Anime Central 2005
Dark Horse

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Dark Horse Entertainment
(Carl Horn)

Club 9, currently appearing in the Super Manga Blast anthology, is about to reach its conclusion. It will be replaced with a title to be announced in the near future that has not yet been released by Dark Horse in any shape or form.

The hardcover edition of Akira will continue through the rest of the series.

Throughout the rest of 2005, Dark Horse will publish two more new volumes of Oh! My Goddess (21 and 22 in respectively, July and December). In between the two, in October, the first volume, originally published in 1997, will be republished. From that point on, the production schedule will continue either an all-new volume or a new edition of an older volume every two months. All volumes starting with 21, including the republished older volumes, will be published unflipped and in the current smaller-size industry format. The Volume 1 release will feature an all-new cover, several color pages, and the original cover on the inside of the front. In addition, Dark Horse will publish the commemorative Oh! My Goddess Color book, which contains four "best of" standalone manga stories, each one focusing on a different Goddess. All four stories are, unusually for manga, in color. The book will also contain an "authorized Oh! My Goddess doujinshi" drawn by Yoshihito Asari, and other extra content. As Media Blasters is set to begin releasing the new Oh! My Goddess TV series, Dark Horse is interested in working with MB to cross-promote the two properties.

Another older title Dark Horse will be publishing is Crying Freeman, originally published in the U.S. by Viz. However, whereas Viz published the original Japanese edition of Crying Freeman (published in Japan by Shogakukan), Dark Horse will be releasing an edition that the author, Kazuo Koike, published later independent of Shogakukan. In general, with the re-releases of both Oh! My Goddess and Crying Freeman, Dark Horse is interested in looking at older titles, including those previously published by other companies.

New manga acquisitions include the full-color Space Pinchy and Saiyuki Dendaio, yet another version of Journey to the West.

The first volume of the Vampire Hunter: D novel, jokingly described by Horn as "pictureless manga", is now available in stores. Subsequent volumes will be released every four to five months. In November, Dark Horse will publish Mamoru Oshii's original Blood: The Last Vampire novel, some of which is reportedly based on Oshii's first-hand experiences of student protests in 1968.

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