Anime News

Apothecary Diaries Light Novels Coming to Print Next Year

Today Square Enix Manga & Books revealed that it will be publishing The Apothecary Diaries light novels in print, beginning on May 15, 2024. Square Enix Manga & Books already publishes the manga version in English, and J-Novel Club has been releasing the light novels digitally. As a result, J-Novel Club and Square Enix Manga & Books are working together on the translation for this print release.

According to a press release, the light novels will be released as “collectors’ quality trade paperback editions” and include full-color art inserts. The Apothecary Diaries has been a popular franchise, with the light novel series selling more than 21 million copies around the world, both physically and digitally. On top of that, there is an anime adaptation that will be hitting Crunchyroll on October 22. And while the first volume of the light novels won’t be out until next year, it is available for pre-order.

Square Enix gave this description for The Apothecary Diaries:

A palace servant with training in herbal medicine is promoted up the ranks to food taster…and right into the thick of imperial intrigue in this enthralling period mystery series!

In the East is a land ruled by an emperor, whose consorts and serving women live in a sprawling complex known as the hougong, the rear palace. Maomao, an unassuming girl raised in an unassuming town by her apothecary father, never imagined the rear palace would have anything to do with her-until she was kidnapped and sold into service there.

Though she looks ordinary, Maomao has a quick wit, a sharp mind, and an extensive knowledge of medicine. That’s her secret, until she encounters a resident of the palace at least as perceptive as she is: the head eunuch, Jinshi. He sees through Maomao’s façade and makes her a lady-in-waiting to none other than the Emperor’s favorite consort… so she can taste the lady’s food for poison!

At her lady’s side, Maomao starts to learn about everything that goes on in the rear palace-not all of it seemly. Can she ever lead a quiet life, or will her powers of deduction and insatiable curiosity bring her ever more adventures, and ever more dangers?

You can check out Otaku USA’s review of the manga here.


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at