JY: Yen Press’s Middle Grade Imprint to Publish Four Titles Fall 2023

As announced by PW Children’s Bookshelf, four new titles will be joining JY, the middle grade imprint of Yen Press, LLC. As a new expansion initiative, JY will be releasing prose novels selected from KADOKAWA’s Tsubasa Bunko label, which has held the top share in children’s books in Japan for the last ten years. Through this initiative, JY will capture all of the appeal that has been driving unprecedented sales and awareness for manga and light novels for the past several years and extend that to younger readers with books that have been previously unavailable in this market. The spot illustrations throughout these books will immediately interest kids who have grown up with manga and anime.

The four titles include Phantom Thief RedHorror Collector, Online! The Unbeatable Game, and Canine Detective Chris. These middle grade novels are sure to enthrall children’s imaginations and encourage reluctant young readers to engage with these creative fantasy and sci-fi stories. JY is thrilled to add these titles to its fun and varied lineup, which currently includes popular graphic novels such as Svetlana Chmakova’s Berrybrook Middle School series and manga such as Little Witch Academia.

Phantom Thief Red


Story by Shin Akigi
Illustration by Shu

“In our family, it’s tradition to become a phantom thief upon turning thirteen.” When Asuka and Kei’s father speaks these words, their lives are forever changed. Turns out, their family is part of a worldwide network of righteous vigilantes—and now, it’s their turn to join the ranks!

Phantom Thief Red will be releasing in print and digital November 2023. With approximately 1.45 million copies sold in Japan, Phantom Thief Red is one of the most popular titles for this demographic.

Horror Collector

Story by Midori Sato
Supervised by Norio Tsuruta
Illustration by Yon

Urban legends are supposed to be just that: legends. But a recent rash of unexplainable occurrences causes victims to start piling up. And word is that a mysterious boy appears after each incident…

Horror Collector will be releasing in print and digital November 2023. With 20 volumes published in Japan, this series will hook young readers on a long and mysterious journey.

Online! The Unbeatable Game

Story by Midori Amagaeru
Illustration by Shinichirou Otsuka

One day, high schooler Mai finds a mysterious game called Nightmare—a popular game that you have to keep playing every day, or your body will slowly start to shut down. And she’s not exactly a pro gamer. Still, in the hopes of beating the game completely, she joins forces with shy Asagiri and handsome-but-difficult Sugiura to form the Nightmare Strategy Club!

Online! The Unbeatable Game will be releasing in print and digital December 2023. The illustrations are drawn by Shinichirou Otsuka, the same artist behind the character designs and illustrations for the popular Re:ZERO light novels, one of the most iconic properties among fans of the category and within the world of anime.

Canine Detective Chris

Story by Tomoko Tabe
Illustration by KeG

Fifth-grader Hinata doesn’t know what to expect when his grandfather brings home Chris, a former police dog who’s a little bit of a scaredy-cat. One day, when they’re on a walk, Chris hears a police siren and discovers a jewelry store in the neighborhood has been robbed! While the police are busy investigating, Hinata and Chris are on the case, too…!

Canine Detective Chris will be releasing in print and digital December 2023. Reminiscent of Scooby-Doo and Adventure Time, children will easily relate to the young protagonists going on adventurers and solving mysteries with their pet dog.

These novels will be priced at $8.99 USD / $11.99 CAD. Other titles selected from the Tsubasa Bunko line will be joining JY’s lineup, with future announcements forthcoming.

Source: Press Release