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The long-awaited launch of Kodansha Comics will take place this Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Bryant Park branch of the Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York City, and will include the announcement of their summer schedule. Kodansha has a Facebook page up for the event. The official launch is at 2 p.m., but the action starts at 1 with a One Piece podcast panel and continues afterward with a talk by Mari Marimoto, the translator of Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako as well as the super-popular Naruto, and various other events. Tony Yao of Manga Therapy will host the event.
Kodansha, the largest publisher in Japan, announced two years ago that they were going to publish their manga in the U.S. under their own name, but only a handful of books have appeared so far. In recent years, Del Rey, a branch of Random House, had licensed most Kodansha manga. In October, Kodansha announced that it would take over the Del Rey series and publish them directly, rather than licensing them to Random House. Random House will supply editing, production and distribution for the new books.