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Viz Media

Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Feast your eyes on two new Sailor Moon dub previews

Keep up the good work, Viz Media
Jul 27
// Salvador GRodiles
Well played, Viz Media. Right when you've gotten us used to checking YouTube for the latest Sailor Moon-related dub previews, the company decided to upload their newest videos on Hulu instead. Despite Viz's unexpec...
Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Queen Beryl and Jadeite devise an evil scheme in Sailor Moon's third dub clip

Viz Media is on a roll!
Jul 18
// Salvador GRodiles
It seems that my prediction about Viz uploading a new Sailor Moon-related video everyday was incorrect, as the company chose to post their third dub clip today. Either way, it's still nice of Viz to show off Sailor Moon's ne...
Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon's second dub clip shows off Luna's new English voice

Michelle Ruff nailed it!
Jul 16
// Salvador GRodiles
After giving us a quick sample of Usagi and Mamoru's new English voices for the new Sailor Moon dub, Viz  has uploaded a new video that features Michelle Ruff's take on Luna. Since I've enjoyed most of Ruff's roles, I t...
Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Let's take a quick look at Sailor Moon's new dub

Stephanie Sheh shows great potential
Jul 15
// Salvador GRodiles
Back when Viz Media announced the English voice actors for the new Sailor Moon dub at Anime Expo 2014, I couldn't help but to be intrigued by their choices. With the first Sailor Moon boxset getting ready to hit North Americ...
JoJo photo

Rejoice! Viz reveals their plans for JoJo: Battle Tendency

JoJo's back in full gear
Jul 07
// Salvador GRodiles
When Viz announced that at Anime Expo 2014 they're releasing JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2: Battle Tendency in North America, I couldn't help but to rejoice over this matter. While we're aware that Battle Tendency's ge...
Terra Formars photo
Terra Formars

Roaches beware: Viz reveals Terra Formars' release date

Viz's getting ready to combat Mars' roach infestation
Jun 26
// Salvador GRodiles
As we're getting ready to say "farewell" to the month of June, Viz Media plans to release Terra Formars' first volume on July 15th. On top of that, Terra Formars' later volumes are getting the bi-monthly release treatment, wh...
Viz Media photo
Viz Media

Rejoice: Viz reveals their plans for Anime Expo '14

Sailor Moon fans are in for some good news
Jun 18
// Salvador GRodiles
It was a glorious day when Viz Media announced that they licensed Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. Now Viz’s planning an event for Anime Expo 2014 that’ll please Sailor Moon, Gargantia's fans. During the ...
Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Viz grabs Sailor Moon!

Get hype!
May 17
// Josh Tolentino
I was tempted just to type the internet equivalent of a long squeal and end it right there, but that wouldn't be professional, so have some sweet details about Viz's latest acquisition. Sailor Moon arrives on May 1...

Review: Ranma 1/2 Set 1

May 06 // Karen Mead
Ranma 1/2 DVD Set 1 Publisher: Viz Media Release Date: March 25, 2014 MSRP: $44.82 Ranma Saotome is a talented martial artist with a very peculiar curse; when doused with cold water, he changes sex and becomes a curvy red-haired girl. His father, cursed in a similar manner to become a giant panda, has arranged for him to be married to young Akane Tendo so that he can one day take over the Tendo School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. However, Akane is a tomboy who has no interest in marrying a boy, let alone a boy who turns into a girl, and Ranma just wants to get his curse removed...or so he says. Such is the beginning of one of the most beloved anime rom-coms of all time. Needless to say, many other characters vie for the affections of Ranma and Akane respectively (sometimes simultaneously), and plenty of other characters magically turn into stuff when they get wet, and mayhem ensues. Literally rinse and repeat. I expected to spend a portion of this review talking about whether the animation from a show originally broadcast in 1989 "holds up," in today's parlance. Instead, a curious thing happened; though I knew it couldn't be true, when I began watching it really seemed to me like the visuals in Ranma 1/2 were actually better than current fare. How could that possibly be? The colors are often dull, the character designs simple, and the technology at work was primitive compared to the tools that animators have at their disposal these days. So how is it that I find Ranma 1/2 more visually appealing than 90% of the anime I see today? What I eventually realized was that it wasn't that the animation was particularly fluid, but that everything was consistent and well-storyboarded. Too often in modern anime, the focus is split between action scenes (where the studios sink most of their money) and static talking-head scenes that exist to provide info dumps and save money. In Ranma 1/2, that distinction doesn't seem to exist; even seemingly mundane scenes feature a fair amount of movement. Characters are constantly doing acrobatics, throwing things, jumping out of windows, changing into animals, etc. The overall effect can feel a bit like Looney Tunes at times, but what it means is that the show is full of motion. The world of Ranma Saotome and the Tendo sisters feels vibrant and alive, and that more than makes up for the dated animation techniques and frequent lack of detail. Maybe I'm crazy, but it feels so much more like a finished product than a lot of what we see today; I really wish shows still looked like this. Plus, despite the fact that modern anime has tried to turn cute into a science, I honestly find Akana and Ranma much cuter than most characters these days. The story doesn't fare quite as well from a modern perspective. In fact, if you're a viewer who likes to look at things through the lens of gender politics, you will have an absolute field day with this show. There's no denying that Ranma 1/2 is sexist; one of the first things anyone says to Akane on the show is that if she keeps up being such a tomboy, she'll never find herself a husband. Ranma frequently opines that having to be a girl at times is "humiliating," yet claims his female version is better than Akane since girl-type Ranma has bigger breasts. In fact, Ranma is frequently downright brutal to his future bride; when he's not getting on her case for being unfeminine, he's lording his superior martial arts skills over her. Akane spends much of the series violently angry, and it's for good reason. Some viewers are bound to be turned off by these things, and that's fair. However, personally I don't see it that way; to me, complaining about sexism in Ranma 1/2 is kind of like watching an episode of I Love Lucy from the 1950s and complaining that Ricky orders Lucy around too much. It is sexist, but I think you need to take it in the context of its time and place, and also realize that the show subverts its own apparent sexism at times. After all, if Akane is supposedly so unattractive to boys due to her tomboy ways, why are virtually all the guys on the show head-over-heels in love with her? The show is actually more sexist on the surface than it is deep down where it matters, if that makes any sense. There's a lot of talk that "Boys are like this, girls are like this," but the characters themselves really don't practice what they preach. Furthermore, whatever misgivings some might have about the overall arc of the story, there's no denying that Ranma 1/2 is king when it comes to physical comedy. It's the little touches, like Akane's father diving for cover right before she decks Ranma with a table, that make the jokes work. Granted, the humor does get repetitive fairly quickly -- and there seem to be an awful lot of full buckets of water just hanging around for no reason -- but still, the show has a ton of great visual gags up its sleeve. At its best, the over-the-top martial arts action reaches a level of absurdity that's kind of genius. The martial arts rhythmic gymnastics competition featured in this volume is one such incident, and martial arts-figure skating isn't far behind. And even when the action isn't that riveting, Akane is such a likable character that it's just fun looking in on her daily life. There're also plenty of supporting and minor characters who each bring their own brand of humor, quite successfully. You really can't go wrong with either language track here; despite the occasional awkwardness that plagues all early English anime dubs, I think the English cast for Ranma 1/2 really threw themselves into this in a way that's all too rare. Particular standouts are Myriam Sirois, who makes for a feisty but good-hearted Akane, and Angela Costain, who's delightfully acerbic as Akane's manipulative sister Nabiki Tendo. I'm also rather fond of Sarah Strange as male Ranma, since she seems to have a gift for making Ranma seem nice even when he's saying awful things to Akane that you want to slap him for. This release is light on extras; the only thing on offer here besides trailers is a brief featurette filmed at NYCC 2013, featuring some Ranma cosplayers. It's a nice idea in theory, but the whole thing is maybe two minutes long, so it shouldn't effect anyone's purchasing decision. Personally I think the episodes themselves are worth the purchase, but it would have been nice if there was at least some bonus art or something; I'm hopeful that future volumes might have more to offer. Ranma 1/2 may not be for everyone; it calls back to a lot of sexist stereotypes, it's often juvenile in its humor, and even during the first season, can start to feel repetitive. However, at its best it's a riotous blend of over-the-top, well-choreographed martial arts action with many lovable characters and jokes to spare. If that sounds like something you might enjoy, no one does it better than this. 9.0 – Exceptional. One of the best things its genre has ever produced. Its example will be copied or taken into account by almost anything that follows it.  
Ranma 1/2 photo
Anything Goes in this comedy classic
The wacky ensemble comedy of Ranma 1/2 occupies an interesting niche in Western anime fandom. The show wasn't likely to be someone's "first anime," in the way that contemporaries Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z generally w...

J-Pop Summit photo
J-Pop Summit

May'N heads to San Francisco's J-POP SUMMIT

Why does California get everything?
Apr 30
// Hiroko Yamamura
Things are heating up this summer with the announcement of May'n as the guest of honor at San Francisco's sixth annual J-POP SUMMIT. Although the Nagoya native has made herself a superstar in the world of Japanese pop music, ...
Viz Media photo
Viz Media

Sakura-Con '14: Viz Media announce World Trigger headed to print

Also, Canadian dates for Tiger & Bunny: The Rising finally revealed
Apr 18
// Tim Sheehy
This afternoon Viz Media held their own Sakura-Con industry panel and although it could likely be described as brief, they did manage to excite us with an announcement or two. Most notably, that Daisuke Aishihara's action-pac...

Review: K DVD/Blu-ray Complete Series

Mar 25 // LB Bryant
  K DVD/Blu-rayStudio: GoHandsLicensed by: Viz MediaRelease Date: 2/25/14MSRP: $69.99 For the first four episodes of K, it's really hard not to be pulled in by the flashy style of the series. First off, it's impossible not to notice that the entire series is shaded with a blue tint for no real reason. Everything is just blue-ish which is admittedly distracting at first but once you get used to it, it becomes easy to admit that it's a pretty cool style choice to make just to set it apart from all of the other action series out there.  If that weren't enough, there is also a wealth of great character designs. Shiro, Kuroh, the enigmatic Neko and many others look pretty decent and different from each other (which is important since this cast is freaking huge but we'll get into that later). This matches some pretty good looking animation. I'm using the word 'stylish' and variants thereof a lot in this review but honestly there just aren't many other words that you can use to describe this one.  Then you have the absolutely beautiful music. Composed by Mikio Endo, the background music in this series is arguably the best part of the entire show. Always beautiful, captivating and perfect for the moment, K is made all the more gorgeous and bearable because of the scores that are attached to each scene. I'm not usually one to collect anime soundtracks but this is a series where I absolutely must own this soundtrack so that I can listen to it again and again.  Sadly, that's about where the praise for K ends and the annoyances begin. What could've been a fantastic series is mired in a mess of a story that only gets more confusing as it continues. For the first third, I was fine with the way things were going; the cast was growing increasingly larger and larger, but I was managing alright. However, once I got to episode five and beyond, I was having to employ research aids in order to understand what was happening in the story. The large cast isn't the only thing that's troublesome about this story -- Calling it "convoluted" would be a serious understatement. This series really tries its best to be esoteric and interesting but fails by large margins. All the style and beautiful music in the world can't save K from the quagmire that it sinks into by the end.  It's a shame really, because Viz Media put a lot of effort into this release, which includes a whole host of extras. Along with the shiny art book that is included with the set, the second disc is loaded with extras that include clean animations, English cast interviews and convention footage. A lot of care went into making sure that this release was worth every last dollar... if only the series itself was actually worth it.  In the end, K wants to be amazing and memorable but is really nothing more than a confusing mess. Sadly, you can skip this one without feeling like you're missing out on anything important.  5.0 – Average. The definition of mediocre. It has many flaws, and just couldn’t follow through on its intentions or had ones that were simply too narrow to warrant consideration. Some will still enjoy it, but should temper their expectations, or perhaps just opt to pass. Watch more trailers and read more reviews before you decide.
Review: K photo
Style over substance
Sometimes you come across a series that looks amazing and impresses you with its style from the first moments. Those series are few and far between but when you find them, they tend to stick with you. Sometimes though, you ge...

A look at: Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume 1

Mar 20 // LB Bryant
Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume 1Published by: Viz MediaWritten by: Arina TanemuraIllustrated by: Arina TanemuraTranslated by: Tetsuichiro MiyakiRelease date: 3/4/14MSRP: $10.99 Every so often as a professional writer you come across a manga volume that you like well enough, but when it comes time to write down your thoughts, you realize that you have nothing to say about it. That's the problem that I had with Phantom Thief Jeanne. Let me be clear, I liked this volume. When you look at the cover and go through the pages, you're promised various things including random battles and adventures, cute magical girls and even a hint of romance and this volume delivers on all of that.  Unfortunately the way it's delivered just isn't very exciting. In fact I'd go as far to say that it is very 'by the book'. Nothing about the thrilling heroics or romance will come across as surprising as you read through this volume. Some of you will even laugh at how predictable it is in places.  As I said though, for what it is, this is a first volume that has plenty of things going for it. The artwork in this volume is very nice to look at. The character designs are very pleasing to the eye and at no point does the book pander to audiences by putting any of the main characters into fan service-laden, compromising situations. This is good, clean fun all the way through to the end.  It also doesn't happen very often but at times Phantom Thief Jeanne will even make you laugh intentionally. There is a moment towards the middle of the book when everyone is excited to have dinner together when they all open their doors and see that they have to deal with phantom thief duties. I'm not doing a very good job of describing the moment but it was certainly one time that I can recall laughing out loud.  In the end though, this was just a shoujo manga that I could take or leave. It made for good reading each night before I went to bed but there were never any times that I was actively excited to pick it up and read another chapter. In fact it was actually very easy for me to pick up, read a few pages and put it back down without a second thought.  Originally published in 1998 (and released in the US by CMX Manga in 2005), its possible that this title could've been something special in its day. In the last decade however we've seen dark magical girl series such as Madoka Magica, parodies like Prisma Illya and we're all waiting with bated breath for a revival of Sailor Moon -- all of which do the magical girl genre better than Phantom Thief Jeanne.  If you're absolutely desperate for a new shoujo title to read, this isn't a bad title to start in on but don't go in expecting to be blown away by the contents. At best this is merely a distraction to pass the time with until you find your next A+ title. 
A look at: Jeanne photo
Um... it's very pretty?
By day Maron Kusakabe is a normal, everyday high school student. She lives in an apartment by herself, has a best friend who lives next door and she's a member of the rhythmic gymnastics team. What people don't realize, howev...


Viz releasing Princess Mononoke: The First Story

Hayao Miyazaki's original story for the iconic film.
Mar 08
// Ben Huber
Just about everyone is a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's output, especially Princess Mononoke. But I imagine not as many folks know about the original story (of the same name) that Miyazaki put together. The book was a collection...
Viz Manga photo
Viz Manga

Viz racks up Assassination Classroom, One Piece, and more

You should have been reading Assassination Classroom all along, for real
Mar 07
// Brittany Vincent
Viz has my number, you guys. They've been consistently bringing the noise, bringing down the house, coming here to turn the party out. They're raising the roof to prove they can get loose, y'all, with high-profile releases li...
Viz photo

Viz licenses Naoki Urasawa's Master Keaton manga

Mar 04
// Ben Huber
Here's an unexpected announcement: Viz Media has licensed Naoki Urasawa's (of Monster, Pluto, and 20th Century Boys fame) Master Keaton manga series. The classic series ran from 1988 to 1994, inspired a TV anime, and a host o...
K Blu-ray photo
K Blu-ray

Viz to put out K as an A-grade Blu-ray combo pack

Pretty boys and pretty pack-ins
Feb 21
// Josh Tolentino
Much as I've embraced our digital media future, I still have a soft spot in my heart for sweet physical extras. After all, I did once buy a copy of Sakura Taisen that I didn't have a machine for just to get a hilarious-l...
Perfect Square manga photo
Perfect Square manga

Perfect Square launches limited time digital manga sale

Cheap manga is the best manga
Feb 20
// Kristina Pino
Take advantage of a sale on digital manga being offered by VIZ Media's all-ages imprint Perfect Square, running now until February 28th. Titles such as Hello Kitty: Delicious! (reviewed), Uglydoll: Eat Dat!, and all of their ...
Viz Anime photo
Viz Anime

Neon Alley transitioning to free on-demand

Eliminates live stream, and subscriptions
Feb 12
// Tim Sheehy
Brace yourselves. Viz Anime's subscription-based digital network Neon Alley has announced plans to transition to an on-demand service on April 1st, eliminating their subscription platform and live programming. Following the t...
Manga sale photo
Manga sale

Yaoi imprint SuBLime celebrates its anniversary

50% off select bundles for a limited time
Jan 18
// Tim Sheehy
If you're big on boys love, or just feel the occasional urge to stock up on some yaoi, Viz Media has got you covered. Their specialized Yaoi-centric manga imprint, SuBLime -- oh, the BL is capitalized... I see what they did t...

A Look @ Nisekoi, vol. 1

Jan 13 // Kristina Pino
Nisekoi, vol. 1Creator: Naoshi KomiTranslated by: Camellia NiehPublisher: VIZ MediaMSRP: US$9.99 (print) US$5.99 (digital) [BUY]Released: Jan 7th, 2014 Nisekoi doesn't bring anything new or special to the table in terms of its themes or plot. We've seen it all before: passive main guy, love triangle (and of course, its between the guy, a childhood friend, and a new girl who is loud and violent but secretly vulnerable), gang rivalry, promises to people the main character can't remember, and sudden, random acts of tenderness/kindness/etc to fuel the love triangle fire. It's all there. But what really makes this series sparkle-- especially if you hang tight beyond the first chapter or two-- is the creator's excellent pacing and easy, but unrestrained sense of humor. Nisekoi is a case where the author doesn't try anything too fancy, complicated, or confusing, but manages what is there exceedingly well. This book had me laughing out loud with all the cracks between Raku and Chitoge; his outbursts and nicknaming her "gorilla girl" pretty much get me every time. The story goes a bit beyond the usual tropes by making the characters shameless in their mannerisms: they quarrel openly like small children, and over-act their fake relationship whenever anyone is watching. The creator's artwork and aforementioned pacing really help too, because everything feels animated, like it's really playing out in front of you. And the icing on the cake is the characters aren't vapid or see-through. This book takes its time introducing you to everyone and fleshing these kids out before jumping into the first crisis. Volume 1 does a great job of introducing the three key characters, setting the scene for potential disaster, and tossing in the first dramatic problem of the series: the childhood friend overheard something she shouldn't have, and dramatic irony kicks in. Between that and the fantastic writing of the other two characters -- their banter and insults to each other are hilarious -- all of which is from the point of view in the main guy, I'm sold. Nisekoi is just plain fun, and if you're wont to read some funny romance every now and again, I recommend you give it a try, too. Right now, VIZ Media has released this series up through its second volume in print and sixth volume digitally, so you aren't restricted to just the first few chapters if you were to pick it up right now. If you have the VIZ Media app, you can also sample the first chapter for free before making a purchase-- although I can't emphasize enough that it's only fair to stick around until at least chapter three or four before judging the series.
Nisekoi photo
The fine line between love and hate is laced with violence
Nisekoi turned out to be one of those happy discoveries you sometimes stumble upon when you aren't looking for anything particular, read a silly synopsis, and think, "Why not?" I wasn't too sure what to expect from this comin...

Hello Kitty volume 3 photo
Hello Kitty volume 3

Hello Kitty is preparing to surprise you in April

More of Hello Kitty's awesome adventures afoot
Jan 11
// Kristina Pino
This week saw the release of Hello Kitty Delicious!, the second volume in the new Hello Kitty manga series being published by VIZ Media's Perfect Square imprint. And hot on its heels is the listing of Hello Kitty Surprise!, w...
Anime photo

Moribito added to Neon Alley's mid-season schedule

To begin streaming on January 17th
Jan 08
// Tim Sheehy
Viz Media's streaming network Neon Alley is half way through their fall season of programming. To mark the occasion they'll be adding some new programming to their schedule, starting with the mid-season debut of 2007's M...

Review: Zetman

Jan 05 // Salvador GRodiles
Zetman: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] Studio: TMS Entertainment Licensed by: VIZ Media Release Date: 11/5/2013 MSRP: $54.97 Adapted from a manga by Masakazu Katsura, Zetman tells the story of Jin, a homeless kid who's lived his whole life with his grandfather. Despite Jin's current living conditions, the boy's determination to help others knows no bounds-- as long as you're willing to pay him, of course. Not only that, but he’s buddies with Kouga, who happens to be the son of the man in charge of the powerful Amagi Corporation. Early on, a monster kills Jin's grandfather, and the young child is left with nowhere else to go. Luckily, Jin's good deeds are rewarded when a woman that he rescued decides to take him in. After Jin gets placed into a new home, we fast-forward to a point in time where both friends get ready to face the Players: a group of monsters that have hidden themselves within society for quite some time. Once Jin’s dormant powers awaken, the two protagonists end up walking the path to justice. However, Jin and Kouga start to realize that their world isn’t black and white. While Zetman’s story focuses on Jin and Kouga's battle against the Players, there's more going on here. The show depicts struggles between the rich and poor, illustrated in part by the views of Amagi Corporation’s president. On top of that, the people providing Jin's supplies plan to use him as a tool for their own benefit. Aside from Jin’s situation, Kouga faces the pressures that come with being part of a rich family. In fact, Kouga is forced into many messed-up scenarios where he has to think on the fly; otherwise, he’ll have to live with the lingering guilt of letting innocent people die. To an extent, you could say that Zetman is made up of different shades of gray, since the human characters can be as twisted as the monsters themselves. Despite these strong points, the series suffers from a few pacing issues. Due to the staff’s decision to adapt Zetman's story into a 13-episode series, most of the plot feels rushed. Characters end up changing their views without any proper development, and it's hard to care about the people outside of the main duo. Thankfully, Jin and Kouga manage to keep the show interesting, since there's never a dull moment when they're around. Art-wise, Zetman’s staff does a decent job in converting Katsura’s illustrations into animation, since the designs capture the artist's realistic style. While the composition isn’t on the same level as Sunrise’s Tiger & Bunny series, another series that features Katsura’s artwork, I felt that Zetman’s look went well with the anime's themes. Aside from the human characters, Jin’s Zetman form, Kouga’s Alphas suit, and the Players give off a nice superhero/tokusatsu series vibe. In fact, Zetman and Alphas’ designs remind me of Devilman’s titular hero and Kamen Rider Ixa from Kamen Rider Kiva. Meanwhile, the Players look like they came from a Showa-era toku show or a classic superhero comic, with their old-school style. From what I’ve watched of Zetman’s English dub, the voice acting was average at best. While NYAV Post has a great track record with shows like Giant Robo the Animation, The Venture Brothers and GaoGaiGar, their issue might’ve been with the voice actors that they chose for the series. Personally, I found the original Japanese track to be the superior choice of audio this time around. Since Daisuke Namikawa (Waver from Fate/Zero) and Mamoru Miyano (Light Yagami from Death Note) were voicing Jin and Kouga, I couldn't help but go with Zetman’s original recording. Interestingly, Zetman comes with an interview with original creator Masakazu Katsura from NYCC. Sadly, the feature is short, since Katsura only answered a small amount of questions. However, Katsura reveals that the anime’s staff chose to adapt different chapters from the manga that they believed would fit well with the anime's original story; unfortunately, the way they structured the series resulted in Zetman’s strange pacing. At the end of the day, Zetman isn't breaking any new ground within the superhero genre; however, Jin and Kouga's conflict made way for an intriguing story that prompts the viewer to question both characters' reasons for fighting crime. As long as you can tolerate the show's weird pacing, you'll be in for a fun ride. Otherwise, Katsura's original manga might be a better starting point for newcomers, since the story flows better in that format. 7.0 – Good. Films or shows that get this score good, but not great. These could have been destined for greatness, but were held back by their flaws. While some may not enjoy them, fans of the genre will definitely love them. 
Zetman photo
Justice isn't always about sunshine and rainbows
Even though I’m the guy at Japanator that watches toku shows, my experience with superhero stories in general is below average. While I’ve kept up with many of the cartoons and films that are based off of DC and M...

Manga photo

SuBLime Yaoi manga now available for Kindle

An extensive collection goes digital
Dec 24
// Tim Sheehy
I won't pretend to read, or even truly understand the fascination with Boys Love genre, but I know there's a fair amount of you out there who do, so some of you may be really excited by this bit of news. VIZ Media's yaoi mang...
Ranma 1/2 photo
Ranma 1/2

Viz announces date for first Ranma 1/2 Blu-ray

Get ready to YAPAPA on March 25th
Dec 21
// Pedro Cortes
Ranma 1/2 was the second anime that I watched as a teen, after Dragon Ball Z. To say it holds a happy little niche in my heart would be an understatement. I got a full year of enjoyment out of that show and I've always wanted...
VIZ Media: Art photo
VIZ Media: Art

Deck out your smart phone display with Bleach and Naruto

A sleek look for all the cool kids
Dec 20
// Kristina Pino
VIZ Media have announced that starting Monday, December 23rd you'll be able to get Bleach and Naruto image packs via the CocoPPa app for iOS and Android and totally bling your phone out from icons to wall papers. Actually, I ...
VIZ Manga photo
VIZ Manga

VIZ Media announce a big sale and some new additions

Sales are always a good thing
Dec 18
// Kristina Pino
Viz Media have announced that from now through January 15th, all of the manga titles purchasable at Viz Manga (or on the VIZ Manga app) are 20% off. This includes such titles as Naruto and One Piece, Hana Kimi, Magi, Honey an...
Films photo

All You Need is Kill film adaptation looks amazing

I can't wait
Dec 12
// Hiroko Yamamura
When I first heard that Hiroshi Sakurazaka's classic sci-fi light novel, All You Need is Kill was getting the Hollywood treatment, I got a bit worried. It was initially announced that Brad Pitt was attached to the film as th...
One Piece NYT photo
One Piece NYT

Luffy gets full page NY Times ad, Viz retrospective

300M copies sold celebrated through print ads
Nov 21
// Jeff Chuang
In 2013 terms, newspapers as a medium is passé and becoming a tradition of the past. But it's always really neat to see a crazy stunt pulled off when some giant anime or manga character take up a full page of it, ...
Books photo

Cower in fear! Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo is out

It's time to get spooky!
Nov 20
// Salvador GRodiles
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...

A Look @: Sweet Rein, vol. 1

Nov 14 // Kristina Pino
Sweet Rein, vol. 1Creator: Sakura TsukubaTranslator: Tetsuichiro MiyakiPublisher: VIZ MediaRelease date: November 5, 2013MSRP: US$9.99 Print/US$6.99 eBook [BUY] My original assessment of this manga before giving it a read was that it's just your typical cutesy shoujo with a holiday spin. I was correct in that - this book has all of the elements that we've come to know and love (or in my case, hate) about the genre: the lovers meet, and one falls heads over heels, while the other is constantly filled with doubt. Some other hot person comes out of nowhere. The relationship is "doomed," and right, one of them hasn't ever had their first kiss. The works - Tsukuba really pulls all the stops, here. What makes this comic different is that it's clearly done more for the fun than anything else. Yeah, the story itself is kind of generic, but the creator got much joy out of drawing the adorable costumes for Kurumi (she is a Santa after all) and making nice, vibrant panels. It's just too bad the final product isn't full color, because it was clearly intended to be a bright and colorful work. Since Sweet Rein isn't this long, drawn-out dramedy designed to wrench your heart into tatters by the time it's over, the pacing is refreshingly brisk and the tone is light. There were a few panels that earned some out-loud chuckles from me, too. Despite its adherence to tropes we've seen before, I still found it a fun read. Just don't try to make too much sense out of the way the world works in this story, and take it all for what it is at the moment it's presented to you. After the Santa stuff is over, there's a second story called Sweet Bite Mark added to the back. It introduces a vampire called Ren who suddenly has a little girl claiming to be his daughter thrust upon him. It's another cute thing that isn't too far removed from things we've seen before, but again, it was more of a, "I wanted to write a vampire story!" deal from the author than anything else. If you're into the genre, this is a fun book to pick up. Since it isn't that long, I'll probably keep on reading as VIZ publishes it, so keep your eye on Japanator for more.
Sweet Rein vol. 1 photo
Santa Claus is a cute girl and she's coming to town
Last week saw the release of the first volume of Sweet Rein, a Christmas-themed love story published by VIZ Media. It's a translation of Sakura Tsukuba's Yoroshiku Master, which is finished, and mercifully short (three volume...

Sweet Rein vol. 1 photo
Sweet Rein vol. 1

Romance and Christmas spirit abound in Sweet Rein vol. 1

Santa Claus and reindeers just belong together
Nov 02
// Kristina Pino
VIZ Media is ready to kick off the holiday season early with the release of a new shoujo series titled Sweet Rein. The first volume will be out on November 5th both in print (US$9.99) and digitally (US$6.99) via the VIZ Manga...
Crunchyroll photo

Crunchyroll to simulcast One Piece this week

Fall season starts Saturday.
Nov 01
// Tim Sheehy
Fans looking for their One Piece-fix will have to look no further than Crunchyroll, as the streaming service is set to pick up the latest season of the on-going series starting Saturday, November 2nd. Episode #619 -- yea...
Viz digital manga photo
Over 1,600 volumes of manga goodness.
Huge news for digital manga fans -- Viz Media have made their entire digital catalog of graphic novels available via Apple iBooks, with 1,600 volumes of manga spread across 130 titles. That's a LOT of manga to choose from. Be...

VIZ Manga update photo
VIZ Manga update

Have a round-up of VIZ Manga's October e-releases

Digital manga wins!
Oct 25
// Kristina Pino
For those of you folks keeping up with your manga on eReaders (mobile or NOOK), here's a look at VIZ Manga's October releases. Brand-new titles available right now: Aishiteruze Baby (vol.1), Cowa!, a Shonen Jump stand-alone s...
Hello Kitty vol. 2 photo
Hello Kitty vol. 2

Hello Kitty's next target is your stomach

Adorable deliciousness coming our way
Oct 22
// Kristina Pino
Following the release of Hello Kitty: Here We Go! (reviewed), Perfect Square have updated their site with the listing for the second book in the series, titled Delicious! Delicious! will be released on January 7th with the pr...
Neon Alley photo
Neon Alley

Neon Alley's new fall season premieres tonight

New shows, all dubbed and un-cut
Oct 18
// Tim Sheehy
Just a friendly reminder for those of you who subscribe to Viz Media's streaming network. Neon Alley's new fall season starts tonight with the premiere of Ranma 1/2 at 8 PM EST, followed by Magi at 9 PM, two episodes of ...
NYCC photo

NYCC 2013: Viz brings out Terra Formars

One of Japan's hottest manga titles
Oct 12
// Brad Rice
Viz certainly didn't slack at New York Comic Con either. Right after Kodansha's deluge of licenses, Viz had some titles of their own to announce. Terra Formars by Kenichi Tachibana My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruk...

A Look at: Hello Kitty: Here We Go!

Oct 11 // Kristina Pino
Hello Kitty: Here We Go!Published by: Perfect Square (VIZ Media imprint)Story and Art: Jacob Chabot, Jorge Monlongo, Susie GhahremaniRelease date: October 1, 2013MSRP: US$7.99 print, US$4.99 digital [iOS] I already gave away my stance in the opening line of this article, but it bears emphasizing that Hello Kitty: Here We Go! is a most excellent comic. There is no dialogue; at least, none that involves words. Just a few images here and there to give you an impression of what is going on in conversation between different characters. This book stars Hello Kitty and her family, as well as Dear Daniel, Fifi, Tippy, Jodie, Tracy, Thomas, Tim and Tammy, Rorry, Joey, and Mory. Unless you're really into Sanrio, you may not recognize most of the characters, but that's alright. And it's also alright if you expected other big players like Keroppi and Badtz Maru - they make little cameos. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first cracked open the book (digitally, anyway), especially since I'm not personally too familiar with the work of the creators. The way it works is, each person involved in the book does the story and art for their own little short stories/comics, and they're presented alternating with each other. Some of the stories are told in just one page, like the ones from guest artist Susie Ghahremani, which provide a great little interlude between "acts." Others are longer, and put Hello Kitty (and friends) in various situations around the world. Some parts of this comic made me, literally, laugh out loud. The humor really shines through without the creators having to go too over the top. It's all simple stuff. Hello Kitty is helping a friend out, or Hello Kitty is taking a walk and things just... happen. And then we get to enjoy her adventures from the comfort of our reading nooks. There's a nice flow to the book, and each comic takes its time letting the story unfold visually. While reading, I got the feeling that Jacob Chabot (creator of Skullboy, who makes a cameo in this book, by the way) and Jorge Monlongo (artist on the current Mameshiba books for Perfect Square) really had all the breathing room they needed with how well-paced each story is. They also delighted me with loads of little references to famous movies, or whatever pop media they can work into their comics (Double-O Kitty is an obvious stand-out). I'm in danger of gushing way too much here, so I'll just stop while I'm ahead. Grab the comic - the stories are fun, the artwork is great, and you'll probably giggle while reading. Bonus points if you can spot the Mameshiba cameo.
Hello Kitty photo
Go on awesome Hello Kitty adventures
Today is the day that Japanator recommends you buy a Hello Kitty comic. Things sure are goofy around here. Hello Kitty: Here We Go! is the first volume in a collection of short comics chronicling the many adventures of the wo...

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