Viz Signature Line Launches

When I saw in this Publishers Weekly piece that

Viz Media is launching Viz Signature, a new imprint that will release a line of classic manga titles targeted to appeal to more sophisticated male and female readers

I was excited at the possibility of seeing more josei (comics for women, not girls) available in the US. (Currently, there’s been Tramps Like Us, one of my favorite manga titles; the works of Erica Sakurazawa; Happy Mania… and that’s all I’m aware of.)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though that’s going to happen. The new titles mentioned for the line’s launch are Monster, a “medical crime thriller”, and Golgo 13, a 70s book about a hitman. They sound interesting, but they also sound male-oriented (especially that last one).

I guess I’ve gotten spoiled by having so many girls’ comics available. Maybe what I’m looking for isn’t considered “sophisticated” enough.


  1. I wish someone would look into translating more josei or some classic shojo like Rose of Versailles. I am happy that older series like Golgo 13 are being translated.

  2. I second the motion for a translation of Rose of Versailles. I’d also like to see Moto Hagi’s (sp?) works. Monster, if I understand right, is a thriller, with adult characters. I enjoy many of the books available now, but I would like to see main characters closer to my own age – which is WAY past 20. :) Unfortunately, my knowledge of manga is so limited, I wouldn’t even know what series to hope for. What’s on your wish list?

  3. That’s a good question. I only read what’s been translated in the US in print, so I’m not really aware of what’s available beyond that.

    I was excited when ADV announced Pale Pink, which sounded like a more mature female-oriented title, but that got cancelled during their cutbacks.

  4. Monster is fantastic–calling it a “medical thriller” is a disservice to what it develops into. I don’t think it’s male- or female-oriented; rather, it’s designed for grownups of either gender. There are plenty of fascinating, strong characters of both genders to enjoy (I particularly like Eva Heinemann). I’d highly recommend it, if you were thinking of checking it out. :)

  5. I can’t remember if you’re a fan of PHOENIX or not, but it’s also moving into the Signature line (along with Inoue’s VAGABOND biography of Musashi).

    For what it’s worth, the first I’d heard of MONSTER was Alex de Campi’s raving about it over on the V; by all reports I’ve heard since then it’s amazing.

  6. AH, you lead into a good point — the difference between male-targeted, female-targeted, and non-specifically targeted. When Viz specifically mentioned “targeted to appeal to … female readers”, I was looking for the second. The third is an interesting but separate category, to my way of thinking, and it sounds like much of what they’re doing falls in that bucket.

    (Similarly, “medical thriller” is taken directly from the quoted piece — their description, not mine.)

    I may take a look at Monster, based on the good word of mouth, but it’s not what their PR led me to expect and hope for.

    Greg, I haven’t paid much attention to Phoenix, because I wasn’t drawn to the oversized format. Has there been any word about sizes or pricing for this line?

  7. Psychological thriller would be a better description of Monster. The only thing I can think of initially to compare it to is The Fugitive… with maybe a few elements from Les Mis…

  8. What did you think of Flowers and Bees?

  9. I thought it was disappointing. I don’t much enjoy humor built on humiliating others.

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