Viz Media Launches Five New Shojo Manga Titles

Feb 15th 2006
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES FIVE NEW SHOJO MANGA TITLES

Exciting New Titles As Seen in SHOJO BEAT Magazine

San Francisco, CA, February 15, 2006 – Viz Media, LLC. (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, has announced the debut of five new dedicated manga titles and one new fiction novel to be released in the First Quarter of 2006 under the company's recently launched SHOJO BEAT imprint.

The titles include new series – ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND, BABY & ME, GODCHILD and KAZE HIKARU - all of which are currently serialized in Viz Media's unique monthly shojo manga anthology, SHOJO BEAT. The Kamikaze Girls manga and hardcover novel, first showcased in the magazine, are also available now under this imprint.

“The interest in shôjo manga by a growing legion of young girls is increasing rapidly, states Yumi Hoashi, editor-in-chief of SHOJO BEAT and vice president of Viz Media's magazine division. “Each new title presents a captivating range of unique characters and storylines filled with the action, romance and beautiful artwork for which the shôjo genre is renowned.”

KAZE HIKARU
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens; MSRP: $8.99 – Available Now!
Kaze Hikaru is a story set in nineteenth-century Japan that's packed with action, drama, comedy, historical fiction, and of course, a little romance. Kamiya Seizaburo is a young girl determined to avenge her murdered father and brother. To do so, she disguises herself as a man and joins the Mibu-Roshi, a group of swordsmen who her brother greatly admired and who supported the shogun government during the turbulent Bakumatsu Revolution. Amidst learning how to fight and fighting to keep her identity safe, she falls for Okita Soji (an actual historic figure), a charismatic warrior who would eventually become part of one of Japanese history's most notorious groups, the Shinsengumi!

KAZE HIKARU has been called the shôjo equivalent to the immensely popular title RUROUNI KENSHIN— the setting, some aspects of the storyline, and even some of the historical personages are the same.

ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens; MSRP: $8.99 – Available Now!
ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND shows us what happens when iRobot gets Orlando Bloom's good looks. Riiko Izawa's idea of the perfect boyfriend is cute, stylish, smart, and nice. He's a great cook and an all-around athlete, and he always wins a fistfight. Too bad Riiko has zero luck with boys. She's a gawky high school student who has never even been kissed, let alone been anyone's girlfriend! To make matters worse, Soshi, who is the boy next door, constantly teases her about her lousy love life.

But then one day Riiko helps a mysterious salesman, who grants her wish for a boyfriend in return (for a three-day trial, anyway)! As it turns out, the gorgeous guy is part of a Nightly Lover series — an artificial being programmed to love his owner completely and absolutely. One kiss from Riiko is all he needs to come alive…

BABY & ME
Rated ‘T’ for Teens; MSRP: $8.99 – Available Now!
BABY & ME is a moving story about a boy who is forced to grow up quickly and who, through his sacrifices, shows us the true meaning of love. Takuya Enoki isn't your average 11-year-old Japanese elementary student. The tragic death of his mother puts him in the difficult position of taking care of his 2-year-old brother while their father works long hours. Takuya must devote all of his free time to becoming his brother's guardian.

Cooking, cleaning, sewing, and scolding become an integral part of the young boy's life — responsibilities usually reserved for adults. BABY & ME follows Takuya and his brother through their unique new life together, filled with trials and tribulations, humor, and adventure.

Kamikaze Girls (manga)
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens; MSRP: $8.99 – Available Now!
KAMIKAZE GIRLS depicts the seemingly odd friendship between a frustrated and bored Lolita-type country girl fixated on the lifestyle of 18th Century France – inclusive of frilly dresses and parasols – and a spunky member of an all female biker gang. As their friendship deepens, the unlikely pair sets off on an unforgettable journey – one filled with an odd assortment of eccentric personalities.

Inspired by the novel, Shimotsuma Story, by popular Japanese author Novala Takemoto, KAMIKAZE GIRLS maps out a quirky, complex world with colorful shôjo comic book-inspired visuals and a focus on the eccentricities of many Japanese pop fashion obsessions, including the Gothic-Lolita fashion craze. The manga is based on the critically acclaimed KAMIKAZE GIRLS live action film which Viz Media released theatrically in 2005.

KAMIKAZE GIRLS (hardcover novel)
MSRP: $17.99 – Available Now!
The original novel by author Novala Takemoto that inspired the film!

GODCHILD
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens; MSRP: $8.99 – Available March 2006
Deep in the heart of nineteenth-century London, a young man named Cain emerges from the shadowy cobblestone streets. Forced to become an Earl upon the untimely death of his father, Cain assumes the role of head of the Hargreaves, an aristocratic family with a dark past that seems to unfold one scandalous revelation at a time.

Lonely and disenchanted with his fate, Cain develops knowledge of lethal poisons and an uncanny ability to solve the mysterious murders that seem to follow him wherever he goes.

With the aid of Riff, his faithful manservant, and Mary Weather, his younger half-sister, Cain seeks out the truth behind his father's mysterious death and alleged involvement with a sinister secret society.

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 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. (Sho-Pro 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, 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.

Contact Viz Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.

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