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PR: Viz Media Manga Gift Ideas

Not sure what to get the manga lover in your life? Viz Media has some suggestions from their extensive library of titles!

VIZ MEDIA SPOTLIGHTS EXCITING MANGA TITLES FOR WISH LISTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

 2014 Holiday Releases Include New Manga Box Sets, Shojo And Action/Sci-fi Manga Series And Other Exciting Gift Ideas For Any Special Fan!

 San Francisco, CA, November 11, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced a compelling array of manga, special box sets, novels and other titles that will make ideal gifts to suit a wide range of budgets and interests to delight readers and fans of all ages this holiday season.

VampireKnight_BoxSet02-3DNotable selections, which will be available in plenty of time for the start of the 2014 holiday shopping season, include lavish new box set editions for manga series BLACK BIRD, ONE PIECE, and VAMPIRE KNIGHT as well as the hardcover  storybook – PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY – an oversized, full-color edition of the original Princess Mononoke story, created by Hayao Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film.

New and exemplary shojo manga series from VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint that also will make thoughtful gifts include KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS and YUKARISM, a new manga series by the creator of YURARA AND RASETSU that launches December 2nd. Fans and readers of the gothic drama VAMPIRE KNIGHT will not want to miss a special limited edition of the series’ final volume, along with the release of VAMPIRE KNIGHT: FLEETING DREAMS, a special collection of short stories based on Matsuri Hino’s critically acclaimed series.

Action fans can dive into the debut of the new RESIDENT EVIL series from the VIZ Signature imprint, as well as two exciting new Shonen Jump series, teen-friendly WORLD TRIGGER and Takeshi Obata’s ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, the stunning manga realization of the popular Japanese sci-fi novel written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka that also inspired the blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow film that starred Tom Cruise.

Sci-fi readers also are invited to take note of ASURA GIRL and PHANTASM JAPAN, a pair of riveting new literary releases from the company’s Haikasoru imprint.

HOLIDAY MANGA BOX SETS:

ONE PIECE MANGA Box Set Vol. 2 · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $185.99 U.S. / CAN · Available Now! 

The latest ONE PIECE manga box set features Volumes 24-46, which comprise the series’ third and fourth story arcs – Skypiea and Water Seven. The Box Set also features a full-color poster and special ONE PIECE mini-comic. As a child, ONE PIECE main character Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. The only drawback? He’ll never be able to swim again – a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…

BLACK BIRD MANGA Box Set · Rated “T+” for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $149.99 U.S. / CAN · Available Now! 

The BLACK BIRD Complete Box Set features the entire series run of 18 volumes. In the acclaimed series crated by Kanoko Sakurakouji, there is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. But she is the bride of demon prophecy, and her blood grants incredible powers, her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right to her hand…or her life!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Manga Box Set 2 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $89.99 U.S. / $99.99 CAN · Available November 4th!

This comprehensive manga box set features the second-half of the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga series, Volumes 11-19, along with the hardcover 42-page art book. Set is contained in a gorgeously illustrated slipcase.

NOTABLE holiday shojo manga:

 YUKARISM · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN ·
Available December 2nd  

In this new manga series by the creator of YURARA AND RASETSU, Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. As it turns out, he has the ability to slip into his past life in the Edo period – as a beautiful, renowned courtesan named Yumurasaki!

 KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anise is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Vol. 19 (Series finale) Limited edition ·
Rated “T+” for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Savor the tense finale to Matsuri Hino’s acclaimed paranormal series in a limited edition featuring an exclusive alternate cover and a hardcover 42-page art book.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT: FLEETING DREAMS · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN / $10.99 Digital · Available December 2nd!

Fans will not want to miss this special collection of short stories by Ayuna Fujisaki based on VAMPIRE KNIGHT, with illustrations by Matsuri Hino! Stories include “Deranged Love,” in which a dying Rido reflects on his obsessive love for Juri. Kaname seeks to reward Yuki for doing well on her studies with tutor Aido in “Gifts for Yuki.” The story of Sara’s first love is revealed in “Hidden Love.” In “Queen of the Abyss,” after Zero parts ways with Yuki and returns to being a vampire hunter, he encounters a vampire named Shien.

NOTABLE SHONEN ACTION MANGA:

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL · Rated “T+” for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now! 

AllYouNeedIsKill_Omni01_CatalogTakeshi Obata’s ALL YOU NEED IS KILL originally premiered in VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga anthology earlier this year and is the stunning manga realization of the popular Japanese sci-fi novel, written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. In this rousing action story, when the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally – the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

world trigger · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

“Destroy thy Neighbor” in Daisuke Ashihara’s thrilling sci-fi action manga series, WORLD TRIGGER! Earth is under constant threat from Neighbors, invincible monsters from another dimension that destroy humanity’s way of life. At least there are the elite agents of Border, warriors who co-opt alien technology to fight back. Our hero Osamu Mikumo may not be the best agent, but along with his Neighbor friend Yuma, he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it.

NOTABLE VIZ SIGNATURE MANGA:

 RESIDENT EVIL · Rated “M” for Mature Readers ·
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Discover the sinister beginnings of the Resident Evil story in the first-ever manga series based on the smash hit game property. The highly virulent C-virus became a global disaster, but where did the outbreak start? In the series’ opening volume, at the prestigious and elite Marhawa Academy in Singapore, a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. Called in to investigate, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky find themselves caught up in a deadly and growing tragedy. As things get rapidly out of hand, Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance arrive on the scene, while behind it all a mysterious figure looms.

FOR STUDIO GHIBLI FANS:

PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY · MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Available Now! 

This is the original Princess Mononoke story, created by Hayao Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film that would be released to universal acclaim seventeen years later. As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and significantly different perspective from the final version presented in the film. After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a mononoke. The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage…

HAIKASORU SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND THRILLERS:

ASURA GIRL · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now!  

This tense urban drama about the violent and sexually charged life of a Japanese teenage girl in Tokyo is offered in English for the very first time. Seventeen-year-old Aiko lives a life of casual sex and casual violence, though at heart she remains a schoolgirl with an unrequited crush on her old classmate Yoji Kaneda. Life is about to get harder for Aiko, as a recent fling, Sano, has been kidnapped, and the serial killer Round-and-Round Devil has begun slaughtering children. The youth are rioting in the streets, egged on by the underground Internet bulletin board known as the Voice from Heaven. Expecting that Yoji will come and save her from the madness, Aiko posts a demand for her own murder on Voice of Heaven but will she be left waiting…or worse?

 PHANTASM JAPAN · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now! 

The secret history of the most famous secret agent in the world. A bunny costume that reveals the truth in our souls. The unsettling notion that Japan itself may be a dream. The tastiest meal you’ll never have, a fedora-wearing neckbeard’s deadly date with a yokai, and the worst work shift anyone—human or not—has ever lived through. Welcome to Phantasm Japan, Haikasoru’s latest anthology of fantasy stories from around the world, including new tales by New York Times best-seller Zachary Mason, horror master Gary A. Braunbeck, popular Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe, and much more.

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

Egg-Cellent Manga

Easter is just around the corner, so it’s time for some more marginally related manga! This time I’ll introduce some manga that features the Easter Bunny’s favorite treat; eggs!

In the first volume of Dr. Slump, inventor Senbei Norimaki invents the Time Slip, Which allows he and Arale to travel back to prehistoric times. Arale brings back an egg, which hatches to reveal a cherub-like being, with wings, antenna that can shoot laser beams, and curly green hair. Arale proceeds to name him/her (not sure which), Gatchan which is short for Gadzilla (Gojira). Gatchan becomes Arale’s constant companion, following her everywhere, eating most everything, especially liking metal but not rubber. Gatchan even clones itself to become twins!

In Dragon Ball, another Toriyama title, villain King Piccolo, the old version, has a particular ability, Pokopen, to create subordinates. He creates an egg in his body and spits it out, out of which the subordinates would hatch. They come out of the shell full formed and ready to do their master’s bidding. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and took a lot out of Piccolo. But these henchmen, who had names like Tambourine and Cymbol (keeping the musical instrument motif), proved to be a lot of trouble for Goku and his friends, even killing Kuririn.

Yusuke of Yu Yu Hakusho, in order to return back to life, is given a Spirit Beast egg to nurture. The egg feed off Yusuke’s aura and would determine what kind of creature hatched from it. It could either help him return to his body or gobble him up and take him to hell. Yusuke used that energy to rescue Keiko who was protecting his body from a fire in his apartment set by an arsonist. The egg was stored away in the underworld and later hatches during the Dark Tournament arc. It turns out to be a cute spirit beast with floppy ears who is named Pu. He, like Yusuke, is very attached to Keiko. Pu helps Yusuke during Genkai’s final disciplineship test, and in the last arc changes into a large blue bird, looking much like a phoenix.

Shugo Chara‘s Amu Hinamori makes a wish for the courage to be more like her “would be” self, the person she wants to be instead of the shy introvert she is. The next morning, she wakes up to find three colorful eggs – pink, blue, and green – in her bed. They hatch into Guardian Characters, each of which represents an aspect of Amu’s true self. Soon, other characters with Guardians begin appearing, and there is even a company, the Easter Company, who is searching for a special egg, the Embryo, that can grant any wish of the one who possesses it.

Are there more manga that feature eggs prominently? I’ll bet there are! These are just the first four that came to mind. Let me know what other titles I’m missing in the comments.

Have a Happy Easter!

Thanks for the Food!

Thanksgiving is a traditionally US holiday. It’s a harvest festival that has roots in a religious celebrations of family, friends and a bountiful harvest. It has since moved away from those beginnings, and today, Thanksgiving is seen as a time for families to get together, to eat lots of turkey, and to watch football. If you’re not into all of that, but still want the day to have a Thanksgiving feel, here are some manga that can put you into that Turkey-Day mood.

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Bread is a staple of most American meals, so no Thanksgiving can be complete without some hot rolls. And of course, there’s the stuffing for the turkey, and the weeks of turkey sandwiches afterwards. So we start with Yakitate! Japan, a battle manga about bread. Kazuma Azuma wants to create the national bread of Japan. The series starts with him going to Tokyo to work at Pantasia, and then follows his exploits with his co-workers. originally, Yakitate!! Japan explains a lot about bread making the baking industry, but as the series goes on, it gets heavily into gags, especially puns, of which the title is included.

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There are plenty of dishes to go with the main course at a Thanksgiving dinner. Finding the right combinations for a family isn’t easy. In the world of Hunter x Hunter, Hunters are people who specialize in finding rare and/or difficult things. One such Hunter is the Gourmet Hunter, who specializes in rare ingredients to create a special meal. Gon, the protagonist of this title, as part of his Hunter exam, must satisfy two Gourmet Hunters in order to move on. This turns out to not be easy, as they are very picky, but Gon and his friends to finally succeed. This part of the exam can be found in Volume 2

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The main course, is of course, the turkey, whether it’s roasted or fried, or however else you like to cook your turkey, no Thanksgiving can really be complete with that golden bird on the table. Toriko is another title that goes for the meat. Toriko is a Gourmet Hunter in the same vein as Hunter x Hunter. In his world, gourmet food is all the rage, and hunting the best and most rare beasts is left to Hunter like him. Toriko himself is also after the ultimate dinner course with only the best of the best ingredients making it up. Komatsu, a timid chef joins Toriko in his hunts and search for perfect ingredients. This title is very over-the-top, with lots of time spent eating, sometimes leaving the characters in an overstuffed stupor, also a common occurrence at Thanksgiving.

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If you’re not into the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, there are other options. Oishinbo is about Shiro Yamaoka’s search for the ultimate menu for the 100th anniversary of Tozai News newspaper. In the a la carte series Viz released, you can enjoy Japanese Cuisine, Fish, Shrimp and Sashimi, Ramen, Rice and even Saki. There lots of different dishes in each volume, and the stories present them in a way that makes learning about the food and it’s preparation interesting. Yamaoka is a great character to follow, though the battles with his father can be a little tedious, the dishes they feature more than make up for it.

For dessert, check out my Themed Manga post Trick or Treat and scroll down to check out titles Antique Bakery and Kitchen Princess, both of which feature lots of pies and cakes to finish off your Thanksgiving feast.

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Now that you’ve stuffed yourself and are in a Turkey coma, it’s time to move on to the other Thanksgiving tradition; football. There’s only one manga that can satisfy this need; Eyeshield 21. It’s about Sena Kobayakawa, who after entering Diemon Private Senior High School, is spotted by the captain of the American Football team, Yoichi Himura. He isn’t big or power, but he is fast and agile, skills that land him as the teams running back. Because Yoichi is afraid some other team might try to recruit him away, he has Sena wear a helmet with a green-tinted eyeshield, so no one will be able to see his face. The Diemon team then goes on to face several different school teams as they struggle to go to the Spring and then Fall tournaments. The teams are a little wacky, with plays that sound more like shonen attacks, but the series is a lot of fun, and if you keep from taking the sport too seriously, you will really enjoy this title.

So, whether you enjoy Thanksgiving for the food and family, or are just spending a quiet night at home, this list will hopefully get you through the day.