U.S. manga publisher Viz Media and Japan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday will join forces to present Rin-Ne, a new series by international manga superstar Rumiko Takahashi, simultaneously in the U.S. and Japan beginning April 22. The new series will debut online for U.S. readers on April 22 at TheRumicWorld.com, a new North American web site devoted to news about Takahashi, while the series will launch at the same time for Japanese readers in Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine. Each week a new chapter will be released at the same time for both U.S. and Japanese fans.

Rin-Ne is the story of Sakura Mamiya, a child who disappears into the woods and returns to find she’s able to see ghosts. It is the first new manga work to be released by Takahashi since she completed her bestselling epic fantasy series Inuyasha in 2008. Takahashi began her career as a mangaka (or artist) in 1978 and is best known as the creator of such bestselling manga series as Ramna ½, Inuyasha and Rumic Theater. Her manga have sold more than a 100 million copies around the world. As the popularity of manga and anime in the U.S. market continues to grow, U.S. fans want to read new series at the same time as they appear in Japan. While this is not the first simultaneous online manga publication for Viz, it is the first for Takahashi and Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine. Viz Media is based in San Francisco and is jointly owned by the Japanese publishers Shueisha and Shogakukan, which also publishes Weekly Shonen Sunday.

“Rumiko Takahashi is an artist without equal and we’re extremely honored to present her long-awaited new series Rin-Ne simultaneously with Shonen Sunday,” said Gonzalo Ferreyra, Viz v-p, sales and marketing. “Her signature style has come to be known as the ‘Rumic World,’ and we invite fans across North America to visit her official web site on April 22nd for the English debut.”