Yen Press Unveils English Spice and Wolf Novel
So after many many months since the initial announcement by Yen Press of their aquisition of the best selling Light Novel series “Spice and Wolf” written by author Isuna Hasekura, and much speculation regarding the possible new english cover, Yen Press yesterday finally put all the rumors to a rest, unveiling the new cover before hundreds of eager fans.
Intrigingly, unlike with the english addition of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”, the Yen Press announcement starts off by appologizing to the fanbase reading. Apparently, they themsleves could forsee how fans might react to the new radically re-designed cover.
Now, here are the details. Unlike with Haruhi, the novel will not apparently have a hardback release, but will only contain a mass paperback release, using the cover as seen to the left.
However, to make ammends with fans, they will be offering a slip cover for the novel in the December issue of Yen+ magazine which fans can use to put over the book which will contain the original cover art. This follows in the footsteps of many magazines in Japan. The third manga of Spice and Wolf was offered an alternative slip cover in Japan through the manga magazine serializing it.
Yen+ will also be providing a preview of the novel in their magazine.
Even with this, fans erupted in a fury.
“Her boob looks…. somewhat… lopsided. Like someone took a blur/smudge tool and scribbled over the image in a straight line. (Trying to refrain from the ‘this looks shopped’ line here.)
Her boob really shouldn’t be flat on one side. It’s freaking me out! Poor Horo!” wrote Bonita in their comments section.
“Vomit. Why couldn’t you do it like Haruhi? Include the original cover with a hardback release or something along those lines. I do not want this thing on my shelf.” said another user who went by “h”.
“Well, I just cancelled my preorder. I find this cover prurient and distasteful. I cannot imagine this generating new sales, and while I have no general problem with ‘Americanization’ in general, I frankly hope this specific attempt fails.” wrote Travis.
“After seeing this cover, I’ve canceled my order. Please consider other options to make the Ayakura cover more accessible and affordable and I’ll reconsider my decision as well. I won’t purchase this as it is, however.” typed another user who went only by “-“.
“I don’t think that the new cover represents the spirit of Spicy Wolf very well. When I think of Spicy Wolf, nude wolf girls are not what comes to mind first. What does come to mind are images of medieval economics. This cover seems like it should be next to a Fabio romance novel.” said Faris.
But even with a wall of fans crashing angrily against Yen Press, there were among them, an almost equal ammount of fans defending the companies marketing decisions.
“Ugly cover, but i will buy the LN because i like the story, and i will buy the Yen+ december number too. I hope the hardcore fans dont be angry with the change, i understand what YP want do, the same like Tokyopop, TP fails and i hope YP not.” wrote Eris.
“Although I’m disappointed that you’re not using the original, I’m glad that we still have access to it! Thank you very much, and looking forward to the December release!” wrote Shirachi.
“I can completely understand changing cover designs to bring into audiences. It’s unfortunate, but necessary; light novels just don’t make enough profits from the manga community alone. That said, it’s cool that you guys are offering a cover slip. I hope light novels will be successful for once.” said Arc.
“W00T for SPICE AND WOLF! I love Light Novels and I’m definitly picking this one up.” said Demio.
“I am so glad that you are also making the slip jacket for us hardcore fans of this wonderful series. It just goes to show that Yen Press really knows what their fans want and are willing to try and please us all. I can’t wait to get my hands on the novel and December’s issue of Yen+!” typed BillChiu
“I think the new cover is pretty gorgeous in itself. I hope it succeeds to bringing in a bigger audience!” said Kiri.
“I think the cover is beautiful and mysterious. It just goes to show how backwards-minded the American culture is about nudity with so many people calling this “tasteless”. It is a very tasteful cover, doesn’t show too much at all.” added Katelyn.
It’s obvious that the ammount of opinion on this cover decision are large, and some valid points to consider have been mentioned by users in the comment section.
In response, “Hassler” of Yen Press replied in a comment, “Lots and lots of comments! Feedback is never a bad thing.
We appreciate the support from everyone offering it, and we understand the frustration of others. We’ve received a lot of interesting suggestions about other possible ways to get cover versions featuring the original art into fans’ hands going forward, and we’ll be exploring their feasibility.”
I’m glad they are reading the comments of users and listening sincerely to them. But now, I’d like to give my own thoughts regarding this, and ask for Yen Press to hear me out on what I have to say.
First off, since this is the most heated part of this announcement, let’s talk above covers. Do I personally like it? No. I personally feel the cover somewhatpresents Spice and Wolf in a wrong light. However, I’m guessing there’s nothing that can be done about it by now, since you probably have already begun printing copies with it.
I am VERY thankful to you for providing a slip cover with the colored cover. Really, I am so thankful.
In fact, since from what I understand Spice and Wolf will be published in paperback, this marks the very FIRST ever paperback English light novel to recieve a slip cover, much like the ones in Japan come with on default. So congratulations, you’ve made history!
Secondly, the issue on many fans minds is the name change from “Horo to Holo”. As much as I disagree with this, I will respect the fact that the Japanese publisher (and hopefully with the authorization of the author) decided the L looked better than the R. I disagree, but I shall respect their decision.
Thirdly, what am I mad if anything about? I’ll tell you, and it’s the one thing not brought up in the comments by fans.
There is something that the covers ARE MISSING.
What? you ask.
There is a tagline that appears on EVERY Spice and Wolf novel in Japan, it’s even printed in English on the Japanese releases. It says “Merchant Meats Spicy Wolf”. It appears right alongside the title.
What makes me mad, is that the original colored cover being given in Yen+ is even lacking it. This tagline is IMPORTANT. The author has admitted that the tagline’s mispelling of “Meets” to “Meats” is eluding to something not yet shown in the story. I politely ask that Yen Press add this tagline to the slip cover edition ASAP. The original cover just isn’t complete in my eyes without that famous tagline.
Otherwise, with that tagline added, I can happily 100% support Yen Press’s goal of making Holo *cough*it’s better as Horo*cough* a household name.
I think any true fan of this story should buy this novel, and for those who say they have canceled or hope that Yen Press will fail, all I can do is shake my head sadly. It is fans like that who will hinder the light novel industry from suceeding in the future. They need the books to sell to more than just the fanbase. Perhaps in the future, if Spice and Wolf becomes a best selling novel in the US, we can have a proper cover release of the novel as a collectors edition.
So I eagerly look forward to Yen Press’s release of Spice and Wolf, and congratulate them on getting their hands on something so special.
Also though, a question was asked that I feel needs an answer. Will Yen+ give a special slip cover for every novel release of Spice and Wolf? Because that would be great. ;)