Sci-Fi Wire is reporting that Viz Media has launched a new imprint, Haikasoru, to bring translate Japanese SF and Fantasy novels into English and release them in the US. The imprint will mainly focus on “Light Novels” shorter novels, often serialized in Japanese SF magazines.

A not-insignificant amount of Japanese Anime has begun to be adapted from Light Novels instead of Manga (notably the “Full Metal Panic” series, as well as the “Crest/Banner of the Stars” series and well before that the “Slayers” series. The first novel scheduled to be released is The Lord of the Sands of Time by Issui Ogawa.