Viz Media has big plans for their Shonen Jump anthology magazine including launching the serialization of the popular ongoing series Bleach in November. But in even bigger news, the company has licensed Japan's most popular basketball manga, SlamDunk! by Takehiko Inoue. The first full chapter will appear in the December issue of Shonen Jump. Viz will also publish the collected volumes at a later date.
"This is an amazing opportunity ,” said Mark Weidenbaum, v-p of magazines and editor-in-chief of Viz’s two monthly anthologies, Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. Weidenbaum declined to give a publishing date for collecting the series because of the nature of the material. Originally published in English in 2003 before it was discontinued, SlamDunk! is a comic story about teen crushes and a high school basketball team. There are no ninjas, violence or sex and sports manga are a bit of an anomaly in the U.S. market. "We can't just put it out there,” Weidenbaum said, emphasizing that Viz is working on positioning it for the market place.
Yen Press announced plans to simultaneously publish its books in the U.S. and the U.K. "Imports from the North American market has kept the U.K. manga market from growing,” said Yen Press co-publishing director, Kurt Hassler. "To prevent this, we’re going to move our print runs straight to the ground in the UK. We want to give them an opportunity to get behind manga."
Del Rey announced several new titles including Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima, a fantasy and adventure series, Miyuki Eto’s supernatural thriller Hell Girl and a Capcom video-game tie-in Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. Del Rey also plans to release Me and the Devil Blues, a fictionalized account of the life of blues singer Robert Johnson by Akiro Hiromoto; as well as the Genshiken Fan Book, a collection of everthing the fans want to know about the popular Kio Shimoku series.
DC’s CMX manga line has licensed the Crayon Shin-chan manga. Created by mangaka Yoshito Usui, Crayon Shin-chan is also an anime adaptation that currently broadcasts on Adult Swim. (Funimation announced the anime license at last year's Comicon.)
CMX editor Jim Chadwick says that they will begin publishing the series in early 2008. Chadwick describes the series as being similar to the American cartoon, South Park. "The artwork, the characters looks childlike. But it's not child friendly." CMX has not yet decided what rating to give the series although Chadwick predicts an older teen rating at minimum. Crayon Shin-chan is a comedy that centers around Shinnosuke Nohara (Shin-chan), a five-year-old with a vocabulary and attitude of a 15-year-old. His character has been compared to Bart Simpson. Like the Simpsons, Crayon Shin-chan portrays the everyday life of the Nohara family in a humorous light. The animated series is known all over the world in countries in Asia, South America and Europe. The manga was previously licensed by ComicsOne. "This is a very big deal for us." Chadwick says. "We definitely have high expectations for it."
Seven Seas Entertainment placed an emphasis on yuri (girls with girls manga) and announced plans to release Girls Life and Girls Revolution. The company has also recently licensed two yuri manga: Akatsuki Iro no Seifuku Majo which is set in a magical school, and the MediaWorks property, Ayate Cross Blade.
Broccoli Books has a cosplay book in development. Cosplay is an abbreviation of “costume play” a activity where die-hard fans design or make costumes and dress-up as their favorite manga, anime, or video game character. Broccoli's Cosmode will be a 200-page illustration and photo book. Volume one is scheduled to appear in spring of 2008. Broccoli also plugged their yaoi books which are published under their new yaoi imprint, Boysenberry. Delivery Cupid was available at their booth and Pet on Duty by Nase Yamoto will be released at the end of September. Sex Friend by Koreaki Kamuro is slated for November release.