Know which publisher to bug to get your favourite manga licensed

The key to a successful campaign to get your favourite manga licensed for western release is to know which company you need to bug.

It’s a mistake I see time and time again on social media – people often approach the wrong publisher to get a manga licensed for the Western market.

Don’t be one of those people. Follow these steps instead:

  1. Find out which magazine the manga you want licensed is printed in in Japan.
  2. Find out which western publisher licenses manga from that magazine.

If you’re struggling to find out which magazine that manga is published in, then use

  1. Search for the manga you want licensed. It will say what magazine it is published in on the left hand side (if it doesn’t say on myanimelist, then try Wikipedia).
  2. Then use this list to find the magazine.

Then get hounding that publisher on social media. If a publisher sees a large calling for a certain manga to be published, then often they will do it. I think quite a few of us got Yen Press to publish Aoharu x Kikanjuu in print and not just digitally through comments on Twitter.

As you are about to find out below, there sometimes isn’t a clear divide between what western publisher licenses what manga – for example, Yen Press and Seven Seas license manga from the same magazine… Just to be difficult! You will also need to think about the demographic of the manga you want licensed, and what that western publisher usually prints – I doubt Yen Press will ever license Yaoi.

Viz Media


What do they publish?

Manga that appear in Shueisha’s and Shogakukan’s magazines that are of the shounen/seinen demographic. Confusingly, they also publish manga from Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine, even though Yen Press licence most of Gangan’s other manga titles.

Their magazines include:

  • Shounen Jump (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball)
  • Jump SQ / Jump Square (Ao no Exorcist, Owari no Seraph, Twin Star Exorcists)
  • Weekly Shonen Sunday (Magi, Kyōkai no Rinne, Detective Conan)
  • Weekly Young Jump (Tokyo Ghoul)
  • Monthly Shonen Gangan (Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Blast of Tempest)

Shojo Beats


What do they publish?

Shojo Beats is a sister publisher of Viz Media’s – it’s basically the same publisher, but they release all of Shueisha’s and Shogakukan’s titles that are aimed at the shojo/josei demographic (although they don’t license yaoi or shounen ai).

Their magazines include:

  • Hana to Yume (Akatsuki no Yona, Skip Beat!, Kamisama Hajimemashita)
  • LaLa (Akagami no ShirayukihimeNatsume Yujincho)



What do they publish?

SuBLime is another sister publication of Viz Media. They publish yaoi and shounen ai manga. They don’t just license manga published by Shueisha and Shogakukan, but also Shinshokan, Kadowaka and Libre Publishing.

Their magazines include:

  • Dear+ (Ten Count)
  • Asuka Ciel (Love Stage!!)
  • Citron (Lost Letters)
  • Be x Boy GOLD (Midnight Stranger)

Kodansha USA / Vertical Comics


What do they publish?

Kodansha USA license manga that are published by Kodansha in Japan (they share the same name). They bought Vertical Comics in 2011, but Vertical Comics still publish under their own name. Vertical Comics license manga published by Kadowaka. Vertical also publishes light novels, such as Seraph of the End – Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen.

Their magazines include:

  • Weekly Shonen Magazine (Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sins)
  • Monthly Shonen Magazine (Noragami, Welcome to the Ballroom)
  • Bessatsu Shonen Magazine (Attack on Titan, Flying WitchThe Heroic Legend of Arslan)
  • Bessatsu Friend (Kiss Him Not Me)
  • Dessert (My Little MonsterSay “I love you”)
  • Aria (No. 6)
  • Kiss (Princess Jellyfish)
  • Monthly Shonen Ace (Nichijou, Deadman Wonderland, Tokyo ESP)
  • Good Afternoon (AjinSweetness and LightningWitch Craft Works)

Yen Press


What do they publish?

A mix of manga in terms of demographic, but mostly for shounen readers, published by Kadokawa and Square Enix. They also publish light novels, such as Durarara!!!

Their magazines include:

  • Young Ace (Blood Lad, Erased)
  • Monthly Comic Alive (Re:Zero)
  • Monthly GFantasy (Aoharu x Kikanjuu, Black Butler, Nabari no Ou)
  • Gangan Online (BarakamonMonthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)
  • Dengeki Daioh (Yotsuba to!) [*See Seven Seas]
  • Harta (Delicious in Dungeon) [*See Seven Seas]

Seven Seas 


What do they publish?

I’ve come to think of Seven Seas as the western licenser who isn’t afraid to dive into the strange depths of manga. They’ve come out of nowhere and have become a huge publisher in hardly any time at all. They’re the most varied licenser of manga, publishing yuri, shojo ai, ecchi, shojo and shounen. And they’ve recently announced they will be publishing light novels. I guarantee it will only be a matter of time before they start on the yaoi/shounen ai front…

Seven Seas seem to license manga from a different range of Japanese publishers. They actually publish some manga series from the same magazine that Yen Press do. From what I can tell, Yen Press won’t touch the ecchi or yuri stuff, so Seven Seas snaps those titles up.

Their magazines include:

  • Monthly Comic Gene (Servamp)
  • Monthly Comic Garden (Ancient Magnus BrideLaughing Under the Clouds)
  • Dengeki Daioh (Bloom into You) [*See Yen Press]
  • Harta (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto.) [*See Yen Press]
  • Monthly Action (Orange, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)

Dark Horse


What do they publish?

Dark Horse publish mostly western titles or American comics, but they do keep one toe in the manga pool.

Their magazines include:

  • Young Animal (Berserk, March Comes in Like a Lion)
  • Nakayoshi (Cardcaptor Sakura)

So, good luck! I hope all the manga you want to see licensed get a release one day.

What manga titles would you like to see licensed for western release? Comment down below.


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