Viz has announced nine new titles debuting before the end of the year. Looks like a good variety of material. (Now why can’t Tokyopop lay out their information this clearly and directly?)
TRAIN_MAN: DENSHA OTOKO Ã‚Â· MSRP: $9.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T” for Teens
The manga companion to the quirky smash hit live-action film (theatrically released in September by VIZ Pictures), TRAIN_MAN tells the comedic but romantic adventure a hopeless geek has as he makes his first attempts to woo a beautiful woman he meets on a train. With the help of a zany cast of characters he meets on an internet bulletin board, he gets advice and finds that love is daunting and often strange, but worth undergoing a complete metamorphosis to find his soul mate. A sweet story that captivated Japanese audiences, VIZ Media is pleased to introduce TRAIN_MAN to North American audiences in both the original live action film, set for release early next year, and this engaging and heartwarming manga.
THE CAIN SAGA Ã‚Â· MSRP: $8.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “M” for Mature
Kaori Yuki, author of hit gothic manga series ANGEL SANCTUARY, takes readers deep into the past of one of her most intriguing characters. THE CAIN SAGA takes us to 19th century Britain to introduce a much younger Earl Cain C. Hargreaves, already a fan favorite from the Shojo Beat Manga’s conspiracy-laden series, GODCHILD. In this first volume of a five book set, linked short stories explore the earlier adventures of the prominent but fractured family that seems to exist solely so its members can wander the dark labyrinth of crime, passion, murder, and mystery that has cursed them for generations.
LA CORDA d’ORO Ã‚Â· MSRP: $8.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T” for Teens
Recently previewed in SHOJO BEAT magazine, LA CORDA d’ORO tells the story of the prestigious Seishou Academy, which holds a prominent musical competition where only the very best students are allowed to participate. Though all are eligible to apply, only students from the Music School actually make it to the competition — until now. Kahoko is a normal student in the General Education School with absolutely no musical skill, but all that changes when she catches a glimpse of an elusive fairy that lives on campus. The fairy grants Kahoko a magic violin, and before she knows it, she’s become a virtuoso and is nominated to participate in the school’s music competition, along with five very attractive boys. Will she win love and fame, or will bitter rivalry rule the day?
TAIL OF THE MOON Ã‚Â· MSRP: $8.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T+” for Older Teens
In the 8th year of Japan’s feudal Tenshou period, a girl named Usagi is training to be a Shinobi, or ninja, but she isn’t good at it. Sure, she’s good with healing herbs, but she’s the granddaughter of the leader of a prestigious ninja village and she’s such a klutz that she never makes it out of the kiddie class. Finally frustrated with Usagi’s lack of progress, her grandfather resigns to send her to marry a local lord and have lots of ninja babies. But the lord has no interest in Usagi, or her child bearing potential! After years of goofing around, Usagi is finally determined to reach her goals to become a ninja and capture her true love’s heart!
REBORN! Ã‚Â· MSRP: $9.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Tsunayoshi Sawada (Tsuna for short) is a scaredy-cat junior high student who’s a failure at school, sports and social life. He only attends school so he can stare at his gorgeous classmate Kyoko Sasagawa from afar. But everything changes for Tsuna when Reborn, a fedora-wearing, pistol-packing Italian hit-man baby, shows up at his house and claims he was sent to Japan to groom Tsuna for his future life as a big Mafia boss! Tsuna doesn’t believe this absurd story, so Reborn shoots Tsuna in the head with his gun. As Tsuna faces his own death, he’s filled with remorse that he never confessed his feelings to Kyoko…and suddenly he’s overcome with magical powers that allow him to run off screaming to tell Kyoko how much he loves her. After five minutes, Tsuna goes back to normal. Reborn explains how his gun works: When he shoots people in the head, they die but are then reborn with temporary supernatural powers that allow them to fulfill their dying wish. Reborn and Tsuna make an unlikely pair, but every day they’re together, Tsuna gets reborn into a new (and better) guy!
TRAIN_MAN I’ve already signed up for (and I’m curious to compare the three versions that will be coming out, the other two from CMX and Del Rey). It sounds sweet and romantic; I hope I get a chance to see the movie, too. I haven’t enjoyed GODCHILD — too Gothic for me — so I’ll pass on CAIN SAGA, but it’s good to see more material for that audience.
I’m going to try LA CORDA d’ORO, because the music setting sounds intriguing. It didn’t work for me with Nodame Cantabile because those characters got too weird and unbelievable, so maybe this will fit my tastes better.
TAIL OF THE MOON I’m also sampling. I don’t read a lot of manga with historical settings, but the bit about fighting granddad and wanting to do more than have babies sounds cool. REBORN! sounds too determinedly wacky and violent for me, but I’m sure it will catch on.
HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER Ã‚Â· MSRP: $9.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Hardworking Hayate Ayasaki is one of the fastest delivery boys in town until his employer terminates him for being underage. Forced to support his ingrate and unemployed parents, he is shocked to discover that they’ve run up huge gambling debts, and have decided to earn the money back by selling Hayate’s organs to the yakuza. Our hero then decides to kidnap a young girl, Nagi Sanzenin, for ransom money, but fails miserably by giving away his real name. Nagi, who is the daughter of an extremely wealthy family, mistakes his actions for a confession of true love and smitten, hires him to become her personal butler. Now Hayate think he has finally found stable employment, but he is in for way more than he suspects.
PUNCH! Ã‚Â· MSRP: $8.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Though Elle wants nothing to do with fighting, her grandfather has different ideas and betroths her to an up-and-coming boxer from his own gym. She hates the idea and doesn’t want to marry him. One day she meets a handsome street brawler who intrigues her, but her jealous fiancÃƒÂ© finds out and goes after the guy! What will happen when a trained boxer goes a couple rounds with a scrappy street fighter? An apt combination of brawn and beauty, PUNCH! was recently previewed in SHOJO BEAT magazine and is the latest manga from Rie Takada, who created HAPPY HUSTLE HIGH (also published by VIZ Media).
R.O.D: READ OR DREAM Ã‚Â· MSRP: $9.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T+” for Older Teens
A sequel to VIZ Media’s recently released R.O.D: READ OR DIE manga, this new series centers on Michelle who is a romantic daydreamer and hardcore book collector, Maggie a soft-spoken bookworm who always gets mistaken for a boy, and Anita a tomboy who doesn’t have time for reading. Together, they’re the Paper Sisters, three very different siblings united by a strange power — they all have the ability to control paper in any way they desire. And from their Hong Kong detective agency, they solve any and all cases involving books! R.O.D: READ OR DREAM is a manga series that proves that reading IS fundamental!
Mmm, nah, none for me there or in December:
O-PARTS HUNTER Ã‚Â· MSRP: $9.99 Ã‚Â· Rated “T+” for Older Teens
In the not too distant future, mankind fights over relics from an ancient civilization called O-Parts, each of which contain incredible powers. Some people with special abilities are able to use the O-Parts to their full potential, and are known as O.P.T.s (or O-Parts Tacticians). Naturally, O-Parts can be used for both good and evil purposes. Ruby Crescent is an ordinary girl who, following in her father’s footsteps, dreams of becoming a treasure hunter and discovering elusive and valuable O-Parts. She soon meets a mysterious boy named Jio who has a tragic past and only trusts one thing in the world: money. Little does he suspect that he is actually a very powerful O.P.T. and inside him resides a demon of incredible power. Though Jio doesn’t believe in friendship, he agrees to be Ruby’s bodyguard and together they embark on a dangerous quest to discover the secrets of the O-Parts.
Still, it’s good to see more new series out that I’m interested in — I like knowing that there’s more material coming down the road.