Titan Comics has been publishing hard-boiled crime stories in its Hard Case Crime line, and last week the publisher announced its first Japanese title: Ryuko, by Eldo Yoshimizu. The title character is a female Yakuza (gangster) who sets out on a mission of revenge after she is forced to kill her father. The first of two volumes is due out in July and will be a 256-page softcover with an MSRP of $14.99.

We asked Titan’s Will O’Mullane to tell us a bit more about Ryuko and the other manga that Titan publishes.

What is Ryuko like, and why is it a good fit for the Hard Case line?

Ryuko is a high-energy manga from the legendary artist Eldo Yoshimizu—publishing for the first time in English! Our Hard Case Crime imprint has seen translations showcasing the best crime comics from countries such as France (The Millennium Saga) and Germany (Babylon Berlin) for a few years now, so we believe a manga is also a good fit. 

What does it offer readers of American pulp fiction, and what will be different?

Pulp lovers will very much enjoy Ryuko—it's a stunning tale of revenge, international terrorism and the Japanese mafia—perfect for our Hard Case Crime imprint! 

What format will you be publishing in—will it be published right-to-left, like other manga?

Ryuko will be published in the traditional right-to-left format.

Outside of Hard Case, Titan has been publishing manga based on the BBC TV series Sherlock (see “’Sherlock’ Manga Gets English Edition”). I know the first two were published first as serial comics and then as collected editions in a more traditional manga format. How has that worked for you? Do you find the floppies and right-to-left trades are finding complementary audiences?

The floppies were also printed in the right-to-left format, too. The dual publishing initiative worked really well for both the collectors of "floppies" and also trade collectors. We wanted both areas of collectors to get the opportunity to experience this fantastic brand. The fandom of Sherlock is amazingly supportive of both. Plus, we had the amazing support from the fine folks at Hartswood and series creator, Jay, and even Steven Moffat himself. 

Then there’s the Assassin’s Creed manga, which you publish alongside your other Assassin’s Creed titles from Western creators (see “’Assassin’s Creed’ Manga”). How are the manga different from the others?

Assassins Creed Awakenings told the story of the Assassins Creed Black Flag video game from a different, yet complementary, viewpoint. Gamers really had the unique chance to experience the story in another medium and delve deeper inside the story. 

Are you pitching these books to a traditional manga audience or to fans of the original franchises (Sherlock and Assassin’s Creed) who are traditional comics shop customers?

We're pitching these stories to both manga audiences and fans of the franchise. We think that both areas of fans can find pleasure and a complementary experience alongside the video games, in these manga. 

The other manga in your line is Junko Mizuno’s Ravina the Witch?, which is very different from everything else we’ve discussed. What was the appeal of this manga?

Junko Mizuno is an extremely dynamic creator. We wanted English speakers to discover her unique style of storytelling as we did. 

Click Gallery below for full-size Ryuko art!