Some important news on the Witches of the Sphinx series.
I believe I’ve neglecated to inform you that volume 4 was released this last winter. Actually, a lot has happened since autumn.
First of all, The Witches of Africa series was repackaged by Kadokawa Shoten as a commercial release. For this reason, the doujinshi release of the same book has ended. Very few doujinshis (which I define as non-corporate, limited distribution publications where maximization of profits is considered to be a secondary goal) are re-released as commercial publications, but when they are, the doujinshi release is usually suspended or dropped entirely. The commercial release includes the original Witches of the Sphinx, Tiger in the Desert I & II, and an exclusive short story featuring one of the more colorful male characters in the series, Paymaster Lieutenant Kaneko, otherwise well known as Hana-G. The book only features Japanese.
All the novels of Takaaki Suzuki written regarding the African front has been collected together and released also from Kadokawa titled as Strike Witches – The Witches of Africa – Kei’s Report[s]. The book includes all the stories featured in the doujinshis, as well as others. This book is also written only in Japanese.
Last but not in the least is news of the doujinshi release of The Witches of the Sphinx volume 5. This will be last episode of this series, and no further episodes are currently being planned by Nogami. The book will premier at Comic Ichi behind at Tokyo Big Sight on April 30th, 2012. Nogami’s booth will be い-24a and I’ll be hanging around past noon.
The Witches of the Sphinx 5 includes the final episode manga by Nogami, written in both Japanese and English. Suzuki didn’t have a chance to submit new material, so I stepped-in to help fill the spot in any way I could. I wrote detailed descriptions and notations regarding the land battle striker units that have been featured in the North African front. It is illustrated by the wonderfully talented Taiwanese artist, Ace-shi. Here is his link. Nogami and I are both happy we could introduce his works to a larger audience.
I also submitted a fairly long short story, The Witch of Capuzzo. The Witch of Capuzzo is based on the real life events of Johannes Kümmel. Look up his name and it won’t take long for you to realize why he makes such a great witch. All the character designs and story writing was conducted by Dan Kanemitsu alone. Nogami was nice enough to provide the artwork included with the story. The idea of doing Kümmel as a witch was actually something Suzuki was thinking at one point, but I didn’t know about this prior to creating the character. I was originally scouring material for ace tankers, both Allied and Axis, and came across Kümmel. There are some really colorful Commonwealth characters that need to be given the witchery treatment, and I’ve got a few Sherman riders I’d like to indulge myself with, but that all depends on how well The Witch of Capuzzo is received.
Nogami’s manga, articles on five different types of land battle striker, and the novella has all been translated by Kanemitsu. We plan on doing something special with the material in the coming days. I’ve already released part of the novella here. Please stay tuned.
Another important news is the publication of The Witches of Andorra by Nogami through Kadokawa. This one off manga by Nogami introduces how the advancing Neuroi even threatened the small state of Andorra, located in the mountains between Gallia and Hispania. The story was first featured in the magazine Comptiq, and now this has been combined together with other manga Nogami has authored related to the Strike Witches world into an independent book, titled The Witches of Andorra.
Nogami tells how a single letter from a fan from Andorra got him inspired to do this story. I translated his message to fans that was included in the book, but besides from that the book itself is only in Japanese.
However, I am happy to announce that I have translated short story The Witches of Andorra into English and it will be released in a form everyone in the world can enjoy legally. Please stay tuned for more details.