Honey and Clover, Volume 1 – Manga Review

Honey and Clover, Volume 1 Cover

 

Review by: Sophie Stevens

Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Author: Chica Umino
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo)
MSRP: $8.99 US
Rating: T
Release Date: Available Now

Animanga Nation EC Award

This is the reason we love manga so much.

Fellow reviewer Clive Owen is getting on my nerves.

I know this is a strange way to start a manga review but since I laid out my copy of Honey and Clover, Volume 1, it has been in his possession and he won’t give it back. This is a guy who would much rather dive into anything shonen and leave the shojo to “the office babes.” Yet when he started scanning through the pages, he was so captivated by what he was reading that he dropped everything just to concentrate on reading the volume. Having read it myself, I just don’t blame him.

Honey and Clover is one of those rare gems one finds very rarely. It’s the type of work that transcends gender to make it a work of art any loyal manga addict (like myself) could really sink their teeth into and enjoy. It’s a manga that is ripe with excellent writing, expressive artwork and characters that will remain in your mind long after you stopped reading. In short, it’s perfect in ever way. This, if anything, is the reason I recommended it as an Editor’s Award.

The first volume in this deeply involving manga revolves around a young art student named Yuta Takemoto who lives in an apartment building filled with other art students attending a local Tokyo university. Through his eyes we meet his flat mates such as architecture student Takumi Mayama and the seemingly brilliant-yet-completely-bonkers Shinobu Morita.

Takemoto, a freshman really, experiences life in the apartment is not easy and oftentimes these students go days without the savory taste of meat. Fortunately, Morita comes home at odd hours like a living zombie loaded with cash and meat that he bought at reduced prices. What he does to get said money is a mystery and, to Takemoto, Morita is a riddle that’s hard to piece together. Why is it that girls want to pamper him yet not date him? Why has he been on campus for way too long? These are questions that pop up but are hardly answered. Well, in this volume, anyway.

Then there’s Mayama, a seemingly put-together young architecture student who is good enough that he might already have offers for employment. He was the target of Morita’s craziness until Takemoto stepped in to fill the role but is still swept away by his friend’s antics. Mayama, while a stable young man, might have a crush on an older woman who is friends with their sensei named Professor Hanamoto even though there’s a younger girl named Ayumi Yamada with the world’s biggest crush on him. Hilariously, Yamada (unfortunately nicknamed “Ironman”) takes to physically kicking around Mayama just to get his attention.

The true highlight of the manga, however, is the introduction of the lovely yet pixie-like Hagumi “Hagu” Hanamoto who is the cousin of Professor Hanamoto. Hagu is eighteen years old but looks like a grade school student instead. While short and childlike, Hagu is an artistic genius that creates work of art that the art community recognizes to the point that her work is featured in museums. It is her spark of creativity that catches the attention of Takemoto who suddenly comes to realize that he might just be falling in love with this prodigy who very rarely even talks to anybody on campus.

Chica Umino’s storytelling is also ripe with truly funny moments that will make you laugh out loud. Taking one glance at Hagu, Morita quickly grabs a huge leaf from the campus garden and snaps photos of Hagu while calling her a “Koropokkur” (a type of fairy). In another chapter, we meet Lohmeyer, a student that arrives with enough ham and meat that the boys form an almost embarrassing boy-crush on to the point that his absence has them on the verge of tears. Even Umino’s artwork is a stroke of brilliance and is different from every other shojo manga out there.

The brilliance of Honey and Clover is in its well-rounded and appealing characters but also the chapters that paint an even bigger picture. Its love story (whether you follow Mayama and Yamada’s relationship or the love triangle that is Hagu, Takemoto and Mayma) is handled superbly. It’s one of those manga that will make you glad you love manga. Really, you will find it hard to put it down.

Now, if only I can get my copy back away from Clive.

 

REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
Falling in love has rarely seemed this amusing, gratifying and absolutely hysterical in other shojo and Chica Umino does it with her brand of wit and intelligence. By the end of the manga you will be so captivated by the characters that you will find yourself savoring every panel. Yes, it’s that good.

ART: A+
At first glance, the art might seem unusual and at other times the characters look like zany caricatures. In short, Chica Umino’s artistic style is her own and it works beautifully to the point that its originality stands out perfectly. Kudos to you, Umino, for your interesting art. I mean, just look at that gorgeous front cover.

OVERALL: A+
Without a doubt, Honey and Clover is an entrancing, funny and downright brilliant piece of work that will make you glad you picked it up in the first place. It’s a completely original and unique manga that throws conventional shojo trappings for something entirely refreshing and real. If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy and see if you can put it down.

 

 

 

High School Debut, Vol. 2 – Manga Review

Review by: Faith McAdams

Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat Manga)
Author: Kazune Kawahara
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo)
MSRP: $8.99 US
Rating: T
Release Date: Now Available

Stop me if you heard this one before …

I liked the first volume in Kazune Kawahara’s High School Debut. It was charming, often times very funny and just try not to find the main protagonist, Haruna, extremely likeable. Still, we couldn’t help be feel that we’ve read manga like this before. Thankfully, Kawahara is a good writer and artist and her continuing tale of a tomboy trying to find love with the help of a moody-yet-hot male coach is good even though it is heading towards the inevitable.

In the end of the first volume, Haruna reveals to her love coach, Yoh, that she thinks she might be in love. Her target of affection is Yoh’s closest friend named Fumiya who she had a great time hanging out with one evening in the batting cages. Cute, friendly and totally clueless, Fumiya is a good choice and Yoh immediately dials him up and puts Haruna in a rough spot. How do you ask out a guy when you never asked out a guy before in your entire life? You can imagine the hilarity that ensues out of the awkward phone conversation.

Unfortunately for Haruna, however, Yoh’s attractive sister, Asami, is consumed with jealousy. Who Haruna thought was a good friend that wanted to see her happy becomes a bitter girl who despises the fact that her brother no longer pays attention to her now that he’s too busy coaching Haruna. After Haruna and Fumiya enjoy a pleasant visit to the city zoo, it is Asami that does the unthinkable … she betrays Haruna by making out with Fumiya! And to top things off, clueless Fumi didn’t even see his outing with Haruna as a date and reveals that he likes Asami instead!

Ah, Haruna, how Asami’s betrayal hurt her but the trooper that she is sees this as a first in her life. Strangely enough, it is Yoh who consoles her and becomes impressed with the girl’s ability to see a bright light in dark times. In fact, Yoh sees that she recovers from heartbreak by wishing his sister and Fumiya all the best. This little scene makes Yoh realize that even in heartbreak all anyone can do is pick up the pieces and start anew. Suddenly, the guy who hated girls begins to let his guard down a little. When Yoh’s friends suggest that maybe Yoh can find romance … Haruna realizes that the real object of her affection remains to be Yoh even though she promised not to fall for him.

Unlike the first volume, Volume 2 seems to have slightly lost its sense of humor. This is not to say that there aren’t any funny moments in the story. Rather, there are lighthearted moments that are centered around Yoh and Haruna’s changing feeling for him. It’s nice to see Yoh letting down his guard and actually learning from Haruna for a change. Now this once isolated boy becomes socially active in sports again and takes up basketball once again. He learned from Haruna how to forgive (she accepts Asami’s apology for stealing Fumi) and forget (forgets Fumi to pursue a new guy).

By the end of the manga, we already get a sense of what is to be in store for the next volume. With Yoh finally putting behind him that “beads incident” that had turned him off on relationships, it’s up to Haruna to finally let him know that she interested in him. Where does that leave this manga, though, is the selling point is the likeable and unlikely pair searching for love? Hopefully, Kawahara will have some interesting developments in store for the readers.

There is still a lot to like about this series even though things are starting to look quite obvious for these two. High School Debut is still charming despite this fact and Haruna continues to be the reason readers should still be following it. Volume 2 does lose some of its comical steam and replaces it with lighthearted scenes that will still make you root for this rough tomboy that is slowly blossoming into somebody predictable yet still very likeable.

 

REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: B-
The story changes the pace a bit in this one but there are still some funny moments that make Haruna such a favorite character. Yoh’s change of heart will make you smile but also make you realize that both are headed for the inevitable hookup.

ART: B+
Kawahara’s art is still top notch and she has a real talent for making her characters really stand out nicely. Haruna’s facial expressions still manage to put a smile on my face.

OVERALL: B-
If you loved the first volume you will just like High School Debut, Volume 2. The manga’s main attraction is still the characters but we can’t help but think that some of the things that made it charming just doesn’t shine through like the first one. Still, if you’re a fan like me, this one is still a fun read.

 

Dragon Sister! Vol. 1 – Manga Review

Dragon Sister! vol. 1 Cover

Review by: Edward Zacharias

Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Author: nini
Genre: Action/Comedy (Graphic Novel)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T
Release Date: Available Now

It’s a historical epic … with skirts!

Those of you who have read books or have seen some form of televised and subtitled interpretation of the Chinese epic known as Romance of the Three Kingdoms then you will know that the first volume of Dragon Sister! is an irresistible find. It not only takes all the known historical figures and places them in a familiar setting but it turns things upside down by taking said historical figures and making them cute girls.

Taking place during the Three Kingdoms era when the great Han Dynasty was coming to an end, three brothers lead the Huang Jin Rebellion to end the Han Dynasty and install a confederacy of three kingdoms. It is Zhang Jiao who meets a sage that offers him a scroll with the power to save the country but when he uses it he thinks maybe he would turn their enemies into beautiful women. Hilariously, the spell backfires and he and his two brothers Zhang Liang and Zhang Bao are transformed into adorable little girls. Image three cute little girls plotting a massive and bloody rebellion and you can see how intriguing this fun little twist is to the original.

Still, even though the spell transformed these three figures into girls, other historical figures that were destined to be born as men are thusly born as attractive women. For example, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu are not only female but also busty and powerful fighters with the strength of men. Unfortunately, as women they’re not able to join the volunteer’s army. One day, they meet Liu Bei, a young idealist who sells mats and dreams of bringing peace to the land. Pledging themselves to Liu Bei’s cause, both Guan Yu and Zhang Fei follow the young man into battle. The trio becomes inseparable friends and even Liu Bei considers the two girls his sisters.

Of course, Liu Bei (who happens to be royalty) just isn’t a fighter and leaves the fighting to his two hot “sisters” who are anxious to be a part of a much bigger picture in the war to save China. Still, Liu Bei is able to gather a small army comprised of villagers loyal to the cause and fight along with him. We are also introduced to Xiahou Yuan and Xiahou Dun who are cousins of the legendary Cao Cao and finally Cao Cao himself. Still, while making an impact in the battlefield, Liu Bei isn’t even invited to a strategy meeting. It isn’t until Zhang Fei and Guan Yu are propositioned by the attractive female General Dong Zhuo that the two girls leave Liu Bei behind.

Of course, Liu Bei, out of loyalty, isn’t able to leave his two close friends behind and challenges Lady Dong Zhuo. A proposition is made … if Lie Bei is able to make a huge impact in the coming battle then he could have his two friends back. Of course, Lady Dong Zhuo has her own plans and hires an assassin. What will happen in the heat of battle is left open for the next chapter in the second volume but come to expect something pretty epic seeing as author, nini, was wonderfully faithful to the source material while spinning her own variation quite splendidly. Even the art is easy on the eyes.

In the end, what we get in Dragon Sister! Vol. 1 is a completely fresh take on epic Romance of the Three Kingdom’s story that is also an amusing title with a lot to offer. It’s comedic slant is actually smart and just as charming as the cute girls that make up the book. TOKYOPOP has an appealingly agreeable series readers will certainly fall for.

MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: A
Nini’s interpretation of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story is not only cute but it’s an intriguing alternative that stays true to the source material while offering a lighthearted and funny take. It’s a nicely written interpretation that works.

ART: A
Aside from being a good storyteller, nini does a great job with the character design, backgrounds and action. We’ve seen art like this before but it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate it or the fact that major historical figures are now busty girls.

OVERALL: A
Absolutely charming and delightfully engaging, Dragon Sister! is not only a fun twist on a classic Chinese epic but it is also an excellent manga that should not be missed. Cute girls aside, seldom does the story try to pander fan service in exchange for rich storytelling. This alone is the reason this one gets an A grade but – really – you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

 

 

Hellgate: London, Vol. 1 – Manga Review

London Cover 1

Review by: Clive Owen

Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Author: Arvid Nelson
Artist: J.M
Genre: Horror/Action (Graphic Novel)
MSRP: $10.99 US
Rating: OT (Older Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

The demons are coming! The demons are coming!

Having read and re-read Arvid Nelson’s Rex Mundi, I somehow knew what to expect from the first volume of Hellgate: London. Never mind the fact that this manga was inspired by the somewhat-enjoyable-yet-considerably-flawed PC game of the same title … this is a horror-action manga that’s ripe with demon-slaying action and a secret legacy that unfolds in true Arvid Nelson fashion. In short, I came to expect a rich tale true to its genre.

While not a traditional manga that is read in the traditional manner, Hellgate: London’s first volume looks like a manga thanks to artist J.M (Jeong Mo Yang of TOKYOPOP’s wonderful Star Trek manga). J.M does a great job of displaying emotion and tension as well as action. One of the aspects of Nelson’s work in not so much the action but the drama and mystery that made Rex Mundi and Zero Killer such interesting reads and there’s certainly no shortage of drama and mystery in this manga.

The story introduces John Fowler and his family living in London in the year 2020. John is a middle-class kid who attends the local university on scholarship thanks to the fact that he’s the rugby team’s star player. He’s a decent enough chap who, lately, has been dreaming of demons and a mysterious fellow who wears a wide brimmed hat and what looks like a bird’s beak. What these dreams might mean is beyond him but it isn’t until he and his classmates discover some human bones and a strange medallion in the university quad that things get interesting for John.

Talked into participating in a prank, John is caught attempting to take the bones they discovered and set them up in their stuffy Professor Hawkins’ office. Hawkins takes him before the Associate Dean of Academic Affair for expulsion but thanks to John’s sexy sister, Lindsey, John’s mother shows up with her employer and a man that just so happens to be John’s uncle. Everyone is surprised that this man of great influence, named Lord Altair, is able to convince the Associate Dean to let John off the hook. If nearly being thrown out of the university wasn’t enough, John’s uncle has a secret he wishes to part with the young man that is somehow connected to John’s father.

As it turns out, John and Lindsey’s father was not only a soldier but the member of an order of the Knights Templar. After his death, he left his son John a giant sword of power known as the Molten Edge. As the dreams start becoming more vivid and the birdman’s attack on Lindsey who “borrowed” the medallion John swiped during his attempt to pull a prank on his professor. The man with the beak reveals that he wants the medallion but Lindsey is tough enough to resist.

Taking the sword and the medallion to their uncle, John and Lindsey are taken to Lord Altair who makes a most interesting revelation to them. If you played the game then you already know about the coming war between demons and the Knights Templar that have sworn to protect the world from evil that will eventually lead to a major battle known as the “Battle of All Hallow’s Eve.”

I won’t spoil things by revealing the true identity of the “birdman” that is after the Fowlers but I will say that John loses his arm in the battle against this foe and gets a replacement arm made by demons. Because of his demon arm, John is forced to stay away from the Templar’s underground base but finds an ally with a psychic named Mother Lucidia. Lindsey, who not only proves that she is brave enough to not only stand up against the demons but also slay them, is chosen to stay with the Knights Templar as one of their chosen warriors. In the end, the two siblings part ways so it will be interesting to see how the two will combat the demon hordes apart.

If anything, Hellgate: London is a departure from other horror-action manga and it’s a nicely told story that is a blast to read. I’m certainly not a fan of the game but I must say that the way the story is presented you will find yourself looking forward to the next one. It’s a decent start, to say the least, that doesn’t really take off until the end. Still, this prequel manages to be entertaining and delightfully enjoyable.

MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
As far as the story is concerned, Nelson does a brilliant job of working with the material introduced by the PC game and certainly does a better job of weaving his own tale that does justice to the genre and theme. It gets appropriately gruesome towards the end so mind the rating recommendations. In other words, the bloody action is fun for the older set.

ART: B
I like J.M’s art and thought TOKYOPOP’s Star Trek manga had its own interesting look. The pencils in this manga are good but not great.

OVERALL: B+
With an excellent writer at the helm and a more than decent artist providing the visuals, Hellgate: London is an excellent beginning to what will be a bloody good series. Even if you’re not a fan of the game – like me – or the book (TOKYOPOP also includes a preview of Book II) you will be easily swept away by the supernatural tale with a side of demon-slaying action on the side. If this was the setup then I can’t wait to see the next chapter.

 

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE DEBUT OF NEW ANIMATED FANTASY ACTION SERIES–BUSO RENKIN

 

 

Buso Renkin b&w
©Nobuhiro Watsuki/SHUEISHA, Busorenkin Project
SHONEN JUMP™ and BUSORENKIN™ are trademarks of Shueisha, Inc. in the
United States and other countries

New Series on DVD Is Based On Popular Manga By The Creator Of RUROUNI KENSHIN And GUN BLAZE WEST

San Francisco, CA, April 23, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the debut of a new animated fantasy action series – BUSO RENKIN – to be released as a DVD box set on April 29th. The 3-disc set is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teen and features the first 13 episodes (of 26 total) with an estimated retail price of $49.98. The second half of the series is slated for release later this year.

The DVD box set comes in a collector’s box with a foil slipcase and features exclusive art prints. The DVD also features special bonus interviews with the English voice cast and series director.

BUSO RENKIN introduces audiences to Kazuki Muto, a high school student who thinks he’s saving a girl from a monster, but it turns out that he’s the one who needs saving! Kazuki is stabbed and killed while fighting a homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. A girl, Tokiko Tsumura, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called a kakugane. With this device, Kazuki can create his own Buso Renkin, a powerful alchemical weapon in the form of a huge lance, capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the evil homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator!

“BUSO RENKIN is the newest animated series from VIZ Media and will enthrall teen and young adult audiences with its unique story and fantastic characters,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales, VIZ Media. “Fans of RUROUNI KENSHIN will be excited to see this new series inspired by the work of master manga creator
Nobuhiro Watsuki, and we are pleased to offer the first half of the show in such a comprehensive release. Fans of Watsuki’s work now have two compelling ways to enjoy this series, as both a manga series and an animated program. With a mix of fantasy, action and comedy, we look forward to BUSO RENKIN developing a strong domestic following.”

BUSO RENKIN is based on a popular 10-volume manga series by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Watsuki also created the notable wandering swordsman drama RUROUNI KENSHIN and the western action series GUN BLAZE WEST. All three series are published domestically by VIZ Media. BUSO RENKIN manga volumes 1-3 were all featured in Bookscan’s Top 50 Graphic Novel list in 2007, and in Japan the manga series has sold more than 3.3 million copies.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at

www.VIZ.com

.

VIZ MEDIA TEAMS WITH NCM FATHOM TO PRESENT BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY ON THE BIG SCREEN FOR ITS U.S. DEBUT IN SPECIAL TWO-NIGHT EVENT

 

 

Memories of Nothing Movie
©Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA 

Best-selling Animated Series Feature To Be Shown In More Than 300 Movie
Theatres Nationwide

San Francisco, CA, April 22, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of
the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive
publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that it
will partner with NCM FATHOM, the entertainment division of National
CineMedia, to present the epic action anime hit BLEACH THE MOVIE:
MEMORIES OF NOBODY in more than 300 theatres across the country on June
11 and 12.

Adapted from the wildly popular animated series and a best-selling manga
series (both distributed and published in North America by VIZ Media) by
acclaimed Japanese artist Tite Kubo, BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF
NOBODY will make its North American debut in this two-night theatre
experience including an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the talent
behind the characters as well as interviews of this highly-anticipated
premiere with the Japanese Director, Noriyuki Abe, Producer Ken Hagino
and Character Designer, Masashi Kudo.

Advance purchase tickets will be available from May 2-8 to all
subscribers of the SHONEN JUMP e-mail newsletter (sign-up is available
at

www.shonenjump.com). Details will be included in an upcoming SHONEN
JUMP Newsletter and fans are encouraged to take advantage of the
opportunity to purchase advance tickets before they go on sale to the
general public on May 9 at presenting theatre box offices and online at
www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theatre locations and
prices, please visit the
www.FathomEvents.com website (theatres are
subject to change).

BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY begins as unidentified beings known
as “Blanks” start popping up. They are soon followed by a Soul Reaper
named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings
and the even more mysterious girl, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn
more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap
Senna. Banished from the Soul Society long ago, the clan’s leader has
sent sending the World of the Living and the Soul Society on a collision
course, and Senna seems to be the key to his diabolical plot for
revenge. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the two worlds from
annihilation?

“VIZ Media is very excited to partner with NCM FATHOM, one of the
nation’s leading theatrical event organizers, to stage this multi-city
big screen debut for BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY,” says Liza
Coppola, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations & Partnerships, VIZ
Media. “The premiere will offer a rare opportunity to see a brand new
story inspired by the successful animated television series BLEACH,
presented in a theatrical setting – the same way the film was originally
offered in Japan. For those not yet familiar with BLEACH, this is also a
wonderful introduction to the characters and thrilling action that have
made the property such a hit in North America. We invite everyone to
come out and enjoy these events!”

“NCM Fathom has experienced great success bringing VIZ Media events to
movie theatres and we are excited to continue our partnership that
benefits anime fans across the country,” said Dan Diamond, vice
president of NCM Fathom. “From the Metropolitan Opera to anime, NCM
Fathom offers alternative in-theatre entertainment for everyone.”

BLEACH is a tremendously successful multimedia property internationally.
The manga series has been licensed to more than a dozen countries, and
has sold over 50 million copies in Japan alone. In North America the
manga has been a sales hit and the popular animated series is viewed
weekly by millions in the United States and Canada. This success has
further spawned an array of related video games, apparel, action
figures, trading cards and other merchandise. BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES
OF NOBODY is rated T for Teens. For more information on BLEACH and
BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY please visit the official BLEACH
website at bleach.viz.com or www.viz.com.

About National CineMedia, LLC
NCM LLC operates the largest digital in-theatre network in North America
through long-term agreements with its founding members, AMC
Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal
Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), the three largest theatre operators in
the U.S., and through multi-year agreements with several other theatre
operators. NCM LLC produces and distributes its FirstLook pre feature
program; cinema and lobby advertising products; comprehensive meeting
and event services and other entertainment programming content. NCM
LLC’s national network includes over 15,250 screens of which over 13,200
are part of the company’s Digital Content Network (DCN). NCM LLC’s DCN
covers 169 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). During 2007,
approximately 542 million patrons attended movies shown in theatres
owned by the NCM LLC founding members (excluding Loews). National
CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 43.6% interest in and is the
managing member of NCM LLC. For additional information, visit
www.ncm.com or www.FathomEvents.com.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one
of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga
(graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of
Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and
licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and
Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in
the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking
audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and
animation. The company offers an integrated product line including,
magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos,
DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated
entertainment from initial production, television placement and
distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and
consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San
Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web
site at
www.VIZ.com

.

TOKYOPOP and Spacedog Entertainment Join Forces to Develop Manga Entertainment Properties for Multi-Media Distribution

 

 

TP Logo

Debut Manga Series – eV – Available April, 2008

New York Comic-Con, New York (April 17, 2008)― TOKYOPOP, the leader of the global manga revolution and leading entertainment brand, Spacedog Entertainment, are proud to announce a multi-project development deal to create original intellectual property for multi-media distribution including publishing, film, television, digital, merchandising, and game development. The first manga series produced by the partnership is eV. Created by television, film and comics writer James Farr (Xombie: The Animated Series; My Pet Robot, Shadows of Oz) and Alfa Robbi (Boneka Kematian, Go-Go F5) eV tells the story of Evie, a high school girl who receives a nanotech upgrade and becomes Earth’s representative in an alien parliament.

According to Spacedog Entertainment President and CEO, Roger Mincheff, “Over the course of decades, walls have been built that govern how the traditional comic business runs. TOKYOPOP and manga are tearing down those walls and redefining what this art form means, who is consuming this content and when and how they see it. Spacedog likes to think of itself as an innovator… TOKYOPOP was the logical home for us.”

TOKYOPOP Editor-in-Chief Rob Tokar adds, “TOKYOPOP is excited to find a partner who is as passionate about creating exciting, innovative new stories as we are. Working with Roger Mincheff and his team has been a creative, collaborative and fun experience, and I think that comes through on every page of eV.” Tokar continues, “Like the main character in the book, Spacedog stepped into a larger world with this manga and really made its mark on it! We are excited to join forces with Spacedog as we further develop the TOKYOPOP brand worldwide.”

Story Synopsis: Earth’s preeminent nanotechnology scientist must create physical and mental enhancements for whomever is chosen to represent Earth in the alien parliament. But when his daughter is mortally injured in a car crash, he uses the one dose of enhancement serum on her–which means she has to go to the alien parliament! Humor and action ensue as she makes several unusual alien friends and helps thwart a plot to free a hugely powerful alien death god trapped inside a black hole.

eV arrives in stores nationwide April 2008.

About TOKYOPOP

Founded by multi-cultural media visionary Stu Levy,TOKYOPOP is hailed as a leading youth-oriented entertainment brand and an innovator of manga creation, with a revolutionary artistic vision that transcends countless platforms. From the introduction of the first-ever extensive manga publishing program in North America, to the development of its manga-originated intellectual properties into film, television and digital entertainment, TOKYOPOP has changed the way teens experience pop culture. The company’s global reach has expanded to Europe and Asia, with offices in the UK and Germany and partnerships in Australia and China, in addition to its original Los Angeles and Tokyo operations. With millions of fans logging onto the new social networking site

www.TOKYOPOP.com, reading its books, which are licensed in more than 40 countries and 30 languages, and watching its DVDs and television programs, TOKYOPOP’s award-winning catalogue of licensed and original properties has made the company a visionary in an ever-growing teen entertainment marketplace. Visit www.TOKYOPOP.com

for additional information.