December 14, 2004

Fullmetal Press Release

BIG NEWS OF THE (coming) YEAR. It seems that Andrew Arnold, he of the Time.comix column, has inadvertently gotten Viz to leak what might be the most important manga licensing announcement for 2005:
[corrected for minor typography]
FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST
By Hiromu Arakawa
A long awaited 4-volume* manga series that tells the story of young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who attempt to use the science of alchemy to bring their mother back to life, with life changing and action packed results. (June)

*huh? This has just reached Vol. 9 in Japan and is slated to run for 20 volumes. I'm not sure if this is a misprint, confused facts, or what.

It may sound like a fairly conventional shonen adventure from the premise, but believe me, FMA is surprisingly touching, amusing, and deep, sometimes all at once. Don't be surprised to see it topping the Bookscan charts (especially since the Cartoon Network run of the anime series will be about halfway through when the first volume comes out).

Viz announces four new shoujo titles due in March 2005. Interesting that they're branching out into short story anthologies. It's just as well, since trying to keep up with multiple ongoing series is hard. Especially if they're really addictive ...

Never one to turn down a cross-media marketing opportunity, Tokyopop announces manga/DVD bundles of Fruits Basket (Vol. 6 manga, Eps 1 and 2 DVD) and Initial D (Vol. 1 manga, Vol. 9 DVD).

The Japan Forum on International Relations advises PM Junichiro Koizumi to promote the awesome aspects of Japanese culture -- but c'mon guys, "Gross National Cool" just sounds silly.

Japanese parents are growing concerned about sexed-up shoujo manga. " ... topics once even taboo among adults, think of incest and pack rape, pop up in little girl's comics." I guess TP had better start stocking up on the shrinkwrap if they plan to license any of these. :p (Why didn't the article cite any titles, though?)

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