[PR]DrMaster Publications to Release Purgatory Kabuki Vol 1, Junk Vol 5 and Iron Wok Jan Vol 27

DrMASTER  PUBLICATIONS TO RELEASE  Purgatory Kabuki Vol.1, JUNK Vol.5, and Iron Wok Jan vol. 27 Pre-Order it NOW!

San Jose, CA,  December 2007. DrMaster has just announced the publication of Purgatory Kabuki volume 1 by Yasushi Suzuki, Junk volume 5 by Kia Asamiya, and Iron Wok Jan volume 27, the final volume of the popular series by author Shinji Saiyjo.

Purgatory Kabuki v1
Purgatory Kabuki is a samurai action story set in the underworld or afterlife. For reasons unknown, Imanoturugi, a former samurai, is obsessed with leaving the afterlife. To die in battle is a samurai’s greatest honor. Yet, now Imanoturugi must claim 1000 swords from the fallen warriors who now share residence in the dark underworld. By these and these means alone, this highly skilled blades master will be allowed admittance back into the living world. But to what end? Upon what stone purpose does he sharpen his edge? The story borrows heavily from various Japanese legends and myths. A skillfully mixed bag of action, suspense, classic ukiyoe style art and intrigue definitely worth reading.

Junk v5
The advent of the third JUNK brings a new reign of terror to Tokyo as the white JUNK is overpowered by its superior technology. Meanwhile, Hiro goes to Okinawa to visit Ryoko, who is recuperating from the kidnapping incident. As they come to terms with each other, will Hiro find what he is missing in his life? Don’t miss this new installment of the series Junk!

Iron Wok Jan v27
After Jan reveals his unspeakable ingredient too sickening even to be mentioned, the ostriches go wild turning the competition arena upside down. But, not to worry, there is still one battle left. Who will come out victorious? Whet your appetites for the final volume of Iron Wok Jan! You don’t want to miss the tantalizing action of the final battle as the cooking battle saga of the two houses Akiyama and Gobancho closes its curtain after three generations.

Also included: A special alternate ending and Shinji Saijyo’s debut manga What Mysterious Fellows!!

The three titles are available for pre-order now, and will be shipped out on 14 December. Each one will be priced at $9.95.
Visit www.drmasterbooks.com for more detailed series information.

About DrMaster Publications, Inc.:
From Japan we bring unique stories and characters, brought to life through suspenseful science fiction, relationship dramas, and side-splitting comedies. And from China, we have offerings rich in history and mystique, and titles with unmatched action and suspense. No matter your pleasure, DrMaster has something for you! Each of our books is like a glimpse into a new realm as seen through the eyes of the authors and artists. You don’t just read a DrMaster book—it jolts you to life, as you are propelled through the pages. Please click here for a list of our current and upcoming titles. And feel free to tour the site.

About DGN Productions International:
DGN Productions (Digital Graphic Novel Productions) is a newly-formed production company and studio made up of industry veterans within the comics and video game industries. Through strategic licensing of key comic book titles and the use of recognized industry professionals within the fields of animation and video game development, DGN Pro. Intl. is dedicated to producing cutting-edge video games, comics and animated features adapted from some the biggest and brightest in Hong Kong, Japanese and Korean comic book properties. DGN Productions Intl. was founded June 2004 and is based in Fremont, California.

Love Attack Vol 1 by Shizuru Seino Manga Review

Title:  Love Attack Vol 1

Author:  Shizuru Seino

Publisher:  TOKYOPOP

ISBN:  9781427802941

May Contain Spoilers

Chiemi is not your average quiet, delicate high school girl.  No, instead she’s on the fast track to being expelled!  Unable to stand by and do nothing when someone weaker is being bullied, she keeps getting into fights.  In exchange for having her unfavorable record wiped clean, she agrees to try to reform Akifumi Hirata, aka “Deranged Devil.”  What follows is one of the wackiest love stories ever!

Love Attack was a delightful surprise.  It’s fun, fast-paced, and centers around two characters that don’t quite fit your typical cookie-cutter shoujo mold.  Chiemi tries to be a tough girl, and her reputation has suffered for it.  When leaping to the defense of the down-trodden and bullied, she’s allowed herself to be suspended one time too many.  In exchange for having her record expunged, her teacher dangles a seeming hopeless task before her.  Tame Akifumi Hirata, and earn complete forgiveness.  It’s an offer she can’t afford to refuse, because her parents will kill her if she’s expelled!

Akifumi, despite his bad boy reputation, is really a nice guy who is trying to raise his little brother after the death of their parents.  Trouble is drawn to him, and though he’s never one to back down from a challenge, he doesn’t usually go out seeking altercations; he’s too busy juggling his job and his responsibilities. After getting kicking in the head by Chiemi, he’s smitten – will he have time for love?

Chiemi and Hirata’s slowly blossoming relationship is goofy and fast-paced.  Both characters are extremely likeable, and both can be blockheads.  They’re stubborn and not really sure how to move their relationship along.  Hirata seems content just eating lunch together and walking home after school, but Chiemi is quickly disillusioned by their less than steamy encounters.  Thanks to her friends, she’s starting to think that there’s something wrong with her, or maybe it’s Hirata who has the problem?  Misunderstandings and wackiness ensue as they struggle to communicate their feelings to one another.

I thought the art in Love Attack was Shizuru’s Seino’s best yet.  It’s still typical shoujo fare, which lots of exaggerated expressions and over the top emotions filling the pages, but the drawings are clean and attractive.  The panels move the action efficiently along, and the illustrations work well with the silly tone of the story. 

Love Attack is a fun, fluffy read that never takes itself too seriously. With its unusual characters and quick pacing, it provides a pleasant diversion.

Grade:  B+

Rated for Teen 13+

Review copy provided by TOKYOPOP

Mining for Diamonds in the December 07 Previews

This issue of Previews is a little disappointing.  After being slammed with titles as the pubs geared up for the holiday season, many of them have noticeably scaled back on their offerings.

Emma Vol 7 – Kaoru Mori – CMX – If you’re not reading this beautifully illustrated and emotionally involving tale of Victorian England, you should be.  Populated with character that you care about, Emma and William’s quest for love is compelling and moving.

Teru Teru x Shonen Vol 1 by Shigeru Takao – CMX – Ninjas and high school romances – sounds like a winning combo to me!

Moon Child Vol 10 – Reiko Shimizu – CMX – This is a title that is definitely not getting enough love. Gorgeous art highlights a complex love story that’s sprinkled with fantasy elements. Art can be a dunce, Shonach is a wimp, and Jimmy is clueless. How will they ever sort things out?

All Nippon Airline Paradise 3000 Feet  by Kei Azumaya– Digital Manga – Yeah, baby!  The airline company is called ANAL.  How can you not want to read this?

(Cover from volume 4)

Barefoot Gen Vol 5 & 6 by Keiji Nakazawa – Last Gasp – My library is sadly lacking in classic manga, so I’ll try to rectify that by picking up the first few volumes of this series.  Recounting the horrors of war before and after the bombing of Hiroshima, the author draws from personal experience to deliver a moving, haunting tale.  Hope I’m not too much of a sissy to handle the weighty subject matter covered here.

Fujoshi Rumi Vol 1 by Natsumi Konjoh – Kitty Press – Rumi is convinced that Takahiro and his best buddy Shunsuke are madly in love. Too bad Takahiro is in love with the fujoshi otaku. Sounds silly, so I’ll give it a try.

Devil’s Bride Vol 1 by Se-Young Kim – TOKYOPOP – Lonely devil decides to create a little companionship for himself by constructing a bride from the wishes he’s granted to humans. Too bad that the final product is a groom! Sounds like he needed to think his plan through a tiny bit more.


(Pretend this is the TOKYOPOP cover)

Your and My Secret Vol 1 by Ai Morinaga – TOKYOPOP – Look at what’s back, and this time it’s with TOKYOPOP.  Hopefully their run will last longer than ADV’s.

Other good stuff from TOKYOPOP includes Gakuen Alice Vol 2, Fruits Basket Vol 19, and The Twelve Kingdoms Vol 2: Sea of Wind.

Rurouni Kenshin Viz Big Edition Vol 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki – VIZ – If you haven’t read Kenshin yet, here’s another chance to start collecting the series. Compiling the first 3 volumes, VIZ adds some color content and updated text. Don’t I feel silly for not waiting to buy these?

Claymore Vol 11 by Norihiro Yagi – VIZ – Another series that needs more love. I love the fast-paced adventures of Claire and Raki, and always want more after the last page has been turned. The fantasy setting is grim as humans and yoma battle for supremacy, and the art is top-notch.

Monkey High Vol 1 by Shouko Akiro – VIZ – From the description, it sounds like a typical shoujo high school drama, but I’m wondering what kind of monkey magic the guy’s got going on.  Who can resist monkeys?  Or guys that look like monkeys?  Hopefully he’ll have better manners.

Honey and Clover Vol 1 by Chica Umino – The first graphic novel of the popular series hits the streets soon.  It seems like it’s been a long wait.  Why don’t I subscribe to Shojo Beat?

Other good stuff from VIZ includes Beauty Pop Vol 7, Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 16, Nana Vol 9, Skip Beat Vol 11, and Yakitate!! Japan Vol 10.  Ouch!

[PR] Tor Books Partners with Seven Seas to Form New Manga Imprint

Tor Books partners with Seven Seas to form new manga imprint and announces publication of Afro Samurai, the basis for the hit Spike TV anime series!

New York, NY—Thursday, December 6, 2007: Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC—the largest publisher of science fiction in the world—has formed a new manga imprint with Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC.  Seven Seas, founded in 2004, publishes manga, manga-inspired novels, illustrated juvenile fiction, and more, and is one of the only publishers that produces original manga content in the US

The new Tor/Seven Seas imprint will showcase the efforts of both companies working together to jointly acquire and co-publish some of Japan’s best-selling and most exciting manga series, light novels, and other fiction.  Beginning with books scheduled for publication in early 2008, Tor will also be distributing new Seven Seas titles every month, under the Seven Seas imprint. 

 Tor Publisher Tom Doherty says of the partnership: “We are so pleased to be working with Seven Seas; their mix of science fiction, fantasy, humor, romance, and adventure is an excellent complement to Tor’s bestselling and award-winning genre fiction publishing program.” 

Through its relationship with Seven Seas, Tor makes an exciting entrance into the world of manga publishing; manga, the Japanese version of comic books, is a publishing phenomenon that, in 2006, represented a $4.4 billion market in Japan and a $175-200 million market in the US. The distribution and publication of select Seven Seas titles will also give Tor an opportunity to become a flagship publisher of “light novels,” a type of book new to American manga and genre-fiction fans. The light novel launch will feature Ballad of a Shinigami, Pita-Ten, and Strawberry Panic, and will debut in March 2008.

“It’s an exciting time for the manga industry,” says Jason DeAngelis, president of Seven Seas. “Our partnership with Tor will enable us to push the envelope even further and expand the manga market, bringing all sorts of new and varied content to fans.” 

In August 2008, Tor and Seven Seas will publish their first collaborative venture under the Tor/Seven Seas imprint, the manga Afro Samurai, written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki.  Afro Samurai—created in Japan but releasing here in the US for the first time—was the basis for the popular Spike TV anime series that premiered in 2007 and featured the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, and Kelly Hu.  The publication of Afro Samurai will kick off a multi-platform promotional campaign, including an Afro Samurai video game by Namco and the launch of Spike TV’s second Afro Samurai season, both slated for fall 2008.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Afro Samurai’s author, Takashi Okazaki, explains that Afro’s character was inspired by musicians he saw on old episodes of the television program “Soul Train,” which aired in the 1990s in Japan, and that “I also loved Japanese samurai flicks.  So one day, I combined the two.”


The show has received rave reviews from press such as the Washington Times, which praises Afro Samurai for its “hip and very cool animation” and says, “in the most Quentin Tarantino of ways, [Afro Samurai] highlights a story of revenge set in futuristic feudal Japan.” Top gaming website IGN.com raves: “Samuel L. Jackson’s new action anime show kicks ass!”


About Seven Seas

Jason DeAngelis, founder and Chief Creative Officer at Seven Seas, lived, worked, and studied martial arts in Japan for six years. His fluency in Japanese brought him work translating such prominent manga titles as Berserk and Gundam Seed.  Jason oversees the production of Seven Seas’ original projects. 


Two other key members of Seven Seas include: Yayoi Ihne, Head of Licensing, who worked at Viz and with Del Rey, and has translated numerous manga, including Sugar Sugar Rune and Adam Arnold, Senior Editor for licensed properties, who created the webzine Animefringe and has worked as a re-writer on numerous manga, including Pita-Ten and Love Hina.  Adam currently writes Aoi House and runs the Seven Seas website, www.gomanga.com, which has become a daily stop for thousands of visitors eager to read manga online and contribute to an ever-growing forum community.

Some of Seven Seas’ most popular manga series are:

Aoi House (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/aoi.php)

Boogiepop (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/boogiepop.php)

He Is My Master (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/heismymaster.php)

Hollow Fields (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/hollow.php)

Kashimashi (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/kashimashi.php)

Strawberry Panic (http://www.gomanga.com/manga/strawberrypanic.php)

About Tor Books

Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books, founded in 1980 and committed (although not limited) to SF and fantasy literature. Between an extensive hardcover and trade paperback line, the Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperback, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. Books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields and Tor has been named Best Publisher in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF, for twenty consecutive years.


Seven Seas and Tor Book Join Forces!

One of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy pubs, Tor Books, is teaming up with Seven Seas Manga.  The joint venture will allow Seven Seas to expand their reach into the manga market, and allow them to explore movie, TV and gaming deals based on original comics properties.  Will their delayed line of light novels finally see the light of day??  Will it be easier to find their books in local book stores?  

Before the manga explosion, I read sci-fi/fantasy almost exclusively.  I was always eager to give new titles by Tor, Del Rey, and DAW Books my attention.  Now two of them have been wooed to the manga sphere.  So, hey, DAW Books! Who are you going to team up with?? 

Read about it here

[PR]VIZ MEDIA at 2007 New York Anime Festival

I really wish I could have made this convention!  Work and family commitments prevented me from attending. Pooh!  Looks like it’s going to be a fun weekend.  Here’s VIZ MEDIA’s hype for those of you lucky enough to be going.


Industry Leader In Anime And Manga To Sponsor Manga Lounge In Booth 454 And Participate In Key Industry Panel Discussions At Highly Anticipated Convention

New York, NY, December 4, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced its participation and sponsorship of a variety of events at the inaugural 2007 New York Anime Festival (NYAF), taking place December 7-9, 2007 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

The New York Anime Festival is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of the popular New York Comic-Con, and brings together more than 120 exhibitors, featuring the latest in anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, as well as the best of anime-influenced comics, animation, and film from around the world. The Festival is expected to be a packed event drawing thousands of fans from across the country.

VIZ Media will kick off the show as a key sponsor and participant in the ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga, taking place on Thursday, December 6 from 1-5pm, the day before the Anime Festival opens. The conference will be a key industry event presenting a variety of panel discussions on important topics impacting the anime and manga markets in North America and beyond. Liza Coppola, Sr. Vice President of Marketing for VIZ Media, will be featured in “Marketing to the Otaku Generation,” which will discuss how new anime and manga properties enter the U.S., reach the fan community, and achieve mass popularity. Elizabeth Kawasaki, Editorial Director at VIZ Media, will participate in “Girls – The Other Half of the Otaku Generation,” a panel that will examine the popularity of shojo anime and manga and the increasing impact female consumers have on the market. Finally, Daniel Marks,­­ VIZ Media’s Sr. VP of Strategy and Business Development, will contribute to a discussion on the ways technology impacts the delivery of content in “Technology and the Otaku – the New Media Frontier.” These panels should foster healthy debate and provide insights on how companies like VIZ Media are adapting to a continually changing market landscape.

On the main show floor for The New York Anime Festival, VIZ Media will have a spacious Manga Lounge where visitors can decompress, meet fellow fans, and read a variety of free manga samplers highlighting upcoming and existing VIZ Media manga releases. Another highlight will be the VIZ Media Anime and Manga Panel, scheduled for December 8 at 3:00pm in Room 1A24. Wendy Shimamura and Manny Hronides of VIZ Media will be joined by Simon & Schuster’s Nichole Beaulieu, to discuss a variety of current and upcoming releases, answer questions, and give a preview of what fans may expect from the company in 2008.

VIZ Media’s popular animation and manga property BLEACH will figure prominently throughout the Festival with characters appearing on a variety of posters and event signage. Episodes 1 and 2 of the supernatural action series will screen in the Anime Screening Room, Saturday December 8 from 2:00-3:00pm. The first two episodes of the psychological crime drama DEATH NOTE, which recently debuted on DVD, will screen Sunday, December 9, also in the Anime Screening Room.

“The tremendous popularity of anime and manga at the New York Comic-Con spurred the launch of the New York Anime Festival, and we are pleased to sponsor and support the event in several events,” says Liza Coppola, Sr. Vice President, Marketing, VIZ Media “There will be plenty for fans to feast on from anime screenings and panel discussions to VIZ Media-sponsored prizes and the opportunity to preview forthcoming releases in our Manga Lounge. As the holiday season begins, we anticipate the NYAF becoming a very successful and well-attended event.”

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.  Website at www.viz.com