nekogahara gets monthly simulpubs for chapters – Didn’t happen

Stuck out again for a second time! In 2017 there was alot of things happening… but all of it was setup for the next year with Shaman King. Nekogahara and Hyper Dash! Yonkuro continued to be released, but nothing much more than that. But now with 2018 being the Shaman King 20th Anniversary… we got to have something big happen, right? And if I keep getting them wrong with only 3 guess, let’s bump this up to 6 predictions this year!

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

New Shaman King chapters will be based around the “Funbari No Uta” short chapters

Based on the Shaman King 20th Anniversary website opening announcement, we got confirmation that some sort of new Shaman King manga chapters will be published in Shonen Magazine Edge in Spring 2018. No further details were given at the time on what these chapters will be.

 

Instead of continuing with Shaman King Flowers right away, Hiroyuki Takei is going to continue the original Shaman King story. He’ll pick up the story with a “chapter 301” where we’ll continue the story around that time. This would include a re-write and expansion upon the 5 “Funbari No Uta”  (Funbari Song) short chapters that were featured around Hana. There are several plot elements that haven’t been developed in this timeframe and now they will be rolled up into the story-line proper. This also will help act as a prequel to the events in Shaman King Flowers and pull Yosuke into the story as the upcoming new villain. These chapters will then later be available for purchase in the recently announced volumes 34 and 35 of the Kodansha eBook releases of Shaman King.

 

All of Shaman King becomes a single series (No more “Zero” or “Flowers“)

We know that there will be at least 35 volumes of the Shaman King manga being released as digital ebooks in early 2018 by Kodansha. However the content of these books and possible changes/modifications haven’t been announced yet. With Shaman King‘s multiple publications by Shueisha, it’s become increasingly difficult to explain to new fans what they should read and within what order.

To start fresh with Kodansha and leave the old Shueisha prints behind… Hiroyuki Takei will take all of the Shaman King series and combine them into a single unified series called “Shaman King.” There won’t be references to “Flowers” or “Zero,” and the “Kang Zeng Bang” 300 chapters will be the basis. With the prediction above, Hiroyuki Takei will be creating some additional chapters (301+) which will sit at the end of the KZB run. Then once that arc is complete, the Flowers chapters will then be added on. So Shaman King Flowers “chapter 1” could become “chapter 325” in this unified release. The original Zero chapters would be spread throughout the volumes still as extra stories, or could become full numbered chapters as well (which would add even further confusion to older fans). With this setup however, it’s unlikely that any continuation of Shaman King Flowers chapters would occur in 2018.

 

No news of Jumbor in 2018

With 2018 being all about Shaman King, let’s make a prediction about there NOT being any news for Jumbor. Though it’s been on “hiatus” since June 2015, this year is going to be one more year where nothing happens. Hiroyuki Takei has made a few comments about Jumbor in the past which pointed to his ongoing conflict with Shueisha. With the license now most likely in Kodansha’s managerial hands, it’s possible for the series to continue. However with his 3 ongoing series (Shaman King, Nekogahara, and Hyper Dash! Yonkuro), adding a fourth series could be troublesome. With that, we’ll probably get a couple side comments like “constructing a new plot for Jumbor” or “please support SK/Neko to show your support” in the upcoming year.

 

Kondasha Comics (USA) licenses the new Kodansha eBooks of Shaman King

Now that Kodansha has a new manga series it can license, it’s time to work out some deals with international publishers. The challenge is that physical copies may not be able to be printed in 2018 due to some other outstanding contracts, but digital ebooks of Shaman King may be on the table! The only publisher in the Kodansha-related world outside of Japan who has this worked out is the American Kodansha Comics. They are currently publishing Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai internationally in both print and same-day digital formats. Kodansha Comics’s digital release division is also releasing many digital-only (or digital-first) manga titles on a weekly basis. Original English licensor of Shaman King, Viz Media, has removed all new purchases for the digital volumes in October, so this appears to be a clear path for this to occur. Print volumes of these are unlikely to occur in 2018, but some combined omnibus volumes may hit store shelves in 2019 if the digital sales numbers are strong.

 

Nekogahara concludes in early 2019

With the focus on Shaman King, and Takei’s itch to finish up JumborNekogahara is going to wrap up it’s story-line throughout 2018. The end of volume 3 points to where the “final boss” will be to end the story and volume 4 helps setup the journey to get there. Hiroyuki Takei doesn’t take much time for “travel” so getting to the end conflict could come quickly. But with everything Shaman King going on, and him having 2 mangas being published at the same time, in the same magazine, with the same deadlines… Nekogahara may have an infrequent release chapter cycle in 2018. For that reason, it might take until 2019 for it to actually end, but we should get some more information in the middle of 2018 that says “Nekogahara is on hiatus this month while Takei works to the final arc!”

 

New Shaman King anime announced for 2019

If Kodansha is confident about the success of Shaman King, they are going to push hard to make this happen. Hiroyuki Takei has previously stated that there are certain criteria he needs for a new anime to occur. The key factor being who the voice actors are and the music compositions behind it. This is an effort to bring back the original vocal cast as he has become friends with several of them. Assuming that the sales numbers support it in early 2018, development of a new Shaman King anime would begin later in the year. Shonen Magazine Edge would also need to stand behind it to ensure that it can use the anime’s promotion to increase it’s magazine sales. The magazine runs the same risk as Jump X (Kai) did which didn’t hit the sales numbers it needed and was only supported by the Shaman King Flowers fans for a significant number of it’s magazine sales.

 

That wraps up my predictions for 2018! It looks to be an exciting year if even one of these predictions comes true! To all of our readers I hope you have a Happy New Year, and enjoy on what’s to come in 2018 here at Patch Cafe!

Dec 31 2017

New Shaman King Manga Chapters & Reprint Volumes Announced

With the opening of the new “Shaman King 20th Anniversary” website at midnight on January 1st, 2018, there has been some major announcements for the Shaman King series. Some of these announcements came via Natalie news post that was also timed for midnight as well. The site opens with a full image reveal from the original teaser image of Yoh.

  • Shaman King is now published by Kodansha
  • The Shaman King series will have new chapters in “Shonen Magazine Edge” in Spring 2018, which is currently serializing Hiroyuki Takei’s Nekogahara manga series. No word on which Shaman King series (or if it’s a new series) this will be connected to.
  • New reprints of Shaman King manga volumes will be in eBook format with new covers. There will be a total of 35 volumes, with the original series only being 32 volumes, plus the “Kang Zeng Bang” chapters for the additional volumes. No word on yet when there will be physical copies being printed or any additional details on the content or extras of these volumes.

On the website, Hiroyuki Takei also provided the following message (roughly translated into English below):
“Shaman King” celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year. It is thanks to all of our readers that we can launch various projects at this milestone. This is very encouraging and not sad. Thank you.
So with this work I will continue to do my best to reach the next generation of readers thanks to your support.

The website also features the background music of “恐山ル・ヴォワール” (Osorezan Revoir) as sung by Anna from Shaman King. This song was created during Shaman King Zero‘s run in Jump X (Kai) magazine, and the full song is still available on their Youtube page. Prior to the song being sung by Megumi Hayashibara (who also voices Anna in the Shaman King anime, videogames, and drama CDs), it was originally created as a Vocaloid song sung by Hatsune Miku as produced by Capitaro. The original version is still on Niconico and has over 700,000 views.

The new Shaman King logo was designed by “Smile Studio” who has previously worked with Hiroyuki Takei on various designs, logos, and layouts. Most notably, they assisted with the early Shaman King Flowers and Jumbor. Via twitter, it was mentioned that thanks to the support during the summer Nekogahara signing event held at Animate Shinjuku was what allowed this to be possible.

Hiroyuki Takei hasn’t commented on Twitter yet about the announcement, but his editor did post a short message of (roughly translated into English):
skg20th, everyone’s support, we thank you. Smile.

Shonen Magazine Edge comes out on the 17th of each month, and the next issue is currently scheduled for January 17th, 2018 which may contain additional information about Shaman King.

Dec 28 2017

English Nekogahara Volume 4 Release Date Pushed to Sept 2018

As previously reported, the English release date for Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai volume 4 has been shifted quite a lot this year. Starting with an original placeholder date of February 6th, 2018, then it moved to June 12th, 2018, and now has moved even farther to a new September 11th, 2018 release date by Kodansha Comics. The placeholder dates for volume 5 have also been removed.

In American publishing, it’s typical and expected that release dates for books have at least a 6 month window before their release. This is done to better manage the number of books being purchased within a larger time period. These can still be a placeholder date that is subject to further change.

Typically, the English volumes of Nekogahara come out about 100 days after the Japanese releases. This would help point to a “late summer” release for the Japanese volume 4 of Nekogahara. As Hiroyuki Takei has been fairly consistent with Nekogahara chapter releases in Shonen Magazine Edge, there may be an expectation that some focus will be placed on his Shaman King manga series which enters it’s 20th anniversary in 2018 and has a website opening on January 1st by Kodansha.

Volume 4 of Nekogahara is expected to contain chapters 20 through 24, which totals to about 173 pages. The most recent chapter (25) featured a color page and spread, which has been the start of a new volume. So this delay in volume releases is less likely related to the series being on hiatus.

Dec 27 2017

License Transfer to Kodansha Timeline

Over the last couple of days several anime news outlets have written some articles about Kodansha’s new ownership of the Shaman King Trademarks and the upcoming 20th anniversary website. However, this story begins back in 2014 when the Shaman King Flowers manga was first cancelled. Since then there has been small updates about the changes in the status of Hiroyuki Takei’s manga. We may never know the real story on why this change was being made, but we can help provide a chronology on the events that led up to it.

In 2018, Patch Cafe will have several articles and resources available to help document the history of Hiroyuki Takei’s manga. Listed in our “Themed Articles” section, we have created a new page called License Transfer to Kodansha Timeline. This is an interactive timeline which describes the major events in this License change over. We’ve also included the horizontal timeline below, with the interactive one being available on the full page. Other timelines will also be created next year as well.

As more announcements are being made about this change, this timeline will be updated. Patch Cafe is committed to updating with the latest Shaman King and Hiroyuki Takei news throughout 2018 starting with the 20th Anniversary website opening on January 1st.

Shaman King Flowers future is undetermined

December 20, 2014

On Twitter, Hiroyuki Takei makes the following comment in response to a fan asking about Shaman King Flowers (with rough English translation following it):

ありがとうございます、申し訳ありませんが、シャーマンキングFLOWERSの続編は現時点では未定になります。何らかの動きがありましたら、こちらのアカウントでもお知らせをさせていただきたいと考えております。

Thank you and sorry; the sequel to Shaman King Flowers is still undermined at this time. If there is some sort of progress, we will also make an announcement on this account.

Jumbor manga goes on Hiatus in Ultra Jump

June 19, 2015

Ultra Jump announces that the Jumbor manga is currently on hiatus. There was 53 chapters released for the series in Ultra Jump.

Shaman King Flowers is “completed” announcement

July 16, 2015

Via Twitter, Hiroyuki Takei stated that the Shaman King Flowers is officially completed and will not be continued. He also stated that he does want to write a new sequel to Shaman King, but it will be using a different name.

Shaman King Flowers continuation begins development

August 8, 2016

Hiroyuki Takei responded on Twitter the following about the return/continuation of the Shaman King Flowers manga (English translation provided):
“Please look forward to it!!!!!!!!! (I’m working on the new plot)”

Planning for Shaman King 20th Anniversary begins!

August 20, 2016

Via Twitter, Hiroyuki Takei posts the following (translated into English):
“I can’t say when it will start again, but I’m getting things ready for the 20th anniversary! “

Takei comments about Shaman King/Jumbor at Nekogahara vol 3 promotional event at Animate Shinjuku

June 25, 2017

During the Animate Shinjuku event to promote Nekogahara volume 3, Hiroyuki Takei had a Q&A session where he provided the following (translated) answer:

Question: We continue to wait for Flowers and Jumbor.

Takei: Thank you very much. I intend to continue both Flowers and Jumbor. If you can, a good announcement will be around the end of the year. However I will not be able to announce anything if the magazine is gone, so please continue to support Shonen Magazine Edge.

Shaman King, Jumbor, & Butsu Zone no longer published by Shueisha

July 1, 2017

Effective July 1st, 2017, Shueisha no longer publishes the following titles and has stopped digital volumes from being published:

  • Shaman King
    • Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang
    • Shaman King Flowers
    • Shaman King Zero
  • Jumbor
    • Jumbor Angzenbang
  • Butsu Zone

Jumbor on continued hiatus

July 16, 2017

Via Twitter, Hiroyuki Takei commented that Jumbor volume 10 will be the final volume (though only 8 volumes have been released) and is currently on hiatus. He added that he hopes to write more Jumbor in the future.

Jumbor no longer listed as on “Hiatus” in Ultra Jump

July 19, 2017

Every new Ultra Jump issue lists the series appearing in the next issue, and Jumbor would be listed under series still in the magazine, but not in the next issue. In the next issue preview, for the August 2017 issue, Jumbor was removed.

Shaman King trademarks transferred to Kodansha

August 14, 2017

According to both the Japanese, American, and European Patient/Trademark Offices, the license holder has been changed to Kodansha Co., Ltd. The original trademarks in the respective countries have been updated to list the new Holder/Owner.  New trademarks have not been filed, only updates to the original. The original American trademark also listed the Japanese publisher  “Shuiesha,” not the English publisher “Viz Media.”

Viz Media removes English digital volume of Shaman King & Ultimo

October 1, 2017

Viz Media, the current English publisher of the Shaman King & Ultimo manga series in English-speaking territories, has silently removed both of these series from purchase from all digital platforms. Unless purchased previously, neither of these series can be purchased in a digital format anywhere in the world. If you had previously purchased the manga from a digital vendor, you should still be able to re-download the volumes. However ability may vary by service and could change over time. Print volumes for the manga are still available for purchase in English.

Karakuridôji Ultimo no longer published by Shueisha

October 1, 2017

Several digital manga distributors listed a digital sale end date of September 30th, 2017 at 23:59 for the Ultimo manga series in Japan. On the same day, Shueisha also removed most of the references from it’s distribution sites for the print volumes.

Takei begins hiring additional manga staff

October 9, 2017

Posted via Twitter, Hiroyuki Takei made an announcement that he was currently hiring additional staff to begin work in November. For the job posting, there is no prerequisites, but will be based on the applicants skill. Job location (remote or in-office), hourly wage, or full-time/part-time status are all flexible. No project or specifics on what they would be working on was provided publicly.

Ivrea Argentina cleared to reprint Shaman King volumes, but must wait until 2019 for new volumes

November 10, 2017

Ivrea Argentina responded to some posts on Facebook with the information that it appears international publishers can still reprint previously approved/released volumes of Shaman King in 2017 & 2018. This falls in line with some other international manga publishers who have been reprinting volumes over the previous couple of months. However, it appears that in order for new volumes to be published, they will need to be renegotiated for the rights. For Argentina, it appears the earliest new volumes would be allowed will be in 2019 as they may need to wait until other contracts/rights expire. Volume 19 of the Shaman King manga was ready for print, but now appears to be delayed until 2019 in Argentina.

Shaman King 20th Anniversary Website Opens by Kodansha

January 1, 2018
Shaman King 20th Anniversary Website Opens by Kodansha

Website opens for the Shaman King 20th Anniversary at the following URL:
http://comic-sp.kodansha.co.jp/skg20th/

Dec 16 2017

Shaman King 20th Anniversary Website Opens Jan 1st, 2018

In the latest Shonen Magazine Edge issue, released today (December 16th, 2017), a special color preview image was included. This image was included on the backside of the color page spread for Hiroyuki Takei’s Nekogahara manga series. The digital version of the magazine does not contain this image, only the print edition. The ad features a silhouette image, a URL of  http://comic-sp.kodansha.co.jp/skg20th/, and the text of “2018 1. 1. OPEN!!”. Based on all this, it’s clear that Kodansha’s Shaman King 20th Anniversary website will be opening on January 1st, 2018 (1/1/2018).

Below is a partially blocked image, but was posted on Twitter by user KUROU____.

The silhouette used appears to be a new image in the similar design as Yoh from the original Shueisha volume 1 of the Shaman King manga (shown below for comparison). There are some differences, with most notably the hair which is more similar to Hana from Shaman King Flowers. It’s unclear what the “g” in the “skg20th” URL stands for.

 

In the Corocoro Aniki magazine issue #1, released on October 15th, 2014, Hiroyuki Takei also had a similar silhouette design to tease the announcement of his upcoming Hyper Dash! Yonkuro manga in the March 2015 issue of the same magazine. That original 2014 preview is shown below.

 

The original Shaman King manga started in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump issue #31 on July 20th, 1998. 2018 will be the 20th anniversary of the start of the manga and Hiroyuki Takei had previously mentioned that he hopes to have some announcements about it towards the end of this year and has begun hiring additional staff. The Shaman King Flowers manga was put on hiatus with the closing of Shueisha’s Jump X (Kai) manga magazine on October 10th, 2014. Most recently the copyrights/trademarks for Shaman King have shifted to Kodansha, and some high-end art products from Shaman King are now also containing Kodansha’s copyright.

Dec 14 2017

Takei draws Necrozma as part of Corocoro Aniki’s Pokémon Ultra Sun/Moon Release Issue

On December 15th, the “winter 2018” issue of Corocoro Aniki was released and featured the recently released Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon (cover featured right). With some pack-ins, and some special comics, 6 mangakas also drew special celebratory images with a short message. As Hiroyuki Takei is currently drawing Hyper Dash! Yonkuro for the magazine, he was also included as one of the mangakas providing a special drawing.

As Twitter user hukanzenna posted online, we can see that it’s an image of  the Pokemon Necrozma (ネクロズマ) who plays a larger part in the Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon games. It looks very similar to the spirits and Oversouls he drew in the later chapters of his Shaman King and Shaman King Flowers manga series.

In the Winter 2018 issue, Hiroyuki Takei is still continuing his Hyper Dash! Yonkuro manga with the 10th chapter (or “PHASE” as listed in the volume releases). On the official Corocoro Aniki website, they also posted a preview of the first page of the chapter (shown left). The first chapter of Hyper Dash! Yonkuro was released on March 14, 2015 and has been in every Corocoro Aniki issue since that time.

Dec 09 2017

New Hiroyuki Takei Interview is Being Created

On December 8th, 2017, Hiroyuki Takei’s Japanese editor for his on-going Nekogahara manga has recently tweeted a photo from an upcoming interview. In his tweet, he roughly says the following:

I went to a certain recording by Mr. Takei. A big success is on the way!

No further information on where or what form this interview will be was given in the tweet. However, looking around this photo provides a couple hints about the future are shown. First of all, on his desk, it appears he is working on a drawing for his Nekogahara manga series. With his editor being present, it’s likely that this interview will be a bit more focused on Nekogahara, rather than his other manga series.

However, if you look in the background, you can see that his shelves have been reorganized since the short Great Connection TV appearance.  Here’s the image from August (left) and the image from yesterday (right):

  1. Ultimo manga is no longer on the shelf
  2. Nekogahara volumes 1-3 are added to the shelf
  3. The original Shaman King 32 volumes are now added to the shelf
  4.  Both editions of the Shaman King Remix volumes are now added. Notice that they are also lined behind the original 32 volumes.

But the other thing to focus on is that the original 12  volumes plus volume 24 of Shaman King are out-of-order and look recently referenced. He has referenced that he is working on Shaman King again, but it’s a bit odd that it’s starting with those volumes, from the original Shueisha print run. It might be possible that he’s referencing the original material for a new Kodansha-labeled print of the Shaman King manga? Though, including volume 24 is out-of-place. Some other possible explanations might be that he is writing a new story for those characters, or that he’s working on a layout for a possible anime-adaption.

Hopefully the interview will come out soon, and maybe spread some light on what may be coming in the near future!