English Spice & Wolf Restores Horo, Almost


Calling those fans who objected to its decision to scrap Horo in favour of a buck-toothed fantasy maiden “opinionated,” English Spice and Wolf publisher Yen Press has partly relented and now offers proper original covers to online retailers who choose to include them, though bookshop shelves will still be graced by something suitably generic.

Yen Press describe their solution to the problem of placating irate Horo fans whilst ignoring their demands and going ahead with their original plan unmolested:

It’s taken some time, but I wanted to thank everyone who bore with us while we worked through the approvals and notifications necessary to put our plan into action. I’m very happy to report that the behind-the-scenes machinations have been resolved, and we can now fill you in on what we’ve come up with!

In order to provide fans with an option to obtain the Spice and Wolf novels with the original light novel cover art, we have decided to do a special limited print run dust jacket (already under way) that we will offer for free to our online retailers.

Those online retailers who choose to participate in this offer will be shipped the flat (uncreased) jackets to make them available at no additional charge to anyone ordering copies of the novel through their sites.

This is strictly a voluntary offer being communicated now to our online retail partners, so be sure to verify participation with your retailer of choice when placing your orders if you are interested in receiving the jacket, the design for which you can see here:


How difficult it must have been to include the original cover.

He goes on to attempt to placate the unreasonable souls who wanted Horo on the cover:

As we’ve said in the past, our customers are truly important to us. We do listen to your feedback and make every possible effort to insure that you are happy with our offerings.

While I am quite certain that not everyone will be satisfied with this solution for one reason or another, we are pleased to have been able to make these additional efforts on behalf of our Spice and Wolf fans, and we do not doubt for an instant that you will enjoy the book.

But not important enough for them to change the cover back to the overwhelmingly preferred original, it seems…

Spice and Wolf Vol. 1 is available for pre-order now, with release in mid-December.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    04:40 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, the solution's simple then. I'm not buying it.

    I won't support making something generic that shouldn't be and wasn't written to be, and I definitely won't be supporting making Horo fugly.

    Find a new market, Yen Press.

    Comment by Anonymous

    So once again, an attempt to bring Light Novels to the US market fails because manga readers won't buy it. Good job.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:34 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The eternal question: Do I want shit, or do I want nothing at all?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:02 28/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If you get down and think about it, I would rather have nothing than shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:24 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Couldn't they have just had an "alt" cover (that wasn't just a damn dust jacket)? >_> They could at least have thrown that much of a bone...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:39 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I would prefer that they start calling her "Horo" like the fans call her instead of calling her "Holo". I won't buy it no matter what's on the cover if her name makes me think of trading cards every time I read it.

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by NakkiNyan
    15:29 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unfortunately that is how she signed her own name so they are actually using the right spelling... I will still call her Horo.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-03
    18:27 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wouldn't be the first spelling mistake in anime. Besides the setting is german-speaking country and in german there isn't such a thing als R-pronounced, but L-written. Stupid typo is stupid. They should have the balls to admit their mistake and not going on telling everybody this is how they intended to be her name all the time.

    WON'T BUY.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    01:35 16/07/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Damn straight. Also, I'm your clone from the future.

    Besides, authors do not directly deal with publishers overseas. The one disgracing Horo by giving her another name was in all likelihood some random dude that decided that's how it should be.

    Makes no sense whatsoever, especially if one considers that Horo actually is the name of a god related to fertility in some language.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:46 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    horo nearly looks like a man on the cover...she's fugly.

    I really enjoy light novels the haruhi ones for example are great as are the shakugan no shana ones. Theres a whole shitload of others that I would buy in a heart beat should they be released. Sadly Spice & Wolf will not be one of them.

    Trying to sell to an audience other than it is intended for definitely puts me off and I already know that because of this the light novel sale itself will fail and the sequels will never be made. It is because of this knowledge of understanding the way things works that I will not begin to buy a series that will never be fully released. The series failed the minute they caused disrespect to its true fans. It's an economic light novel for g's sake do they really think they will be able to attract people with this cover? Hell no. Not to mention I hold by belief that the cover character is fugly and really does look like a man almost. I will pass on this light novel.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:42 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I was reading their twitter feed in which someone asked if all the rest of the novels will have alternative covers.
    So apparently it does matter if you choose to buy it or not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:36 23/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I dont mind them changing the cover art for spice and wolf but that art is tarabol and missreprasents the story anyone that looked at it wood think oh god this is just another over sexulaized manga/novel and pass it over or pike up and deside its crap when horos not on her back in the firt five minits

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-03
    06:06 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, now they have to change the name from shitty holo to correct Horo.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-03
    06:31 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Damn them. I get the feeling they want Spice and Wolf to fail just to prove everyone that light novels won't sell to western customers. What a pity. I would be willing to pay up to 15€ for this book. (Original Cover with Kanji and HORO, not holo).

    Damn them. May they burn in hell!

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    05:58 23/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't like yen press that much. They have some good titles but I don't like how they do things. They're trying to market spice and wolf to a wider audience by leaving out the anime style art. I wonder if it'll even work since it's quite clear that most of their sales are gonna be coming from the otaku community.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:03 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    buck tooth woman with no breast, maybe it's a guy.....

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:05 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would have preferred a limited edition hardcover with the original cover than trying to cover up poor art using a dust jacket.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:30 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Crapitalists" are ruining everything, everywhere.

    TV executives are a prime example of this. If a show doesn't capture >50% of the available viewers it is normally cancelled after a season (unless it is a crappy cop show).

    I also blame this effect on the fact that most viewers, seem to be too stupid to cope with even a slightly complicated plot. This means that the producers have to have asinine plots with lots of explosions and gunfire. If it is supposed to be SciFi, they spend too much money on expensive CG or special effects.

    That is why Hollywood almost always fails when it tries to adapt a book, comic or movie. Now it seems like publishers are doing the same thing.


    Comment by Anonymous
    01:04 20/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ugh i wish they stop changing the covers of manga to make it look like some typical holly-wood steroid movie.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:21 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ugh, looks like a harlequin. I wouldn't want to be caught dead with that in my hands.

    Every book retailer should add book covers their books like in Japan. I don't want to be judged for anything I read, including books that have anime girls on the cover.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    As long as the spelling is how it is intended to be, I don't mind how it is pronounced. This is not the first case where the name does not match how it is pronounced.

    Else, we'd be going anal over Yagami Light which is the correct spelling and Yagami Raito if we want the name to match how it was pronounced.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:47 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Horo is wrong (spelling-wise).

    Holo is correct (spelling-wise).

    Only thing is Japanese can't get their pronunciation correct (pronouncing the "l" as it should be) due to that well known "r" and "l" issue. If the pronunciation was meant to be Horo, then she would have signed "HoRo" instead of "HoLo".

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:39 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Right or wrong, I just can't shake the feeling that "Horo" simply SOUNDS better and more appropriate. Maybe it's because it reminds me of Moro the wolf goddess from Princess Mononoke?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:58 24/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How difficult it must have been to include original cover?
    this is "why" USA sucks

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:39 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So the original japanese cover is gonna be nothing more than a dust jacket ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:27 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't blame Yen Press for this problem. In the past, light novels have failed in the US because traditional mana readers don't read novels. The only other route is to attempt to sell some novels to the traditional buyers of the genre each light novel belongs to.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:16 28/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I own all the current Japanese novels because I collect and I like the art. I've already read all of them so I will not buy this for the sake of being a fan of Ayakura Ju.

    I grew up with an Asian family but in a western community, so I pronounce both kinds of words accordingly. Holo and Horo going by western pronounciations are both wrong, so seeing either won't bother me too much.

    Also, I'm pretty sure light novels don't do that well in the west because they aren't a great number of widely available translated material. Japanese style manga nowadays sell better than Western style comic books, so won't keeping the original covers be a better business choice?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:03 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what about the 8 Illustrations that are in the book are they going to take them out since they are done manga style?

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by NakkiNyan
    15:32 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have a better idea, how about they put horo on the cover the same way as the original and they put their stupid cosplay slut on the dust jacket...

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:21 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Has Yen Press ever commented if they are changing the art inside the book, and not just the cover?

    Avatar of jabman025
    Comment by jabman025
    05:27 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    there will be no changes to art inside the book, they are only changing the cover

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well I must say (that's quite a relief).

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:13 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm now torn over whether to buy this or not. I do need something else to read and it's cheap enough, but the cover is UGLY (ugly enough to actually put me off), so I'd have to be very sure that the version I get has the dust cover.

    Is it really good? It'll need to be for me to consider it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:08 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    While it is not the best solution, it is a HELL of a lot better than the butchered cover.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:07 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Honestly speaking, an animated cover would sell less than one with a more human look.

    That's why the phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover" is so popular. Most would pass it off as "childish" by the cover alone being a drawing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:55 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Am I one of the select few who never checks out the cover, and only look at the name on the spine?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:56 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I look at the back cover, inside the covers, then the front cover.

    Comment by Neutral_Eyes
    02:25 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Still not satisfied. They only addressed the people who were irritated with paying for their magazine to get a dust cover, not those disgusted with the very choice of cover.

    My pre-order remains cancelled. I hope their decision works out for them. Sadly, I believe it'll do the opposite and we'll end up with another shitcanned English light novel series.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:36 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm not trying to be a dick or a troll, cause i really wanna know. whats the difference between a novel and a light novel?

    Avatar of ArcheR
    Comment by ArcheR
    02:46 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Basically, light novels have a huge crossover with anime and manga, for one. A LOT of manga and anime were originally light novels, including Haruhi Suzumiya, Read or Die, Tordora, Kurenai, Kino's Journey, Full Metal Panic, and Shakugan no Shana.

    Light novels are typically serialized - just like manga - before being put together into novel form, and are also illustrated. The illustrations aren't always numerous, but this is a key distinction most of the time.

    For the most part, though, a light novel is meant to imply lighter reading. They tend to be equivalent to novellas in length, use easier to read language, and are usually written with teens or young adults in mind. Light novels tend to be very brief. When you read them, you can tell why they work so easily into manga and anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:14 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    My understanding is that the original term was used to distinguish heavy scifi from lighter fantasy works (sort of how "shoujo" and "shounen" meant whether it was published in a girls' or boys' magazine before everyone decided it meant stuff that matched the stereotype of things found in such magazines)

    Nowadays, though, I think you're pretty much right on the mark. I'd add that many of the light novels are heavy on dialog, and heavy on using internal monologue for exposition (3rd person psychic POV).

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Perhaps you could simplify further and call a light novel "a novel with an anime style illustration on the cover," along with those inside. Not sure there are any without them...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're also really fucking short. Anyone used to "normal" novels will breeze through a light novel in half the time if not less.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:11 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Also, light novels, unlike novels, tend to have illustrations. Generally anyway.

    Other than that, it's more or less similar to a novel. Only with less content. There's a reason why it's called 'light' novel.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:31 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hate hearing the logic that their "Westernized" cover will bring a larger audience into light novels. Bottom line: It won't, and it's flipping a middle finger for any established fans of the series or of anime or manga.

    Light novels have a crossover audience from manga and anime fans and a LARGE amount of them would be very happy reading light novels. As a few have said in the comments, the problem with light novels are not the novels themselves. The covers aren't making them bad. The update schedules are horrendous.

    No publishers are willing to take a chance. Boogiepop died. Kino still has only one volume. Some of the best light novels are still completely untranslated. I have no idea how Haruhi Suzumiya, Toradora, or Read or Die have never had any official translations yet. And I'm still waiting for Case of the Dragon Slayer after it mysteriously was never released.

    Low sales doesn't mean there is no audience. Light novels have never been focused on so of course sales will be low! They were never given a chance to take off and every time they release some, they get a very good niche following, but it's not NY Times bestsellers, so they give up.

    Most people don't know light novels are out there and here's the wonderful catch-22 that causes it: When publishers curtail novel releases and let a series die before it's finished or just take three years to translate one book, then they just hurt their market even more. That market has releases at a trickle and people start ignoring it. And they see low sales margins and stop releasing, thinking there's no market. When they themselves shrunk that market first.

    They can trumpet their cover experiment all they want, but they're ignoring an established audience and they're worrying more about appearances than they are about the materials they are translating. And, being completely frank, the "Western" cover is a turn-off whether it's actually light novel or not. It's too typical. I would pass right over it with the rest of the crap in the fantasy section.

    But what does it matter? American companies have been screwing over light novels for years. Why should I expect any different now?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 27/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    People sometimes underestimate the niche market of anime, anyway..

    There are a _lot_ of borderline, non diehard anime fans who may still not know who Haruhi is, but just kind of take a second look at anything anime-like because it's anime-like, even if they know or own rather little of it.

    These are the sort of people who's eyes easily bypass the generic porn novel look of this new cover, but would have looked at the original cover, and probably either recognized it for what it was, or just given it a chance.

    So while actual 'anime fans' may be smaller in scope, there's still a lot of people who actually would have been intrigued a bit by the original cover as opposed to turned off.

    Trust me, I know the type, and they're everywhere.

    Anyway, the whole issue really is sad.. One of the reasons why fans of something buy the localizations of media they like is just to have it on their shelves, as these days subs/translations/piracy are so fast and easy that they've probably already read or watched them.

    Thus, when a localized version of a product has ugly cover or packaging, it kind of kills one of the main reasons some people would have wanted to buy it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:12 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, the first two Haruhi novels have been officially translated in English. Haven't read the second book, but the translation of the first is perfectly reasonable. That being said, I agree with everything else stated in your post.

    Avatar of minakichan
    Comment by minakichan
    02:05 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, what Yen Press did was... unfortunate. But there's really no helping it; light novels don't sell at all in the West, so it's either do shit like this or not bring them over here... At least YP has much better adaptations than most of the industry IIRC; if Tokyopop had pulled this, they'd definitely incur my wrath as well.

    If it has a dust jacket, I'd be satisfied; it's not like the dust jackets ever come off of my imported manga =/

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:58 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who the fuck reads books anyways?

    Comment by Busy
    02:01 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually many people read novels, special fantasy ones.

    Avatar of minakichan
    Comment by minakichan
    02:06 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No one reads light novels though =(

    Avatar of R117
    Comment by R117
    02:12 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If light novel series like Full Metal Panic were actually officially translated in a timely fashion maybe then people would read them more, especially in the case where the anime hasnt been made yet. I've read all the FMP novels that have been released since it was nicely fan-translated, and while I was very happy for that, they could do with some editing. Mind you, I'm really grateful that someone actually took the time to translate it and it's much better than nothing (just another reason for me to yell at KyoAni to get their assets in gear and make me some more FMP seasons)! Either way, light novels are nice, fast reads, but since people read at the speed of light, well...I guess it's just too short for them.

    Avatar of EroMango
    Comment by EroMango
    02:33 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    light novels are good, more indepth and descriptive, anime are good too - voice, colors and action

    but just because you guys arn't motivated enough to read dosent mean light novels are bad, many animes exist now because their light novel originals were a big hit, (fmp, spice n wolf, bakemonogatari, nogizaka haruka, suzumiya, darker than black, seitokai, these are just off my head)

    and all the eroges you play are actually visual "novels"

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:24 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    darker than black bases on nothing, anime original.

    Avatar of Wolfy
    Comment by Wolfy
    03:39 22/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I do I read Welcome to the N.H.K & Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Casesfiles to name a few.

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