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Digital Manga Reveals More About New Yaoi License, The Finder Series

By March 15, 2010

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Target in the FinderLast week, Digital Manga Publishing made a lot of yaoi manga fans very, very happy when they announced that they acquired the rights to publish The Finder Series by Ayano Yamane in 2010. This five-volume series was formerly published by Central Park Media's Be Beautiful imprint back in 2005, but when CPM went out of business, these extremely popular (and very sexy) boys love stories also went out of print.

Now DMP and Japanese publisher Libre Shuppan are teaming up to give the fans what they've been craving for years: another chance to read and enjoy this engaging and erotic story by one of the most popular boys love manga creators in the U.S. and Japan. The first volume of The Finder Series, Target in the Finder will hit the stores in Summer 2010, followed by Cage in the Finder in Fall 2010, and subsequent releases of the other three volumes, One Wing in the Finder, Prisoner in the Finder and Truth in the Finder.

The timing for these new releases couldn't be better - Yamane-sensei was recently announced as the special guest for Yaoi-Con 2010, and these new editions of her most popular series (with new translations) gives fans even more reasons to celebrate her upcoming return to the States. To prepare for this event, DMP has launched a special website just for these books at www.finderseries.com.

Cage in the FinderSo what is The Finder Series about? Here's DMP's official synopsis of the series:

While out on assignment trying to document the illegal activities of the Japanese underworld, photographer Takaba crosses paths with the dark and mysterious leader Asami. Asami takes Takaba captive, in an attempt to subjugate and possess him. But when the son of the Chinese mafia enters demanding evidence that Takaba may have, will Takaba be able to survive being caught in the crosshairs of a deadly underworld feud?

The announcement of these new releases of The Finder Series almost immediately generated a lot of buzz in BL-fandom, and a few questions too. Why did DMP opt to release this Rated M - Mature 18+ title on their Juné imprint (rather than their 801 Media imprint, which is usually devoted to more "hard" yaoi stories)?

I wanted to know more, so I sent a note to Michelle Mauk, Graphic Designer and Marketing Manager at Digital Manga Publishing. She filled me in with more info about DMP's plans for The Finder Series, and added a few comments to fans from DMP's Editor in Chief, Fred Lui.

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One Wing in the FinderQ: The Finder Series has been out of print in the U.S. for several years. How long has Digital Manga been pursuing this title?

Michelle Mauk: "We've been pursuing the title for awhile (which I'm sure isn't much of a surprise to a lot of the fans out there.) This was a title that we really wanted to release, and as the largest BL publisher in the US, we felt like this was a title that was important for us to do. Our fans have also made it clear that they really wanted us to do it, and so we are thrilled that we will be doing it."

Q: What makes The Finder Series so special to fans? Why is it important in yaoi manga -- was there something especially innovative / different about it compared to other BL series that makes it stand out from the rest?

Michelle Mauk: "The Finder Series is one of those books that really captures almost everything that IS yaoi. It's got beautiful leading characters, an interesting story line, and a power play relationship between the two main characters. The character of Asami (the main character) is a huge fan favorite -- he's a combination of passion, coolness and mystery."

"It's also done by Ayano Yamane, who is also a HUGE fan favorite, and one of the top selling yaoi mangaka in Japan. The fans LOVE her, and she is one of those mangaka that constantly thinks about what her fans want. I think the beautiful art, the intertwining storylines, all make this the series to get for any fan of yaoi."

Prisoner in the Finder"This book was probably one of the first to bring hard yaoi into the US mainstream -- and I think that combination -- with the art and story, really make this series stand out from others. This is a book about intensity of all kinds. I'm sure you will get a lot of different responses from different fans -- but for some, this is THE yaoi title to have."

Q: There are several books in The Finder Series -- you mentioned that the first volume will be out in Summer 2010 -- do you have a specific date? When will the subsequent volumes be released?

Michelle Mauk: "The first and second volumes will be coming out pretty quickly. Volume 1 will be out in Summer 2010. Volume 2 will be out in Fall 2010. I don't have specific release dates just yet."

"We wanted to time the releases with Ayano Yamane's appearance at Yaoi Con, and this was also a request from Yamane herself. Volumes 3 through 5 will be coming pretty regularly afterwards. We'll give specific dates when we have them more finalized."

Digital Manga Publishing logoQ: Will you be doing anything special with the presentation of this series compared to the CPM edition? (e.g. Larger page size? French fold covers? Different cover art than the CPM editions? Color pages?) Have you set the cover price yet?

Michelle Mauk: "We're still determining that, so... nothing concrete yet. It will be at B6 size (roughly 5" x 7") for sure. The cover price for the book will be $13.95."

Q: The Finder Series is quite sexually explicit -- any particular reason why it's being released under your Juné imprint and not your 801 Media imprint (which is usually reserved for more mature / hard yaoi titles)?

Michelle Mauk: "Yes. There is a reason why it's under the Juné imprint -- even with its explicitness. We want to give The Finder Series the most wide-spread distribution possible, and though it may be explicit, it's got a strong story."

"We really want to give this title an opportunity to reach the fans who've been wanting it, especially as the Be Beautiful titles were impossible for most fans to find."

"So this title is special, and we are treating it as something special. We're shooting for the stars here, so we have to make it count!"

Truth in the FinderQ: Anything else you'd like to add, or share with fans about this new release?

Fred Lui: "Please support this book. It was very difficult for DMP to acquire, and comes at a hefty price to us that fans cannot fathom."

"For those of you who have supported us throughout the years, we thank you, and have reciprocated to accommodate to your requests as much as we possibly can."

"For those who found alternative means to get their yaoi fix... well, what can we say but it's contributing to the demise of this medium and (hurts) our efforts to bring high-value content to those who appreciate our publications."

"Note that because we are not able to zero in to an exact release date for the first two volumes at this moment, it is quite possible that may local and major book outlets will not be carrying the book until a much later time."

"For those of you who cannot wait, copies of the book can be purchased from DMP immediately when it's release through the www.finderseries.com website. This would be a sure way to secure a copy for yourself."

Michelle Mauk: "In terms of other features for the finderseries.com website, we have some stuff planned. We're working to bring some exciting promotional giveaways to fans, and to run some contests on the site in the upcoming months -- so hopefully fans will stay tuned for all of that! It's definitely going to be a busy year for us."

Image credits: © Ayano Yamane / Libre Shuppan, © Digital Manga Publishing

Comments

March 15, 2010 at 11:28 pm
(1) lore says:

Ah, Deb, you are brilliant, as always. The speculation this weekend hit a fever pitch. Bleh.

love, lore

March 16, 2010 at 9:27 am
(2) Sunnie says:

This is a nice interview, but it doesn’t directly address the issue whether this book will be censored or not. Quite a few June releases (much less explicit than Finder) were censored by June in the past, so of course many fans wonder if that’s going to be the case for Finder as well. I wish someone at DMP would step forward and tell us about this whenever they decide on all the specifics of this localization.

March 16, 2010 at 11:01 am
(3) Shelly says:

I want to point out that while this is five volumes now, it’s an ongoing series, and people shouldn’t mistake the end of vol 5 for the end of the series. Another chapter that starts vol 6 was just released.

I hope everyone who can will support this release. It’s such a great story. The first volume is a little choppy, because it was meant originally as oneshots, but it does all come together in the following volumes. And too, I hope people take the time to really read it and see that what’s there isn’t what’s just on the surface. Yamane’s characterizations can be subtle.

March 16, 2010 at 11:20 am
(4) Courtney says:

I am very excited about this series finally coming to the US.Thanks for the info.

March 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm
(5) Tosh says:

Mmm Thanks DMP

However since three of my preorders have recently been cancelled I’ll get excited when I have Vol 3 in my hot little hand.

March 17, 2010 at 6:39 am
(6) nora says:

hi — i love viewfinder. i have been a fan for years. which was why im glad to hear that it has been licensed. however to put it BLUNTLY, IF THE MANGA IS GOING TO BE CENSORED( BE IT A TINY BIT OR MAJOR) I WILL NOT BE PURCHASING THE WORKS. MY FELLOW MATES WHO FOLLOWS VIEWFINDER FEELS THE SAME WAY AS WELL. so im really hoping they will maintain all of yamano’s original work and not censor it. the beauty in all of her work is that unlike other yaoi mangas – the manga has got a strong storyline and the art is absolutely stunning which was drew me to viewfinder. in the 1st place.

March 17, 2010 at 7:21 am
(7) Epyon says:

Nice interview. I’m also not happy that they didn’t comment on the censoring part. I apsolutely hate censoring, as much as I hate crappy translations. If they censor it, I won’t buy it. I would rather buy the Japanese manga and read translations on the net than read a censored version in English. I’ll only buy the new version if it’s 100% true to the original. It says 18+, so I don’t see the point in any censoring. That being said, I’m happy that Viewfinder has been licensed and I really hope that they will do a great job with it, and not destroy it. Looking forward to the first volume.

March 22, 2010 at 2:57 am
(8) rnngwen says:

I’m happy about this. I buy a lot of manga. A lot of which happens to be yaoi. I don’t buy US censored versions because I can get the uncut from Amazon Japan. I am fortunate enough to read Japanese, however I would much rather buy them in English. (In fact I own quite a few sets of manga in both Japanese and English.)

I’m sure there are reasons but books that come with an 18+ label and shrink wrapped but then have all the penises cut out drive me nuts when the boobs aren’t cut out of the josei and shoujo manga. Like I said I’m sure there are reasons but darned if I can figure out why.

Anyway I wish June success with Viewfinder and Kizuna (they bought that too yippee). I do hope I’ll be purchasing them soon.

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