Several publishers announced new manga and anime titles for 2010 at New York Anime Festival 2009. TokyoPop, Del Rey, and Vertical all had news to share. Now here's a closer look at what's coming soon from VIZ Media for the rest of 2009 through late 2010.
VIZ SIGNATURE: ITALIAN WAITERS, BASEBALL PLAYERS AND GAME SHOWS br>
Not much new on the VIZ Signature front, but Director of Marketing Candice Uyloan and Online Marketing Manager Lex Schebule showcased three very different manga series for grown-ups.
Gente by Natsume Ono - July 2010 br>
2010 already looks to be a boom year for fans of Natsume Ono, with Not Simple debuting in January, Ristorante Paradiso arriving in stores in March and House of Five Leaves currently being serialized online at SigIkki.com. Now Gente, the sequel to Ristorante Paradiso is on the schedule for July.
Gente rejoins the crew of suave, older gentlemen who serve Italian food and charm women at Casetta Dell'orso restaurant and follows them in their day-to-day lives.
What's the Answer? (Kotae wa Mittsu) by Tondabayashi - October 22, 2009 br>
SigIkki.com, VIZ Media's online home for innovative manga from IKKI Magazine will get two new series added to its roster. The first is a quirky title described as "game show manga," What's the Answer?
The original Japanese title means "There are three answers," which kind of sets up the concept here. The first page of each story is the question, and the three subsequent pages offers three alternate punchlines to the question. Should be interesting...!
Bob and His Funky Crew (Bob to Yukaina Nakamatachi) by Puncho Kondoh - November 19, 2009 br>
The other new addition the the SigIkki.com lineup is a baseball manga. Now, don't be expecting the earnest, fresh-faced lads of The Big Wind-up here. Uyloan described Bob and His Funky Crew as "wacky, slightly demented baseball manga" about a somewhat middle-aged Major League baseball player and his teammates.
Bob and His Funky Crew was originally featured in Big Comic Spirits from 1993 - 1994, and returned for another turn at bat in the pages of IKKI Magazine in early 2009.
SHOJO BEAT: BATTLIN' LIBRARIANS, CAPRICIOUS GODS AND SINISTER PUPPETS
This batch of new titles from VIZ Media's Shojo Beat imprint are a mixed bag of titles that seem to be a far cry from the usual high school romances.
Library Wars: Love and War by Hiro Arikawa and Kiiro Yumi - June 2010 br>
When news got out about Library Wars (Toshokan Sensho) being added to Shojo Beat's 2010 line-up, a cry of delight rose up from fans of this manga, anime and light novel series, particularly from librarians who love manga.
Well, what librarian hasn't dreamed of being a hero in the war against censorship? In the near-future world of Library Wars, the government has opened an office of information management. To counterbalance any abuse of power, a band of courageous "book soldiers" defend libraries and librarians against censorship with their powers of reason, and when that fails, they pull out the big guns -- literally.
Grand Guiginol Orchestra (Ningyou Kyuutei Gakudan) by Kaori Yuki - October 2010
New from the creator of Godchild, The Cain Saga and Angel Sanctuary comes another tale of Gothic horror and intrigue. This time, the setting is a sinister orchestra and stars a beautiful singer who commands an array of malevolent puppets.
- Vampire Knight Fan Book by Matsuri Hino - September 2010 br>
Now you can learn more about the dark, suspenseful and romantic world of Vampire Knight, as creator Matsuri Hino shares in-depth profiles of Yuki Cross, Kaname Kuran and the rest of the vampires of Cross Academy. Also included in this volume will be 16 color pages of illustrations, bonus stories, detailed sketches of the costumes, floor plans of the locations featured in the manga, and a special Q & A with the characters as they talk about each other.
Nice to Meet You Kamisama (Hajimemashite Kamisama) by Julietta Suzuki - November 2010 br>
From the creator of Karakuri Odette comes a series about a teen girl who's left homeless after her ne'er do well dad leaves her saddled with debt. Then one day, she saves a boy from being attacked by a dog. In gratitude, he offers her a place to stay at his house, which turns out to be shrine. Now, who's this guy with the fox ears who's also living there?
SHONEN JUMP: BAKUMAN, TORIKO AND ULTIMO TOO br>
The big news for Shonen Jump in 2010 is the massive One Piece manga ramp-up, as over 30 new volumes of Eiichiro Oda's pirate adventures will hit the stores at a rate of 5 volumes per month between January and June 2010. But Schebule also shared more details shared about two hotly-anticipated titles that were first announced at San Diego Comic-Con.
Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata - August 2010 br>
Bakuman was previously announced, but VIZ waited until New York Comic-Con to confirm the release date for the graphic novel's first volume. They also noted that Bakuman will be featured in the pages of Shonen Jump Magazine beginning in the May 2010 issue.
Bakuman is by the creators of Death Note, but compared to the popular supernatural suspense series, Bakuman is more grounded in everyday life, as it follows two aspiring manga creators as they go from amateurs to becoming published pros.
"You'll get a real inside view of Shueisha (the Japanese publisher of Shonen Jump)," promised Schebule. "You'll see some of the real editors and staff making cameos in this story."
Toriko by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro - June 2010 br>
Described as a "Iron Chef meets Land of the Lost," Toriko is essentially a cooking manga with shonen manga-style action, comedy and adventure. And did we mention there's fighting? Oh yes, there's fighting.
Toriko (pictured on the cover) is kind of like a big-game hunter who is charged with finding the most rare and tasty ingredients all over the world. Besides the obvious financial rewards that come with this vocation, Toriko is also a glutton with an immense appetite, so he's got the skills and the stomach for lots of food-finding action. When he's joined by a timid but skilled gourmet chef, Toriko's quest gets even more fascinating (and appetizing).
Toriko will join the Shonen Jump magazine line-up in February 2010, and the first volume of the graphic novel will hit the stores in June 2010.
Ultimo by Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei - February 2010
Ultimo is currently featured in Shonen Jump magazine monthly, so the new-ish news here is that the first volume of the graphic novel will be out in February.
VIZ KIDS: VIDEO GAME FUN WITH POKEMON AND KIRBY
Besides reminding fans that there's a new Pokemon poster magazine available on newsstands now, and an upcoming ani-manga adaptation of the latest Pokemon movie, Pokemon: Giratina & the Sky Warrior! (on sale November 3), Schebule had one new all-ages title to announce for 2010:
- Kirby! - September 2010 br>
Everyone's favorite pink bouncing ball of video game fame is here to save the day, or at least entertain young manga readers with his adventures in Pupupu Land.
HAIKASORU: WEREWOLVES, ASTRONAUTS AND VIRTUAL REALITY NIGHTMARES
The rest of the new titles spotlighted at VIZ Media's NYAF panel were fiction releases from their Haikasoru imprint. They showed off a fresh-from-the-printer copy of the new edition of the Battle Royale novel and gave fans a sneak peek at four new fantasy and sci-fi titles for 2010.
Book of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe - January 2010 br>
From the author of Brave Story comes another tale of fantasy and adventure.
When Yuriko's brother disappears after fighting with some school bullies, she looks for clues in his room. There she finds "The Book of Heroes," a magical book that transports her to The Nameless Land. When she discovers that her brother has been possessed by an evil spirit, Yuriko is sent back to Earth with a mysterious monk in order to free her sibling.
Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazawa - March 2010 br>
New from the author of All You Need is Kill is Slum Online, a sci-fi story about a college loner who escapes from reality into a virtual world where he's a powerful martial artist.
As his love life and his day-to-day reality prove to be dreary, Etsuro starts to spend more time online looking for Slasher Jack, an invincible fighter. As the boundaries between his "real" and "virtual" life start to blur, will Etsuro find a way to triumph in both worlds, or lose himself in the process?
Loups-Garous by Natsuhiko Kyogoku - May 2010 br>
"Werewolves are the next vampires," said Uyloan as she introduced Loups Garous, a supernatural suspense tale about a serial killer who might be a werewolf.
Loups Garous is set in a future where most communication is done online, and rarely through face-to-face interactions. Despite these precautions, a killer is on the loose, and three girls are out to find out the secret behind these murders, and what it has to do with the strange communications restrictions that are imposed upon society.
The Next Continent by Issui Ogawa - May 2010 br>
Haikasoru has already published The Lord of the Sands of Time by Ogawa -- now they're primed to publish this Seiun Award-winning (the Japanese equivalent of the Hugo Awards) sci-fi story that promises adventure and romance, and a trip to the Moon.
The year is 2025 and a contracting company takes on its most ambitious project yet: the construction of a base on the lunar surface. Tae, granddaughter of the multi-billionaire who is funding the project is called upon to supervise the project. As she heads to the moon with Aomine, lead engineer on the project, Tae is in for an adventure filled with excitement, danger and maybe a little romance too.
When asked about how this new sci-fi prose imprint has been doing now that a few books have been published, Uyloan replied, "We've been pleasantly surprised at the response from fans and from bookstores."
Q & A: SHOJO BEAT, RUMIC WORLD AND SHAKUGAN NO SHANA NOVELS br>
With so many new titles to announce, the question and answer segment of the panel was fairly brief. Here's a few standout questions as answered by Uyloan:
Q: Why did you decide to stop publishing Shojo Beat Magazine? Is there any chance that you'll bring it back?
A: "It costs a lot of money to put out the magazine. If we had to choose betwen putting out the magazine instead of bringing you new titles.... Well, that was our choice."
Q: Now that you have Rumiko Takahashi's latest series Rin-Ne up online on TheRumicWorld.com, are you planning on publishing her other, earlier series online as well?
A: "Yes, we've thought about it. Obviously, Rumiko Takahashi is very important to us and our licensors. We are looking for the most logical way to approach it."
(NOTE: VIZ also announced the InuYasha: The Final Act anime simulcasts at this panel)
Q: Will you be publishing more Shakugan no Shana light novels?
A: "I get at least three e-mails a week about this! I can't answer that right now -- but we'll let you know."
(NOTE: The last Shakugan no Shana light novel was published by VIZ in 2007.)
Now that you've seen the rest of VIZ Media's line-up for 2010, which titles are you the most excited to pick up and read next year? Add your thoughts below!
Also, see the rest of the new and noteworthy manga announcements from NYAF 2009.
Image credits: © 2007 NATSUME ONO, BOB TO YUKAINA NAKAMATACHI © 1996 Puncho KONDOH / Shogakukan, KOTAE WA MITTSU © 2006 Tondabayashi / Shogakukan, Toshokan Sensou LOVE&WAR © Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa 2008 / HAKUSENSHA, Inc., © Kaori Yuki / Hakusensha, Inc., © Julietta Suzuki / Hakusensha, Inc., BAKUMAN. © 2008 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc. © Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro / Shueisha, KARAKURI DOJI ULTIMO © 2008 by Stan Lee-POW! Entertainment/Dream Ranch, Hiroyuki Takei/SHUEISHA Inc.,