I’m actually writing this out of massive fangirling for Nakamura Asumiko and silent weeping that I can’t enjoy these lovely covers in their English editions.
Today, Harlequin Japan announced that they’re starting a new BL line called Harlequin Lovesick which focuses on the translation and novelization of popular M/M romances from Japan and abroad. One of the titles they’re bringing in is Lana McGregor’s His Roommate’s Pleasure which has been retitled to Roommate and is translated to by Hayakawa Mayuri, localized by BL novelist, Yukishiro Marie, and illustrated by Nakamura Asumiko. The collaboration appears to be an all-out effort to bring in a lot of English gay novels in the Japanese market. Now this isn’t exactly new as Dear+ Bunko has managed to successfully bring in Josh Lanyon’s novels to Japan. His Adrien English novels were actually illustrated by Kusama Sakae!
However, unlike the translations of Josh Lanyon’s novels, Harlequin is even teaming up with popular BL novelists to localize and spin these stories for their loyal Japanese fan base. Just take a look at this sample from Harlequin Lovesick’s video promoting the Roommate.
It looks awesome and the dialogue, I must say, has pulled my heart strings a lot more than if it were in English. I have yet to wait for these books to be released and I am mildly tempted to honestly buy the English editions just to see the difference. But for now, let me pine a little more that I cannot get these beautiful Japanese covers in the English edition. Not gonna lie, but that Nakamura cover trumps those well-sculpted abs in the English edition.
Another title Harlequin Lovesick is planning to publish is Ranryouou, an older BL title by Yamaai Shikiko. These books will be available by October 24 and you can order them from Amazon Japan. In the meantime, you can read Roommate’s Japanese preview from the Harlequin website!
For more details, check Chil-chil’s news blurb.