PR: Viz offers summer reading

I’m always happy to see publishers offer inexpensive entry points to long-running series, and Viz will be offering four of those this summer. They’re collecting early volumes of three of their most popular series — Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, Tite Kubo’s Bleach, and Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist — and a critically acclaimed title that could probably benefit from the omnibus treatment — Yello Tanabe’s Kekkaishi. In addition to being on Kate Dacey’s list of The Best Manga You’re Not Reading, the series has received the 2006 Shogakukan Manga Award for shônen and enjoys pride of place on the 2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.

The full press release is after the jump.



San Francisco, CA, April 21, 2011 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, kicks off the summer reading season with the release of new 3-in-1 omnibus editions for several best-loved manga (graphic novels) series. NARUTO and KEKKAISHI both launch on May 3rd, and BLEACH and FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST go on sale June 7th. Each of the new omnibus releases bundles 3 complete manga volumes into a handy summertime reading companion.

NARUTO 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·

MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available May 3rd

Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world’s greatest ninja! It’s training day and no one takes Naruto seriously at Ninja Academy. Especially not the other students, who all are competing to be the best ninja ever and some day lead Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Naruto and his classmates are about to embark on an adventure that takes them far beyond Ninja Academy, beyond Konoha, beyond anything they ever imagined. What is Naruto’s true destiny? The epic story that has sold millions worldwide begins now! For more information, please visit the official NARUTO website at

KEKKAISHI 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·

MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available May 3rd

By night, teenager Yoshimori Sumimura is a “kekkaishi”—a demon-hunter who specializes in creating magical barriers around his prey. By day, Yoshimori’s got other demons to battle: an addiction to sweets and a seriously crotchety grandfather! Yoshimori’s pretty neighbor and childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, is also a kekkaishi, but their families are feuding over who is the true practitioner of the art. Now the two rival kekkaishi must do battle with amphibious demons, the ghost of a pastry chef, charming demon-charmer Yomi and her pet demon Yoki, embittered demon-dog Koya – and more! More information on KEKKAISHI is available at:

BLEACH 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·

MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available June 7th

Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn’t change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits, and along with Rukia – who is slowly regaining her powers – it’s Ichigo’s job to protect the innocent from Hollows and help the spirits themselves find peace. The paranormal action-adventure begins now! More information on BLEACH is available at

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·

MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available June 7th

Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world, somewhere between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in these powers to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living iron. Now they are agents of the government, slaves of the military-alchemical complex, using their unique powers to obey their orders…even to kill. But their powers aren’t unique. The world crawls with evil alchemists. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are! More information on FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST is available at:


It was just this morning that I was feeling grouchy and envious that the French have the first volume of Saint Young Men in their spoiled little hands. Who would have thought that ill will would be washed away a few hours later? What is the cause of this renewal of my normally sunny disposition, you ask?

Yup. She’s coming back, courtesy of Kodansha Comics. I love it when I can type “Fulfilled” onto the license request roster.

Updates: Deb (About.Com) Aoki delivers a terrific round-up of coverage and reactions. So many exclamation points! And the Manga Bookshelfers form our battle robot to discuss this joyous news.

Here’s the press release, which I’m sure you’ll also see in full seventy other places:


Never-before-published Enhanced Editions of the Groundbreaking Manga SeriesShare Long-Awaited US Publishing Debut with CODENAME SAILOR V

NEW YORK, New York – March 18, 2011 – Kodansha USA Publishing, a subsidiary of Kodansha, announced today the exciting return of Naoko Takeuchi’s SAILOR MOON, one of the most significant names in comics and manga, to US publishing. Brand new deluxe editions of the acclaimed series will be released by Kodansha USA’s Kodansha Comics imprint in September 2011. Out of print for six years, SAILOR MOON re-launches along with Takeuchi’s two-volume prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, in print in the US for the first time—making this one of the most highly anticipated manga releases in years.

The SAILOR MOON manga, which originated in Japan in 1992 and debuted in the US in 1997, follows Usagi Tsukino, a young girl who transforms into super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. The first successful shôjo (girls’) manga release in the US, SAILOR MOON changed the book landscape and helped establish the foundation for the manga craze; in particular drawing attention to the popularity of comics among female readers.

Prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, the first of Takeuchi’s “magical girl” manga, will make its highly anticipated debut in the US alongside the SAILOR MOON re-launch. In CODENAME: SAILOR V, teenager Minako Aino fights as Sailor V against the villains of the Dark Agency before she discovers Sailor Moon.

The Kodansha USA editions of SAILOR MOON will be published on a bi-monthly schedule and follow the 2003 Japanese re-release format of the classic series. The original 18 volumes have been condensed into 12 volumes covering the main storyline, and two volumes dedicated to short stories. Each volume has gorgeous new cover art, retouched interior art and dialogue along with extensive bonus material from Takeuchi, and detailed translation notes.

One of the most recognized manga and anime properties in the world, SAILOR MOON took American pop culture by storm, with mentions in music (“One Week” by Barenaked Ladies), bestselling books (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot) and more. In Japan, over 15 million copies have been sold and the series has generated everything from animated features to live action musicals, a live action television series and countless merchandise.

“I’m very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi’s work to her American fans,” said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing. Irie is also the former chief editor of Nakayosi magazine in which the SAILOR MOON manga was serialized. “As we continue to build the Kodansha Comics manga list, a title like SAILOR MOON is the jewel in our crown. As the former chief editor of the work in Japan, I’m especially thrilled to finally release the prequel, CODENAME: SAILOR V, to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last.”

About Kodansha USA Publishing

Kodansha USA Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Kodansha Ltd. aims to bring the best names in manga to the North American market, and partners with Random House Publisher Services for distribution.

About Kodansha Ltd.

Kodansha Ltd. is Japan’s largest publisher, with its headquarters in Tokyo.  Originally established in 1909 by Seiji Noma, the company is still a family-run business.  Under the leadership of Sawako Noma, company president since 1987, Kodansha continues to play a dominant role in the media world, producing books and magazines in a wide variety of genres including literature, fiction, nonfiction, children’s, business, lifestyle, art, manga, fashion, and journalism.  Recently, the company has ventured into digital distribution of content as well.


More Ono due from Viz

Viz just sent out a press release detailing its new titles due in the second half of 2011, and I’m sure someone will post it in its entirety, but I’m single-minded in my interest in one title above all others:

TESORO · Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $12.99 US / $14.99 CAN ·

Available November 2011

This is an engrossing manga treasure trove containing 14 charming stories about family, friends, couples and unexpected bonds. Written by Natsume Ono over ten years, here is the long-awaited collection of her early work, including numerous illustrations and previously unpublished stories!

As a reminder, if you’re lucky enough to attend this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival, you can meet Ono in person. And, if you can’t wait until November for a new Ono title from Viz, there’s always La Quinta Camera, due in July.



Canada is just plain cooler

The Toronto Comics Art Festival has scored a coup:

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is excited to announce that internationally renowned manga creator Natsume Ono will make her first-ever North American public appearance as a Featured Guest at TCAF 2011. Hailing from Japan, Ono is one of the most exciting and unique women working in the medium today, and she will appear on panels and sign books in support of her English language works at Toronto Reference Library, May 7 and 8, 2011. Ono appears with the support of her English-language publisher VIZ Media.

Since I can’t resist praising Ono whenever her name comes up, I will happily repeat another paragraph from the press release:

“Ono’s fantastic work fits squarely into the ‘art comix’ idiom that’s at the core of the Festival,” enthuses Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “It’s the type of work we try to encourage. She’s a true auteur, working in a variety of styles and on different subjects, and her work is sure to find favour with fans of our other Featured Guests including Chris Ware, Jillian Tamaki, Mawil, and Adrian Tomine.”

You may recognize Mr. Butcher from his awesome blog or his work as manager of The Beguiling.

The cruelties of the calendar generally mean I can’t travel during the Festival, but I’m sure Ono’s appearances will be packed. I would certainly be elbowing people out of the way to get floor space, believe me. This is because I uniformly adore Ono’s work, going so far as to theoretically adore work that has yet to be published in English.

Other people who are excited by this news include Brigid (Robot 6) Alverson, Deb (About.Com) Aoki, and Heidi (The Beat) MacDonald. Erica (Okazu) Friedman and I were yammering on Twitter the other day about her concept of a “fifth genre” of manga that extends beyond, fuses, or ignores traditional demographic categories, and I only half jokingly suggested that you can identify a fifth-genre anthology by its serialization of work by Natsume Ono. Sure, she hasn’t had work run in Comic Beam, to my knowledge, but she’s all over IKKI, Manga Erotics F and Morning Two.

The buried lead

Over on Twitter, Scott Green triggered a tweet-storm when he pointed to this press release from Viz on new licenses. Fabulous news for Tenjo Tenge fans, particularly those still bitter about CMX’s editing choices, but read deeper into that piece, and you will find the source of my giddy, giddy joy:

LA QUINTA CAMERA • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • VIZ Signature • MSRP: $12.99 US / $14.99 CAN • Available July 19, 2011

A charming suite of linked stories from the acclaimed author of not simple and House of Five Leaves, set in an apartment in Italy. In four of the rooms live four single men with singular personalities. Into this peculiar ménage steps an exchange student, the new tenant of the fifth room. Brought together by chance, friends by choice, they pursue their dreams together as the days drift gently by.

It originally ran in Penguin Shoubou’s Comic Seed! Odd that they didn’t mention it’s also by the creator of Ristorante Paradiso and Gente, what with the “bunch of guys in Italy” thing going on. Still… new Ono!

The sun may not come out

At least nine times out of ten, comics from Japan tend to be about winning. Characters win the person of their dreams or the national championship or the right to be called King of the Pirates, or what have you. So it’s always fun to see a little failure in manga form. It’s always possible that the schlub who stars in Shunju Aono’s I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Viz) will eventually succeed, or at least that he’ll stop quitting halfway through whatever he happens to be trying, but in the meantime, we can revel in the crushing disappointment. I should also note that the series is really funny and that Aono seems to be trying to eschew the “But isn’t this loser secretly really awesome?” undertones that inform similar schlub-centric comics. Viz has announced the print edition, and the press release is after the jump.

This also gives me a chance to remind you that you can read a whole bunch of IKKI series for free and that the folks at Viz who manage the initiative have a really nice blog where they cover an appealingly wide range of topics. Recent entries have featured an upcoming release from Vertical, excitement over the return of Lady Sif, and an appreciation of the ongoing Free Comic Book Day that is the webcomic.



Story Of A Salaryman Who Embarks On A Quest To Become A Manga Artist Offers A Unique Journey Of Self-Discovery

San Francisco, CA, May 6, 2010 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the release of I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL… TOMORROW. The series, created by Shunju Aono, will debut on May 18th under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.

This is the story of a hapless forty year-old salaryman who quits his job to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist – and the family that has to put up with him. While not terribly unhappy, Shizuo Oguro can’t fight the feeling that something in his life just isn’t right, so he walks away from his stable (yet boring) day job to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately for his family, this journey also involves playing video games all day while his teenage daughter and elderly father support him. Will Shizuo succeed in creating a true manga masterpiece, or will he be just another dropout living a life of slack?

In the opening volume, Shizuo Oguro is living his dream… sort of. Feeling like his life has been a complete waste Shizuo breaks free from the corporate rat race and charts a new and fairly random career course to become a published manga artist. Sure, he lacks the talent, discipline, or any of the other skills necessary to become a success in the manga industry, but that won’t stop Shizuo from achieving his dream!

“It’s a long way to the top in the manga business, but Shizuo’s endearing journey reminds us that life is filled with endless challenges, and that resilience and humor can give Shizuo (or any budding manga artist) the fortitude to pursue their dreams despite his family’s consternation,” says Kit Fox, Editor, VIZ Media. “I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL… TOMORROW is one of the flagship titles featured in Japan’s IKKI magazine and is a great example of the kind of high quality manga series aimed at older readers. We look forward to fans discovering this great new story.”

Creator Shunju Aono won Young Magazine’s 45th Chiba Tetsuya Award in 2001 and also won the 17th Ikkiman IKKI Newcomers Award in 2005 for his manga series KALEIDOSCOPE. His current series, I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL… TOMORROW, is currently featured in IKKI magazine.

VIZ Media’s innovative partnership with Japan’s IKKI magazine brings a diverse collection of exceptional manga series to audiences in North America. From action to comedy to drama, slice-of-life stories to surrealist fantasies, the uniting themes these works share are an uncommon emphasis on creative quality and on pushing the boundaries of the manga norm.

I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL… TOMORROW is currently featured online at, the groundbreaking web destination for a broad range of unique manga for mature audiences.

For more information on other VIZ Signature titles and to check out a sneak peek of Chapter one through five of I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL… TOMORROW please visit

Swinging the AX

Speaking of people and things that start with the letter “A,” Brigid Alverson shares some joyous news at Robot 6: that Top Shelf has solicited its eagerly anticipated AX collection of alternative manga. Here’s the blurb from the Top Shelf newsletter that just arrived in my in-box:


The new May Diamond Previews catalog has THREE great titles available for pre-ordering: Top Shelf’s first foray into the world of alternative Manga with AX (VOL 1), the debut volume of James Kochalka’s new all-ages series DRAGON PUNCHER, and Renee French’s THE TICKING, finally coming back in print!


Edited by Sean Michael Wilson

Compiled by Mitsuhiro Asakawa

— A 400-Page Graphic Novel with French Flaps, $29.95 (US)

— Diamond: MAY10-1136

— ISBN 978-1-60309-042-1

Ax is the premier Japanese magazine for alternative comics. Published bi-monthly for over ten years now, the pages of Ax contain the most creative and cutting-edge works of independent comics from the world’s largest comics industry. Now Top Shelf presents a 400-page collection of stories from ten years of Ax history, translated into English for the first time! This groundbreaking book includes work by 33 artists, including Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life), Imiri Sakabashira (The Box Man), Kazuichi Hanawa (Doing Time), Akino Kondoh, Shin’ichi Abe, and many many more!

I was starting to worry that this might wind up on my “most anticipated titles” list for three years in a row.

Star search

We’ll wrap up Press Release Thursday with some information on Kou Yaginuma’s lovely Twin Spica (Vertical), which I reviewed here. I always appreciate it when a publisher shares a substantial online preview of their upcoming titles (heck, or stuff that they’ve already got in print, because everything is new to somebody), and the chapter Vertical chose is a haunting and lovely prequel to the main action of the series.

Countdown to Twin Spica‘s Launch Begins

Twin Spica, the thoughtful manga by renowned comic artist Kou Yaginuma, is getting ready for liftoff later this spring, and Vertical, Inc. wants readers to join in on the countdown to launch as we unveil one of the stories that helped start it all nearly a decade ago. Starting today manga readers can preview Yaginuma’s 30-page-long short story Asumi at Vertical’s official Twin Spica webpage.

Published originally in 2000, the Asumi short reveals many secrets of the world of Twin Spica. Shedding light on the bitter sweet past of Twin Spica‘s main character Asumi Kamogawa, with a focus on a younger version of the titular character, Asumi takes readers back to when our heroine first met her guardian astronaut.

Asumi supporters can then countdown the days to the Twin Spica launch as Volume 1 of the English edition of this heart-warming manga series will go on sale worldwide on May 4th. Endorsed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan’s version of NASA), the sixteen-volume manga series has spun off animated and live-action TV series each broadcasted by NHK (the Japanese PBS), here’s what critics have to say about Twin Spica:

“With art that would make Studio Ghibli proud, this story moved and impressed me. A+” —About Heroes

“[Yaginuma]’s work fuses Twin Spica with both a sense of childhood nostalgia as well as encouragement to venture beyond. Replace ‘space exploration’ with the goal of your choosing and you have the recipe for an inspiring parable of progress… It’s refreshingly divergent from the majority of the manga on shelves at the moment.” —Otaku USA

“Kou Yaginuma has created a fascinating alternate future for Japan, where tragedy becomes the foundation of both the protagonist’s story and her country’s entry into the space race… Asumi’s single-minded dedication to her childhood dream is admirable. As soon as I finished this book, I found myself already longing to read more.” —i ♥ manga!

Fanfare Eisner fanfare

Our next press release comes from Fanfare/Ponent Mon, and I have a sturdy tradition of shameless favoritism towards press releases from this fine publisher. This time around, it’s a run-down of their well-deserved Eisner nominations, which provides an opportunity for me to remind you that My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill is just grand in every conceivable way and should really win at least one of the awards for which it’s nominated.

Here’s hoping that Summit of the Gods (written by Baku Yumemakura and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi) gets nominated for something next year. I actually liked it better than Taniguchi’s A Distant Neighborhood and am looking forward to the next volume.



Ami and Stephen would like to thank Jackie Estrada and the 2010 Eisner Award panel for all their hard (and fast) reading!

Since Fanfare / Ponent Mon’s founding in 2003, the company has dedicated itself to publishing quality translations of some of the choicest European and Japanese graphic novels available for mature readers. With just four titles published in 2009 the recent announcement of seven 2010 Eisner Award nominations means Fanfare / Ponent Mon has put to rest any thoughts that it is merely the little company that could but rather the little company that does!

Receiving the second most nominations overall with three, My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill by Jean Regnaud (W) and Émile Bravo (A) was honored in the categories:

  • Graphic Album – New
  • U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Painter/Multimedia Artist: Émile Bravo
  • This bittersweet tale of a five-year-old’s childhood struggles while overcoming his mother’s absence is a powerful, yet sensitive, tour-de-force made all the more moving by Bravo’s deceptively innocent artwork.

    978-84-96427-85-3 — $25.00 / £13.99 — 120pp FC HC

    Years of the Elephant by Willy Linthout was distinguished in two categories:

  • U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Writer / Artist – Nonfiction
  • In his native Belgium, Willy Linthout is a household name through his cartoon Urbanus with over 130 albums and 10 million copies in print. But this graphic novel is far from his daily work. It is a poignant, heartbreaking tale of the creator’s emotional survival in the years following his son’s suicide and is
    presented in Linthout’s rough pencils, the author’s way of conveying that he, too, is not yet whole from the tragedy.

    978-84-92444-30-4 — $18.95 / £11.99 — 164pp B/W SC

    Since its inception. Fanfare / Ponent Mon has released several titles by Jiro Taniguchi – the fourth volume of the artist’s ambitious adaptation of The Times of Botchan makes its debut at the MoCCA Arts Festival as we go to press – so the company is most pleased to see the work of one of Japan’s contemporary manga masters honored with two nominations:

  • Graphic Album – New: A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.)
  • U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia: A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.)
  • Jiro Taniguchi was previously honored by a nomination for The Walking Man (2007), The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories (2008) and The Quest for the Missing Girl (2009). He also had a story in the nominated anthology Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators (2007).

    This two-volume work tells the tender and haunting story of a middle-aged businessman who finds himself reliving his days as a fourteen-year-old but with his adult memories intact. He returns to the period immediately before his father mysteriously leaves the family behind and naturally wonders whether he can now change this course of events. Or will events change him?

    It is an affecting tale that showcases both Taniguchi’s sensitive storytelling and his beautifully detailed artwork.

    978-84-92444-29-8 $23.00 / £12.99 208pp B/W SC

    With many thanks to our creators and good luck to ALL nominees

  • Graphic Album–New: A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Graphic Album–New: My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • U.S. Edition of International Material: My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • U.S. Edition of International Material: Years of the Elephant, by Willy Linthout (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia: A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Writer/Artist–Nonfiction: Willy Linthout, Years of the Elephant (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Painter/Multimedia Artist: Émile Bravo, My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • They presumably would know

    I hereby declare it Press Release Thursday. There are a few interesting ones in my mailbox, and there’s nothing wrong with a little low-impact content generation.

    We’ll start with Viz, who has formerly announced the drop date for Bakuman, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. You may recognize them as the creative team that brought us Death Note (also from Viz), and I hope you recognize Obata as the illustrator for Hikaru No Go (wonderfully written by Yumi Hotta, and also published by Viz). I’m somewhat less concerned that you recognize Obata as the artist behind Ral Ω Grad (written by Tsuneo Takano, also from Viz), which is a little fan-service-y for my tastes. You may also recognize Bakuman as one of the nominees for the most recent round of Manga Taisho Awards.

    While I’ve covered the nominees rather exhaustively in various license requests, I’ve purposely neglected Bakuman, as I knew it had been licensed and assumed we would be getting a press release eventually. And voila! Details after the jump.


    Two Students Must Have Perseverance, Innovation And An Uncompromising Will To Succeed In The New Series From The Creators Of DEATH NOTE

    San Francisco, CA, April 14, 2010 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the upcoming release of the manga series BAKUMAN。. The series, rated ‘T’ for Teens, will be released on August 3rd under VIZ Media’s popular Shonen Jump imprint and will carry a MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Previews for the series will start to run in the May 2010 issue of VIZ Media’s popular monthly manga anthology – SHONEN JUMP magazine which is on stands now.

    BAKUMAN。is written by the author of DEATH NOTE, Tsugumi Ohba, and the artwork is by Takeshi Obata, the artist known for series such as DEATH NOTE, HIKARU NO GO and RALΩGRAD. The story follows average student Moritaka Mashiro, who enjoys drawing for fun, but when his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world?

    In the opening volume, Moritaka is hesitant to seriously consider Akito’s proposal because he knows how difficult it can be to reach the professional level. Still, encouragement from persistent Akito and the motivation from a girl he has a crush on help push Moritaka to test his limits!

    “BAKUMAN。is an outstanding, behind-the-scenes manga about manga, and the artists who create it, written and drawn by the creative team that produced the DEATH NOTE series,” says Elizabeth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director at VIZ Media. “The series is a great read for all manga fans, and especially fun for aspiring artists.”

    Born in Tokyo, Tsugumi Ohba is the author of the hit series DEATH NOTE. The writer’s current series BAKUMAN。is serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan.

    Takeshi Obata was born in 1969 in Niigata, Japan, and is the artist of the wildly popular SHONEN JUMP title HIKARU NO GO, which won the 2003 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize: Shinsei “New Hope” award and the 2000 Shogakukan Manga award. Obata is also the artist of Arabian Majin Bokentan Lamp Lamp, Ayatsuri Sakon, Cyborg Jichan G, and the smash hit manga DEATH NOTE.

    For more information on this title, and other Shonen Jump titles, please visit