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Viz launches All You Need Is Kill rebrand, graphic novel

Trying to capitalize on Edge of Tomorrow adaptation
Apr 16
// Brad Rice
With the live action adaptation of All You Need Is Kill (rebranded as Edge of Tomorrow) set to release on June 6, Viz's Haikasoru line is preparing to capitalize on the blockbuster film. They'll be dropping an updated version...
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Cower in fear! Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo is out

It's time to get spooky!
Nov 20
// Salvador G Rodiles
We may be past the halfway point in November, but that doesn't mean spirit of All Hallow's Eve has left our realm. Taking this knowledge into account, Viz has released Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo on November 19th unde...

Book GET: Haikasoru printing ICO: Castle in the Mist

May 23
// Josh Tolentino
I a coup for players of videogames, readers of books, and appreciators of good things everywhere, Viz's imprint Haikasoru have released an excerpt from Miyuki Miyabe's ICO: Castle in the Mist, the novel follow-up to milestone...

Viz licenses Ico novel, Mameshiba books

Feb 01
// Brad Rice
It looks like Simon and Schuster let the cat out of the bag, spilling the beans on a number of new Viz licenses.The one most of you will be screaming about is a novel adaptation of Ico, entitled Ico: Castle of the Mist. Simil...


Viz bringing Haikasoru books to the digital world

Aug 12
// Brad Rice
Viz is hopping on the e-books bandwagon with its sci-fi novel line Haikasoru, debuting their books in digital form within the next few weeks.Over on the Haikasoru blog, Viz folks unveiled the first three titles in their model...

New Viz titles listed for the end of this year on the net

Apr 14
// Brad Rice
Don't you just love the Internet? It's got this funny way of spilling secrets that nobody is supposed to know, just because of some little error in databasing or by an automated process, hidden deep in the bowels of some webs...

Japanator Recommends: All You Need Is Kill

Sep 11 // Jeff Chuang
All You Need Is KillCreator: Hiroshi SakurazakaPublisher: Viz MediaRelease Date: July 21, 2009MSRP: $13.99 Kill is a story about the not-so-distant future. Humanity is engrossed in a war with an unfamiliar alien threat. The protagonist, a cheeky but level-headed recruit Keiji Kirya, starts out as a total newbie and gradually learns his way around the entire truth of the situation, meanwhile dressed in some kind of robotic suit, wielding the usual sci-fi weaponry, and honing his killer instincts.The catch is that Kiriya discovers everything through a repeated experience--he relives a period of 48 hours, each time ending with a not-quite metaphorical BAD END. There is no nice boat waiting for him, just  the same alien menace trying (and successfully) destroying him in countless different ways. It is Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers.The characters that surround Kiriya remain largely static. However, not unlike trying to get 100% on a visual novel or a particular Zelda game, each death and reset bring the protagonist down a different path, that reveals to him new information about what is going in the world that a previous trip down the same routine would not have given him.  Sakurazaka's writing in Kill is rather fast paced and to the point, making these 200-some pages to an even faster read. The story is engaging enough, too, that you'll appreciate being able to complete it in a handful of hours. Besides the usual grotesque alien biology and uncultured military life as generally described by like, uncultured words, there's not much that could be objectionable.Like many light novels, Kill is particular in how it reconstructs its scenes and concepts using ideas we might already be familiar with; tropes. Instead of laboring over detailed description of Kill's technology and dwelling on the eccentric minor characters, Sakurazaka evoke these tropes most of us are familiar with, and focuses the exposition more so on what is going on. Perhaps that attributes to the novel's economy of words, but  it manages to make reading about the same routines rather interesting and well-paced. At the same time, the dialog and characterization are direct and pointed, focusing on what is happening; the story is a well-wrapped puzzle, and it takes full advantage of that nonlinear narrative.  If you're into action anime and want something a little less juvenile to read, that doesn't take place in a school, this may well be it. At the same time, titles like this makes Haikasoru a promising concept, if it could continue to deliver novels that may satisfy a more typical sci-fi readership beyond those who only browse the manga section of your local bookstores. It's no coincidence that in the typical big-box bookstore, you can only find All You Need Is Kill in the sci-fi/fantasy section.

Sometimes we have to realize our favorite things from Japan, may it be manga, anime, MAD videos, doujinshi, or even video games are made by people, of flesh and blood. Until robots take over the world, the minds of men and wo...

Japanator Recommends: The Lord of the Sands of Time

Sep 09 // Brad Rice
The Lord of the Sands of TimeCreator: Issui OgawaPublisher: Viz MediaRelease Date: July 21, 2009MSRP: $13.99Humanity has pissed off an alien race. Badly. It's enough so that the aliens are going back in time in order to prevent humanity from ever doing whatever they did by wiping them out of existence. So enter the androids. They were created to go back in time and fight the alien menace.The twist? These androids were released into society for a while before the actual day of shipment back in time so that they could go around and interact with humanity, learning from them and even falling in love. You can imagine the heartache for someone whose memories are recorded on a hard drive, where they can't forget anything. And that follows them back into time.The majority of the plot takes place in 600s Japan, where Messenger O must help Japan defend itself from these aliens that are attacking the common folk. Throwing caution to the wind, their directive includes introducing as much future technology as they can to help the humans defeat these creatures.Put together in 198 pages, the book doesn't waste much time in what it does. We have only two characters who I would call main, followed by a cast of minor characters who I would describe as written with a few broad strokes, and that's about the sum of their development. All the energy is put into moving things along and letting the action tell the story.Which really works for this title. There's a lot left to the imagination, in terms of setting, relationships and everything going on in the background. The writing gave enough information to get things across, but also kick-start my mind into wondering just what the setting would look like.By the time I finished the book, which really doesn't take all that long, I enjoyed it, despite the bitter taste of some deus ex machina slipped in there. I don't want to put too much weight on this title, because in the end, it's nothing more than a beach read. That being said, it does give you something that is different from most reads that I've done in the sci-fi genre. Not a bad choice by Viz, but the $14 price tag is a little much for something that doesn't have much staying value.

One of Viz's newest ventures has been their Haikasoru line of Japanese pop fiction books. In the sci-fi/fantasy vein, these titles bring us a taste of Japanese culture that we haven't seen much of in the past. Up until now, V...


'Battle League Horumo' on its way from Viz Pictures

Jul 15
// Brad Rice
It's unfortunate: we don't get anywhere near enough Japanese cinema over here in the States. Criterion, Media Blasters, and the like can only bring over so much. I'm glad to see Viz Pictures helping out on this end. Most rece...

Viz announces 'All You Need Is Kill' and 'The Lord of the Sands of Time' for its sci-fi label Haikasoru

Jun 26
// Brad Rice
Viz has launched a new imprint, Haikasoru, as the "first imprint dedicated to bringing Japanese science fiction to America and beyond." Well, technically they launched back in January, but only now are their first t...

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