|Welcome to the MANGA Forum.|
At their Friday afternoon Anime Expo panel, VIZ Media managed to fill a good-sized room with fans eager to find out what's new and coming soon in manga and anime. After pumping their marquee releases for Summer '08 (which includes Cat-Eyed boy by Kazuo Umezu, Real and Slam Dunk by Takehiko Inoue, One pound- Gospel by Rumiko Takahashi and Black Lagoon by Rei Hiroe), VIZ Editor Kit Fox (who has worked on Bleach, O-Parts Hunter and Maison Ikkoku) and Senior Product Manager Candice Uyloan chatted up a few new manga due to debut in 2009. The four new titles were primarily shojo manga series and one-shots, including: Honey Hunt by Miki Aihara, Shojo Beat Manga - March 16, 2009From the creator of Hot Gimmick comes a story about a shy young high schooler. The Miki Aihara twist here is that the main character's parents are celebrities - her mother is an actress and her father is a musician. When her parents' relationship has deteriorated to the point where they're near divorce, what's a girl to do when her life is falling apart while the world watches? She decides to become an actress to get back at her mom, who has betrayed her in a scandalous way.This one is currently serialized in Cheese! magazine, a shojo anthology that's a bit less than innocent than the rest, so this should be just as hot as Hot Gimmick, if not more. Look for this to be featured in Shojo Beat Magazine starting from the September 2008 issue.Otomen by Aya Kanno, Shojo Beat Manga - January 12, 2009Originally serialized in Hana to Yume magazine, Otomen is an odd couple romance with a twist. High school jock and all-around popular guy Asuka Masamune is on the judo, karate and kendo teams, but he's secretly passionate about cute things, pastries, sewing and shojo manga. Sparks fly when he meets Ryou, a girl who is his complete opposite: a pretty girl who's actually a total tomboy.Magic Touch (Oyayubi kara Romance) by Izumi Tsubaki, Shojo Beat Manga - January 2009Just when we thought we've seen every variation on the high school romance comes Magic Touch, which is a "manga about massage." Apparently, the students are members of the Massage Research Society, and according to Uyolan, we'll get to learn more about shiatsu and massage techniques than we've ever been exposed to in shojo manga (except maybe Beauty Pop , that quirky manga about aspiring beauty / spa students)Gestalt by Yun Kouga, Shojo Beat Manga - June 2009From the creator of Loveless and Earthian, comes a story that includes lots of "hot elves."Heavens Will by Satoru Takemiya - Shojo Beat Manga, January 2009This one's a one-shot manga about "ghosts, exorcism and cross-dressing," said Uyolan. "It's a lot of fun."Besides all the shojo joy, one other seinen manga title was spotlighted for 2009. Oishinbo by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki - VIZ Media, January 2009Called the "grandaddy of food manga," Oishinbo is about two reporters and their search for the ultimate eating experiences. Yamaoka, the male lead, has a highly refined sense of taste and encyclopedic knowledge of food and cooking. I've read a few chapters of Oishinbo in English from the now defunct Mangajin magazine, and it's fun, fascinating stuff.As one of Japan's longest-running series, Oishinbo is up to its 102nd volume in Japan. VIZ isn't planning on publishing every volume, but is instead planning on giving readers a 7-course tour through Japanese cuisine, with an "ala carte" menu of graphic novels focused around a single culinary theme. Starting with "Japanese Cuisine" in January '09, subsequent volumes will come out bi-monthly, with themes such as Sake; Ramen and Gyoza; Fish, Sushi and Sashimi; Vegetables, Rice and finishing off with "Izakaya" or Japanese pub food in early 2010.In addition to the new manga announcements, Uyolan mentioned that VIZ is offering a whole lot of boxed sets of their most popular series, just in time for the holidays. Look for the Bleach boxed set, featuring volumes 1 - 21, the Naruto boxed set, Death Note set (with volumes 1 -12 and volume 13, the how to read guide), Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Each set will include some fun extras, including posters and in the case of the Naruto set, a "shinobi mini-guide."