San Francisco, CA, January 16, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced several eagerly awaited new shojo manga series (graphic novel) series, scheduled for release during the First Quarter of 2009.
Published under the company’s popular Shojo Beat imprint, the new series will include HEAVEN’S WILL, THE MAGIC TOUCH and OTOMEN as well as VIZBIG editions of FUSHIGI YUGI and HOT GIMMICK. The VIZBIG titles will offer omnibus volumes in a 5-3/4 x 8-5/8 size (larger than the standard 5 x 7½ manga size) with special premium presentations including new cover art and added content such as author interviews, updated text and character art.
“We’re very excited to kick off 2009 with several new manga series from some of the most talented creators in the shojo genre,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Product Marketing for VIZ Media. “These stories are filled with zany antics of love-struck high school kids in THE MAGIC TOUCH and OTOMEN to the supernatural fun of HEAVEN’s WILL. Readers also won’t want to miss the first VIZBIG treatments of two popular shojo manga series – FUSHIGI YUGI and HOT GIMMICK. The hefty editions are a great new way to have these two classic titles presented to new fans as well as seasoned readers. ”
FUSHIGI YUGI VIZBIG · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $17.99 US / $21.99 CAN · Available Now!
FUSHIGI YÛGI is a beloved fantasy from Yu Watase, one of Japan’s top manga creators. The new omnibus VIZBIG edition is wonderfully exciting, funny, and heartfelt tale of a normal junior-high-school girl who is transported into a fictional version of ancient China after reading a strange book called The Universe of the Four Gods. While there she becomes a High Priestess and encounters an array of villains and dashing heroes but yet she still manages to worry about her grades and her next school banquet. Each VIZBIG edition of FUSHIGI YÛGI contains three volumes, bonus color content, and updated text.
An acclaimed manga artist for nearly 20 years, Yu Watase first gained acclaim in 1989 when her short story, An Intrusion in Pajamas, appeared in the monthly manga anthology Shôjo Comic. She has since gone one to create many long-running and renowned series including ALICE 19th, FUSHIGI YÛGI and its sequel, FUSHIGI YUGI: GENBU KAIDAN, as well as Ceres Celestial Legend, and Absolute Boyfriend (all published by VIZ Media). FUSHIGI YÛGI has sold more than 13 million copies in Japan and over 1.1 million copies in North America and spawned two animated television series, an OVA series, anime soundtrack CDs, and a string of related novels.
HOT GIMMICK VIZBIG · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $17.99 US / $21.00 CAN · Available March 17, 2009
In tiny, company-owned rabbit-hutch apartments live tenants who can’t afford to live anywhere else. This apartment complex, in which high-school girl Hatsumi Narita lives, is ruled over by the rumor-mongering, self-righteous Mrs. Tachibana. Get on her bad side and life becomes hell. One day Hatsumi buys a pregnancy test for her popular but flirty sister Akane. Mrs. Tachibana’s son, Ryoki, who used to bully Hatsumi as a kid, promises not to tell the world about Hatsumi’s secret, only if she will become his slave. Soon after a boy named Azusa, who was Hatsumi’s protector in their youth, reappears to save her again! He’s moving back into the neighborhood, and despite a budding romance between Hatsumi and Azusa, Ryoki continues to have control over her through the secret pact that could ruin the lives of everyone in Hatsumi’s family. Usually a sensible and mild-mannered young girl, Hatsumi suddenly finds herself in a swirl of drama that threatens to drive her totally crazy.
HOT GIMMICK creator Miki Aihara turned the manga world upside down with this salacious, outrageous, and funny hit series. If you think being a teenager in America is hard, wait until you read HOT GIMMICK! Aihara made her debut in 1991 with Lip Conscious!, which was published in the Bessatsu Shojo Comic anthology and she remains a major contributor to the magazine. In addition to HOT GIMMICK, Aihara also created TOKYO BOYS AND GIRLS (available from VIZ Media), TEACHER’S PET, THE CLEAR WIDE BLUE SKY, SO BAD! and AS LONG AS THERE IS A SUN IN THE SKY, among others.
HEAVEN’S WILL · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: 8.99 US / $10.99 CAN· Available Now!
Sudou Mikuzu has a very special talent/power – she can see ghosts. And because of this, she’s become a magnet for all sorts of unwelcome spirits and monsters. Lucky for her she’s just met Seto, a friendly, cross-dressing young exorcist. Sudou needs protection from all the creepy phantoms bugging her and Seto needs to practice his exorcism skills. Consequently, the pair decides to team up and help each other. In return for Seto’s help, Sudou promises to bake him a cake every time a ghost gets zapped!
Created by Satoru Takamiya, HEAVEN’S WILL first appeared as a short story in Chu Chu magazine, a popular Japanese shojo manga anthology for teen girls published by Shogakukan. HEAVEN’S WILL offers a premise similar to popular supernatural sagas like BLEACH but introduces a romantically-tinged plot element combined with stylized gothic appeal. Fans of popular supernatural television series such as Medium, Journeyman, Ghost Whisperer, and Pushing Daisies won’t want to miss HEAVEN’S WILL.
THE MAGIC TOUCH · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: 8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available February 3, 2009
Aside from being the star of her high school’s Massage Research Society club, Chiaki Togu is a normal, quiet girl—until she falls head over heels in love with a gorgeous back, which happens to belong to Yosuke, the hottest guy at her school! Unfortunately, Chiaki’s attraction to Yosuke is thwarted by her own insecurity and the scheming of other girls, especially those of her twin sister Sayaka! Although Yosuke seems out of Chiaki’s league, she will do almost anything to give him a massage. The two eventually strike a deal where she will be allowed to touch his back if she can make him fall in love with her. What Chiaki doesn’t know is the real reason Yosuke wants to hang around her: to avenge his younger brother, who was allegedly deceived and dumped by somebody named Chiaki Togu! Is this a simple case of mistaken identity or the beginning of a tragedy?
THE MAGIC TOUCH was created by Izumi Tsubaki, who began drawing manga during her first year of high school. She was soon selected to be among the Top 10 artists selected by popular manga anthology Hana to Yume (Flowers And Dreams) and went on to win the publication’s Big Challenge manga contest. THE MAGIC TOUCH was a best seller in Japan (where it was originally known as Oyayubi kara Romance, or Romance from the Thumbs), and fan buzz across North America has created great anticipation for the series debut. In addition to THE MAGIC TOUCH, Tsubaki is currently working on the manga series, I’M THE TEACHER.
OTOMEN · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: 8.99 US / $10.50 CAN
· Available February 3, 2009
Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things–sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo manga. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and instead play the part of a masculine jock. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can’t sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself attracted to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he’s falling for?
OTOMEN, created by Aya Kanno, is currently being serialized in Japan’s BetsuHana magazine. OTOMEN is a best seller in Japan, with each new volume appearing in the Top 15 of Japan’s Tohan rankings that chart manga popularity and sales. Aya Kanno’s other series, BLANK SLATE, is also published by VIZ Media recently debuted across North America.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.