These days, when manga publishers are going out of business left and right, it was a wonderful reminder to get a press release noting that as of the coming July, Viz will have been in operation for 25 years.
And look at all their accomplishments and plans! From the release:
Over its 25-year history, VIZ Media has led the transformation of manga and anime from a niche category sold only at specialty retailers into a mass media phenomenon popularized on Cartoon Network, Hulu, and iTunes, and available at Barnes & Noble and Walmart. Today, VIZ Media is North America’s largest distributor of anime and manga and is leading the global anime and manga industries to their digital futures. To celebrate 25 years of pioneering new paths in global entertainment and publishing, later this year VIZ Media will be unveiling new properties, marketing programs, and distribution partnerships.
Since 1986, VIZ Media has primarily distributed titles exclusively owned by its parent companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co., Ltd.. In 2011, VIZ Media will diversify its award-winning library further by licensing properties from other global content creators as well as creating its own content. On the digital front, VIZ Media has created partnerships with Apple, Hulu, Netflix, Google and more, leading the way to new paths for distribution of manga and anime.
I was inspired by David Welsh’s Viz 25 to make my own list of favorite titles, but I only came up with 20. (Although I haven’t read Cross Game or The Story of Saiunkoku yet.) Here they are, in alphabetical order:
- 20th Century Boys
- All My Darling Daughters
- Flower in a Storm
- High School Debut
- Hikaru no Go
- I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow
- Imadoki! Nowadays
- Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs
- Kingyo Used Books
- Maison Ikkoku
- Oishinbo a la Carte
- Ooku: The Inner Chambers
- Sand Chronicles
- Saturn Apartments
- Sensual Phrase
Some are classics for the ages, some are just what I’ve looked forward to reading lately, but I’ve enjoyed them all. Thanks, Viz!