Hasbro will not be bringing either the Duel Masters manga or the anime to the U.S. in conjunction with the U.S. launch of the Kaijudo TCG, the rebooted Duel Masters CCG (see "'Kaijudo: The Dojo Edition'"), according to Kaijudo Global Brand Director R.E. Dalrymple. The game is tied to both a manga and an anime in Japan, where the Duel Masters CCG has been a hit for almost ten years.
The Kaijudo TCG is being supported with a new animated series produced by Hasbro and shown on The Hub (see "'Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters' Cartoon Debut Set").
Asked about the manga, of which there are 17 volumes in Japan, Dalrymple said, "The Japanese manga has been a major driver behind the success of Duel Masters in Japan, with many hundreds of thousands of readers each month. What changed recently in Japan is that the story now centers on a new main character, Kata, and the Shobu storyline drew to an end. Duel Masters continues to be a top-rated manga for boys in Japan, and the Kata storyline has been very helpful to retain that status. When we created Kaijudo, we felt it was very important to create an emotional connection between a new generation of kids and the mind-blowing creatures of Duel Masters and Kaijudo. Our goal is for kids to discover their own personal favorite creatures from the TV show, or online, and then dive deep to collect and play their favorites in our great, fast TCG. Given that change in story approach, we currently do not have plans to license the Duel Masters manga in the U.S."
Similarly, Dalrymple said the anime will also not be licensed for the U.S. "In order to keep the consumer message focused on the new story of Kaijudo and reduce possible consumer confusion, we will not be licensing the Duel Masters anime in the U.S. market," he said. Wizards of the Coast did bring the Duel Masters anime to the U.S. for a time in 2004, during the short-lived effort to translate the Duel Masters CCG directly to the U.S. market (see "'Duel Masters' Anime on Cartoon Network in March").
The Kaijudo launch, which began with the launch of the new TV show and an online game, and an initial hobby-only release of the TCG, will continue this month with the mass market release of the TCG. Wizards of the Coast and parent Hasbro appear to have a long-term commitment to the game this time around and are mounting a full court press with the new storyline, rebooted game, online game, and other support.