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Viz acquires ‘Spirited Away’ publishing rights

by  in Comic News Comment
Viz acquires ‘Spirited Away’ publishing rights

Press Release

Viz Communications, Inc. today announced its acquisition of the publishing rights to Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Through a partnership with Studio Ghibli, Viz plans to publish graphic novels, art and coffee table books, which will also serve as the official print adaptations of the movie being released by The Walt Disney Studios this September. Viz will begin releasing Spirited Away in August, marking the debut of this long-awaited and beloved story in English.

The critically acclaimed box office hit (box office totals to date
equal $234 million) and winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden
Bear Award, Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro, a ten-year-old
girl who discovers a secret, magical world while traveling with her
family. When her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro must learn to
navigate this secret world full of ghosts, spirits and goblins, while
struggling to maintain her identity and free her parents from its
magic spell. A fabulous supernatural adventure full of action,
suspense, bizarre creatures and compelling human characters, Spirited
Away is the pinnacle of animated fantasy and the latest fantastical
creation by animation master Hayao Miyazaki.

Hayao Miyazaki is the most beloved animator in Japanese history and
the creator of several successful films, including Princess Mononoke
(winner of the Japan Academy Award for Best Film release of 1997), My
Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Though famous worldwide
for his anime, Hayao Miyazaki is also a great manga artist. His major
work was Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (also available from Viz),
which tells the story of a gentle young princess, Nausicaä, and her
struggle to negotiate peace between kingdoms battling over the last
inhabitable land after a future ecological disaster. Whether working
with comics or animation, Miyazaki’s work is known for its
entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking art. He
currently works out of Studio Ghibli, where he writes, draws and
directs with partner Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).

With full color artwork, Spirited Away, Volumes 1-5 present the entire
movie in a manga-like format, with thousands of beautiful stills from
the film arranged to read as a comic book, complete with translated
dialogue. Each title will be presented in its original Japanese format
(reads right-to-left) and feature distinctive Japanese sound effects
with a bonus translation in the back. Beginning in July, Viz will
release the following Spirited Away print titles:

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 1 – Mom, Dad and their daughter, Chihiro, are
driving on their way to their new home, but when Dad takes a wrong
turn, the family becomes lost in a forest. Eventually, they find their
way to a strange abandoned amusement park and when Chihiro wanders
off, she returns only to find out Mom and Dad have turned into pigs.
Frightened as night falls, Chihiro discovers she’s in a world
inhabited by ghosts, demons and strange gods. A mysterious boy named
Haku helps her and tells her that to survive in this world, Chihiro
must find work. She must go down to the boiler room and seek out an
old man named Kamaji…

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 2 – Into the boiler room! Chihiro encounters the
old arachnoid Kamaji and his bizarre army of soot balls who keep the
hot water running. Chihiro tries to help but she’s not really suited
for this kind of work. When Lin the slug girl comes to deliver lunch,
though, Kamaji tells her to take Chihiro with her. Lin introduces
Chihiro to the bizarre bathhouse wonderland where she works and to her
boss, the giant-size matriarch Yubaba. After a demonstration of her
powers, Yubaba renames Chihiro “Sen” and puts her to work. Sen goes
through a grueling first day of scrubbing floors and being made fun of
by the other workers for being human, but she forges on. In the middle
of the day, while everyone’s asleep, she sneaks outside to meet
Haku…

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 3 – Haku takes Sen to visit her parents, who
have turned into pigs. Sen promises to rescue them and get them out of
their predicament one day. Back to work, Sen is forced to do the
grossest jobs, like cleaning out the giant tub. And then the dreaded
Stink God pays a visit to the bathhouse and Sen is sent to serve him.
Through pluck and determination, though, Sen perseveres and wins a
valuable prize in the process. Meanwhile, the mysterious No-Face
monster is lurking about. What does he want?

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 4 – Sen finally sees Haku’s real identity: a
flying white dragon. But it may be too late for Haku as he’s chased by
a flock of paper birds and dying from a fatal spell that’s been put on
him. Sen discovers that Haku’s stolen a precious ink stamp from
Yubaba’s twin sister and it’s she, a powerful sorceress, who’s put
this spell on him. To save Haku’s life, Sen must journey to Swamp
Bottom and return the stamp to Yubaba’s sister. Meanwhile, why is the
No-Face monster randomly devouring the workers of the bathhouse?

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY, Volume 5 – The exciting conclusion! No-Face reveals his
true nature. Sen escapes from his wrath and, with two new friends,
makes for Swap Bottom in search of Yubaba’s sister. Haku, meanwhile,
revives and goes off in search of Sen. After they are reunited,
No-Face finds a new job with Yubaba’s sister and Sen learns Haku’s
real identity. Now, to save her parents, all she has to do is identify
the right pig!

$9.95 USA/$16.50 CAN, paperback, 168 color pages

THE ART OF SPIRITED AWAY – A large, hardcover coffee-table book
featuring artwork from the renowned animated film, Spirited Away,
directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Features color stills, sketches,
storyboards and illustrations used to envision the rich fantasy world
of the film. Also includes extensive production notes and a complete
English-language script from the film.

$34.95 USA/$57.95 CAN, paperback, 240 color pages

SPIRITED AWAY PICTURE BOOK – A large, hardbound book for kids that
tells the entire story of the hit animated feature film, Spirited
Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki and being distributed this fall by
Disney. Generously illustrated by color stills from the film.

$19.95 USA/$32.95 CAN, hardbound, 168 color pages

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