Sorry about the length thing. Blame it on my upbringing; I'm the son of two lawyers and terseness is not one of my strong suits
And it's not just the covers, they actually change the illustrations as well and possibly the text (I can't actually read Japanese, so I can't be sure about that last part)
It so happens that today was my day in the city, and hence my day to visit the Japanese book store so I took the liberty of doing a comparison pic. 190-6(old) is on the left and 190-23 (new) on the right (they are both The Sign of Four
And it may not just be cashing in, I think some of the publishing companies are having to deal with a new batch of illustrators who take their cues from old television and movie versions of the stories they are illustrating more than they do previous versions of the books. One of the other book series is currently re-doing a lot of their kids stuff using an illustrator I think was modern manga trained and as a result a LOT of the stuff looks TV-y. The Heidi
seems to take a lot of cues from the Anime version, The Anne of Green Gables
from the anime of that, and today I picked up a Doctor Doolittle that seems to have more in common with the Rex Harrsion movie than with whoever did the original pictures for Lofting (I don't recall there being a female lead in the original book).
That number code has actually proved useful in some cases for working out what the hell a book was. There are some authors where some of the big titles in Japan are things I had never heard of here. For example, I know Jules Verne from 20,000 Leauges Under the Sea
but Deux ans de Vacances
which is a top seller in Japan, was something I had never heard of. Or Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
and A Little Princess
I know well, Little Lord Fauntleroy
I had only heard about secondhand (as one of those things our parents read" class books.
"For I have heard the Song of War, and to me, it sounds just like "Please, Mister Custer.""
Cogito Ergot Sum, "I think there is something wrong with this rye bread." (Aplogies to Seafrol.)