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Del Rey to Publish Air Gear


(New York, NY; January 20, 2006)—Del Rey Manga, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, announced today the acquisition of AIR GEAR, a Kodansha property by manga legend Oh! great, creator of Tenjho Tenge.

With 12 volumes and over 5.5 million copies in print in Japan, great anticipation has been building for the U.S. debut of AIR GEAR. AIR GEAR, translated from the original Japanese and completely unedited, follows the adventures of Itsuki Minami, the toughest strongest wrestler at Higashi JHS, who is easy on the eyes, but dangerously rough when he needs to be in a ring. Itsuki lives with the mysterious and sexy Noyamono sisters--so this lucky boy's life isn't exactly dull. But it takes a turn for the even more unreal when Itsuki leads his school to victory over some vindictive Westside punks with gangster connections. Now he stands to lose his school, his friends, and everything he cares about. In his darkest hour, the Noyamano girls come to Itsuki's aid. They can teach him how to use Air Trecks to save their school from the gangster's seige—and bring Itsuki to a thrilling, and terrifying, new world.

“This is definitely one of our biggest releases for 2006,” said manga director Dallas Middaugh. “The story will have you on the edge of your seat, and the art will keep your eyes super-glued to the page.”

AIR GEAR will be rated for ages 16 and up. The first volume will go on sale July 25, 2006.

About Del Rey:

Del Rey Books (http://www.delreybooks.com) was founded in 1977 as a division of Ballantine Books under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn Del Rey and her husband, Lester Del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, alternate history and manga. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the U.S. publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's leading international media companies. In the summer of 2003, Random House joined together with Kodansha in a creative partnership to bring some of Kodansha's top properties to the United States, making Random House the first major trade book publisher in the United States to do so.

About Kodansha Ltd., Publishers:

Kodansha is the largest trade book and magazine publisher in Japan. Founded in 1909, the company by virtue of its long history, the quality of its publishing, and its established network of sales and marketing is regarded as the trade book market leader in the publishing business in Japan. Moreover, Kodansha has been recognized as the leading publisher with a mission to introduce Japan through its publishing business.

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