Square-Enix has announced that the latest manga from Fullmetal Alchemist creator Hiromu Arakawa, Yomi no Tsugai, will be getting an English paperback release slated for spring 2023, and will be officially available in English as of July 25, 2022.
The series, which will use the English title Daemons of the Shadow Realm, began serialization in Square-Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan in December of 2021. The story follows the twins Asa and Yuru, a boy and a girl who were born just before and after dawn, meeting a prophecy that poses a grave threat to their village and possibly the world. The first chapter pulls out a major twist on the seemingly historical setting, placing the twins on opposite sides of a conflict. It’s managed to distinguish itself well from Fullmetal Alchemist, with its mystical story and Asian setting, despite the two works sharing major themes like family and loyalty.
While Daemons of the Shadow Realm is only eight chapters in, it’s apparently proved popular enough in that time to already be worth translating. The first collected volume of chapters was released in Japan in June and will be similarly getting that paperback release in English next April, via Square-Enix’s manga and books publishing division. Announced alongside other works like a Nier Automata novel and a Final Fantasy picture book, Square-Enix seems to be intent on beefing up its publishing presence in the US. The company has also launched its own manga reader app “Manga Up!” in English, which will carry digital versions of this and other manga series originating from Square-Enix in Japan, including classics that were first released under other publishers like Fullmetal Alchemist itself. While this new platform may be a tad inconvenient for some fans, the end result is more competition in the English manga industry, which is likely to lead to more series getting officially translated overall.
Despite still being early in its story, Daemons of the Shadow Realm has already managed to paint an intricate world of crazy-looking spirit monsters and the people who control them, for good or for ill. These creatures are also well defined with personalities, even when they can’t speak, creating a unique relationship between each wielder and their monster. Unlike other similar series, these creatures can even sometimes be swayed to obey a new master, and it’s entirely possible to have several under one person’s control. The monster designs are quite unique, although a few bear a resemblance to some of the more monstrous creatures from Fullmetal Alchemist. It’s little wonder that the series’ English title has decided to place the emphasize on these creatures and their strange abilities.
Fans who want to jump into the series can go ahead and get started digitally via the Manga Up! website, which features the first two chapters for free, or its corresponding app, which has translations up to chapter six. While it’s not yet clear how new chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist creator Hiromu Arakawa’s Daemons of the Shadow Realm will be released, it will hopefully catch up to the Japanese release and match its monthly schedule with simultaneous releases in both languages.
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Sources: Anime News Network (1, 2)