SciFi Japan

    VIZ Anime and Manga Releases for Winter 2008

    Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Special Thanks to Jane Lui, Kara Brovsky, and Erik Jansen Publishing, animation and licensing company VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) has announced an array of new manga and animated titles scheduled for release throughout the Fourth Quarter. The new anime releases include the long-awaited launch of a new series – HUNTER X HUNTER – as well as a variety of DVD Box Sets Featuring Special Collectible Figurines, Special Editions and single disc editions of popular series including BLEACH, NARUTO, DEATH NOTE, BUSO RENKIN, BLUE DRAGON and much-loved classics like INUYASHA. On the manga front, seven new series are set to debut: Blank Slate, Nora: the Last Chronicle of Devildom, Solanin, Captive Hearts, Gaba Kawa, We Were There and St. ? Dragon Girl. The first titles will premiere this month and are designed to appeal to Teen and Older Teen readers with a variety of different story lines that will capture the interest of many new and old fans alike. “We are looking forward to bringing a diverse range of titles in Q4 which will range from slice-of-life stories to romance and more!” says Evelyn Dubocq, Sr. Director of Public Relations, VIZ Media. “As the 2008 holiday season approaches, manga fans will have multiple strong VIZ Media releases to choose from in every genre.”


    New Series Debut: HUNTER X HUNTER DVD Box Set Volume 1 Rated “T+” for Teens • MSRP: $49.98 US / $64.99 CAN • Available December 9 Based on the popular Hunter X Hunter manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi (also published by VIZ Media), this new fantasy action series introduces audiences to Hunters, a special breed of adventurers dedicated to tracking down treasure, magical beasts, and even humans. But such pursuit requires a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Gon might be a country boy, but he has high aspirations. Despite his aunt`s protest, Gon decides to follow in his father`s footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. The journey begins on the long, arduous road to the Exam Hall, where he meets Leorio and Kurapika, two applicants with the same determination. Gon and his two companions must now prove their worth and earn the right to call themselves Hunters! The HUNTER X HUNTER DVD Box Set Volume 1 contains the series’ first 15 episodes on 3 discs. INUYASHA SEASON 6 DVD Box Set Deluxe Edition Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $119.98 US / $149.99 CAN • Available December 2 As if battling demons and searching for the Sacred Jewel shards weren`t tough enough, Kagome also faces the battles of a very modern-day student, like preparing for a school festival and a love scene in the class play! But demons wait for no one, and soon enough Kagome is back in the past, encountering demon women that test the bond between Miroku and Sango, a woman who`s mysteriously in love with Inuyasha`s brother Sesshomaru, and an ancestor of the boy with a crush on Kagome in the present day! The INUYASHA SEASON 6 Special Deluxe Edition features 20 episodes (127-146) on 4 discs and also includes an Inuyasha Collector’s Watch.

    INUYASHA SEASON 6 DVD Standard Edition Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $99.98 US / $129.99 CAN • Available December 2 Disc-only edition features the same content as the Deluxe Edition but without collectable watch. BUSO RENKIN DVD Box Set Volume 2 Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $49.98 US / $64.99 CAN • Available Now! BUSO RENKIN is based on a popular 10-volume fantasy adventure manga series by Nobuhiro Watsuki (also published by VIZ Media). The Alchemist Warriors Kazuki and Tokiko continue their war against the evil homunculi. But the awakening of Victor, the "King" of all homunculi, triggers the dark force lurking within Kazuki. Cursed with the black kakugane, he becomes a marked man. Hunted by their former allies, Kazuki and Tokiko find help from the most unlikely source, and as the showdown in this century-long battle nears its conclusion, the future rests in the hands of one young man. Kazuki must make a final decision that no one, not even Tokiko, could have predicted! The BUSO RENKIN DVD Box Set Volume 2 features episodes 14-26 on 3 discs as well as bonus material including special behind the scenes footage and a full-color collectable booklet.

    BLUE DRAGON Volume 2 Rated “A” for All Ages • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $14.98 US / $19.99 CAN • Available Now! BLUE DRAGON is an exciting animated adventure inspired by the popular Microsoft Xbox 360 Role Playing Game. The game and animated series also feature memorable characters designed by Akira Toriyama, the creator of the best-selling Dragon Ball series of manga (published in North America by VIZ Media and featured in SHONEN JUMP Magazine). In BLUE DRAGON volume 2, Shu and his fellow shadow wielders are determined to seek help at Jibral Castle. When they are finally granted an audience with the king, Zola requests permission to view the all-important Book of the Beginning. But during an attack by Grankingdom, seven key pages of the book are stolen, and the group decides to set off on a dangerous journey to Grankingdom itself! DEATH NOTE Volume 7 With Limited Edition Collector’s Figure Rated “T+” for Older Teens • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $39.98 US / $49.99 CAN • Available Now! With his memory recovered and Higuchi of the Yotsuba Group out of the way, Light can put his master plan into motion and march humanity closer to his perfect world. Then a new investigative force steps forward to challenge Kira – the SPK, headed by a boy genius named Near. Near`s first plan of action is to get his hands on a Death Note, and when Light`s sister Sayu is kidnapped it just might get him closer to his goal! Production art, audio commentary and interviews with the voice cast are also featured. The special Collector’s Edition includes a limited edition figurine of Mello. DEATH NOTE Volume 7 Standard Edition Rated “T+” for Older Teens • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $24.98 US / $34.99 CAN • Available Now! Disc-only edition features the same content as the Collector’s Edition but without collectable figure.

    DEATH NOTE DVD Box Set Volume 1 Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $69.98 US / $89.99 CAN • Available Now! Volume 1 box set features episodes 1-20 of the animated supernatural mystery series based on the hit manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (also published by VIZ Media). Meet Light Yagami, a brilliant but bored high school student whose life is changed when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, or god of death, named Ryuk. When Light discovers that any human whose name is written in the book dies, he vows to use its power to rid the world of evil. But every action has its consequences, and Light soon finds himself in a life or death battle of wits with the mysterious genius detective called L. Humanity itself becomes the battleground to determine what form of justice will prevail! Bonus features of this set include audio commentary, behind the scenes interviews with the voice cast and a production art gallery. DEATH NOTE Volume 8 With Limited Edition Collector’s Figure Rated “T+” for Older Teens • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $39.98 US / $49.99 CAN • Available December 30 When Mello realizes that he may be Kira`s next target, he bursts into the SPK headquarters to retrieve a picture of himself – and gives Near a piece of information that may prove to be an invaluable advantage: some of the Death Note rules are fake. With this information in hand, Near`s suspicions of the task force, and Light in particular, become certainties. Now that he`s in the spotlight once more, Light decides it`s time to recruit some new disciples. Bonus features of this set include audio commentary, behind the scenes interviews with the voice cast and a production art gallery. The special Collector’s Edition also features a limited edition figurine of Shidoh. DEATH NOTE Volume 8 Standard Edition Rated “T+” for Older Teens • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $24.98 US / $34.99 CAN • Available December 30 Disc-only edition features the same content as the Collector’s Edition but without collectable figure.

    NARUTO THE MOVIE 3: GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDON Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $29.98 US / $39.99 CAN • Available Now! Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi team up with Rock Lee to protect Prince Michiru and his son Hikaru on their return home to the Crescent Moon Kingdom in this latest full-length NARUTO feature. The mission initially seems easy enough, until the royal family becomes a royal pain! Prince Michiru can`t help indulging his son, even buying him a circus along the way! Naruto has a tough time putting up with both the spoiled Hikaru and a saber-toothed tiger, but the real adventure begins when they reach the Land of the Moon and find themselves facing a villainous uprising. Does Naruto have what it takes to save an entire kingdom? The special 2-disc set also offers several bonus features including “The Story of Naruto: Growing Up a Ninja” as well as “Teamwork: The Art of Group Recording” which gives insights into the film’s voice cast. An interview with the NARUTO THE MOVIE 3 producers and the original Japanese movie trailers are also included. NARUTO Volume 29 Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $19.98 US / $24.99 CAN • Available Now! While Neji unleashes his Byakugan on the spider-like Kidomaru, the others continue their pursuit of the Sound ninja and the coffin containing Sasuke. Shikamaru plans a successful ambush, but the victory is short-lived when the most fearsome Sound ninja yet arrives to bring Sasuke to the impatient Orochimaru. Leaving Shikamaru and Kiba to battle the last two of the Sound Four, Naruto chases down their new challenger Kimimaro on his own – but does he have what it takes to win against this formidable foe? Single disc edition features 5 episodes.

    NARUTO UNCUT DVD Box Set Volume 10 Special Edition Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $69.98 US / $89.99 CAN • Available Now! Naruto`s pursuit of Sasuke is halted by the most fearsome of the Sound ninja--Kimimaro, a ninja with an uncompromising loyalty to Orochimaru and a hair-raising Kekkei Genkai! But the Leaf Village has sent another able-bodied ninja to assist in the fight, the newly recovered Rock Lee! While the Leaf genin continue their battles against the Sound, Naruto finally catches up to Sasuke at the Final Valley, the legendary site at the border of the Land of Fire. There, Sasuke and Naruto must face each other in their most devastating battle yet, and Sasuke must make a terrible choice in his quest for power that could decide both their destinies! The NARUTO UNCUT Box Set Volume 10 features 15 episodes (121-135) on 3 discs as well as an exclusive Katsuyu (6 of 6) Summoning Creature collectable figurine. NARUTO UNCUT DVD Box Set Volume 10 Standard Edition Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $49.98 US / $64.99 CAN • Available Now! Disc-only edition features the same content as the Special Edition but without collectable figure. NARUTO Volume 30 Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $19.98 US / $24.99 CAN • Available November 25! Kiba and Akamaru together try to outwit the dual ninja Sakon and Ukon while Shikamaru faces Tayuya and her mysterious flute. But Naruto is up against perhaps the most intimidating challenger of all--Kimimaro!

    With an undying loyalty to Orochimaru and a gruesome Kekkei Genkai, Kimimaro may be Naruto`s undoing--until help arrives in a most unexpected form! Naruto`s now free to follow Sasuke, who has emerged from the coffin and is racing toward his destiny at Orochimaru`s hands. Single disc edition features 5 episodes. NARUTO UNCUT DVD Box Set Volume 11 Special Edition Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $69.98 US / $89.99 CAN • Available December 16 Sasuke has gone to Orochimaru, and Sakura and Naruto are determined to get him back! Jiraiya, concerned they`ll act recklessly, persuades Tsunade to send them on an official mission to the Land of Rice Paddies, hoping to discover Orochimaru`s hideout. With Jiraiya at their side, can they fail to bring Sasuke back? Then, an escape from a maximum security prison brings Naruto a blast from the past! Mizuki, the teacher who long ago betrayed the Leaf, is on the loose, and Iruka once again joins Naruto in pursuit of the renegade ninja! The NARUTO UNCUT Box Set Volume 11 features 14 episodes (136-149) on 3 discs as well as an exclusive Naruto Mininja (1 of 6) collectable figurine. NARUTO UNCUT DVD Box Set Volume 11 Standard Edition Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $49.98 US / $64.99 CAN • Available December 16 Disc-only edition features the same content as the Special Edition but without collectable figure.

    BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $29.98 US / $39.99 CAN • Available Now! Adapted from the wildly popular animated series and a best-selling manga series (both distributed and published in North America by VIZ Media) by acclaimed Japanese artist Tite Kubo, BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY begins as unidentified beings known as “Blanks” start popping up. They are soon followed by a Soul Reaper named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings and the even more mysterious girl, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap Senna. Banished from the Soul Society long ago, the clan’s leader has sent the World of the Living and the Soul Society on a collision course, and Senna seems to be the key to his diabolical plot for revenge. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the two worlds from annihilation? BLEACH Volume 13 Rated “T” for Teens • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $24.98 US / $34.99 CAN • Available Now! Television luminary Don Kan`onji brings back Yuzu, Jinta, and Ururu as his Karakura Superheroes to revive his flagging show--with Kon serving as mascot! In the Soul Society, Rukia`s execution is imminent. Luckily for Ichigo and his comrades, some of the Soul Reapers have taken their side and help break Chad, Ganju, and Uryu out of their prison cell. While Ichigo struggles to complete his bankai training, Renji emerges to rescue Rukia, but finds himself face to face with none other than Rukia`s brother, Byakuya Kuchiki. Will Renji`s bankai prove strong enough to defeat his own captain? BLEACH Volume 13 features 4 action-filled episodes as well as exclusive collectable stickers.


    Solanin Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $17.99 US / $21.00 CAN Available Now! College graduates struggle to cope with the real world and music offers refuge in this modern manga with an American indie comic attitude. Meiko Inoue is a recent college grad working in a job that she hates and having issues with her freeloading boyfriend. Straddling the line between her years as a student and the rest of her life, Meiko struggles with the feeling that she`s just not cut out to be a part of the real world. Solanin was written and illustrated by award-winning creator Inio Asano and was originally published as a two-volume series but will be released by VIZ Media in a striking omnibus edition that includes six color pages. This touchingly realistic story was brought to life through Inio Asano’s distinctive art style and excellent writing. Solanin is part of VIZ Media’s Signature line, an imprint featuring manga for the experienced comic reader who seeks sophisticated stories with exceptional art.

    Nora: the Last Chronicle of Devildom Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.50 CAN • Available Now! Nora, an unruly demon, has defied his Dark Liege one too many times. For the sake of his "education," Nora is sent to live among mortals and enters a bond of servitude with cool-as-ice star student Kazuma Makkari. But this relationship is destined to become a match made in Hell. Kazuma now must learn the ways of the underworld while Nora discovers more about the "real world" than he ever thought possible. When the seal for Nora`s form is released he becomes Cerberus, the vicious dog of disaster. But Nora can only use magic when Kazuma grants him permission, and he doesn`t grant it easily. The Dark Liege wants the pair to team up and crack down on renegade demon factions in the human world, but first they must find a way to get along. Nora: the Last Chronicle of Devildom is Kazunari Kakei`s first manga series and originally debuted in Japan’s Monthly Shonen Jump magazine. Blending the conceptual appeal of supernatural cliffhangers like Death Note with the aesthetic design elements of manga series like Fullmetal Alchemist, the series will appeal to fans of character-based, supernatural genre franchises like Hellblazer and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. In Japan, the popularity of Nora: the Last Chronicle of Devildom eventually spawned a second series called Surebrec: Nora the 2nd, which also premiered in Monthly Shonen Jump.

    Blank Slate Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN • Available Now! Blank Slate is an edgy new shojo manga series by Aya Kanno that heightens the level of drama with plenty of social and political intrigue. Zen`s memory has been wiped, and he can`t remember if he`s a killer or hero, and a lot of people want to keep it that way. Zen`s unearthly charm attracts a veritable rogues` gallery of mysterious and shady characters, each with their own agenda. A bounty hunter becomes obsessed enough to become Zen’s new partner, while the daughter of a prominent General treats him like some sort of guru. But when Zen meets a mysterious doctor who may know him from the past, he learns that the real secret of his lost memory is definitely more sinister than saintly. Creator Aya Kanno first came to the attention of North American fans with her manga, Soul Rescue, and her latest series, Otomen, is currently serialized in Japan`s popular BetsuHana magazine and is set to be published by VIZ Media in early 2009.

    We Were There Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN • Available Now! We Were There is a best-selling shojo manga by Yuki Obata that depicts the life of a high school freshman named Nanami Takahashi as she falls for Motoharu Yano, the most popular, carefree boy in class. For Nanami, it`s first love, but Yano is still grieving the death of his girlfriend who died tragically the year before. Nanami begins high school with big hopes of making new friends. But as her crush on Yano intensifies, she soon learns that he may have too many secrets for her to handle. We Were There was a smash hit in Japan, with volume one being reprinted an amazing 22 times in only three years, and the manga was also developed into a popular animated series. Creator Yuki Obata won the Shogakukan Shinjin Comics Taisho Kasaku Award in 1998 for her debut, Raindrops, and she went on to win the prestigious 50th Shogakukan Manga Award for We Were There.

    Captive Hearts Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN • Available Now! Captive Hearts is one of the major manga releases by Matsuri Hino that first established her as one of the top creators in the shojo genre. Carefree Megumi Kuroishi was living a life of luxury until the day a girl named Suzuka Kogami walked into his life. All of a sudden, Megumi finds himself kneeling at Suzuka`s feet and prostrating himself like a servant! What Megumi doesn`t initially know is that his family is cursed to follow the orders of the Kogami family. Can anything be done about Megumi`s captive state or is he doomed to see Suzuka as his master forever? Matsuri Hino burst onto the manga scene with her first title When This Dream is Over, which was published in Japan’s monthly shojo manga magazine LaLa DX. She has gone on to gain international acclaim for her subsequent works like Meru Puri and the gothic-tinged Vampire Knight (both published domestically) and her ornate and eye-catching visual style has greatly impacted the manga scene both in Japan and North America as more fans discover her unique stories.

    St. ? Dragon Girl Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN • Available December 2 Momoka Sendou, nicknamed "Dragon Girl,” and Ryuga Kou are childhood friends. Momoka is a skilled martial artist while Ryuga is a Chinese magic master who banishes demons. The action heightens when a demon serpent king that appears only once every hundred years to select a bride abducts Momoka`s friend, Shunran. Will Momoka and Ryuga be able to defeat this powerful entity before Shunran is lost forever? In order to increase his power, Ryuga calls on the spirit of a dragon to possess him, but the spirit enters Momoka instead. Now the two must unite forces and fight the demon together in this exciting fantasy shojo adventure from Natsumi Matsumoto. St. ? Dragon Girlwas a popular hit in Japan that also spawned a sequel, St. ? Dragon Girl Miracle. Gaba Kawa Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN • December 2 Gabe Kawa is a new supernatural shojo story from Rie Takada, who also created the popular Happy Hustle High and Punch! (both available from VIZ Media). Gaba Kawa introduces readers to Rara, a young and spunky female demon who is only supposed to cause mischief in the mortal world and draw humans to the dark path. She`s not supposed to help mortals and definitely not supposed to fall in love with them!

    But that`s just what happens when Rara enters high school, where a hot guy named Retsu Aku calls her "Gaba Kawa,” referring to someone who is so persistent, it’s cute. But while demons gain power by causing mischief, the opposite is also true – if Rara uses any of her powers to help mortals, she`ll immediately lose that very power. And if she loses enough power, she`ll disappear! What`s a "Gaba Kawa" demon to do? Readers will delight in the funny and romantic answer. Creator Rie Takada has captivated millions with her innovative shojo series Punch! and Happy Hustle High, which have sold more than 80K copies in North America combined. Her whimsical artistic style, called chibi (meaning short person" or "small child"), is an exaggerated style of manga illustration that’s currently the rage in Japan and is characterized by hyper-cute and often very petite characters bursting with bubbly personalities. The style also lends to a fun degree of comedy and zaniness that further typifies the chibi genre. Gabe Kawa was also serialized in VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat magazine.

    About VIZ Media, LLC

    Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; and web site at

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