Poster for Blue Lock: Episode Nagi
Many anime are adapted from manga, and increasingly from manhwa as well, and publishers know that when a new anime hits, book sales soar, even if the title has been around for a while. Anime helped propel Spy x Family, Chainsaw Man, and Blue Lock to the top of the best-seller lists.

Television and web anime are often simulcast, that is, released at the same time as in Japan, on streaming services such as Crunchyroll. Anime films may be released in theaters before going onto streaming, so the release window is different, as Kodansha’s Ben Applegate recently explained (see “ICv2 Interview: Ben Applegate”).

January’s new shows included Delicious in Dungeon and Solo Leveling, both based on Yen Press titles, and those series have been getting a lot of buzz on social media. Here’s a look at some other manga that have anime adaptations or spin-off films coming later this year.

Sand Land (VIZ Media): The manga, published by Viz, is an all-ages one-shot by Dragon Ball creator that was originally released in 2003 but is still in print. A CGI anime film was released in August 2023 in Japan and will see widespread release in English this year. Sand Land: The Series, set to premiere in spring 2024. The original story followed a group of ragtag rebels on a mission to bring water back to a world that has become a parched desert thanks to a greedy king. The series is a sequel to the film, with many of the voice cast reprising their roles, and will have a new storyline. It will stream on Disney+ and Hulu (see “Akira Toriyama Based Anime to Hulu”).

Spy x Family (VIZ Media): There’s already a streaming anime series based on this manga about a super spy who creates a found family with a beautiful assassin and a telepathic child in order to accomplish a mission. Spy x Family: Code White is a theatrical anime film set on a “family” vacation and will have its North American theatrical premiere in April 2024 (see “‘Spy x Family’”).

Blue Lock and Blue Lock: Episode Nagi (Kodansha): Blue Lock is a soccer manga with a Battle Royale structure that has been a big hit in North America and Japan and already has an anime that streams on Crunchyroll. Blue Lock: Episode Nagi is a prequel that focuses on one of the characters. A theatrical film will be released later in 2024, and Kodansha has licensed the manga.

True Beauty, by Yaongyi (Webtoon Unscrolled): This manhwa follows an ugly duckling who uses tips from the internet to make herself beautiful, in hopes that it will win her friends and admiration at school. It works, sort of, but it also causes many complications, romantic and otherwise. This series was made into a live-action drama in Korea, and the anime is slated to start streaming on Crunchyroll sometime in 2024.

Unnamed Memory (Yen Press): This is a fantasy light novel series about a witch who must marry a prince in order to lift a cures; it was adapted into manga and is now making its way into anime, with a television anime series launching in Japan in April 2024.

Dandadan (VIZ Media): Another Shonen Jump title, Dandadan centers on two teenagers, a girl who is fascinated with ghosts and a boy who is into aliens, which leads them into lots of supernatural shenanigans. The anime is slated for release in October 2024; no English-language release has been announced yet.

Kaiju No. 8, by Naoya Matsumoto (VIZ Media): In a world where kaiju (giant monster) attacks are a regular occurrence, thirtysomething Kafka Hibino decides to level up from the kaiju cleanup team to become a kaiju fighter, but the twist is that he accidentally swallows a small kaiju, which gives him the power to transform into a kaiju himself. This Shonen Jump series has already made it onto the BookScan Top 20 several times thanks to its mix of humor and action (See “November 2023 Circana BookScan”). The anime will stream on Crunchyroll starting in April 2024.

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