Just days after announcing all 35 volumes of Hiroyuki Takei's hit manga Shaman King (including three never published in North America) would be made available on Amazon's digital reading services July 28 (opens in new tab), Kodansha USA has hit pause on those plans due to what it calls issues with "production quality".(opens in new tab)
"In an effort to give Shaman King the production quality it deserves and its fans the best manga experience, Kodansha USA Publishing regrets to announce a delay in the digital release date," reads the company's announcement.
Kodansha states that revised release dates for the volumes will be announced "shortly."
"We sincerely apologize for this last-minute hold-up, as we are well aware how excited fans are for this release, but we also know fans will appreciate the final results," the statement continued.
A silver lining to the delay, however, is that the publisher has confirmed plans for print editions of all 35 volumes in 2021 and 2022.
Further to that, several previously-unreleased-in-English spin-offs including Shaman King Zero, Shaman King: Flowers, Shaman King: Super Star, and Shaman King: Red Crimson will also follow the digital release of the original series.(opens in new tab)
"In the world of Shaman King, shamans possess mysterious powers that allow them to commune with gods, spirits, and even the dead…," reads Kodansha USA's description of Shaman King. "... And Manta Oyamada's about to learn all about them, because his class just welcomed a new transfer student: Yoh Asakura, a boy from way off in Izumo… and a shaman in training!"
Shaman King was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1998 to 2004, with American readers receiving English translations of the collected editions beginning in 2003 from VIZ Media. The company concluded its translation efforts with volume 32, leaving the three remaining volumes and the spinoffs untranslated for English-speaking audiences.
"Again, our apologies," Kodansha's statement ended. "We have been touched and delighted by the response to the announcement of the pending release of Shaman King and look forward to getting it into your hands soon."