Or at least that’s what the US publisher is going to aim at as the target group for the novels. Source.
The novels, will launch in April 2009 with different editions targeted to anime/manga fans and to the broader YA audience. The paperback version, priced at $8.99, features a colorful step-back cover with no manga imagery. The novels will be shelved in the young adult sections of bookstores, according to Joseph Monti, Director of Paperbacks for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. They will be advertised in the Alloy and dELia*s catalogs, which target tween girls, and promoted on MySpace and Facebook as well as a dedicated website. In addition, the publisher will promote Haruhi launch parties on websites popular with teen girls, with an offer of free gifts for girls who host them.
I really have to say, I was floored by this. I’m glad they have the two edition thing going, one aimed for the fans and one for “normal” people. But I just can’t wrap my head around the series being aimed at teen girls. I mean are they trying to say, “Hey, we want you to read a story about a high school girl, Haruhi, who is viewed by her peer as being insane and an outcast who wants to find and play with Aliens, Espers, and Time Travelers. And even better you’ll be reading everything through the eyes of a guy forced against his will to hang out with her. OH! and lets not forget the fact that Haruhi treats guys below the level of a potato, parades around her school in a bunny outfit, blackmails the computer geeks, and just constantly torments Mikuru.”
I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, I just want to know HOW they came up with it.
Monti isn’t concerned that readers unfamiliar with manga conventions will be thrown off by references to Japanese culture, so there will be no translation notes to explain things like school uniforms or the term “moe.” “You will get it in context,” Monti said. “The young adult readership is pretty savvy.”
This one also got me, it would be so easy to just put an extra page or two at the end of the book for translation notes, Del Ray has been doing that since forever, I really don’t get why you wouldn’t throw in a couple helping words when aiming at a new crowd. I guess releasing the books with the chapters in the correct order was enough in their minds.
Needless to say, I reserved my hardcover copy like a month ago, and I’m still excited like crazy over reading the books again on real paper. I can only imagine what target group Spice and Wolf will be aimed at though, Middle Aged Businessmen?
PS, After writing all this out I suddenly realized why it’s aimed at teenage girls. Itsuki.