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Tokyopop Announcements at Comicon

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Tokyopop Inks "Samurai Girl - Real Bout High School" and re-captures "Kare Kano"

Stuart Levy, CEO of TOKYOPOP, was joined by Koji Miyajima of Pony Canyon for the contract signing of Samurai Girl - Real Bout High School as the latest addition to TOKYOPOP's anime line at Comic-Con on Thursday. Pony Canyon arranged the US license of Gonzo Studio's off-kilter martial-arts television series to TOKYOPOP® Anime.

Samurai Girl - Real Bout High School is set in a school where everybody knows martial arts, and no one is afraid to use them. The series is slated to premiere in Japan on July 30, and is the latest project of Gonzo Studi os, which is renowned for the outstanding production quality of their titles including Blue Submarine No. 6, Vandread and Gatekeepers. In addition, Samurai Girl - Real Bout High School reteams the creators of Gatekeepers, director Shinichii Tokairin (Street Fighter), character designer Keiji Gotoh (Martian Successor Nadesico, Sorcerer Hunters and Those Who Hunt Elves) and screenwriter Aya Matsui (Dragonball and Marmalade Boy).

Actress Ikue Kimura, who voices the lead character in the original Japanese version of the series, was also present for the signing. Kimura's character, Ryoko, is an elite fighter who is willing to take on any of her classmates to prove herself. Based on the series of novels by Saiga Reiji and graphic novels by Sora Inoue both published by Kadokawa, Gonzo has served up a tongue-in-cheek production that showcases their impeccable animation and character designs a work of spin-kicking action.

"Though many of the details are still under wraps until the show airs in Japan," said Levy prior to the press conference, "I'm prepared to say that Samurai Girl is Gonzo's next big hit, and a great addition to TOKYOPOP® Anime. Gonzo's work is second to none, and they have a great, original, though off-beat, take on martial arts and real-fighting."

TOKYOPOP® Manga announced two more titles to its rapidly growing line with Kare Kano - He Says/She Says, a new addition to the acclaimed girls manga anthology, SMILE, and the Korean manga, Ragnarok: Into the abyss.

Ragnarok (or "the end of the world" in Norse Mythology) expands on the ideas of genre twisting role-playing games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest with outstanding character designs by series creator Myoung-Jin Lee. With an emphasis on kinetic story telling, the series features a shifting ensemble of swordsman and sorcerers as they face a bizarre host of enemies, unique in design to the Ragnarok world. Ragnarok, will be the second Korean title released from TOKYOPOP® Manga after the premiere of the horror series Island this August.

In Masami Tsuda's Kare Kano, which debuts in SMILE in early 2002, Yukino Miyazawa is the model student - smart, attractive, athletic and friendly - she's at the top of her class. That is until she enters high school and finds herself ranked second behind the even more perfect Arima Souichiro. While she may look like she's handling the competition like a lady, secretly she's plotting his downfall, but their rivalry takes on a new twist when Arima reveals that he's in love with her.

Mixx Entertainment, Tokyopop's parent company, announced they had the rights to the Kare Kano manga last year, however it was announced in August that they had lost the rights. Looks like they got them back.

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