January, 2009

First-Of-Its-Kind Imprint Launches This Summer To Publish The Best In Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction Novels

San Francisco, CA, January 27, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the launch of a brand-new imprint called Haikasoru, which will publish an array of contemporary Japanese science fiction (SF) and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences. This is the first time an imprint with a dedicated focus on Japanese SF has launched in North America.

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Worlds of Horror and Geek Converge at booth 1161 to Bring Swag to the Masses!

Parlin, NJ - January 28, 2009: Action-figure.com and Dread Central.com team up for the first time to bring free swag and contest prizes to fans at New York Comic Con 2009 this February 6-8th at the Jacob Javits Center!

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The Fascinating World Of Japanese Cuisine Is Explored In Best-Selling Manga That Has Sold More Than 100 Million Copies And Helped Define The Popular Food Genre

San Francisco, CA, January 23, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will delight fans of Japanese cuisine and culture with the debut of the critically acclaimed OISHINBO available now, under the VIZ Signature imprint, the company's dynamic outlet for classic and literary manga titles aimed at more mature and sophisticated readers.

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Digital Download Of Da Capo in English Available Worldwide Exclusively At MangaGamer

Renowned Bishoujo Game Available Today via Digital Download

January 23, 2009. MangaGamer.com is pleased to announce the digital release of Da Capo, the signature title of Circus. In this traditional adventure game, the player plays the role of Junichi Asakura, a 3rd year student at Kazami Academy on Hatsune Island where cherry blossoms are in bloom all year long. In such mystical island, Junichi spends his Spring school life with many girls such as his kind stepsister, Nemu Asakura, school idol Kotori Shirakawa, and his clingy childhood friend, Sakura Yoshino.

Da Capo will be available in English for the first time since its initial release in 2002.

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(San Francisco, CA) -- eigoMANGA announces the release of the comic book adaptation of 'God Drug' (Diamond Order Code JAN094213) to retail stores on March 29, 2009. The 'God Drug' graphic novel is based of a highly acclaimed American fiction novel originally written by Stephen Antczak.

'God Drug' is a story about the C.I.A. subjecting a group of low-ranking marines with experimental LSD-like hallucinogen. The experiments failed and created a being with destructive psychic abilities who was driven insane after being held in cryo-stasis for over 30 years.

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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.

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(San Francisco, CA) -- eigoMANGA LLC and Visionary Comics Studio proudly announce the forthcoming publication of "The Frog Princess" (Diamond Order Code JAN094212), an original hardcover graphic novel from writer Jeff Loew (finalist in the "Be a Visionary" contest co-sponsored by VCS and AAM/Markosia) and artist Rie Ikaza (aka "Fitri," one of Indonesia's hottest manga artists).

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Top 100 and Midlist 100 Volumes of 2008
- By Matt Blind

[sigh] Naruto, Death Note, Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, and Bleach.

Well, at least you kids know what you like.

What's the midlist, you ask? Well, since a chart showing just the very top volumes is awfully repetitive, and not very illuminating, I'll exclude volumes from the top five series (listed above) and re-run and re-number the chart for a Midlist ranking. First up, though:

Top 100 Manga Volumes of 2008

1. Death Note 1 - Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Oct 2005 [21636.9] ::
2. Death Note 2 - Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Nov 2005 [21578.4] ::
3. Naruto 28 - Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2008 [20971.2] ::
4. Death Note 3 - Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Jan 2006 [20778.5] ::
5. Vampire Knight 1 - Viz Shojo Beat, Jan 2007 [20640.8] ::
6. Vampire Knight 2 - Viz Shojo Beat, May 2007 [20504.1] ::
7. Vampire Knight 3 - Viz Shojo Beat, Oct 2007 [20413.2] ::
8. Death Note 4 - Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Mar 2006 [19818.2] ::
9. Death Note 6 - Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Jul 2006 [19484.5] ::
10. Naruto 29 - Viz Shonen Jump, May 2008 [19440.4] ::

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DLSite offers Blade Engine – Visual Novel Construction Kit for FREE

HERNDON, VA – January 9, 2009 – DLSite.com, an on-demand website that provide a diverse array of Doujin items such as Doujinshi, CG collection, game, novel, music, and utility tool via online is now giving away Blade Engine Pro for FREEE. Blade Engine is a tool to create Japanese style story-telling adventure game. The first 20 Circles which register a new product, will receive Blade Engine for FREE!

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Top 300 Series of 2008
- By Matt Blind

My 2008 rankings are based on 37 weeks of data (about 70% of the year) starting in late February and running (with minimal gaps) to the end of November, with a couple of charts right at the end to round out the year.

Full weekly charts have been posted (and continue to post) under the rankings category at Rocketbomber.com.

Top 300 Series, 2008
Publishers' Scorecard

[Note: 801 Media & DMP June could be considered to be over-represented since each one-shot manga and novel counts as a single series. It would be more representative to look at some of their authors and mangaka as constituting a single series -- but I'm not doing that.]

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Leading On-Demand Web Retailer Offers Unique Apparel, Stationery And Other Items Inspired By Japanese Pop Culture, Manga And Animation

San Francisco, CA, January 7, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced a partnership with Zazzle to launch a new line of J-Pop, manga and anime-inspired apparel, stationery, and other items. VIZ Media's J-Pop Style Stop at Zazzle is located at www.zazzle.com/vizmedia and offers a variety of visually compelling and original designs inspired by a love of Japanese pop culture available on an on-demand basis with most products produced within 24 hours of ordering.

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An article titled "Men Under Pressure: Representations of the 'Salaryman' and his Organization in Japanese Manga" was published in the journal Organization last year. Although the article is not readily available to the general public (you need to be a subscriber), the article's authors would like to hear comments and feedbacks, and are willing to send a PDF of the article to those who contacts them directly.

Those who are interested in a copy of the article but can't access it can contact the author at: p.matanle(at)sheffield(dot)ac(dot)uk (be polite!).

Panelosophy - 2008 Year-end Special
by Chloe Ferguson

With 2009 bearing down upon us, the imminent end of the year brings signals a time of resolutions, sparkling wine and, of course, exhaustive, year-end cumulative lists. Here to oblige you with a look back at this year's headlines-in-manga-publishing is this month's Panelosophy.

January 2008

  • Viz was quick out the gate around this time last year with new omnibuses and aggressive marketing of their licenses
  • Newtype USA announced plans to shutter operations and begin publishing a new magazine, PiQ. Fans, subscribers' reactions are mixed. At the other end of the magazine spectrum, Otaku USA entered its first full year.
  • Iris Print and their planned OEL BL magazine hit the skids as funding runs out. Conversely, Yaoi Magazine (published by S.A.Payne) begins putting out issues.
  • Del Rey begins soliciting submissions from would-be OEL creators.

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