BookWalker Global, Kadokawa‘s English-language digital reading platform, announced on Friday that it will release the first volume of the light novel series The Combat Baker and His Automaton Waitress (Tatakau Panya to Kikaiji kake no Kanbanmusume) in English in June.
The Combat Baker and His Automaton Waitress is the platform’s first “BookWalker-first” light novel title, and the announcement promised more to come. Light novels under this initiative will be exclusive to the BookWalker Global platform for six months after their release. BookWalker is fully funding the translations, but the rights to the translations will belong to the original Japanese publishers. BookWalker‘s stated purpose for the initiative is to bring exposure to smaller publishing companies, and help more titles get published in English outside of Japan.
Hobby Japan debuted writer SOW and artist ZAZA’s The Combat Baker and His Automaton Waitress light novel in Japan in 2015. The sixth volume shipped in Japan on December 28. BookWalker describes the light novel’s story as follows:
The Combat Baker and His Automaton Waitress is about an ex-soldier who moves to a rural town to open a bakery. While he has no problem baking delicious bread, this battle-scarred veteran discovers that his intimidating demeanor is scaring off potential customers. What good is having a bakery if you can’t sell a single loaf of bread?Just when he’s ready to give up, a red-eyed, white-haired girl walks into his shop to ask for a job. Could hiring her save his bakery? Just who is this beautiful girl? Is she even human?!
Kadokawa launched BookWalker as an English website and smartphone app in 2014. The service was taken down, but then relaunched in 2015. The store features manga and light novels, including titles that are also available in English from North American publishers such as Viz Media and Dark Horse Comics. Other manga titles, such as Ga-Rei, Magical Warfare, and Tokyo Ravens, are exclusive to BookWalker in English.
Kadokawa also runs its separate ComicWalker app. The app publishes different manga series as chapters are released in English, Japanese, and Traditional Chinese.