Variant covers have not been a prominent feature of the manga scene up to now, but Kodansha Comics may be changing that with its channel and retailer-exclusive variants for the first volume of the Initial D omnibus.

Kodansha has announced that the first omnibus volume will have three covers:  The standard cover (for book and all other non-Direct Market channels), a Direct Market/Crunchyroll exclusive, and a Kinokuniya exclusive. Kinokuniya is also offering an exclusive shikishi (sketch board) with pre-orders while supplies last.  The first volume will be released in the book channel on March 19, 2024, and in the Direct Market on March 20, with an MSRP of $22.99.

Initial D, a manga about street racing, was first published in English in 2001 by Tokyopop, which published the first 38 volumes.  ComiXology and Kodansha picked up the license and completed the series digitally.  At Anime Expo 2023, Kodansha announced it would bring the series back into print in a two-in-one omnibus edition with a new translation and new covers (see “Kodansha to Bring Back ‘Initial D’”).  The series has been adapted into anime, a live-action film, video games, and a CCG (see “Details on the Initial D CCG”).

Variant covers are still unusual in the manga realm, although Barnes & Noble is currently offering exclusive variant covers for the Udon titles Record of Lodoss War and Persona 5.

Click Gallery below for covers!