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Japan Expo USA 2013
Shojo Beat

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Shojo Beat, the girls' comic imprint for Viz Media, held a panel on Sunday to discuss two new acquisitions and current releases. The panel was hosted by editors Nancy Thistlethwaite and Pancha Diaz.

The imprint started in 2005 with the Shojo Beat magazine which was discontinued in 2009. The imprint, however, stayed and now includes over 75 manga series.

Thistlewaite started with August releases which includes A Devil and Her Love Song 10, Happy Marriage 1, Kamisama Kiss 10, Kaze Hikaru 21, Kimi ni Todoke 17, and Library Wars: Love & War 10. Happy Marriage is a new series out this month for adults.

Next month the company will release Demon Love Spell 4, Midnight Secretary 1, Otomen 16, and Strobe Edge 6. Midnight Secretary is another new series for older readers about a secretary falling in love with her boss who turns out to be a vampire.

October releases are A Devil and Her Love Song 11, Black Bird 17, Dawn of the Arcana 11, Hana-Kimi omnibus 6, Happy Marriage 2, Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura 11, and Voice Over 1. Voice Over is a new series that about a girl who is approached by a voice actor as a child and is struck by his good nature. She decides to follow in his footsteps but her voice sounds terrible.

November releases include Midnight Secretary 2, Oresama Teacher 14, Skip Beat omnibus 6, Strobe Edge 7, Sweet Rein, and Vampire Knight 17. Sweet Rein is about a girl who meets a boy who is really a reindeer. The two become bonded by a pair of reins after she touches him. He falls in love with her but she thinks its merely due to the reins and their connection as reindeer and Santa Claus.

December release include A Devil and Her Love Song 12, Demon Love Spell 5, Dengeki Daisy 13, Happy Marriage 3, Skip Beat 32, and Voice Over 2.

Viz Manga will be adding several titles to its digital manga offerings including Skip Beat, Boys Over Flowers, Hana-Kimi, Midnight Secretary, Sugar Princess, Doubt!, La Cordo de Oro, Tail of the Moon prequel, Basara, and W Juliet. Midnight Secretary will be released digitally simultaneously with the print release.

Viz Media also announced that Kazune Kawahara's High School Debut manga is getting a 3-in-1 omnibus release. The first volume of the new release will ship in February. The final volume will include manga shorts not previously released in English.

The company licensed Arina Tanemura's magical girl series Phantom Thief Jeanne (Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne). The story follows a seemingly normal girl named Maron, who secretly fights demons that have possessed people and paintings, but is labeled a thief and a vandal by the authorities. The series was adapted into an anime in 1999 and the manga was previously released by the now defunct CMX Manga. Viz has previously released Tanemura's I.O.N., Full Moon wo Sagashite, Short-Tempered Melancholy, Mistress Fortune, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, Time Stranger Kyoko, and Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura manga under its Shojo Beat imprint. Phantom Thief Jeanne will release the bankoban versions in March 2014 with new cover art by Tanemura, color inserts, and a new translation.

The second announcement was for Tomu Ohmi's Spell of Desire (Majo no Biyaku) manga. The series is ongoing with four volumes in print in Japan. In the story, Kaoruko runs a small herb shop after losing both of her parents when she was young. What Kaoruko doesn't know is that she is descended from a powerful line of witches. One day, a mysterious man dressed in all black enters the shop named Kaname Hibiki. Kaname has to help Kaoruko control her powers from going to the dark side by kissing her.

The panel then broke for a Q&A session and prize giveaways.

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