Kodansha Releasing Never-Before-Seen Hiro Mashima Story Collection

Kodansha USA brought some heavy hitters to Anime Expo, and the largest of which is most undoubtedly Hiro Mashima's Playground, a collection of debut stories Mashima wrote before he went on to create Rave Master and Fairy Tail.

The special collection is scheduled to release later this October, so fans of Mashima will definitely want to keep an eye out.

Hiro Mashima's Playground includes eight never-before-seen stories from the famous creator all collected within a 400 page set that even includes a special look at the pilot one-shot Mashima drew up for Fairy Tail before it became the series it's famous for today.

For those unfamiliar with Hiro Mashima's previous work Fairy Tail, the series was originally created by Hiro Mashima. It is set in a fantasy world full of magic, and Natsu Dragneel is a fire breathing wizard with the powers of a dragon, and is in search of his missing foster father, the dragon Igneel. As he and his wizarding guild Fairy Tail get into adventures, Natsu always tries to find a way to succeed. The series ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from August 2006 to July 2017 and has spawned 60 million copies. It was later adapted into an anime by A-1 Pictures, Dentsu Inc., and Satelight in 2009 and ended its first run in 2013. A second series ran from 2014 to 2016, and a third series is planned for a Fall release.

For fans not ready to say goodbye to Fairy Tail yet, this is only one of the many new projects Mashima has in the works. Along with a Fairy Tail sequel series, there are the confirmed spin-offs, Fairy Tail: City Hero, putting Fairy Tail's characters in another world, and Fairy Tail: Happy's Grand Adventure, which focuses on Happy, and Fairy Tail: Lightning Gods, which focuses on Laxus. It's a very exciting time to be a fan of his works for sure,

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There's also Mashima's latest work, Edens Zero, which was simultaneously published in five languages (Chinese, English, French, Korean, and Thai), for its first chapter as Edens Zero released in Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine's Issue 30. The first chapter of the series was simulpubbed and available for fans in other territories on Crunchyroll Manga, comiXology, and Kindle.

When the announcement from Kodansha broke, Hiro Mashima had a special message for his worldwide fans stating, "I'm bringing you my next series pretty soon! I can assure you it's going to be full of surprises and excitement. Please look forward to it on June 26!" Fans have reacted positively to the new series publication after reading through its premiere chapter.