It’s Friday morning at Anime Expo 2009, so that means it’s time for CMX Manga’s industry panel. The CMX crew, including Jim Chadwick, Asako Suzuki and Larry Berry came out to share what’s new and coming soon for the rest of 2009, and give readers a peek of what’s in store for the first half of 2010 too. In all, they featured 12 new titles, with almost eight of them with a shojo / romance focus, and the remaining four for the boys (and men). While they promised more announcements at San Diego Comic-Con later this month, this panel did give fans peek at what’s coming up through June 2010.
Last year, CMX seemed to have several titles about forlorn girls who experienced tragedy. This year’s shojo theme seemed to be princesses who rebel against arranged marriages. Coincidence? Not sure! On the bright side for fans clamoring for more all-ages manga, CMX is adding three new shojo titles that even preteens can enjoy: A Tale of An Unknown Country, The Lizard Prince and The World I Create . Read on and see what else is coming soon from CMX.
First, the upcoming manga releases for Fall / Winter 2009, then new announcements for titles for Spring 2010 and beyond.
The Battle of Genryu by Shouko Fukaki – August 2009
A new shonen / action series from Flex Comix, The Battle of Genryu was described as “Tenjho Tenge lite,” mostly because it’s about characters who, well…. fight a lot. The hero of this story has extraordinary fighting power, but the trouble is, he only has these amazing abilities once a month. This wouldn’t matter so much if his evil brother wasn’t sending fightin’ adversaries his way.
A Tale of An Unknown Country by Natsuna Kawase – September 2009
The main character is a princess of a relatively poor kingdom. When her brother arranges for her to marry a ‘bad boy ‘ prince from a more prosperous nearby kingdom, she’s not havin’ it. She decides to disguise herself as a maid to work at the prince’s castle to find out more about him and sabotage the engagement arrangement.
Oh! My Brother by Ken Saito – October 2009
A new three-volume series from the creator of The Name of the Flower, Oh! My Brother is a bit more light-hearted. The story focuses on two siblings: a quiet younger sister and a gregarious, popular older brother. When the older brother dies suddenly, his spirit decides to take up residence in his sister’s body. While he doesn’t entirely take over her body, he does tend to offer up some unwanted advice at very inconvenient times.
Deka Kyoshi by Kamio Baba - November 2009
Deka Kyoshi is an action / comedy series that was described by Berry as kind of like Kindergarten Cop, but with a supernatural twist. When a grade school teacher dies under mysterious circumstances, a cop goes undercover at the school as a teacher. As if it wasn’t hard enough to manage a classroom full of kids, the detective also meets a student who can see the stress levels of people in the form of demons, who just might give him the key to solving this mystery.
The Lizard Prince by Asuka Izumi – November 2009
Oddly enough, another story about a princess who’s betrothed to a guy she doesn’t care to be married to. This time, the twist is that the groom-to-be sends his brother in his place to the meet ‘n’ greet with is bride-to-be, and lo, the girl hits it off with his brother instead. But this so-called love match has a catch: he has a tendency to turn into lizard at very inopportune times.
The World I Create by Ayami Kazama – January 2010
This all-ages one-shot focuses on a school for kids who learn how to hone their ability as “projectionists” who can create 3-d facsimiles of any reality they can imagine. Instead of focusing on a single set of characters, The World I Create offers vignettes about the various students in this school.
Stolen Hearts by Miku Sakamoto – January 2010
This teen romantic comedy focuses on a mismatched couple: a guy who’s big and tough-looking and a girl who is a bit klutzy. When Shinobu accidentally ruins Koguma’s expensive kimono, she must make it up to him by working at his grandmother’s kimono shop. Will this odd arrangement bring this couple closer together?
Rampage by Yunosuke Yoshinaga – February 2010
The sole mature-rated seinen manga offering from this batch of 2010 releases, Rampage is a four-volume series from the creator of Broken Blade (which was released recently), and is yet another title from Flex Comix. The main character is a rogue warrior type who meets wizards who turn him into this vehicle for a strong spirit entity, which gives him the ability to fight whole armies. Rampage is set in the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history, and is notable for its “intense level of violence,” said Chadwick. “It’s not recommended for faint of heart. But, Berry added, “The art is really dynamic – its really beautiful.”
My Darling Miss Bancho by Mayu Fujikata - March 2010
A romantic comedy about a girl who has just moved to a new town with her mom. This girl enrolls in a technical school and discovers that she’s not only one of the only girls at this school, but her classmates engage in lots of competitive fighting. Through a quirk of fate, she defeats the top dog at school and by default, becomes the new school alpha (fe)male.
"The guys are always fighting each other in this story -- I don't know how any studying gets done at this school!" said Chadwick. "It's very fast-paced and crazy."
Diamond Girl by Takanori Yamazaki – April 2010
Described as a sport manga that’s not really a sports manga, Diamond Girl is about a teen girl who is a natural baseball prodigy, but she has no interest in playing the sport. But when her classmates discover her abilities, they relentlessly try to get her to play on the school team, which is mediocre to say the least.
"This art is awesome!" raved Berry. "It's a really cool concept. It's not a baseball story per se. You won't sit thru nine innings of action here."
Polyphonica: Cardinal Crimson by Ichiro Sasaki / Ocelot – May 2010
Polyphonica is based on a role-playing game, and is a fantasy about music. The main character is a boy who summons a spirit with his music while he was young. The spirit promises to protect him if he just plays more music. The boy then thinks that this incident was a dream and forgets about his promise – until he grows to be a teen, and enrolls in music school. Despite his early promise, this boy is now a mediocre music student, but when the spirit returns, its none too pleased that this boy has not held up his end of the bargain.
Nadeshiko Club by Miku Sakamoto – June 2010
A seven-volume series from the creator of Stolen Hearts, Nadeshiko Club is about a girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend because she is so lacking in skill in the domestic arts.
To prove him wrong, she enrolls in a home ec class so she can improve her cooking skills. But the twist here is that her class is filled with boys, who are all aspiring chefs, who also get on her case about her inability to cook decently.
So what do you think? Any of these catch your eye? Post your comments below and mention which new CMX titles you’ll be looking forward to picking up.
Stick around, there’s still more updates to come from VIZ Media’s panel, including big news about One Piece.
Image credit: GENRYU BUTOUDEN – ORIGIN © 2007 Shouko Fukaki / Flex Comix, Inc.; © Natsuna Kawase / Hakusensha Inc.