Kodansha Comics announced a round of new print and digital licenses at Sakura Con, including Senpai Is an Otokonoko: My Cross-Dressing Classmate, a series about a cross-dressing high school student, the girl who has a crush on him, and his best friend.  Originally created for the Japanese webtoon site Line Manga, the series launched on the English-language Webtoon site in March 2023 and has almost 5 million views and over 150,000 followers.  An anime adaptation is scheduled to launch in July 2024, and Kodansha will publish the print version in Spring 2025.

Also in the lineup: The three-volume manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s anime film Suzume, the story of a 17-year-old girl who teams up with a stranger to stop a giant worm from causing earthquakes and other disasters.  The first volume will be released on September 24, 2024, with an MSRP of $13.95.

In Confession, by Kaiji Kawaguchi and Nobuyuki Fukumoto, two stranded hikers are sure they are going to die, so one confesses to the other that he murdered someone five years ago.  When they survive, the hiker who heard the confession is convinced he will be the murderer’s next victim.  The manga is complete in one volume, which Kodansha will release in December 2024, and a live-action motion picture based on the story will be released in May 2024.  Longtime manga readers may remember Kawaguchi as the creator of the series Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President, a fictional story about the 2000 election that incorporated thinly disguised versions of real politicos.

Kodansha’s announcements also included Thunder 3, Yuki Ikeda’s oddball sci-fi series about three cartoonish boys traveling through a super-realistic alternate universe in search of a girl who has been kidnapped by aliens, due out in November 2024; Honeko Akabane’s Bodyguards, by Masamitsu Nigatsu, a sort of reverse Assassination Classroom in which a high school student must protect his female classmate from assassins, slated for January 2025; and Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island, by Junji Ohno, Yatate Hajime & Yoshiyuki Tomino, a new entry in the venerable franchise, which will launch in October 2024.

Also in the offing is a boxed set of the first six volumes of Blue Lock, Kodansha’s best-selling soccer manga, set for October 2024 release.  The spinoff anime Blue Lock: Episode Nagi will begin airing in April 2024, and Kodansha will launch the manga series in October (see “ICv2 Interview: Ben Applegate of Kodansha”); at Sakura Con, they announced that they would offer Vol. 1 of Blue Lock: Episode Nagi bundled with a Q Posket figure of the character Seshiro Nagi.

Click Gallery below for covers!