VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced its plans to launch nine eagerly awaited new manga (graphic novel) series in the Second Quarter of 2008.
The new releases are aimed primarily at Teen and Older Teen readers, which form the core of the manga market, and encompass a unique selection of genres ranging from action/adventure and shojo romance stories to darker, more twisted tales that exemplify the gothic and horror genres that have become extremely popular. The new series will include GUN BLAZE WEST, HARUKA: BEYOND THE STEAM OF TIME, NIGHTMARE INSPECTOR: YUMEKUI KENBUN, B.O.D.Y, FAIRY CUBE, THE RECORD OF A FALLEN VAMPIRE, ROSARIO+VAMPIRE, GIMMICK! and CAT EYED BOY.
‘VIZ Media again shows the diversity that is at the core of the manga medium with our latest range of offerings for the Second Quarter,’ says Liza Coppola, Sr. Vice President, Marketing, VIZ Media. ‘From the western-themed GUN BLAZE WEST, the latest title from the famed creator of RUROUNI KENSHIN, to HARUKA: BEYOND THE STREAM OF TIME, which is based on a popular Japanese dating video game for girls, there is an array from which to choose. As the gothic genre flourishes among a growing legion of fans, FAIRY CUBE, NIGHTMARE INSPECTOR: YUMEKUI KENBUM, and THE RECORD OF A FALLEN VAMPIRE will delight with captivating visual style and dark characters. Finally, for those who relish the spine chilling, we are extremely pleased to announce the North American debut of CAT EYED BOY from Kazuo Umezu, who is considered the master of the horror manga genre that has recently captivated legions of domestic readers.’
GUN BLAZE WEST • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $7.99
• Available April 1, 2008
A brand new addition to the SHONEN JUMP imprint from Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of the successful samurai manga series RUROUNI KENSHIN and BUSO RENKIN (both published domestically by VIZ Media), GUN BLAZE WEST puts a new twist on the genre as it is set in 19th century America. Legend has it that in the far West lies a sacred land called Gun Blaze West, where only the strong can set foot. Viu Bannes, a cheerful and persistent boy, aspires to become a great gunslinger and yearns to travel to the West and test his strength. He befriends a vagabond, Marcus Homer, and they both decide to set off on a journey to find Gun Blaze West. The new title is VIZ Media’s first Western/Wild West series and will also be previewed in SHONEN JUMP magazine. Nobuhiro Watsuki’s critically acclaimed previous series RUROUNI KENSHIN is a fan favorite that has sold more than 1.1 million copies in North America and his BUSO RENKIN series likewise enjoys a wide and growing following.
HARUKA: BEYOND THE STREAM OF TIME • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
• MSRP: $8.99 • Available April 1, 2008
HARUKA: BEYOND THE STREAM OF TIME is a highly anticipated new series based on a popular PS2 and Nintendo DS video game that is hugely popular in Japan. Akane is your typical teenage girl, until she swallows eight Dragon Jewels and is transported to the Heian period of ancient Japan! There in the Capital City, Akane learns that she has been preordained to lead the people as the Priestess of the Dragon God. But all is not well: Akram, the head of the Demon Clan, has sworn death and destruction on the Capital. So Akane is appointed Eight Guardians to stand by her side as she faces the danger that waits. HARUKA: BEYOND THE STREAM OF TIME is a new addition to VIZ Media’s SHOJO BEAT imprint and is currently being serialized in SHOJO BEAT magazine. The original Haruka video game was created by Ruby Party (aka Ruby Patty), the same group that designed the wildly popular Neoromance video game Angelique, and helped to define the modern Neoromance dating RPG format. Bandai Visual USA is also releasing the anime in April 2008.
NIGHTMARE INSPECTOR: YUMEKUI KENBUN • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $9.99 • Available April 8, 2008
For those who suffer nightmares, help awaits at the Silver Star Tea House, where patrons can order much more than just Darjeeling. Hiruko is a special kind of private investigator, he’s a dream eater, and he’ll rid you of your darkest vision - for a price. Each chapter of NIGHMARE INSPECTOR is a self-contained story that offers a glimpse of mankind’s folly and gradually reveals a little more about Hiruko and his dark past. A highly anticipated new series with a gothic edge, NIGHTMARE INSPECTOR was published in Japan by Square Enix, the publisher of the first manga series from Shin Mashiba. Fan-buzz has abounded on this series and comparisons have been made to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and DC’s classic House of Mystery/House of Secrets.
B.O.D.Y. • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 • Available April 8, 2008
Everyone thinks 16-year-old Sakura has weird taste in guys because she can’t stop drooling over Ryunosuke, the strong silent type who sits next to her in class. When she discovers he works for a host club, where women actually pay men to date them, will she finally wise up? Will he leave his job to be with her? Or will she take a job at the club so he can quit so she can be with him so…? Only one thing’s for sure in B.O.D.Y. - you can’t put a price on love! B.O.D.Y. originally appeared in the Japanese shojo monthly Bessatsu Margaret was created by Ao Mimori. It is her third shojo manga series and is also currently serialized in SHOJO BEAT magazine.
FAIRY CUBE • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $8.99
• Available May 6, 2008
Ian and Rin used to just see spirits. Now Ian is one. Using the Fairy Cube, Ian must figure out how to stop the lizard spirit Tokage from taking over his life and destroying any chance he has of resurrection. FAIRY CUBE is the long-awaited new series from gothic manga mastermind Kaori Yuki, who created ANGEL SANCTUARY, GODCHILD, and THE CAIN SAGA (all published by VIZ Media). A new addition to VIZ Media’s SHOJO BEAT imprint, FAIRY CUBE will be previewed in the April 2008 issue of SHOJO BEAT magazine.
THE RECORD OF A FALLEN VAMPIRE • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $9.99
• Available May 13, 2008
Thousands of years ago, Vampire King Akabara Rosered Strauss lost both his kingdom and his queen. Since humans were unable to kill the queen, they sealed her away, erecting thousands of fake seals so that the king would never find her true location. Despite being pursued by relentless humans and half-vampires alike, Akabara continues to search for his queen to this day. Akabara’s quest takes a sinister turn when an entity called the Black Swan appears. The Black Swan inhabits the body of a young human girl every 50 years, giving her the power to destroy the Vampire King and his queen. With each incarnation the Black Swan grows stronger -will the 49th Black Swan mean the end of Akabara? THE RECORD OF A FALLEN VAMIRE is illustrated by Yuri Kimura and written by Kyo Shirodaira, the award-winning writer behind the popular mystery manga and animated series SPIRAL - BONDS OF REASONING.
ROSARIO + VAMPIRE • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99
• Available May 13, 2008
All-around average teenager Tsukune can’t get accepted to any high school save one, but on his first day, he finds the rest of the student body doesn’t appear average in the least. Best of all, the cutest girl on campus can’t wait to fling her arms around his neck! Wait a sec’, are those her teeth around his neck too? Tsukune’s going to have one heck of a hickey when he gets home from Monster High! But does he have a chance in hell of raising his grades at a school where the turf war isn’t between the jocks and the nerds but between vampires and the werewolves? Find out in the new series from Akihisa Ikeda.
GIMMICK! • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99
• Available June 10, 2008
Gimmick! is an interesting new series by Youzaburou Kanari and focuses on Kohei Nagase, a genius in the realm of movie make-up and special effects. With his stuntman buddy Kannazuki, Kohei helps various people in need get out of tough situations through the use of his brilliant make-up skills. This series has action, mystery, and lots of insights about the technical aspects that go into doing really cool movie make-up.
CAT EYED BOY • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $24.99 •
Available June 17, 2008
Cat Eyed Boy is a half-human, half-monster child whose mostly human appearance bans him from the demon world. He lives hidden in the shadows of the human world, hated by humans and demons alike. Wherever he goes, awful events occur as the humans and demons interact. In 11 stories of revenge and retribution full of disturbing images, Cat Eyed Boy acts as a trickster, saving the innocent and helping the wicked receive the punishment that fate metes out. The first volume contains four stories and the first part of a fifth and longer story. CAT EYED BOY was created by Kazuo Umezu, the undisputed master of Japanese horror manga and creator of the critically acclaimed DRIFTING CLASSROOM (also published by VIZ Media). Cat Eyed Boy offers up a concoction of dark vignettes dripping with the macabre and the absurd.