Sakura was never a character that interested me in the original Naruto manga, as she appeared to be more interested in Sasuke as husband material than really making it as a ninja in her own right. This may have changed later in the series, but this novel definitely does, as it give her not only the spotlight, but a mystery to solve!
Dragon Ball has become a classic title here in the west just as it is the Japan. Viz Media has published several different editions of the series, including a VizBIG and 3-in-1 omnibuses. Now, they’re taking it a step up with color editions of this long and seemingly unending saga. Sadly, the color editions are starting with Dragon Ball Z, the part of the series I would argue is not as strong as the first. But that’s just me.
Not a lot of new titles coming to Viz digitally, but I am looking forward to Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter, and learn more about the Monster Hunter universe. What I’m not thrilled about is the return (again) of Hunter x Hunter. The series has been on hiatus more than it’s been in print. Fool me once… The digital bundles are all foodie manga, so if you don’t mind your manga making you hungry, or you’re looking for meal ideas, be sure to check them out.
Viz Media made their debut at Anime Boston this year, snubbing the closer west coast con Wondercon for an east coast outing. They brought some new licenses including two new hardcover deluxe releases. Tomie is a horror manga by the master Junji Ito that hasn’t seen print in over a decade. It truly deserves the deluxe treatment. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders already had a print run here in the US, where it barely made an impression. Just a decade later, the stardust has been re-ignited with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 and 2 not only selling gangbusters, but as deluxe hardbacks as well. It seems only right that Part 3 get the same treatment. Not having matching releases on the bookshelf can be maddening, and you don’t want to make Jojo fans mad. They might pose furiously at you.
While Monster Hunter is a well-known franchise in video game circles, it’s certainly not unknown to manga readers. We were given a taste of the franchise when Kodansha published the 4 volume series Monster Hunter Orage by Hiro Mashima, the creator of Fairy Tail. Now Viz is taking it from taste to full meal with the licenses of this 10 volume series. I enjoyed Orage and the world, so I’m looking forward to the debut of this series.
Judging by the reaction from social media after it was announced, Goodnight Punpun is something readers have been waiting licensed in the West for a while. It appears to be a polarizing title that readers will either love or hate. But Viz Media really deserves credit for picking up the series that has a Mature rating, and deals with serious issues as a coming of age story that doesn’t guarantee a happy ending.
As an old-time anime fan, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a series often spoken about, but chances of an English release seemed slim. Space operas about military and political intrigue doesn’t seem like something that would appeal to anime and manga fans. But with light novels on the rise, and a very vocal US fan base, Viz Media has heard and the series will finally be out this week. Even more exciting, is the release of an audio book version, so even if you can’t look at the page, you can still be reading this amazing series.
It’s a good time to be a Pokémon fan. The game franchise has just turned 20, a game series has been announced, and now, the latest movie and manga adaptation is being released this week! The Pokémon featured this time is a mythical from the X & Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire series, Hoopa, who is rather mischievous, but holds a darker secret power. The manga adaptations can be hit or miss, but never fail to entertain.
Titan Comics first came to my attention when they took over the license for Doctor Who comics from IDW. Since then, they have not only debuted series’ for Doctors 8-12, they have also been picking up other media properties such as Heroes Reborn, Independence Day, Vikings, and Penny Dreadful. Since Titan Comics already has an affiliation with the BBC, it makes sense that they got the Sherlock manga. It sounds like Titan will be publishing the manga as a floppy comic, like the rest of their line. I wonder if Sherlock fans will be dedicated enough to pick up the floppies, or if they will wait for the trade/paperback. Even though I’m not a fan of Moffat and Gatiss’ take on the iconic detective and his cases, I will at least check out an issue or two. Maybe Japanese creators Jay’s adaptation will be more interesting.
Matsuri Hino, creator of shojo series Vampire Knight returns to Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint with a new series about a school girl whose a ninja. This isn’t any kind of surprise. With the success Viz experienced with Vampire Knight, it was a no-brainer that her next series would be licensed here as well. I wasn’t impressed or interested in Vampire Knight, so I’m not feeling any impetus to pick this on up either. It’s gonna be a pass for me, but check out the first volume yourself if you like Hino’s work or are interested in any way.
Just because the manga is done, that doesn’t mean the adventures in the world of Naruto are! This story takes place after the Great Ninja war and fills in some of the time between the end of the manga and sequel Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring. It also features Shikamaru, one of the more interesting characters from the manga. If you are already feeling the withdrawals of no new Naruto chapters, then this novel is just what you need.
February is the month that’s all about the romance, so their digital bundles this time are almost all from the Shojo Beat imprint. Demon Love Spell, Jiu Jiu, and Kaze Hikaru all have great deals. If your love is for games, then pick up one of the Hikaru no Go bundles. If you prefer your heart spurting blood, check out the new Viz Select title Judas, a former Tokyopop title that is more horror than honey.