San Francisco, CA, NOVEMBER 21, 2008 – 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 manga series scheduled for release throughout the Fourth Quarter of 2008.
Seven new series are set to debut, beginning this month, and feature a variety of captivating stories designed to appeal to Teen and Older Teen readers. The new series include BLANK SLATE, NORA: The Last Chronicle of Devildom, SOLANIN, CAPTIVE HEARTS, GABA KAWA, WE WERE THERE and St. ? Dragon Girl.
“We are looking forward to bringing a diverse range of titles in Q4 which will range from slice-of-life stories to romance and more!” says Evelyn Dubocq, Sr. Director of Public Relations, VIZ Media. “As the 2008 holiday season approaches, manga fans will have multiple strong VIZ Media releases to choose from in every genre.”
SOLANIN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $17.99 US / $21.00 CAN Available Now!
College graduates struggle to cope with the real world and music offers refuge in this modern manga with an American indie comic attitude. Meiko Inoue is a recent college grad working in a job that she hates and having issues with her freeloading boyfriend. Straddling the line between her years as a student and the rest of her life, Meiko struggles with the feeling that she’s just not cut out to be a part of the real world.
SOLANIN was written and illustrated by award-winning creator Inio Asano and was originally published as a two-volume series but will be released by VIZ Media in a striking omnibus edition that includes six color pages. This touchingly realistic story was brought to life through Inio Asano’s distinctive art style and excellent writing. SOLANIN is part of VIZ Media’s Signature line, an imprint featuring manga for the experienced comic reader who seeks sophisticated stories with exceptional art.
NORA: The Last Chronicle of Devildom · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.50 CAN · Available Now!
Nora, an unruly demon, has defied his Dark Liege one too many times. For the sake of his “education,” Nora is sent to live among mortals and enters a bond of servitude with cool-as-ice star student Kazuma Makkari. But this relationship is destined to become a match made in Hell. Kazuma now must learn the ways of the underworld while Nora discovers more about the “real world” than he ever thought possible. When the seal for Nora’s form is released he becomes Cerberus, the vicious dog of disaster. But Nora can only use magic when Kazuma grants him permission, and he doesn’t grant it easily. The Dark Liege wants the pair to team up and crack down on renegade demon factions in the human world, but first they must find a way to get along. NORA: The Last Chronicle of Devildom is Kazunari Kakei’s first manga series and originally debuted in Japan’s Monthly Shonen Jump magazine. Blending the conceptual appeal of supernatural cliffhangers like DEATH NOTE with the aesthetic design elements of manga series like FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, the series will appeal to fans of character-based, supernatural genre franchises like Hellblazer and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In Japan, the popularity of NORA: The Last Chronicle of Devildom eventually spawned a second series called SUREBREC: NORA the 2nd, which also premiered in Monthly Shonen Jump.
BLANK SLATE · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available Now!
BLANK SLATE is an edgy new shojo manga series by Aya Kanno that heightens the level of drama with plenty of social and political intrigue. Zen’s memory has been wiped, and he can’t remember if he’s a killer or hero, and a lot of people want to keep it that way. Zen’s unearthly charm attracts a veritable rogues’ gallery of mysterious and shady characters, each with their own agenda. A bounty hunter becomes obsessed enough to become Zen’s new partner, while the daughter of a prominent General treats him like some sort of guru. But when Zen meets a mysterious doctor who may know him from the past, he learns that the real secret of his lost memory is definitely more sinister than saintly. Creator Aya Kanno first came to the attention of North American fans with her manga, SOUL RESCUE, and her latest series, OTOMEN, is currently serialized in Japan’s popular BetsuHana magazine and is set to be published by VIZ Media in early 2009.
WE WERE THERE · Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available Now!
WE WERE THERE is a best-selling shojo manga by Yuki Obata that depicts the life of a high school freshman named Nanami Takahashi as she falls for Motoharu Yano, the most popular, carefree boy in class. For Nanami, it’s first love, but Yano is still grieving the death of his girlfriend who died tragically the year before. Nanami begins high school with big hopes of making new friends. But as her crush on Yano intensifies, she soon learns that he may have too many secrets for her to handle. WE WERE THERE was a smash hit in Japan, with volume one being reprinted an amazing 22 times in only three years, and the manga was also developed into a popular animated series. Creator Yuki Obata won the Shogakukan Shinjin Comics Taisho Kasaku Award in 1998 for her debut, RAINDROPS, and she went on to win the prestigious 50th Shogakukan Manga Award for WE WERE THERE.
CAPTIVE HEARTS · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available Now!
CAPTIVE HEARTS is one of the major manga releases by Matsuri Hino that first established her as one of the top creators in the shojo genre. Carefree Megumi Kuroishi was living a life of luxury until the day a girl named Suzuka Kogami walked into his life. All of a sudden, Megumi finds himself kneeling at Suzuka’s feet and prostrating himself like a servant! What Megumi doesn’t initially know is that his family is cursed to follow the orders of the Kogami family. Can anything be done about Megumi’s captive state or is he doomed to see Suzuka as his master forever? Matsuri Hino burst onto the manga scene with her first title WHEN THIS DREAM IS OVER, which was published in Japan’s monthly shojo manga magazine LaLa DX. She has gone on to gain international acclaim for her subsequent works like MERU PURI and the gothic-tinged VAMPIRE KNIGHT (both published domestically) and her ornate and eye-catching visual style has greatly impacted the manga scene both in Japan and North America as more fans discover her unique stories.
St. ? Dragon Girl · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · Available December 2
Momoka Sendou, nicknamed “Dragon Girl,” and Ryuga Kou are childhood friends. Momoka is a skilled martial artist while Ryuga is a Chinese magic master who banishes demons. The action heightens when a demon serpent king that appears only once every hundred years to select a bride abducts Momoka’s friend, Shunran. Will Momoka and Ryuga be able to defeat this powerful entity before Shunran is lost forever? In order to increase his power, Ryuga calls on the spirit of a dragon to possess him, but the spirit enters Momoka instead. Now the two must unite forces and fight the demon together in this exciting fantasy shojo adventure from Natsumi Matsumoto. St. ? Dragon Girl was a popular hit in Japan that also spawned a sequel, St. ? Dragon Girl Miracle.
GABA KAWA · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN · December 2
Gaba Kawa is a new supernatural shojo story from Rie Takada, who also created the popular Happy Hustle High and Punch! (both available from VIZ Media). GABA KAWA introduces readers to Rara, a young and spunky female demon who is only supposed to cause mischief in the mortal world and draw humans to the dark path. She’s not supposed to help mortals and definitely not supposed to fall in love with them! But that’s just what happens when Rara enters high school, where a hot guy named Retsu Aku calls her “Gaba Kawa,” referring to someone who is so persistent, it’s cute. But while demons gain power by causing mischief, the opposite is also true – if Rara uses any of her powers to help mortals, she’ll immediately lose that very power. And if she loses enough power, she’ll disappear! What’s a “Gaba Kawa” demon to do? Readers will delight in the funny and romantic answer.
Creator Rie Takada has captivated millions with her innovative shojo series PUNCH! and HAPPY HUSTLE HIGH, which have sold more than 80K copies in North America combined. Her whimsical artistic style, called chibi (meaning short person” or “small child”), is an exaggerated style of manga illustration that’s currently the rage in Japan and is characterized by hyper-cute and often very petite characters bursting with bubbly personalities. The style also lends to a fun degree of comedy and zaniness that further typifies the chibi genre. GABA KAWA was also serialized in VIZ Media’s SHOJO BEAT magazine.
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.