Thursday, April 3, 2014

News: Cardfight!! Vanguard Manga to Release April 29th, Volumes 2 and 3 to Follow

After several years of anticipation, Itou Akira's long-awaited Cardfight!! Vanguard manga will finally be reaching western shores at the end of this month. Vertical Inc.'s English translation of the Cardfight!! Vanguard manga will come in two variations, both of which are 220-240 page paperbacks that come with an alternate artwork print of Blaster Blade using Studio TMS' artwork PR/046EN.

The Special Edition will also come with two 25-card Flash Fight decks, a playmat and storage box. The Special Edition of volume 1 is limited to 4500 copies, of which 2400 were already ordered by the beginning of March, and only first edition prints of the manga will contain the promo card. The Japanese print of this Blaster Blade promo is visible below for comparison.

The Cardfight!! Vanguard manga is highly regarded in the community for having a more cohesive take on the franchise's storyline, being written without the same time restrictions as the weekly anime and with less product placement; unlike in the animated series that models its narrative around upcoming booster sets, cards in the manga are created to tell a story first and made into reality later. Itou's writing acts as the source material for many ideas used in the anime and light novels, but instead of diverging into tournament arcs and championships, his manga gives focus to the daily lives of the cast and personal pressures they face.

Both versions of volume 1 are available on Amazon, although it should be noted that Amazon's listing erroneously lists the Special Edition as hardcover. Volume 2 is currently slated for a June 24th release, and volume 3 is to follow on August 26th. The promo cards for those volumes have not yet been announced, but it's feasible that they may follow the trend set by the first card have the next two contain Studio TMS' alternate artworks for Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Dark.

Itou's manga first appeared in July 2010 at the Tokyo Toy Show, with the first pages of the manga being previewed alongside an early PV for the first season of the anime. The manga began its formal Japanese run in KeroKero Ace magazine in November of the same year, where the first chapter was serialized ahead of the anime (which would not begin airing until January 2011), and the second chapter followed in December. Itou's manga continued to be serialized chapter by chapter in KeroKero Ace for three years of unbroken publication, until the magazine suddenly collapsed in July 2013, due to an executive decision by the publishers, Kadokawa Shoten.

In September the manga switched publications to the newly-created Monthly Bushiroad magazine, and has continued to have new chapters printed every month since that time. Thus far seven volumes have been compiled from Itou's chapters, with volume 1 originally being released in March 2011, volume 2 in August of that year, volume 3 in January 2012, volume 4 in June, volume 5 in November, volume 6 in August 2013, and most recently volume 7 in December 2013. The English-language volumes so far follow a bi-monthly schedule, and at that rate could be forecasted to catch up to the Japanese volumes by April of next year.