The dramatic success of manga in the U.S. has been attributed to its ability to attract young teenage girls. Now Tokyopop will begin promoting some of its titles as part of a Manga After Hours line, a new campaign the company hopes will hitch manga's female appeal to the continuing popularity of the chick-lit genre among women readers.

Tokyopop publicity director Susan Hale said that the current manga reader demographic is focused on tween and teen girls. "There isn't really manga that attracts a woman reader who's a little bit older, intelligent, independent and discerning," said Hale. "Manga After Hours will include selected Tokyopop titles that appeal to modern female sensibilities, with real-life situations and problems."

The first titles in the line will be books by Erica Sakurazawa, which offer a snappy mix of romance, relationship problems and sex. Manga After Hours will also include the Tramps Like Us and Happy Mania series. Hale said Tokyopop will support the line with advertising, online promotion and retailer positioning and promotions.

"We'll be promoting the books as summer reading," said Hale. "The manga format is a benefit—most can be read in an hour, making them perfect for an evening bubble bath, the beach or a lazy moment on the couch."