Otaku USA Magazine
Inside LILYKA, Digital Manga Inc.’s New Yuri Imprint

Digital Manga Inc., known especially for publishing shonen-ai, yaoi and Tezuka manga, is launching a new imprint that specializes in shojo-ai and yuri comics. Called LILYKA, the imprint will be live May 1 on their new website.

A press release from Digital Manga Inc. revealed, “From platonic feel-good stories to more mature and darker themes, LILYKA intends to provide a wide array of manga featuring the romantic relationships between women. . .With the release of LILYKA, DMI hopes to not only enter into the Yuri market, but also help broaden it by licensing titles that otherwise would not have been brought overseas.” They are getting their titles directly from doujinshi and self-published creators. (On a side note, they’re also aiming to expand their yaoi doujinshi releases.)

“We have acquired about 55 titles so far but will release 20 titles for the first phase,” Maki Takase, Director of Operations for the LILYKA online store, explained in an email. The manga will be available through their website.

So far they’ve released details on two of their releases: The Rain and the Other Side of You by Moto Momono and Lily Fairy Tale – Little Mermaid met Hansel and Gretel by Mintaro. The Rain and the Other Side of You is about a 27-year-old teacher who has never gone out with a man and who is surprised by a kiss from her female student. Lily Fairy Tale – Little Mermaid met Hansel and Gretel is about a fairy tale boarding school where The Little Mermaid and Gretel of Hansel and Gretel fall in love.

Author Momono expressed hope that “this platform will contribute to creating an environment overseas where more fans can enjoy Yuri manga.”

Digital Manga Inc. CEO Hikaru Sasahara told Otaku USA, “It has been more apparent than ever in our society that gender identification is getting more diversified, multi-polarized or even neutralized. I felt the phenomena when we began to publish yaoi manga more than 10 years ago. And I asked myself if I missed anything else in the sub-culture genre.”

Asked if there was anything else exciting going on at other DMI imprints, Takase said, “Too many to tell but all are currently being under development.”

Danica Davidson, along with Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya, is the author of Manga Art for Intermediates. In addition to showing how to draw manga character types in detail, the book describes how professional Japanese manga creators work, including common techniques and what drawing utensils they use.