Official Press Release
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 1, 2001 – As announced at the
San Francisco Metreon Anime Festival over the Halloween weekend, Viz
Communications, Inc. today announced the February 2002 release of
Hitoshi Ariga’s manga The Big O. This manga is an adaptation of
Bandai’s hit Cartoon Network TV series and will expand upon the story
told in the anime version by going beyond the series finale to give
the full story climax. As part of the extensive line of Viz Comics,
The Big O will release in a monthly, 48 page, black and white format
with a retail price of $3.50 in the U.S. ($5.50 Canada).
Paradigm City is the city of amnesia – 40 years ago, SOMETHING
happened that wiped out the memories of the residents, forcing them
to recreate their culture from scattered fragments. In this world
only 40 years old, Roger Smith is a “negotiator” – a go-between
for police, citizens and criminals in high-risk diplomatic
situations. But something else survives from the forgotten past.
They are the MegaDeus – giant robots created by the city’s former
inhabitants, or perhaps by the forgetful citizens themselves. When
crime and madness strike, Roger Smith brings the guilty to justice
with the giant robot called The Big O.
In the premiere issue, The Big O #1, Roger Smith becomes involved
with a mysterious dark-haired woman whose lover is a hardened
criminal. Breaking into a memory repository, the pair threatens to
destroy the memories of the city’s residents unless their demands are
met. Police lieutenant Dan Daston calls in Roger Smith to negotiate
a settlement, but the two criminal lovers are only pawns in a scheme
orchestrated by the master criminal Beck, who, like Roger Smith, has
a MegaDeus at his command.
Author and artist Hitoshi Ariga, a robot fan with a distinctively
bold, cartoon style, is best known as the most popular artist of
manga based on Capcom’s MEGA MAN (known as ROCK MAN in Japan). His
personal Japanese website, “Ariga Megamix”, is at http://www.din.or.jp/~ariga/. The Big O Anime original story is
a creation of Hajime Yatate at Sunrise, the studio that also created
Mobile Suit Gundam.
Viz Communications, Inc. is the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese
animation and comics (anime and manga) for English-speaking
audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages.
Founded in 1986, Viz publishes over 20 titles every month including
Ranma 1/2, Pokémon, Gundam and Dragon Ball Z. Viz also offers an
integrated product line of consumer entertainment that includes
magazines, comics, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks.
Based in San Francisco, California, Viz is one of the top five comics
publishers in the U.S. and is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Shogakukan, one of Japan’s three largest publishers. With some of
the most innovative products in the industry, Viz has expanded its
offerings to its loyal fans through web sites such as www.animerica-mag.com, www.pulp-mag.com, www.j-pop.com and its corporate site, www.viz.com.
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