Media Release — San Francisco, CA, JUNE 4, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, is previewing nine new manga series covering a variety of genres set to debut throughout the Third Quarter of 2009.
The upcoming releases feature titles that will appeal to a wide range of readers ranging from mature adult fans to adolescents, tweens and kids. New romantic debuts from the popular SHOJO BEAT imprint include Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, and BLACK BIRD, while new science fiction/fantasy manga releases will feature Ôoku: THE INNER CHAMBERS, Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, WaqWaq and CHILDREN OF THE SEA. A special trio of all-ages titles includes CHOCO MIMI, the first VIZ Kids manga series aimed specifically at young female readers, fun reptilian adventures with DINOSAUR KING, and the official film comic from the forthcoming Studio Ghibli film, PONYO, set to debut later this summer from famed director Hayao Miyazaki.
New Science Fiction/Fantasy Titles Include:
Rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences · MSRP: $12.99 US / $15.00 CAN · Available August 18
In Edo period Japan, a strange new disease called the Redface Pox has begun to prey on the country’s men. Within eighty years of the first outbreak, the male population has fallen to a quarter of the total female population. Women have taken on all the roles traditionally granted to men, even that of the Shogun. The men, precious providers of life, are carefully protected, and the most beautiful of the men are sent to serve in the Shogun’s Inner Chambers.
Ôoku: THE INNER CHAMBERS was created by Fumi Yoshinaga and won a special prize at the Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy’s 5th Sense of Gender Awards in 2005. Yoshinaga has won numerous other prestigious awards for her work, including the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for her series ANTIQUE BAKERY and the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Award for Ôoku. She was also was nominated for the 11th and a winner of the 12th Osamu Tezuka Award also for Ôoku, and also nominated as Best Writer/Artist for the 2008 Eisner Awards.
Announced at 2009 Book Expo last week, ÔOKU: THE INNER CHAMBERS was chosen as one of the Hot Fall Graphic Novels for Libraries.
Children of the Sea, Volume 1
by Daisuke Igarashi
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $14.99 US / $17.50 CAN · Available July 21
When Ruka was young, she once saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels inexplicably drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora, who both have the ability to breathe underwater. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea that she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the ocean’s fish.
CHILDREN OF THE SEA was created by award-winning artist Daisuke Igarashi. His series, WITCHES received the Excellence Prize at the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival while LITTLE FOREST was nominated for the 2005 Ozamu Tezuka Cultural Award. CHILDREN OF THE SEA is currently serialized in IKKI magazine, which has established itself as the home of some of the most innovative, bold, and compelling series in the world of contemporary manga. VIZ Media’s VIZ Signature imprint and IKKI magazine have partnered to bring free previews of CHILDREN OF THE SEA and other stories to North American fans via a new web site at www.sigikki.com.
WaqWaq, Volume 1
by Ryu Fujisaki
Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.50 CAN · Available August 4
Living in constant fear of attack from machines, mankind depends on the cyborg Protector corps known as the Guardians to keep them from harm as they await the arrival of the Kami, a godlike savior with mythical red blood. One day, Shio, who is the son of a Guardian, finds a red-blooded girl! Could she be the Kami they’ve been waiting for?
WaqWaq is a new science fiction series by Ryu Fujisaki, who also created the mythology-based manga series HOSHIN ENGI. WaqWaq and HOSHIN ENGI both originally debuted in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and Fujisaki has also been nominated for the prestigious Osamu Tezuka Manga Award.
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Volume 1
by hiroyuki Asada
Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $7.95 US / $9.50 CAN · Available September 1
In Amberground, a dangerous terrain where a man-made star casts a permanent twilight, young Lag Seeing aspires to become a Letter Bee, a postman entrusted to deliver the hearts of people separated from the ones they love.
Tegami Bachi: THE LETTER BEE features detailed and lush artwork by creator Hiroyuki Asada that brings to life a fantastic alternate world filled with innovative “steampunk” technology and imagery. The new series will further be highlighted in VIZ Media’s SHONEN JUMP magazine this summer.
Announced at 2009 Book Expo last week, TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE was recently chosen as one of the Hot Fall Graphic Novels for Libraries.
New SHOJO BEAT Titles Include:
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Volume 1
by Karuho Shiina
Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available August 4
Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine – for a horror movie! With her jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor, she’s often mistaken for the haunting movie character Sadako. But behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that–she’s about to make some enemies too!
KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU was created by Karuho Shiina who was born and raised in Hokkaido, Japan. Though KIMI NI TODOKE is only her second series following many one-shot stories, it has already racked up accolades from various “Best Manga of the Year” lists. Winner of the 2008 Kodansha Manga Award for the shojo category, KIMI NI TODOKE also placed fifth in the first-ever Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) contest in 2008. An animated series is also in production in Japan. Bonus stickers are included in limited editions of Vol. 1.
Announced at 2009 Book Expo last week, KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU was recently chosen as one of the Hot Fall Graphic Novels for Libraries.
Black Bird, Volume 1
by Kanoko Sakurakoji
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available August 4
There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, but she wants nothing to do with magical realms and just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. But all that changes one day when Misao is attacked by a demon. Her childhood friend Kyo suddenly returns to save her and tend to her cuts – with his tongue! It turns out Misao is the bride of prophecy, whose blood gives power to the demon clan who claims her. But most demons want to keep her power for themselves – by eating her! Now Misao is just trying to stay alive and trying to decide if she likes it when Kyo licks her wounds.
BLACK BIRD, winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award (2009) for Shojo, is the latest shojo series from Kanoko Sakurakoji. Sakurakoji’s debut title, Raibu ga Hanetara, was serialized in Bessatsu Shojo Comic magazine (currently called Betsucomi) in 2000. Her other shojo series, BACKSTAGE PRINCE, is also published domestically by VIZ Media.
New STUDIO GHIBLI Release:
PONYO FILM COMIC, Vols. 1-2 · Rated ‘A’ for All Ages · MSRP: $9.99 US / $11.50 CAN · Available August 4 · Vols. 3-4 Available September 1
From the Academy Award®-winning director and world-renowned Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki comes PONYO, a story inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Little Mermaid.” Already a box-office success in Japan, the story of a young and overeager goldfish named Ponyo (voiced by NOAH CYRUS) and her quest to become human features an outstanding roster of voice talent, including CATE BLANCHETT, MATT DAMON, TINA FEY, CLORIS LEACHMAN, LIAM NEESON, LILY TOMLIN, BETTY WHITE and FRANKIE JONAS as Sosuke, a young boy who befriends Ponyo.
The film from Walt Disney Studios will release on August 14, 2009. The official 4-volume film comics of PONYO re-tells the film’s story with vivid full-color frames.
New VIZ Kids Titles Include:
Choco Mimi, Volume 1
by Konami Sonoda
Rated ‘A’ for All Ages · MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.50 CAN · Available July 7
Meet Choco and Mimi, best friends in eighth grade. Choco is serious and reliable, while Mimi is silly and spoiled rotten–but they both have a flair for fashion! A new boy transfers into the girls’ class, and he just might be Choco’s type! Will a crush damage the girls’ friendship?! Or will Mimi’s crazy antics scare him away?
DINOSAUR KING, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘A’ for All Ages · MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.99 CAN · Available September 1
Max Taylor is obsessed with dinosaurs. He knows his Tapejara from his Pteradon and can find fossils better than a trained paleontologist. When he discovers a stone tablet that transports him to the age of dinosaurs, it’s a dream come true—until it becomes a nightmare. An evil genius named Dr. Z has enslaved the dinosaurs so he can use their hidden powers to take over the world! Now Max has to defeat Dr. Z and his Alpha Gang to save the ancient beasts and life as we know it.
DINOSAUR KING is the official manga tie-in for the top rated animated series seen on 4KIDS TV. The DINOSAUR KING property captivates millions of kids across North America and has spawned a variety of related video games and trading cards.
For a limited time Volume 1 will include an Upper Deck Dinosaur King trading card
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.