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Anime Expo 2005
Anime Expo - Viz Media

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Representatives: Anthony Jiwa and Liza Coppola

VIZ has confirmed that Zatch Bell will be released on DVD, and has licensed the Saikano OAV series. The third Inu Yasha movie will premiere at a special screening in San Diego, to coincide with the San Diego Comic Con, and although no theatrical release is planned, a "mobile theater" will offer showings in some fifteen markets. The DVD release will follow on September 6.

On the manga side of things, upcoming projects include Death Note, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Monster, and the Steamboy and Howl's Moving Castle Film Comic (ani-manga), A Howl's Moving Castle artbook (The Art of Howl's Moving Castle) is already available. Death Note, Bo-Bobo-bo Bo-boo and Monster have all been mentioned as having been licensed by VIZ in the past several months, but this is the first time they have been officially announced at a convention. In addition to the just launched Shojo Beat anthology, VIZ is also launching a dedicated shoujo manga imprint under the same name (Shojo Beat).

Like Tokyopop and Dark Horse, VIZ is also entering the Japanese novel market. The first five titles to be published will be novelizations of Fullmetal Alchemist and Steamboy, an adaptation of the Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence manga, and two original novels. Socrates in Love, currently Japan's all-time best-selling novel, which serves as the basis for a movie, TV show, and manga will be published in October at a $17.99 MSRP, while Kamikaze Girls, the source of the live-action film of the same title that VIZ will also be releasing, is scheduled for February 2006.

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