VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will mark the two year anniversary of SHOJO BEAT™ magazine with a special July 2007 issue containing an exclusive 23-page excerpt from manga titan Osamu Tezuka’s groundbreaking series, PRINCESS KNIGHT! The series, which has never before appeared in English, debuted in 1953 and is widely credited as the first example of contemporary ’shojo’ manga, or comics for girls. It remains a defining benchmark of the genre.
SHOJO BEAT’s second anniversary issue will also include an exclusive full-color poster from the hit manga NANA by Ai Yazawa, and a celebration of all things summer with a summer reading list, articles on summer food, music and festivals, and a collection of sexy shojo beach scenes by some of the most notable artists in the genre. The July 2007 anniversary issue of SHOJO BEAT goes on sale nationwide on June 5. SHOJO BEAT magazine is rated T+ for older teens.
VIZ Media will also hold a special SHOJO BEAT 2nd Year Anniversary Party at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum on June 15, 2007. Novala Takemoto, author of the hit novel KAMIKAZE GIRLS (the basis for the manga and live-action movie by the same name), will be the guest of honor. Guests at the gala will also be able to view the museum’s special exhibition Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga, the first exhibition of it’s kind in the U.S. to showcase the work of Osamu Tezka. SHOJO BEAT is currently holding a sweepstakes that fans 16 and older can enter to win an invitation to the gala. Information and entries are available until May 18 on the SHOJO BEAT web site at: http://www.shojobeat.com/2ndanniversary. Fifty contestants (with their guests), will be selected by VIZ Media to receive the Anniversary Party invitations. Complete rules and entry dates are listed on the web site. Also set to attend are a variety of SHOJO BEAT advertisers and sponsors who are active in the Japanese pop culture retail arena and related aspects of manga, videogames, anime and J-Pop. The event will feature a variety of exclusive movie trailers, manga gifts, CDs, raffle prizes and an editor’s table where fans can talk one-on-one with VIZ Media manga editors.
‘We are very excited to celebrate the second anniversary of SHOJO BEAT Magazine and mark the occasion with this special commemorative issue and gala event,’ says Shie Lundberg, VIZ Media’s Director of Magazines Marketing. ‘This is an opportunity to thank our readers for their support and revel in the tremendous momentum that continues to make manga so popular with young female readers across North America.’
SHOJO BEAT was launched by VIZ Media in 2005 as a sister publication to the widely circulated monthly manga anthology, SHONEN JUMP, and it has struck a chord with a fast developing and sizable demographic of female readers. With dedicated support from fans and distributors, SHOJO BEAT originally launched with a 20,000 circulation and now has reached an average circulation of over 43,000 per issue and continues to grow. Strong advertising partners including TRUTH, Skechers, Namco, FUNimation, RightStuf, and Vivcore have contributed to this success. These partners have recognized the value of the magazine in reaching a unique audience of young women who are uniquely expressive, artistic, stylish and love to both read and play video games in their spare time.
SHOJO BEAT is designed to emulate its counterparts in Japan, where a magazine and a book imprint work hand in hand. The magazine serializes six different shojo manga series and offers preview chapters of new shojo manga titles. Many popular VIZ Media shojo titles such as NANA, ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND, VAMPIRE KNIGHT and BEAUTY POP debuted in SHOJO BEAT magazine and then went on to manga volume publication under VIZ Media’s SHOJO BEAT MANGA imprint. The magazine also features a variety of insightful articles about Japanese culture plus fun coverage of style, music, art, food and pop culture, which serve as entry points for new readers.
‘The evolution of SHOJO BEAT is gratifying and the popularity of this realm of manga has truly become a national phenomenon,’ says Marc Weidenbaum, Editor-in-Chief of SHOJO BEAT magazine and Vice President of VIZ Media’s Magazine Division. ‘SHOJO BEAT is a unique publication that delivers the best sampling of the latest and most acclaimed shojo manga titles available anywhere and presents them in a captivating format that is entertaining and easy to read and that lends the material cultural context. We are privileged to also introduce our readers to the history of shojo manga by offering exclusive excerpts like Osamu Tezuka’s PRINCESS KNIGHT, which is regarded a defining masterpiece of the genre. This will be a summer of shojo with our second anniversary celebration. We look forward to the continued success of SHOJO BEAT!’