English Spice & Wolf Ditches Horo

spicewolf_1-where-is-horo.jpg

Horo fans are aghast at the decision of the English publishers of sagacious wolf light novel series Spice and Wolf to dump the titular spicy wolf Horo completely in an effort to appeal to “fantasy audiences,” who presumably cannot be expected to buy anything without a scantily clad lady or dragon on the cover.

Yen Press lengthily excuses their decision to dump the charming cover illustrations which formed the basis for a series of light novels, anime, games and manga, saying there is no way real Americans will buy books with funny Chinese cartoons on the cover:

What is a light novel, really? It’s a novel. It’s a book with spiffy illustrations.

Sure, there are some distinct challenges when it comes to positioning these books in our market, but ultimately there are a lot more readers of novels out there right now than there are readers of manga and comics.

That’s a huge potential audience, and we really want to help our novels realize that potential. These are great stories, and we’re proud to be introducing them to whole new readership.

Some of the “spiffy illustrations” currently getting in the way of marketing this book to the swords and sex hungry US fantasy market:

spice-and-wolf-horo-japanese-cover.jpg

very-spicy-wolf-horo.jpg

They are keen to spin the decision as one made “in the best interests” of Horo fans and light novel aficionados alike:

We think this design really captures Holo’s playful spirit in a way that will appeal to fantasy audiences. At the same time, though, we certainly know that some of the existing SPICE AND WOLF fans out there might have a harder time embracing this new direction.

What we hope, though, is that those fans understand our reasons for making these changes and will turn out to support this property that they know and love and in turn support the success of light novels in general in this market so that one day — hopefully! — we’ll be in a very different place where we can confidently and successfully utilize the original cover art for these books.

What I’d really like to see come to pass is the day where light novels are actually bringing new readers into the manga community!

Possibly not if all the existing fans of the franchise are aghast at the ruination inflicted upon poor Horo by a now almost universally vilified Yen Press.

spicewolf_1-there-she-is.gif

Yen Press are attempting to appease actual Horo fans, whom they dismiss as “hardcore,” and hawk their own rag in the process, by offering a limited edition dust jacket featuring the original artwork packaged with their magazine, though it is hard to see many being satisfied by this…

Fans can however take scant solace in the fact that even Yen Press is not ready to start stripping out the interior illustrations yet – these will remain intact for now.

It is indeed curious that whilst some companies are desperate to copy Japanese visual styles in order to effectively market their own products, others actually dealing with licensing Japanese works are desperate to downplay the same visual elements, even to the extent of suppressing the art in favour of western styles or 3D CG

Generic fantasy novel edition Spice & Wolf goes on sale in December.


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    Comment by Anonymous
    00:37 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Holo"

    Forget the cover, I won't be buying a book that calls Horo-sama "Holo".

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    02:38 13/07/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^fucking this

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:30 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    A bit unrelated but japanese people fuck up with L's and R's all the time Holo/Horo L being pronounced eru in Death Note Light being pronounced Raito in one episode of Death Note an american F.B.I. agent is named Larry Conners and on the computer screen it says Rally Conners in short japanese fail at L's and R's in english even one of my japanese friends who is very good at english spells helicopter as hericopter

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:06 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm amazed they didn't change her name, since it's so close to the word 'whore'. rofl.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:53 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They did. She's called "Holo" now.

    Idiots.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:52 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why do they always have to do that with anime, manga, and the like. Not every "R" is an "L" damn it. Most of the time it just makes the names sound funny anyway.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:01 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ahh, so now she's just 'hollow'. Well, at least it'll mean the fantasy people who walk around saying her name will just sound like idiots rather than weeaboo.

    Comment by Anonymous

    They did not change her name. The Fansubs did.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:54 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    while the original cover says i'm a manga reader the new cover screams i'm a creepy fantasy nerd furry who faps to transvestites and is gonna rape you your children and your pets with my +5 1inch dick of fagging while I roll a set of 20-sided dice in your asshole

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:21 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    while the original cover says i'm a manga reader the new cover screams i'm a creepy fantasy nerd furry who faps to transvestites and is gonna rape you your children and your pets with my +5 1inch dick of fagging while I roll a set of 20-sided dice in your asshole ^ THIS

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:47 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    What's all the commotion about? It would make perfect sense for them to broaden the reader fanbase by using a more socially-acceptable cover. Remember that anime are Chinese cartoons for kids and people do not want to be seen walking around reading books with Chinese cartoons on it.

    Avatar of Gustav
    Comment by Gustav
    00:57 20/09/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unfortunatelly their replacement cover is not very good. I could understand those worries, but not this cover. If I HAD to use a localised one, I would have made it either just black with golden text, or with a drawing of a wolf (personally I prefer the original ones). Then you avoid possible stereotyping by non-anime fans and you can still read it in public, unlike this one, it looks like porn.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:07 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    We shouldn't place light novels in the manga section of bookstores. Since they are 95% text, they should belong in their respective sections they belong, such as romance, mystery, fiction, teen, etc. That way, casual readers will get to know more about good Japanese novels.

    Avatar of Shuu
    Comment by Shuu
    00:00 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Words aren't enough to express how pissed off I am right now...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:31 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I was pissed til I started reading some of the posts. Then I laughed. But since you've brought my attention back to the topic at hand, I have a rage slowly building in my heart.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:09 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Words aren't enough to convey how much I agree with you.

    Avatar of EroMango
    Comment by EroMango
    01:03 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    words aren't enough to destroy yen press

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:40 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ......

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:40 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    w..

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:37 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ..... B-Break.....

    Avatar of Kortaku
    Comment by Kortaku
    07:38 16/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...o.r......

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:34 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    w...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:23 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    words aren-

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:58 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    words.......

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:22 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess the west loves censorship as much as equality now too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:54 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I learned to distrust localization companies a long time ago. Then I bought the Tokyopop Slayers novels against my better judgment and that cemented my position. I won't be buying anything "officially translated" anymore. I'm learning Japanese now so I don't have to deal with fuck-ups like them anymore.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:49 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Cover is fine.

    You're all dumb.

    Get over it.

    Avatar of Zelnick
    Comment by Zelnick
    09:01 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I learned to distrust localization companies a long time ago. Then I bought the Tokyopop Slayers novels against my better judgment and that cemented my position. I won't be buying anything "officially translated" anymore. I'm learning Japanese now so I don't have to deal with fuck-ups like them anymore.

    Avatar of MechaTama31
    Comment by MechaTama31
    09:44 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mmmmmm, sideboob.

    Also outrage, of course.

    Siiiiiiidebooooooooooob...

    Avatar of Castronaut
    Comment by Castronaut
    09:02 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What were they thinking? I can't read something with a cover like that on the subway!

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:37 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It would look creepy as opposed to a more childish cover in which people would just assume you're just immature.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:01 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    that bitch looks like a buck toothed hermaphadite

    Avatar of LanceRayne
    Comment by LanceRayne
    10:59 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the cover represents what is included inside.. it isn't going to catch fan's eyes, but it'll scare teh F outta the new fans, so who cares
    if i get my hands on it, just might tear off the cover and cry at my new doorstop

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:37 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This sucks, but I'll probably buy a limited edition, though.

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    12:57 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So just make the fans deal with it? Yen press, I'm disappointed in you. That's why I'm gonna work for delrey.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:00 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I definitely understand why they did that. It is unfortunate, but I can see their point. The book will most likely sell much better in the United States with that cover. Before I started reading manga, I was a bit of a novel fan. And I definitely would not have picked up the book if it had the anime/manga inspired cover. Which would be unfortunate since I know that Spice and Wolf is has a great story, one of my favorite.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:22 04/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "And I definitely would not have picked up the book if it had the anime/manga inspired cover. Which would be unfortunate since I know that Spice and Wolf is has a great story, one of my favorite."

    And doesn't it make you realize that you, like the target public of the Yen Press cover, might well be just a little FUCKING NARROW-MINDED ? Not to mention the whole "buying a book or not on its cover", which every man or woman with a bit of self-esteem should feel shameful about.

    If I were a US citizen, I would be furious to hear what is pretty much an aknowledgement of a number of less than flattering stereotypes about Americans. Or is it that Americans really ARE preposterone-drunk foreign-despising asses who would laugh at a "funny Chinese cartoon"-looking cover while picking the ones with nude chicks on them ?
    Come on.

    It's not hard to see that the new cover does not serve the book's interest. It's not distinctive in any way, it does not advertise the content as it ought to be (may I remind you it is a light novel and a localized product we're talking about ?). It's lying to the consumer.
    The article doesn't say anything about the translation, so there's hope at least for a faithful localization in the inside.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:38 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "What is a light novel, really? It’s a novel. It’s a book with spiffy illustrations."

    Yeah, A NOVEL WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. WHICH ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PRODUCT.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:29 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    do i spot armpit hair?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:59 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anon at 12:18 it is obvious that the hermaphadite buck toothed model both sucks and has dicks

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:09 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And you are thoroughly aroused by said genital features. Amirite?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:48 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Holo/Horo is cute in the original but new cover model = fugly man Leave Holo/Horo (and all anime/manga/light novel/video game characters) alone in original format and leave 3D modeling to hot girls like my Aki Hoshino for things things unrelated to 2D

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:49 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't mind they did away with the cover but the one they replaced it with is just awful. Really tacky.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    10:15 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still believe in Yen Press :p

    Avatar of Wolfy
    Comment by Wolfy
    Comment by Anonymous
    10:19 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yen Press is the sexually abused and confused child struggling for identity in the world of manga magazines

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:58 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow the actual novel must be terrible if the cover matters this much

    Avatar of Aero
    Comment by Aero
    06:23 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is an insult to the genius of Ayakura.
    Do they even have the legal rights to alter content to such degree when distributing material? Seriously, I dunno, so I was just wondering.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:38 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Talk to Japanese side of things
    Explain objectives and reasoning
    Get okay to change cover
    Hire a horrible artist
    Result.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:14 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That cover seriously puts me off picking the novel off the shelf :|
    I reckon it doesn't look good or appealing, if they want to change the cover do it properly and hire better artist.
    The current one looks more creepy than appealing...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:13 15/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nerds are a hoot











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