Asahi Sonorama to Be Dissolved, Asahi Shimbun Takes over Manga Operation

topOn June 21st, manga publisher Asahi Sonorama announced on its website that due to ongoing financial difficulties, the manga publisher will be dissolved at the end of September.

According to the president of Asahi Sonorama, the decision was made due to Asahi Sonorama's ongoing financial difficulties, as well as their aging workforce, and it was decided that a corporate restructuring would be difficult. Instead, Asahi Sonorama will be dissolved at the end of September, and Asahi Newspaper (Asahi Shimbun), which owns 100% of Asahi Sonorama's stock, will take over the Sonorama's business operations. Asahi Shimbun will also find new positions for Sonorama employees who wish to stay on.

magazineAsahi Sonorama, formed in 1959, got their start publishing The Monthly Asahi Sonorama, which combined a magazine with a sonosheet (also known as flexi disc, the thin plastic discs you play on a record player). Nowadays the publisher deal mostly in comics, as well as novels and general texts to a lesser extent.

Asahi Sonorama published 4 bi-monthly manga anthologies, True Scary Stories, Nemuki, Nemuki Expanded Edition Mugenkan (House of Illusions) and True Hilarious Stories; the first 3 will continue to be published, but Hilarious Stories will go on hiatus after the September edition.

Manga published by Asahi Sonorama include Pet Shop of Horrors, Vampire Hunter D, Hyakki Yakou Shou, Tomie, To Terra, Crusher Joe, and more.

Mitsuru Shinozaki, assitant publication editor for Asahi Shimbun, commented:

We wish to inherit quality content and continue developing it. Comics are something Asahi Shimbun did not have, and we find them very appealing.

Source: Asahi Shimbun (via Ultimatum Chat)

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I hope that this reshuffling

I hope that this reshuffling doesn't result in any creators dropping off. I guess its selfish, but I really like "Hyakki Yakou Shou" and would like to see it completed. ^.~

'Aging workforce' is an unexpected reason for ceasing operations. I know that Japanese companies hang on to their employees, but I've never known a manga publisher to face such a problem. I suppose it could be a potential problem for small publishers that are actually fairly successful. The turn-over rate and need to create new positions must be rather low for small presses.

Two light novel labels ???

Asahi Sonorama has two labels (Sonorama Bunko and Sonorama Novels) in which it uses to publish its light novels under.

I wonder what will happen to these labels, will Asahi Shimbun continue publishing light novels under these labels or will these labels go defunct ?