Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rumor: Cardfight!! Vanguard Manga to See English Translation

The following is being treated as a partially substantiated rumor and the story may develop significantly as more information comes to light. Please read with caution.

While the Cardfight!! Vanguard media franchise is known internationally as an anime and Trading Card Game, for the past two years the third piece of the puzzle that has yet to see English-language localization has been the original manga written by franchise creator Itou Akira. First debuted at the 2010 Tokyo Toy Show along with a preview video of the anime, and acting as the source material for the animated series, the Cardfight!! Vanguard manga has so far had only one official adaptation, of its first chapter released in preview materials during the 2012 World Championships and at promotional events. Outside of these fragmentary distributions, potential readers have been forced to rely on web-based fan translations or Japanese language mastery to read the manga. But if Amazon is anything to go by, this is about to change. has put up a preorder listing for volume 1 of the Cardfight!! Vanguard manga, published not by Kadokawa Shoten as the Japanese volumes were, but by VERTICAL. A New York-based publisher of Japanese popular media, VERTICAL is most noted for its translations of the manga adaptations of 5 Centimeters Per SecondSummer Wars and the works of classic artist Tezuka Osamu. The company was also responsible for translating Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN. The English volume 1 is listed at 180 pages long, compared to the original Japanese volume's 193 pages. The reason for this discrepancy in page count is unknown. Volume 1's ISBN-10 is 1939130417 and ISBN-13 is 978-1939130419, and its release date is March 27 2014 according to the Amazon listing. Note that the preorder listing is exclusively on Amazon UK, but the New York publisher suggests that the manga will be released in the United States as well.

The current blurb on Amazon reads "From the makers of the YuGiOh trading card game comes Cardfight!! Vanguard, the manga that inspired the hit Vanguard card game. In similar fashion to YuGiOh and Magic the Gathering, the teenage cast of Cardfight!! Vanguard play a high-fantasy themed card game - initially they play for kicks, but eventually the stakes grow much higher... The basis of the hit trading card game and animation franchise, Cardfight!! Vanguard is a modern fantasy tale of trading card playing and making friends through gaming." There are some small inaccuracies within the description, as Itou was only involved as an assistant on the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and the author of the Yu-Gi-Oh! R spinoff, with no involvement in the card game outside of designing promotional cards.

Presuming that the information is correct, one point that is uncertain about this volume is whether or not the Alfred Early promo card that was included in the Japanese release will be brought over for the manga's English language release, as the card was already distributed with boxes of VGE-BT07: Rampage of the Beast King in 2012. As the release of VGE-BT10: Triumphant Return of the King of Knights is nearing, and it was within this set that the manga cards were rereleased in Japan in RRR rarity promo cards as box toppers, the release of the English manga would be the perfect opportunity to distribute these foiled reprints for westerners.