As has now been revealed on various news sites, Yen Press’s Yen On imprint, which licensed Durarara!! earlier (it’s out later this month) has gone the full mile and licensed Baccano!. I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions that have not actually ever been asked.
1) When will they come out?
Well, Yen’s scheduled is pretty much booked through March of 2016, so my guess is sometime between April and July 2016. Yen tends to do novel series either 3 or 4 volumes per year. My guess is that Baccano, like DRRR, will be 3 times a year.
2) But that means I won’t see Monica till 2020!
I know. But there are realities to American publishing. You can’t simply pile all the books out at once, it wouldn’t sell well. Also, translating books takes FAR longer than translating a manga, and there’s only so many translators to go around.
3) Will they combine the two-parters into one volume?
I’m not actually sure, they might. They’ve done this before - Another is a 2-part novel released as an omnibus, and the last two Haruhi Suzumiya books were combined into one. On the other hand, the final Book Girl two-parter came out individually. So it depends.
4) Will they use new covers? Will they have the interior illustrations?
1) No. 2) Yes.
5) What about honorifics? Will names have different Romanji?
Leaving aside that this is set in AMERICA, I doubt it. There just aren’t many R-to-L or long-o names that could be altered. But yeah, don’t expect honorifics, come on.
6) Will there be digital editions?
I’m not sure, but DRRR is digital as well as print, so it’s likely.
7) (clutches PDFs to bosom) I am but a poor college student, and cannot possibly afford to buy real books! Can I continue to read my fan-translated editions?
Look, I understand that there are financial priorities, but this is your obsession, out in North America, legally! This is what you were all begging for. I won’t side-eye you if you keep your PDFs, but I totally will if you don’t also buy the books. (I won’t get into folks who live in foreign countries, this is mostly for US folks).
8) Does this mean Peter Pan in Chains won’t get fully fan translated?
Not sure, talk to the translator. Same with 1935-D when it comes out. There are many and varied ethical stances on fan translations, particularly for light novels. I do think that the Rolling Bootlegs re-translation that’s currently going on should probably stop. I know that some companies already did takedowns of fan-translated Baccano stuff a while back.
9) What about the Poet?
Just pray for the poor translator’s soul, that’s all I can say. Could be worse, they could be translating NisioisiN.