13 Titles We’d Like License Rescued

There are some titles that you wish could come out in the U.S. but for various reason have never made it over here. It can be frustrating to see a title you love passed over for a legitimate English release but often there are several valid reasons why such series are too risky (although in a few cases like Macross the reasons are just very aggravating).

But there is one thing even more frustrating: a title either being canceled before it is finished or being out of print long enough that it is incredibly expensive to buy. It is one thing to just hope that a series will come out but it is another layer of agony to have it right in your hands and feel it slip away. Plus, it makes it very hard to recommend a series that is either incomplete or nearly impossible to find.

We’ve put together some titles that fit that frustrating bill. With all the remaining anime and manga companies looking to the past for titles, it seems like several series that were off the table have recently become available again and often at a very reasonable price.

Please remember this is a wish list and not necessarily a “I really think this will happen” list.

Record of Lodoss War (OVA)

narutaki Okay, this one could happen. The Record of Lodoss War OVA was kind of required viewing in the 90s and it was one of the first series I saw in my early fandom.

This classic sword and sorcery OVA with beautiful visuals and good music seems like a perfect title for Nozomi to do up nicely. And again it is a title with a strong nostalgia factor.

Turn A Gundam (TV series)

hisuicon The poster child for so close but so far. The title was picked up in the twilight hours of Bandai’s existence as a U.S. licensor and looked like it was going to be one of the last titles they put out. There was quite a bit on work put into the title and it even had a release date but as it got pushed back more and more it soon became obvious that their doors would close before it came out.

As my favorite Gundam series I was very sad to see it come so very close to being released and then vanish just before I could get a copy. It is a show I love to recommend but since the only way to watch it currently is via fan-subs it means that it is just not doable for some people. A nice budget release of this would be perfect for one of the more avant-garde Gundam series.

Swan (manga)

narutaki 70s shojo manga is a rare license for any company, but when CMX first opened its doors they were dabbling quite a bit.

Swan is an amazing sight, every manga should have such dynamic page design!  The art of ballet (and later, modern dance) is beautifully portrayed even for someone like me that doesn’t have a great appreciation for it.

I’ll always miss CMX most for its commitment to Swan and releasing 15 of its 20 volumes in English.

Hitohira (manga)

hisuicon This was a really unexpected series that went under most people’s radar since it came out from Aurora Publishing. I really connected with the very realistic portrayal of low self-esteem you don’t see in other series. Sadly the series was canceled three books into the series as Aurora Publishing closed up shop with 4 volumes still left unpublished.

It was one of the first titles that JManga put on the site but so far all they have put up is the three volumes that were previously released in English. I would love to see either JManga or someone else finish this series so I could see the end of Mugi Asai’s journey.

Saint Seiya (TV series)

narutaki Saint Seiya is one of those shows that could have had a huge U.S. following if it had been released at the right time. Sadly it came out after it should have and sunk.

This title also has potential what with Discotek preparing to release the Saint Seiya movies. Hopefully they are testing the water to see if putting out the TV series would be popular. And hopefully those waters are just right! Then they can release the OVAs and the more recent TV series,’ yeah yeah now I’m getting a little carried away.

Emma (manga)

hisuicon Emma is just one of those series that should always stay in print. It just has a wonderful sense of  atmosphere that materializes itself with stunning artwork, captivating storytelling, a well researched historical accuracy. This Victorian romance has a vibrant international flavor that is also good for people who might not normally read manga.

While CMX finished Emma’s release it was one of the last titles they put out to completion so it was not that hard to collect the series when it first came out. But since it has gone out of print if you look on-line almost any given volume is now at highway robbery prices. You can try to buy individual volumes in stores and conventions but that is always an arduous process. Someone needs to rescue this title from falling into obscurity for it is far too delightful to just be a footnote.

Bakuman (TV series)

narutaki Not that I really want VIZ releasing much anime, but I don’t even understand why they let this title get away in the first place. And now it doesn’t look like Media Blasters will get around to releasing all of it, so I hope it gets snatched up soon.

I’ve been holding off watching more past season 1 because it seemed like a shoe in for a license, guess not!

Nodame Cantabile (manga)

hisuicon I know this one is a way long shot but it is just too delightful not to list. Nodame Cantabile is just one of those series that did so very well in Japan and totally flopped in English. Which is shame because it is rather easy-going josei series with an almost shojo air. A delightful comedic series about adults finding their way in the world of professional music. But that light breezy quality made it stand out from the normally quite serious and dour josei series that we usually get. Plus Nodame is just such a uniquely eccentric character in a cast filed with loveable and quirky personalities. I really wish this series could have finished in English. I’m not sure anyone would be crazy enough to release again in print but a digital release might be a possibility.

Jiraishin (manga)

narutaki Also known as Ice Blade when TokyoPop published just three volumes of it in the late-90s. It even ran in MIXXzine if you can believe that, it was in the debut issue which I have around here somewhere.

Gritty crime dramas aren’t too prevalent in the English manga marketplace. This might be a nice title for Dark Horse but with nearly 20 volumes of material, it seems unlikely.

Dazzle aka Unprecedented Game (manga)

hisuicon I will admit that Minari Endoh is somewhat of an acquired taste but if you like her work you really tend to get into her series. They always have a clever banter between characters with a delightfully sadistic flair. But Dazzle itself has a feeling of Slayers set in the modern day as the mismatched band of adventures go around taking odd missions for travel money while a larger plot builds around them. The manga also has a stylish flair to it that always makes it fun to see what everyone is wearing as they often change clothing from story to story. I think it is a series that will never be a blockbuster but could always have a steady following for its unique charm and panache.

Fist of the North Star (manga)

narutaki Having this title on the list is proof positive this is a wish list because I know this will never happen. Ever.

Though briefly released by Gutsoon! Entertainment known for Raijin Comics many moons ago, it quickly died along with everything else.

Personally, I prefer the manga over the anime which is why I’d like to see it released fully in the U.S. I’d also added all the gaiden manga, just to make this an even more ridiculous request.

Slayers (novels)

hisuicon And speaking of Slayers my final choice would be the Slayers novels. I have always been a fan of the Slayers as whole but it is important to mention that the novels have a very different tone than the TV series. While the novels are written in the first person from Lina’s point of view oddly enough she is less omnipotent than she is in the TV series. So the rest of Lina’s companions are much more important than the mainly side characters they are in the TV series. That alone makes the novels worth reading.

But when Tokyopop canceled the series they ended just before the novels got to material not covered in the anime. The second arc of novels covered Lina and Gourry meeting the new characters of Luke and Milina. I was always curious to see what they were like but I sadly never got to read those novels. Theoretically someone could also pick up the Slayers Special novels but asking for the 2nd arc of the original Slayers novels is crazy enough so I don’t plan to break the few and tenuous laws of fantasy by asking for those.

Sailor Moon (anime)


With the release of the manga selling like gangbusters it is clearly a matter of when more than if this will get licensed rescued. Who ever picks this up will undoubtedly be very happy.

5 thoughts on “13 Titles We’d Like License Rescued

  1. teaNrice says:

    Nodame Cantabile and Emma are two of my favourite manga and I am so lucky that my library happens to have most of the english releases of the two series. Needless to say if these were license rescued I would be first in line to pre-order so I could get those books in my hands ASAP.

  2. eyevocal says:

    If you’re reading this now, Nozomi/Right Stuf has released Turn A Gundam on DVD, Yen Press is re-releasing the Emma manga as large hardcover omnibus volumes, and Viz is re-releasing Sailor Moon, including the recent remake SM Crystal.

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