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Spice & Wolf Take Two!

It has been brought to my attention that some people weren’t thrilled with the cover of the first volume of the Spice & Wolf light novel. (Shocking, I know!) Seriously, though, we do very much take feedback from the fans to heart. It was based on that feedback that we ended up offering jackets featuring the original Japanese artwork to interested online retailers, and it was also based on that feedback that we opted to change our approach to the Spice & Wolf light novels going forward.

Therefore, for the second novel, each copy will come jacketed featuring a photographic cover to satisfy the requests of our retail partners who have asked that the books be made more appealing to a wider purchasing public. However, the printed covers beneath the jackets will feature the original illustrations that appeared on the Japanese editions of the book.

We want to thank everyone who has supported the Spice & Wolf light novels so far (and the first volume of the manga which just released and has been selling phenomenally!), and we hope that this change will only help to bolster your enthusiasm for the series!

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165 Responses to “Spice & Wolf Take Two!”

  1. That is some lucky cosplayer.

  2. Thank you for the compromise.

  3. Firstly, that photographic cover is a thousand times better than the first volume’s. Secondly, this is seriously a fantastic idea. You please everyone~ :D Thanks so much for really looking out for the fans!

  4. this one (left) is far better than the first, but I prefer the original one :D

  5. The new picture for the dust jacket is head and shoulders above the first volume’s new picture. I’m glad you responsded to the complaints about the style of the first volume’s new picture as well as the issue of the original Japanese cover versus the dust jacket. Thank you for trying so hard to find a happy middle ground between the fans and your bookstore customers. Dare I say that you’ve succeeded this time? I’m looking forward to having book 2 in hand. I loved book 1.

  6. [...] one of my new favorite publishers. I need to buy more from them starting now! They’ve just posted what they’ll be doing for the second volume of Spice and Wolf. Because of the strong [...]

  7. Here is proof of Yen Press’ superiority to the other companies. Not only did you achieve a mutually beneficial compromise between having the “mainstream” cover and the original Japanese art cover but you ALSO worked to make this photo cover much better than the first! I sincerely hope the trend of trying to make the photo cover match-up with the original cover will continue!

    Spice and Wolf will absolutely be keeping my support and I look forward to more light novels and manga to come! Keep up the great work!

  8. So it’s been switched for the second volume and onwards? This time, the jacket has the new cover and the one on the book itself is the original?

  9. EXCELLENT news, the new cover is MUCH better than the first one, and now everyone gets a choice of which cover they want. If this had happened with the first book it probably would have got no where near the stick it did.
    I still say the americanised cover could probably reflect the nature of the books (romance, economy and business etc) a bit better, but its obviously getting there.

    Either way good news, and even better because it shows how close the 2nd novel is (the internet phrase ‘DO WANT!’ comes to mind).

  10. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    this is a much better idea then the first
    but this time the US cover doesn’t look that bad

  11. wanderingwilbur Says:

    Looks good. Thanks!

  12. anonymoose Says:

    Thanks. Best decision you have ever made. My rage has temporarily subsided. It doesn’t excuse the problems with the manga, but at least, I won’t feel bad about buying another book I really want. Now reprint the first one the same way.

  13. I think this is a good compromise that you have come up with that will hopefully please everyone. I can’t wait until the second novel is released!

  14. einhorn303 Says:

    Hallelujah. Now I can do a ritual jacket burning.

  15. My my my, yen press you just blow my mind! I freaking love you!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!~ Now…

    I SHALL WAIT FOR BACCANO!!

    (wheee!! Dont have to worry about baccano’s beautiful art changing now ^^ *big BIG fan of Enami Katsumi*…..that is….if you do licensed baccano ;D …okay im sorry yen, i shouldnt assume you are bringing it over, i just, i love baccano to bits. xD)

    oh and yes, US cover doesnt look to bad :)

  16. @einhorn303 Now that’s what I would call a hard-core otaku!XD

  17. Good news everyone! This is great to hear! As others have said this is the perfect compromise.

    Looking forward to getting this volume as well as all the rest (hopefully beyond 6 as well!)

  18. LOL einhorn303.

  19. Hey, cool. Now just reprint volume 1 like this and I’ll start buying the series.

  20. Neko Musume Says:

    Will you be reprinting volume 1 with the original cover?

  21. Ha! Awesome! Another reason why Yen Press is so great–they actually listen to fan feedback and make changes based on it. Good luck with the sales ^^ (I also agree; the second new cover is much better than the first).

  22. You see, now that’s how you do a new cover!
    It didn’t necessarily have to mirror the original, but well done Yen Press, well done indeed.

  23. I dont mind the realistic cover, but i really dont like the amateurish feeling that covers you are picking give me. The just dont look very appealing at all.

    Though i think the dust cover solution is what you should have done in the first place.

    Im still mad that my original copy is so ugly. And you cant get the covers for them anymore.

  24. THANK YOU.

  25. Nice compromise this time. =D

    Your original cover art looks much better this time around too, so I don’t see how this could upset anyone like with the first cover. I hope you stick with this plan for future volumes; it seems like a good idea from a business and aesthetic point of view.

    Now if only you could license the Baccano! and Durarara!! light novels and do the same for them… (I can dream, right?)

  26. Fantastic decision, I’ll surely be picking up a copy.

    As has been said already, will you be reprinting vol. 1 with the original cover? If so, I’ll grab a copy of that as well!

  27. could you give bonus slip cover (dust jacket) for volume 1 in this volume 2 for free?,
    ’cause not everyone got the dust jacket for volume 1 (including me ><)

  28. Awesome, could you re release volume 1 like this so I can buy it? Thanks!

  29. For all those asking for a reprint of volume 1, would you all actually re-buy it if that were the case (assuming you bought the first edition)? Does it really mean that much to you?

  30. Thank you for listening to everyone the last time.

    I’ll ask the same question a lot of others are already asking – are you going to be re-printing the first one to be the same way? I still can’t justify picking up the first volume if you aren’t, it’ll look weird and I’m definitely more of a ‘collector’ than I usually like to believe myself to be. >.>

  31. Thank you for listening. Will get a copy for sure. Actually, release faster! :D

  32. This is fantastic news.

    But really, you should re-release the first volume with the original cover.

  33. YES! SOLD SOLD SOLD! Will buy in June! :D

  34. Seems to me like someone in marketing got their act together. While I have to commend you for this recent move, I still would LOVE to see the data for how many people you actually think that new style cover is going to appeal too. I do not know about you but a realistic looking human figure with 2 wolf ears and a bushy tail doesnt scream out to me. While it looks much better then volume 1′s cover, I still feel it does not portray who Yen Press is trying to sell too.

    However, it isn’t my decision. I appreciate you using the original artwork this time for the cover as well including the dust-jacket new-newstyle cover for the rest of us so that we may proceed to burn it in fashion.

    Ooooo maybe Yen Press should have a contest. “Show us your most creative hate for the new art covers and win a prize.”

  35. Thanks so much!! Now please change the Book Girl cover, i want the original one.

    “you should re-release the first volume with the original cover.”
    Second that.

  36. @Albright: Yes, I’d buy it. As a fan of Spice and Wolf I want the original cover.

    I have bought the previous edition, but I wouldn’t think twice about buying a reprint. Also, having volume 1 with that cover and all the other volumes with other kind of covers looks really weird. But maybe that’s just me.

  37. Anonymoose Says:

    @Albright

    YES! And, yes it does.

  38. This sounds like a good compromise. It’s nice to see that Yen really is as responsive its customers as it claims to be. However, I can’t help but find your solution a little humorous this time around. The reason behind the photographic cover is to “bring new readers into the manga community!” i.e. appeal to non weeaboos who would see a manga-style cover and immediately discard it. I can just imagine such a person’s surprise as they, after having purchased the book, remove the photographic cover to reveal the original nerdy weeaboo cover beneath it.

    Although, they probably would have figured out that it’s Japanese from the illustrations by then, but it still strikes me as funny.

  39. Awsome. Good job and the new cover. It’s much better than the previous. Also your choice to use tha original art on the printed cover and the Americanized one on the dust jacket is the right choice. Way to go Yen.

  40. @Albright – I’d buy a reprint of volume 1, since I didn’t buy the first printing. And as for:

    “For all those asking for a reprint of volume 1, would you all actually re-buy it if that were the case?”

    Surely that’s a non-issue – a reprint is a reprint. They don’t have to recall the current printing, just print the next one with dual covers.

  41. @Sammy – after the first book, you didn’t preorder months ago? :D

  42. I wouldn’t re-buy the first edition just over a cover. That’s just stupid. Didn’t anyone hear of the cliche “don’t judge a book by the cover?”

    I’ll keep the dust jacket on my original and keep the rest of the dust jackets in a box somewhere. Not that big of a deal.

  43. Alright! This just made my day, Thanks!!

  44. The US cover for this one is acceptable. I’ll still be getting the jacket, but I can deal with covers such as this. I said before that I understood the reasoning behind changing the cover, and didn’t mind at all (I’m glad that we can still get the original covers somehow).

    Before it wasn’t so much the cover change everyone was making a deal about, it was what the cover was actually changed to. I haven’t read the comments here yet, but I’m sure a majority of them are much more positive and supportive than last time around.

    Some replies were rather childish, but I’m sure people only threw such a childish fit before just out of anger in the moment. It wasn’t the cover change, more what the cover was changed to. This cover for the second one works fine, and is something you could bring out in public without drawing attention to yourself.

    I hope your efforts of marketing don’t go to waste, and that the novel project actually does stay alive. While I’ve read the books in Japanese, it’s always nice to have a copy in my native language to re-read for more enjoyment.

  45. I’d also like to add that the US cover being used as a jacket instead seems more fitting anyway. After all, it seems pretty unnatural to have a cover styled as it was, but then the first page you open up to has an illustration that is nowhere near what was shown on the cover. The gradual transition seems much more natural.

  46. I definitely agree that when you find it financially feasible, that you should re-print the first volume with the original art work. ;)

    As for the new book “Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime”, being an owner of the original Japanese edition, I SINCERELY hope that you do the same for it. It’s original art cover is perfect and I’d hate to see it get ruined.

    Also, as a quick suggestion, let me briefly say what other’s have above stated, “Please license Baccano!” lol

    (I’d also love it if you’d license the manga version of the GOSICK novels which are going to be made into an Anime later this year.)

    As for the people who STILL don’t understand why Yen Press keeps using a realistic cover, well, they already have told you. It’s because book stores will not stock the books anywhere but the Manga section UNLESS the cover is photo-realistic or non-animeish. It’s just a sad fact for right now.

    However, unlike most I liked the first cover more than this. At least the first version looked serious. This one just looks a bit silly. It looks sort of like a poster ad for “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” haha

    Anyways, great decision Yen Press. I love the compromise. ^_^

    Also, this will make you the first American light novel publisher to print their books with slip covers, just like the Japanese. haha

    Although for a different reason than they do it.

  47. @Albright

    Do a small reprint, but yes, I would absolutely buy the book (for the 3rd time actually).

  48. Good stuff, in fact its a pretty decent design this time compared to volume one.

    I already have a volume one and if I can gaurantee I’ll get a 2nd printing copy with the original art on the cover i’ll place an order. Guess i’ll just have to wait and see if v1 get a re-printing.

  49. [...] 28, 2010 This past Sunday, Yen Press posted online the official English cover for the second volume of Spice and Wolf, which is due for a release this [...]

  50. Does this mean that the first volume will soon get the same treatment, or will it forever be with the new cover?

  51. Excuse the double postage, please

    @Albright
    Well, of course. The only reason I didn’t buy the first book was because the cover was god-awful and the only way for me to obtain the original cover was through the internet, which I couldn’t do. So if a reprint with the original cover was done, I’d jump at the chance and buy it.

  52. I was wondering, on the dust jacket issue… does anyone remove the jacket before reading the book so as not to damage it? I know I do.

  53. [...] scene – namely Spice & Wolf and Book Girl which have been licensed by Yen Press recently. Spice & Wolf in particular due to the demands of fans got itself the cover scheme for the second… – which can only be a good thing. The other thing about Yen Press as a publisher is that they [...]

  54. I am still trying to figure it out though. I appreciate what you are doing for the community but who are you guys trying to please? The anime/light novel crowd or the Twilight crowd? “One who attacks both fronts loses first.”

    If you were to attach the new art-style as the primary cover, surely some of the “Twilight”/Young teen readers would pick it up, but as soon as they see those first few pages and the illustrations/art-style, they are going to put it right back on the shelf. Maybe not all of them but I am willing to bet most of them will.

    On the other hand, you put this new style on there because you do not want this book placed in the manga section of a store due to lost sales and the American manga market showing less revenue every year. However, in a posting you made a while ago you said “Retailers will NOT CARRY our books unless they have this kind of cover on it.” I call BS. In that case you need to find a new outlet to go through to sell your products. Preferably one that charges you less and does not care what kind of product cover you have.

    Any retailer who refuses to stock your product because of a cover-choice has their priorities completely backwards. Not only that, I would have been more offended to stock your 1st volumes new art cover then the original one.

    I guess what I am trying to get at here as a consumer of yours Yen Press is the following, “Why must you put this new cover on the book at all?” Pressure? Retailer Demands? Shoddy Marketing/Localization? Just to screw with the original community?

    Just come out and tell us, it would make all of us feel a lot better and relaxed to understand why you are doing it this way. As I said before. Sure you have helped out the originally consumer now by doing it this way. But now you are just hurting your new fanbase because once they take a look inside the book…..its getting placed back on the shelf.

  55. Thank you, definitely better to have the new cover as the jacket. Frankly I still don’t like the new cover, but it’s not a big deal since its in dust jacket form. :)

    Here’s my two cents about your new cover though. You aren’t winning anyone over with that cover. Take a lesson from TokyoPop, they’ve successfully made new covers clearly not aimed at the anime light novel audience by making it minimalistic. A photo of a cosplayer is not American, nor does it appeal to anyone.

    Do some quick “market research” and learn a valuable lesson about cover design by just heading to Amazon.com and looking at their covers. Generally a picture of a person is not on the cover, even if it is, it usually isn’t the focal point. You see scenery a lot, swirly designs from time to time, maybe even artistic cartoons and such. I want you to TRY and find me a cover that looks like the one you have.

    In any case, I’m not trying to be harsh, I’m very happy with the outcome, and rest assured, I will be buying a copy of the book, just giving my opinion.

  56. Good news, happy you’re including both covers. Still not a fan of the Americanized cover, I’m finding I actually prefer the cover from the first novel to the new one. But the original cover is great, glad to have it.

    I agree with those above who say that, when financially feasable, if ever, reprinting the first novel with the original cover. I would rebuy to get it so that my whole collection matches up better.

    Thanks for listening to us fans and offering a proper compromise this time around, as the slip cover of the past volume didn’t appear to be available anywhere, except Rightstuf. Hopefully this works out well and future releases will continue to have the original artwork.

  57. I couldn’t be any happier with this new strategy unless you were actually paying me.

    Now everyone wins.

    I absolutely love you guys. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!! <3

  58. @Ralph

    They HAVE told us, several times why. lol

    Bookstores cant sell books with illustrated covers well currently, so they DON’T WANT THEM anywhere BUT the Manga section.

    Yen Press is using a photo cover so that they CAN be placed front and center and get seen. For instance, at my local Barnes and Noble, Spice and Wolf vol. 1 is in the middle of the store along with the other new “DEBUT NOVELS”.

    This would have never happened without a cover change.

    Though it appears that with Bungaku Shoujo (Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime), they are trying to use a photo cover along with the original illustration at the same time. I think they did a good job, that is if the leaked cover image now circulating online is real.

    http://ranobecafe.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/bungaku-shoujo-english-cover-leaked/

  59. Thanks for the info Hassler. I’m glad to see this edition has the original art work as standard, though I must say, you’ve done an even better job on the live photo cover, easily superior to the first volume’s… yeah…

    Well, in any case, thanks for keeping us informed about this. =)

  60. Awesome, just awesome. Really, many thanks for this decision and I appreciate you took in all the eh.. feedback from the fans. If this is not fulfulling their wishes, they are better off in another ‘fandom’. This novel is an instant buy for me, and I’m glad to see all your titles are selling so well.
    Keep up the good work :)

  61. @PV
    No one else has…but nearly all of those light novel lines have failed. Even when Tokyopop releases a new volume, it’s usually after a long period of time and the book is riddled with mistakes. YP has already made it clear that retailers prefer these photo covers, and currently seems to be the only company with any success in the light novel business. Even most, if not all, of VIZ’s best-selling light novels are for existing series, such as Death Note or Full Metal Alchemist.

  62. @Matt:

    Wait? So you are telling me that the bookstores told YP that they cannot give them a book with an illustrated cover on it because they will put it in the manga section? Therefore if YP wants their book placed in a different section they have to put a different cover on it? I dont think so.

    First of all, it is not for the retailer to decide what cover a publisher puts on a book. Second, that is the dumbest excuse I have ever heard, not to mention complete BS. There are hundreds and thousands of adults, childrens, fiction, and non-fiction books that have a cartoon/imaginary cover drawn on them and they are not placed in the manga section. Not only that, it just further proves my point that they need to find someone else to do business with.

    This is why YP needs to come out and really tell us why they are adding these new covers to their books. It cant HURT anything, and it lets their consumers give them feedback on what they think might be a viable solution/alternative for their books to sell better. None of us want to see S&W/YP go down and under right?

    Just a thought you know….

  63. Quite frankly the first cover made Spice and Wolf look like it belonged next to trashy sex novels, the announced change made my day.
    Definitely going to pre-order a copy when the shipment date looms closer!

  64. @albeit
    yes, definitely yes, i will buy it the reprint version for the volume 1(the 3 times if you gonna reprint it),
    although i’m much appreciate it if you give bonus for the slip cover for volume one >< (didn't got it) :(

  65. THANK YOU. Really, this is a perfect solution! And by the way, that left cover is much better than your previous attempt, although I still personally prefer the original. I recently lent the first volume to a friend and she said that if she had seen that cover in a book store she wouldn’t have even touched it, let alone consider reading it.

  66. Wow, that is an awesome decision. If you reprint vol 1 in the same way, I’ll definitely get a copy of that, too.

  67. now that i think of it
    i think everyone is right i would buy a reprint of volume 1
    even though i already have it i would rebuy it if it was reprinted in this way

  68. Judging from the comments, it would seem you have found a workable solution, people at Yen Press. Congratulations!

    Personally, I was going to start collecting this series either way, but I really appreciate seeing the original covers on them, if at all possible. For that same reason, I also hope that a rerelease of the first volume, in the style of the rest of the series, will surface at some point. I’ll be staking out the news section.

    Cheers.

  69. As well as being very happy to hear that there will still be original artwork visible, I am *estatic* at the MUCH MORE TASTEFUL second volume cover. this one is HEAD AND SHOULDERS above the first one, which I was embarrassed to take into public. Great job!

  70. @Ralph

    “OP: Wait? So you are telling me that the bookstores told YP that they cannot give them a book with an illustrated cover on it because they will put it in the manga section? Therefore if YP wants their book placed in a different section they have to put a different cover on it? I dont think so.”

    Actually, Ralph, this is absolutely true. I used to work at a Waldenbooks, and light novels, even if they were meant to be in the fantasy section (and sometimes they *were* shelved in manga on our computer anyway because of their cover art) were CONSTANTLY mis-shelved in Manga. A retailer sees the cover art, thinks “This is a manga book”, and shelves it in manga. For Yen Press to reach a wider audience, changing the cover art is an absolutely sound business practice.

    Now, I still greatly disliked the cover art for the first volume. It looked like it belonged in the erotica section. (and seriously, if I had still been working as a retailer, I would have shelved it there. It’s even the trade size that most erotica books are, along with the skanky bad pshooped cover.)

  71. [...] This comes after numerous feedback from fans regarding the new cover illustration (which was aimed at American mass-market readers) for the 1st volume of the novel. (Source: ANN / Yen Press) [...]

  72. Neutral_Eyes Says:

    Excellent! – Both the much more tasteful mainstream-appeasing cover and the decision to use the original artwork underneath! I’m also wondering if there will be a reprint of Vol. 1 in similar fashion at some point?

  73. Nathan Treichel Says:

    as a person who is working on the english translation of the DS Spice and Wolf Video games, I proud owner of volume 1 (still trying to get that new cover for the book), and someone who has a preorder for season 2 of the anime. I love your work with this series (even if the manga has a HIGH price). my dad likes fantasy stories but cringes a little at anime, so I was able to trick him into reading volume 1 (which he loved), then I should him the anime. unlike the previous cover which I did not like for multiple reasons (not just because it was not the original). however I am LIKING the art you made for this new volume. it is tasteful, well done with good detail, and I like the purple and green. one thing I would like you guys to do with spice and wolf though

    PLEASE DO A HARDCOVER release of these books. unlike haruhi which I like but am not in love with, I LOVE SPICE AND WOLF and would pay the money for a hard cover release, (maybe a reversible cover for the hard cover release).
    never less I can not wait to buy your version of book 2, and I can not wait for books 3-5, especially book 4 since it was skipped in the anime

  74. Really like the combo jacket-original decision. The ‘real life’ pic is pretty good this time except for the tail’s texture and curve. I’d have had it match her hair more in texture and animals simply don’t run with their tails that way so it instinctively looks “wrong”.

    That said… yeah I’d buy hardcovers of this but either way its great. I’ve been working my way through the original japanese novels and I don’t mind saying the economics sections can get pretty brutal to translate.

  75. @ Albright: I would definitely buy Vol. 1 if reissued this way, as I refused to purchase it the first time around. And I won’t buy vol. 2 at all until vol. 1 is available that way. No sense having missing volumes. But I refuse to pay for inferior product, which the original cover was.

    @ Matt: The idea that bookstores are putting this anywhere else is laughable on face value. I’ve visited bookstores in five cities across Texas, including Midland, Abilene, San Antonio, and Dallas, and multiple chains, including Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Hasting, Waldenbooks, Books a Million, etc. Not because I was looking for this book. I’m just an avid reader.
    In no instance was the photo cover of Spice and Wolf vol. 1 located anywhere BUT the manga section of these stores.

  76. Khellamendra Says:

    It shouldn’t be shocking that people weren’t thrilled about the Americanized cover. It was an amateur job and looked like the cover of an erotic novel. Overall it was not the kind of cover you would want people to see and it certainly wouldn’t grab a broader audience. All light novels, regardless of covers, that I have are always in the manga section. As I pointed out last time, it will still have manga type illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. Anyone that picks it up and flips through it will see the books. If they weren’t interested in manga before then why would they now.

    I think you need to have a word with your retail partners about how changing the cover does not magically change the kind of book it is. You can put whatever kind of cover you want on it but the inside will not change. Lying to the consumer is the fastest way to get them to never trust you again much less want to buy the produce. Show it for what it is if you want repeat business. You also have the problem of inconsistency as you now have one book with the Americanized travesty with the original Japanese cover as a sleeve while this one (if I’m reading this right) has the original Japanese cover with an Americanized sleeve. What would have made the most sense was to test the waters. You could have posted that you were thinking of using a different cover and explaining why. Then we could have given our feedback.

    Granted at the same time I think it was the scrabble for people wanting that sleeve that probably played a hand in you changing.

    What I will give you is that at least the second Americanized cover is not as bad. The composition is much better and doesn’t make me cringe as one who is studying Graphic Design. I’m not too fond of the use of the radial gradient though. I don’t see why you didn’t just leave it completely purple. Having the green in the middle puts too much focus and emphasis on the “&”. You never want to emphasis the less important stuff it just doesn’t make sense.

    This whole thing is one big mess so I definitely won’t be purchasing any of them until Yen Press sorts things out and figures out what solution they actually want to give.

  77. I already bought Volume 1 through rightstuf for the limited edition dust jacket, but I’m willing to repurchase it if it’s reprinted with an americanized dust jacket like the new volumes will be done. :D

    I’m a collector, and I love for my collection to be pristinely perfect! Not to have an oddball in their. That’s why I’m still angry at Bandai for screwing up my limited edition collection of Lucky Star DVD’s.

  78. Thank you so much. The original cover art is what it is. ORIGINAL. It also goes with the original art inside the book. We are fans and we want the original illustrations kept intact. Horo doesn’t look anything like what the americanized cover for volume 1 suggests and frankly, it’s just plain ugly. It’s not eye catching at all. I’m very happy you guys have decided to provide a dust cover of the new art to make your retail partners happy and keep the original art on the face of the book to make everyone else happy. I will now be buying these books. ^^

  79. Thank you so much! I’m a huge fan of the original artwork so I’m glad you guys decided to do things this way. As others have said, it would be great if you could do this with volume 1, but I won’t get my hopes up. I bought the first book and I can’t wait to buy the second. I’ve actually already read the first few books in English via Baka-Tsuki (before they were taken down), but I’m an avid believer of “If you like it, buy it”, so I’ll be doing just that. Plus, the translations aren’t exactly the same, so reading through them again is still a unique experience. I’ve got the release dates of volume 2 & 3 in my phone calendar, so I’m looking forward to June 15th and November 16th.

    On that note, I think the release schedule is way too long. It would be great if the books were released every 3-4 months like they are in Japan rather than every 6. At this rate, it won’t be until June 2016 that we’re caught up with what’s currently been released in Japan. I seriously think that’s way too big of a stretch. If you guys want to keep peoples’ interest, especially someone who’s picking up Spice and Wolf for the first time, you need to keep feeding them more rather than making them wait for so long. These books are fast reads (barely 200 pages with illustrations), so a 6 month wait is completely unjustified. You can easily read through these books in a day, so making people wait 6 months for the next book (for the next 6+ years) is just going to cause people to loose interest. Once again, you guys seriously need to get this series on a 3-4 month release schedule as they are in Japan. Or maybe consider releasing an eBook version every 3-4 months and the paperback every 6 months. Either way, you guys have to change your plan.

  80. Call me stunned…..and a fan of Yen Press…

    Remember folks, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over again and expect a different result.

    Yen Press messed up on the first one, I still 100% believe that and it stopped me from buying the first novel. Now, not only has this “bolstered my enthusiasm” for the series, I will try to find a version of the 1st novel with the dust jacket cover? Why, do you ask? Isn’t the first one still a flawed release? Yes, but now Yen Press has proven themselves to NOT be a flawed publisher. I will always support a company that listens to it’s fans. Mind you, this was an easy decision for them since they could do this while still pleasing their retail partners, but the point is they didn’t HAVE to. Especially if they can market it to the general public using the non-Anime covers.

    Anyway, enough gushing, I could have said all of that with just one sentence:

    Bravo Yen Press, bravo.

  81. I am a Spanish fan of this series and I would like to buy light novels (I love reading). However, as someone posted, I won’t do it unless de first volume is reprinted in the same way as this and next ones. I wouldn’t mind paying a large amount of transport fee (international), but I won’t do it unless I have all volumes with the same cover style.
    I hope you reprint volume 1. I feel I must support High Quality series (such as Naruto and Bleach, I buy all manga volumes), and this one has also another reason: I would like a third anime season.
    Thank you for translating this novel. I will be waiting for a Volume 1 reprint.

    Post Data: Sorry if something is horribly written. It’s been 3 years without using English.

  82. gurlgotkat Says:

    the photographic cover looks better to me imo. the one on the left seems to be marketed to an older audience with the idea of romance, while the one on right seems more childish. the right cover seemed to be geared to those that read fanfiction (or something that is a frivolous in nature) while the left cover i get a more serious impression.

    it is nice that yen press was able to listen to fans and compromise. i never read the book but i can understand how hardcore fans want an experience that is rendered as close to the orignal as possible.
    -off topic
    I also really like the formatting of your manhwa books. it’s more close to the orignal compared to some other companies (*cough tokyopop cough*) yenpress and udon comic(although they seem to be on hiatus) are my most favorite manwha publishers. please consider maybe translating shipwrecked! by hye na jung or picking up other publishers’s projects that are in limbo.(duck prince, masca, queen’s knight, sweet and sensitive, dvd, and etc.)

  83. Good, now I can buy your books.

  84. Sweet, now it looks like something I can actualy read in public rather than a cheap erotic novel and the origional cover is good too, will definatly start my spice and wolf collection with volume 2.

  85. got my copy 2 days ago from barnes and noble looks great and i love the fact that i can take the english cover off
    now if you guys could just do a reprint of the first one in this way i would be happy to rebuy it
    ill just give my original copy to someone or keep it as a back up

  86. So, my bookstore got in vol. 2. Guess where they stocked it, westernized slip jacket and all.

    If you said the manga section, give yourself a gold star. Even with the western covers, it seems, Yen Press, that your retailers still aren’t going to place it in the general fiction section, not even in sci-fi or fantasy. No matter how you dress it up, it’s always going to find itself shelved in the manga section.

    You might save yourself further printing costs in the near future and reprint any and all subsequent volumes without the slip jacket, and with the original art.

    And again, not buying vol. 2 until vol. 1 is made available with the proper art as the proper cover. Just a reminder.

  87. I don’t see why you guys didn’t do this for Vol 1….

    As the dude said above me “not buying vol. 2 until vol. 1 is made available with the proper art as the proper cover.”

    Fix it, fix it now!

  88. Jellorific Says:

    >And again, not buying vol. 2 until vol. 1 is made available with the proper art as the proper cover. Just a reminder.

    Same here. I don’t think you people at Yen Press don’t realize what you’re losing with that… Cover you made.

  89. Wait volume 2 is out?

    Haven’t seen it in any bookstores within the 2 citys near me, guess Yenpress got it so far out of the manga section that it left the stores altogether.

  90. To be honest, I wouldn’t buy the first book because I didn’t like the idea of people seeing me reading a book with a naked wolf girl on the front, so I’m glad there are retailers offering the original as a dust jacket.

  91. Great, now just release a high res picture of the first cover, so people who happened to live in a place where they could not get them from “interested online retailers” then could print them out.

  92. Got my copy of vol 2 in the mail the other day. My only issue with the cover is that the spine design without the jacket is significantly different from the first volume, so conceivably if you want it to look ‘clean’ on your bookshelf, you kind of need to leave the jacket on. That said, it’s just one of many books on the shelf – I buy these things to read, after all.

    The whole presentation of the book is otherwise really great. I’m a little weirded out by the massive form factor of these books, though. It feels like they’re twice the size of regular Japanese light novels…

  93. Oh, as an additional note – those of you who are ‘boycotting’ the series until the first volume is re-released with a new cover… While I can envision a scenario in which a second edition of the book is released with a new cover, if you’re not actually investing in the series at this point, there may never be an economically viable reason for doing that.

    In a ways, you’r really only doing yourself a disservice. You’re missing out on a pretty cool story. And frankly, if you’re embarrassed by a picture of a wolf-lady, but not by that of a pre-pubescent cartoon of a wolf girl… Do you perhaps think society will think… what… better of you?

    I’m being a little facetious, obviously. But seriously these guys have already listened to your first round of complaints and done the whole dust jacket thing. That’s not too common in the publishing industry as near as I know. Perhaps you should reward that kind of behavior rather than childishly sticking your heels in?

  94. @ Nick:

    Buying the second volume without the first would be pointless. Having mismatched volumes would be pointless.
    There’s no reason to buy the second volume, improved as it may be over the first, until we can have assurances that the first will be available in a matching format.

  95. Please don’t start with the “pre-pubesent” crap here, i am quite tired of seeing that word… as for me i don’t care what society thinks.

    It’s not really all that common to change the cover either imo.
    The dust jacket idea came too late though, they should have done that to begin with.
    The problem i have is that the first Vol. is going to have a different type of cover from the rest of the series.

    Reward them for screwing up and not really fixing the problem? Once the problem is really fixed then there will be some rewards….

  96. [...] equivalent. The publisher, Yen Press, stated that this was due to demands from bookshops. However this time, they've printed the book with the original Japanese cover, but put a photographic dust cover on [...]

  97. @Bweb:
    Having two volumes of something with mismatching covers is pointless? What about the point of being able to read it? That seems like a pretty good point… What exactly are you doing with these books?

    And by that logic, if Yen Press continued to use the wolf-lady photo covers, you’d start buying into the series? If that’s the case, then buy into it now, since the second volume happes to come with a handy-dandy dust jacket with a wolf-lady on it, and it matches the first volume. So all your volumes will look the same.

    @Gogetters:
    Alright – I promise I won’t bring up the pre-pubescent thing up again. Unless we’re talking about Hanamaru Kindergarten. In which case it’s all up for grabs.

    My point about rewarding Yen Press was that yes, they realised they did something which really didn’t go down well with a lot of their customers, so they did their best to correct it for volumes not yet published. Now, if somebody does something like that, and you reward that kind of behaviour, then in the future they’re more likely to do things the ‘right’ way from the start. On the other hand, if you just keep yelling that they’ve screwed up, and pretend as though you’re somehow holding them to ransom, it’s giving them the message that it really doesn’t matter what they do, there are people out there that are just always going to find faults with their products.

    The problem with this approach is that it basically makes the problem with the cover out to be something that’s really only of importance to the type of person who is never satisfied with anything, and so not really something they need to bother about (or could do anything about). Which is kind of a shame, since yeah, it would be nice to have the original artwork.

    You’re not rewarding the original screw up, you’re rewarding the positive attitude that is trying to appease you. I just kind of think that attitude is far more likely to get you what you actually want than your current approach. What I’m saying here is that I believe there are more constructive ways of doing what you’re doing.

  98. Anyone know of a retailer that offers the first volume with the dust jacket? Supposedly amazon doesn’t ship them with the jacket.

  99. @Boodle:
    I don’t know who does, but I know bookdepository.co.uk doesn’t… Are any online retailers even doing that, still?

    You may have to cast your net wider… Isn’t there one included in one of the back-issues of Yen+?

  100. I love how you guys carelessly delete any comment that says anything remotely bad about your company.
    I’m all for censorship, but you got rid if three comments that, if you look closely, might help your company’s profits.
    You’ve seen how many people don’t like your covers, and now that the new “cover” is the dust jacket, more people are willing to buy.
    So you should finish the deal, and reprint the first novel like that. Thousands would probably buy it. If you’re really unsure about it, go onto any anime forum and ask the Spice and Wolf fans there what they think about the cover and whether they would buy your cover or the original.

  101. I hate how you all removed the books from online and cant read them, second of all it wouldnt be a big deal if you were selling them all now or at least soon. Why are you waiting 3 years!? You will lose customers and money if you wait!

  102. @Bob
    It seems like they’re going to somehow release their titles online since they’re not going to publish the magazine anymore…

  103. I’m really glad they were able to come up with a compromise for the cover :D I wasn’t nuts about the original novel cover but I wanted to read it so that’s not enough to make me not want to buy it.

    So is there actually a dust jacked for vol 1 with the Japanese art or is this split just from vol 2 on? I would pay to get a dustjacked with it for my first volume though I understand later volumes will be the reverse of that.

  104. The release schedule needs to be moved up, preferably to at least 3 releases per year. Waiting 6 years to finish reading a series is really frustrating

  105. also since the anime seasons have about 2-3 novels per season, they are already about to overtake the light novel’s location in the storyline assuming season 3 is announced (which is pretty likely given the series’ popularity). You guys are gonna lose big sales if the anime sales overtake your slow release schedule, since people would rather just watch the anime subs than wait 6 years for the light novels to be released. If you released at minimum 3-4 per year then that would help your sales overall since it would be slightly earlier than the anime series and would boost popularity of both.

  106. @Anon, Bob I know many people are upset about scanlations coming down because it means they lose the ability to read material simultaneously, but I’m afraid it’s a necessary step. The Yen Plus magazine going online is going to give us an opportunity to release titles faster, so we are hoping that we will be able to reduce the delay in bringing titles to you. I know it’s frustrating to wait, but we are committed to releasing quality product and that takes time to develop. We appreciate your patience!

  107. All you need to do i know where to look and you can find scanlations easy.

    Once it’s on the internet you cannot completely remove once people download it.

  108. It’s ironic really a novel that involves economics is being butchered because of the people behind it wanting more money.

  109. I just received volume 2 from amazon.de (and yes it is shipped with dust jacked). In my opinion Yen Press is doing great work [ except the price d-; ], but anyway I’m happy to finally acquire official translation of this novel (fan translation of W&S is also very good but it is pleasure to read printed book), and finally: Good work – keep it up.

    It is just my or the paper quality is different from first volume (or the first volume spent to much time collecting dust on the shelf)?

  110. I won’t bother with a thorough post, but just to reiterate what others have said:

    1)Please license Baccano and Durarara and you will have my money on every release day.

    2)I’ll wait for a reprint with the Americanized dustjacket before buying.

    3)I don’t think the new covers worked because both my local BAM and B&N had them stocked right next to the manga version, in the manga section, where I expected it to be… also, people might get confused because the manga was sealed with a “mature light novel, etc” seal on the back. It confused even me, specifically there for the novel, for a moment.

  111. Huh, 6 months to translate a light novel? And 6 years to release them all.
    If you start learning Japanese now, you can read them in Japanese within 2 years. You really should speed up the releases.

  112. Yea, I agree. It would be faster to learn how to read japanese (and have another cool skill) than to wait 6 years for full release… either that or just watch the anime. There’s no way it should take 6 months to translate a book thats already been written… thats like 2-3 pages per day.

  113. @ Nick,

    If merely reading a book were my objective, and its appearance didn’t matter to me, there’s a wonderful facility that I like to call a Public Library, where I can feel free to read whatever is available (And I have an in with the person who selects the books to order).

    So, no, there is no point in spending my hard earned money on an eyesore. A mismatched set of covers is definitely an eyesore.

    And there’s no reason for the Americanized covers in the first place, because, as has been pointed out not only by me a few times, but others as well, these books aren’t being shelved anywhere but the manga section.

    Since most casual readers give the manga section the stinkeye and avoid it like the plague, it means that none of them will ever see the Americanized covers there.

    Yen Press would do well to ditch the dust jacket with Western cover, save themselves some printing costs in the process, and just go with the original covers solely.

    And then ensure that all volumes, past and future, share that format.

    Seriously, the pretense that these books are going to be shelved elsewhere and attract newer readers? Reality is not backing this up. Not at a single one of the bookstores I’ve ever visited.

  114. I absolutely agree that the publication would have to be faster, because waiting six years to complete this knowing that in Japan came in just four years is desperately tragic. I think that publishers would have to do something about it.

  115. Nicely done solution, one of the reasons I praise Yen Press over its competitors this year.

    I wasn’t particularly annoyed with the photo-realistic covers … I was only perturbed that the original covers were in danger of going missing.

    The tail on volume two photo art seems a bit odd (fur is really tough to draw apparently).

  116. Today was announced that the S&W novel series are entering their final story arc :
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-09-09/spice-and-wolf-light-novel-series-enters-final-story-arc

    Meaning that it could be one or two more volumes before the end of the series.

  117. Hey there. I just wanted to say that I have no problem with Americanized covers in general, but for these you might want to work on them a little. The concepts you use are ok (such as Holo running here), but the execution is a little lacking (The hair effect on the tail isn’t very convincing–it looks kind of fluffy as opposed to flowing hairs. And having her against a white background is boring).

  118. We have to wait for 7 years until it published? Do smth pls.
    And i hope Yen Press will not drop it after volume 6

  119. i don’t care for the commercialized western cover. i understand using original eastern artwork makes it seem like “just another anime thing” to unfamiliar customers. Truly though, i’m looking forward to purchasing the novel series with the actual artwork on hardcover….

  120. To be honest this cover is a whole lot better than the previous one and the fact that the western version is a dust jacket and not the other way around, is a huge plus. However the publication dates are ridiculous, at the current rate we would have to wait 7+ years to read all of the novels and that is just unacceptable. I honestly believe that you can learn intermediate Japanese within less time and buy the original novels. This isn’t just the case with Spice and Wolf but it’s also an issue with Book Girl which by the way was also plagued by a re-design of the cover and not a very good one, honestly. I understand translation is a factor here but by 2012 there will only be 6 novels available? Absurd.

  121. I’m quite pleased with the photographic covers, actually, myself, and I applaud the decision of Yen Press to continue to use them on the jacket and keep the original cover as well.

    Greatly enjoying the story so far, and while I wish that they would hit the shelves more quickly, I certainly wish for a quality translation over a quick one. Given that most novelists writing in English aren’t putting out a book every six months, I don’t expect Yen to be able to translate a book in less than that time.

    Perhaps it’s just the perspective of age (39) and having been an avid science fiction fan in earlier days, waiting quite literally years between new novels from my favorite authors, that allows me to say, “Give Yen a break, you whippersnappers! Let them do a good job, rather than rush it and come out with terrible translations.”

    Bonus points to Yen for spotting this series and bringing it to us to read!

  122. I really like the original japanese cover, and I especially liked the way the title was set up on the original japanese light novels, but you can’t have everything.

  123. Someone please do something about the release schedule!!! A handful of fans could do a great job translating the entire series in 1 year rather than 7/8 + years since they are up to volume 15 now in japan!!!

    Having the light novel licesensed was the worse thing that happened. A fan-translation for the entire series would already be out by now if the series hadn’t been licensed… come on!!!

  124. @brendon

    While I may agree in sentiment regarding speed and potential quality of release, I don’t think that would be entirely the case here.

    Yen Press can speak directly with Ms. Hasekura regarding translation points and plot events – and while this may add the small possibility (undesired by fans) of retroactive editing (such as the case with Masamune Shirow’s works) – it is worth the time for the creator’s proper, full nuances to be maintained.

    Also, it would be extremely unlikely any fan translation would receive a nice tangible printing like this one has received. In an ideal world, fan translations would be Creative Commons licensed and picked up/collaborated upon by publishing companies (such as Yen) for a final mass-market item, but legal realities prevent that. I do agree that I own some items where the fan translations are of much higher quality than the official release, but I support them nonetheless. (An example being the release of S&W on a *highly* MPEG-compressed 2-disc set by Funimation.)

    For what it is worth, I enjoy this series in any language, any format it is released it. And like you, I also eagerly await its new releases.

  125. Can you guys hurry up with the translation of the entire series? I don’t want to buy the books if the entire series isn’t complete yet.

  126. Will you be re-releasing Vol.1 with the original illustration as the actual cover with the photographic cover as the dust jacket like Vol.2 onwards?

    I really want to pick up this series but I don’t want to have one of the books to be an odd inconsistency.

  127. Also since there doesn’t seem to be a comment section for the S&W manga, I’ll ask here.

    Why do you put the Parental Advisory label on the front cover of the manga instead of on the back?

  128. @Go Sorry, it’s a legal thing :(

  129. @Abby Maybe they need a new Legal dept. I wouldn’t even call the content in the manga all that explicit. I’ve see other manga with far more explicit content and they were rated 16+ with the labels on the back.

  130. @Go I agree, most of the content isn’t explicit, but the nature of the nudity in the first volume means that we have to rate the whole series mature. And our editorial department likes to be upfront about these matters with customers when something is mature. Please forgive us!

  131. @Abby I’d like to I really would but these issues with the covers bother me too much and I’ve waited so long for these to come out.

    “the nature of the nudity in the first volume means that we have to rate the whole series mature”
    The nudity in the first vol wasn’t even all that explicit, again I’ve seen far more explicit content in 16+ manga with the label on the back. Maybe you needs a new editorial department too.

    Also to be quite frank if someone gets offended by “explicit content” because they didn’t take two seconds to look at the back of the book, thats their fault not yours.

  132. I have to agree with brendon, please speed up the release schedule!! I really want to buy the whole set but i don’t want to wait 6 years!

    I would be happy to buy each new novel on release day if it was release every 3 months instead of 6

  133. So… I’m not sure if anyone’s gonna read this since this post was from over a year ago, but is there a chance of a second edition of the first novel that will have the same scheme as the following novels (japanese printed cover, photographic jacket)? Because I’m pretty keen on buying it again, simply for the consistency. I’d likely just give the original away to a friend. I hadn’t realised they were different until they actually arrived, and I was frankly rather disappointed; so I did a bit of research and found this blog entry.

  134. @Harimau Reprinted editions of Spice and Wolf 1 will be treated as the rest of the series, with the original art printed on the cover and the photographic cover as a slipjacket.

  135. jellorific Says:

    @Abby
    For serious reals?
    When is this reprint scheduled?

  136. @ Abby
    WAIT, you guys are going to reprint it?! Really? I love you guys so much.

  137. @ Abby
    Do you have a rough estimated time frame of when the reprint will hit the shelves? I’ve actually been interested in the novels, but I was busy attempting to find a copy with the limited edition slip cover before buying any of the others.

    I’d be ecstatic to buy the reprint when it comes out.

  138. i rilly love this searies i gest cant find the lite novles near me i live in a small town in the U.S. and i cant find a web site where i can read them :(

  139. So I was browsing around Kinokuniya today and I noticed that Volume 1 had been reprinted with the proper cover. Thank you for fixing your mistake. As promised in my earlier post from over a year ago, I bought it and will catch up with the rest soon. I have faith that you will eventually finish this series, please don’t let me down!

  140. @nyoron Glad you’ve decided to pick up S&W and hope you enjoy it! Once we have dates for the rest of the series, they’ll be updated on the S&W novel page.

  141. Just wanted to thank you guys for re-printing, and dealing with our childish demands. :) Speaking of, I’d really like to finish reading this wonderful tale. Please keep it going, and please, do pick up the pace. :) Thank you yenpress, and good job. :)

  142. Thank you Yen press, I recently discovered this awesome series, I’m waiting for Vol 5 to come out so i can order all the 5 volumes. =)

  143. Hello! I would like to know if the reprinted version of volumen 1 is already available to online retailers? Thank you.

  144. Yes is the reprinted volume available to online retiailers yet? Really hoping to order one but I wanted to have the original cover.

  145. Looming interval Says:

    @Abby yes when will the reprinted version be released? Really want to get started on the books.

  146. @Everyone asking about reprints on Spice & Wolf 1, you will have to contact the online retailer you are buying from to see what stock they are selling, whether they still have first editions or the reprinted edition~

  147. I do agree with a few of the comments basing off the releases of the volumes. Every six months is far too long of a stretch between each volume. If perchance YenPress, you could speed up the volume publications, I’m sure many fans would be grateful. That being said, please don’t take this the wrong way and assume that I’m disregarding how much work is put into translating and the work the team behind these releases puts into each volume, but I’m positive that you guy can shorten the span of each release to less than 6 months.

  148. Can’t you reduce the 6 months waiting period to 2 months? I mean, people are willing to pay for this shit, so add some more staff to speed up your work-

    Some of us may be dead already before you finish the series!

  149. PS: Can you give us the ISBN number of the reprinted v01?

  150. @stan ISBN numbers don’t change when a book is reprinted.
    As for the release dates, you may see some increase in the schedule for the volumes we haven’t posted yet, but don’t expect one every two months~!

  151. Hitokiri_Ace Says:

    Oh please do speed it up.. This is a great story, and I can’t wait to support it all the way to Volume 17. Will you guys keep it up until then? I heard some people saying you might drop it at 6? I’m worried. :(

  152. Quote:// Why do you put the Parental Advisory label on the front cover of the manga instead of on the back?

    I always thought that was for advertising. (A little false, but oh well.)

    While we’re on the subject of childish demands, is there any chance there will be getting updated to e-books? Considering that no stores that I know of actually stock these (in Canada, at least.) I think the Kindle/Nook/Kobo sales would be surprisingly strong. (OTOH, I suppose the dilution might reduce the paper form demand below threshold for printing. hmm, ah well, at least you won’t be getting lots of returns.)

  153. THERE IS NO CHANGE WITH THE SPEED.

    It’s still long 6 month wait.
    Don’t you guys want our money?

    Seriously-
    Facts:
    Total:17 volumes
    completed: 5 volumes
    remaining: 11 volumes
    release: every 6 months
    finish reading a book: 3 days
    Total wait: 5 years

    OH, COME ON!

  154. so as the above said 5 to 4 and a half more years of waiting :*( wish it could go a bit faster even 3 a year would be so good

  155. I agree that the books should be translated faster. The ideal speed would be one ever 4 months or one ever 3 months NOT one ever 6 months. I might even lose interest if it takes that long! :(

  156. @Li
    As announced at Sakura-Con, beginning with volume 7, the Spice and Wolf novels will be released ever four months rather than every six!

  157. Anyone know where to buy reprint of vol 1. I’ve seen a YouTube vid where someone had one but I can’t find it anywhere T_T

  158. @Jon The first volume was reprinted some time ago, so probably a number of retailers have the new stock. Unfortunately we can’t tell specifically which ones…

  159. Any chance of these books seeing an ebook release? I’d be willing to double dip if it meant I could easily carry these books around with me.

  160. I know that this is an old post, but all releases need to be in ebook format. I hardly buy anything other than manga in print these days.

  161. So is there a plan of re-releasing those books in hardcover version w/ original Japanese art on it, or should i drop waiting, as it’s unlikely, and just buy them as they are now :?

  162. @CaeleS – We don’t have plans for a hardcover release at this time, so buy them now! The reprints of the jacketed volumes no longer have the jackets, just the original art.

  163. Please tell me they plan to translate the entire series and not leave us hanging on like book 12! I don’t really care how long it takes (the faster the better) and I already got several other people to pick up the series as well.

  164. i love the animated cover more it was better to me because its what started the love of the anime and manga for me

  165. Awesome idea! I really like both of the covers so having them both is a plus!

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