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Kodansha, Yukito Kishiro's new publisher, has released volume 1 of the Gunnm: Last Order New Edition as announced on the Japanese section of his website. It came out on July 22 and at 336 pages is listed by Amazon Japan as being an inch thick. Compared to 198 pages in the original volume 1 of Last Order, it appears that part of volume 2 is included as well, given what happened with the Gunnm: Complete Edition and the Gunnm: New Edition, in which the overall number of volumes was compressed. No idea yet if this reprint includes any bonuses or changes.

This is the first reprint that Last Order has gone through and the series is still going ten years after it first debuted on July 19, 2001. Thankfully Kishiro did not end it at Phase 100 as a result of the dispute that he got into last year with an editor at Ultra Jump. While this New Edition does not resolve the question as to whether or not Viz will continue to publish Last Order in English (they are scheduled to release volume 15 on October 11), this seems to indicate that Kodansha will be taking over the Last Order license from Kishiro's longtime publisher, Shueisha. Unless Viz, which is partly owned by Shueisha, licenses Last Order from volume 16 on from Kodansha (which I highly doubt will happen as they are competitors), it is possible that Kodansha Comics USA, an American subsidiary of Kodansha, will take over. Bottom line I want to continue to be able to read Last Order in English. However I would not mind it so much if Kodansha Comics scraps the "Angel" theme of the volume titles, which goes all the way back to Battle Angel Alita. Kishiro originally used a variety of different titles and has not named the Last Order volumes.

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