CLAMP, the four-woman team behind xxxHoLiC, Tsubasa, and Cardcaptor Sakura, made a major announcement last week: They are resuming work on Legal Drug (G?h? Drug), which has been on hiatus since 2003.
The next chapter will run in the December issue of Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace magazine, and before that, according to the French site Manga News, the three existing volumes will be re-published with new covers. The news appeared in the September issue of the Japanese anime and manga magazine Newtype.
Of course, this is all happening in Japan. Will English-speaking fans get another hit of Legal Drug? The series was published by Tokyopop in the U.S., but Tokyopop is no longer publishing manga. Observers are betting on Dark Horse, which has republished some older CLAMP titles like Clover and Cardcaptor Sakura in lovely omnibus editions and has the license for the new series Gate 7. “The big question for us English-readers now, however, is when will Dark Horse announce the license?” writes Lissa Pattillo at Kuriousity. “Fingers crossed, but consider this a big ‘pretty-please, Dark Horse!’.” At The Manga Critic, Kate Dacey calls Legal Drug a “good fit” with Dark Horse’s other series. But don’t rule out Yen Press, which currently publishes the CLAMP series Kobato. Yen also publishes some other Kadokawa Shoten series, including The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Highschool of the Dead. (As of this posting, Dark Horse had not yet responded to our query and Yen Press had no comment.)
Readers are also speculating about whether CLAMP will pick up where they left off eight years ago or relaunch the series altogether; the French-language site Manga News, which broke the story, used the verb “reprendre” to describe what CLAMP is doing; the CLAMP fansite clamp_now translated it as “resume” rather than “restart.” When CLAMP appeared at Anime Expo in 2006, group member Nanase Ohkawa, who writes the stories, said they would return to it “in the near future,” and artist Tsubaki Nekoi, who drew the illustrations for Legal Drug, still draws doodles of the characters.
Legal Drug (also known as Lawful Drug) is the story of four young men who work at a drugstore; the lead character, Kazahaya Kudo, collapsed in the snow and was rescued by Rikuo Himura, who took him to live and work at the store. The owner, Kakei, sends Kazahaya and Rikuo on mysterious errands of a supernatural nature.
CLAMP has two other unfinished series, Clover and X/1999, and this development has fans hoping that these two series will be revived as well.