Continuing our ongoing coverage of publishing plans for the new year, today we're taking a look at mega-manga publisher Viz's plans for the first half of 2010.
While they naturally have an extensive list of manga that will come out over the next six months, rather than list every single series and volume that's coming out between now and June, I opted instead to just list new series and occasional volumes of note, like when a particular series was coming to an end. Hope that's OK with everyone.
All My Darling Daughters by Fumi Yoshinaga. Hot on the heels of Ooku, Viz continues the Yoshinaga onslaught with this collection of five short stories, each dealing with the relationships between Yukiko, a businesswoman in her thirties, and her friends and family. Part of the Viz Signature series. $12.99.
not simple by Natsume Ono. The second entry in Viz's ongoing Ikki/Signature series: "Ian, a young man with a fractured family history, travels from Australia to England to America in the hope of realizing his dreams and reuniting with his beloved sister. His story unfolds backwards through the framing narrative of Jim, a reporter driven to capture Ian's experiences in a novel." $14.99.
Oishinbo: Izakaya — Pub Food a la Carte by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasak. Sadly, the last volume in this acclaimed and by all accounts super-fun series about food and cooking.Perhaps they'll try a second collection in a year or so? We can always hope. $12.99
Biomega Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei. The Viz Sig line gets all sci-fi with series about a deadly virus that turns humans into zombie-like "drones" and one mans' search for a girl who has the power to transmute the virus. $12.99
Bokurano: Ours by Mohiro Kitoh. "One summer, fifteen kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave. There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game. This game, he explains, pits a lone giant robot against a horde of alien invaders. To play the game all they have to do is sign a simple contract. The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their pact." Another Ikki manga. $12.99
Crown of Love, Vol. 1 by Yun Kouga. A new shojo series about a boy who becomes a pop star just to get closer to the teen idol of his dreams, only to find himself regarded as competition, not romantic interest. That happened to me once. $9.99.
Ultimo by Hiroyuki Takei and Stan Lee. Mr. Excelsior and the guy who did Shaman King's collaboration is finally collected in book form. A city is transformed by the arrival of two seemingly supernatural figures, one evil, the other, perhaps not so much. But who are they and where did they come from. I dunno. Anyone read the serialized version of this yet and want to offer an opinion on its merits? $9.99
Arata: The Legend, Vol. 1 by Yuu Watase. From the creator of Absolute Boyfriend and Fushigi Yugi: "In a mythical world where humans and gods coexist, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a girl from the Hime Clan may take this position, but the lack of females born to this family means that a boy called Arata must pose for the role. Meanwhile in modern-day Japan, a boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren't going to be simple when he discovers a mysterious connection to the first Arata." Man, that's a mouthful. $9.99
Cactus's Secret, Vol. 1 by Nana Haruta. "Miku Yamada has a longtime crush on classmate Kyohei Fujioka. But no matter how many times she tries to show him how she feels, clueless Kyohei just doesn't get it. Frustrated, Miku gives up on him, only to have him start calling her "Cactus" for being so prickly when he's around." Did you guess that this is a shojo series yet? $9.99
Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida. In a dismal city where scorerors experiment on unwary people they pluck off the streets, a guy with a lizard head and no idea how he got that way starts hunting around to find the responsible party. Looks very "gritty" and gruesome, but with a distinctive art style. Could be fun. No price listed yet, but probably $12.99.
Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 8 by Naoki Urasawa. I'm probably wrong, but I believe this is the final volume in Urasawa's highly acclaimed series. $12.99.
Ristorante Paradiso by Natsume Ono. More Ono! This one's about a woman who takes on an apprenticeship at a restaurant and finds herself falling for the kindly headwaiter, Claudio, a divorced man. But her friendship with the woman who got her the job and the secret they're both keeping could spell trouble. If not simple ends up being good, I'll definitely be checking this out. $12.99.
House of Five Leaves, Vol. 1 by Natsume Ono. Man, Viz is just Ono crazy. This one's about a masterless samurai who joins up with a seemingly sinister gang, and finds himself drawn deep into their devious doings, despite his own misgivings. $12.99.
Rosario + Vampire Season II by Akihisa Ikeda. Jeez, I didn't know there was a Season One. "Average human teenager Tsukune accidentally enrolls at a boarding school for monsters -- no, not jocks and popular kids, but bona fide werewolves, witches and unnameables out of his wildest nightmares! On the plus side, all the girls have a monster crush on him. On the negative side, all the boys are so jealous they want to kill him! And so do the girls he spurns, because he only has eyes for one of them – the far-from-average vampire Moka." $9.99.
Stepping on Roses, Vol. 1 by Rinko Ueda. Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi's financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he'll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she's a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?" You guessed it, a Shojo Beat series. 9.99.
Flower in a Storm, Vol. 1 by Shigeyoshi Takagi. "Riko Kunimi is trying to lead a normal high school life when Ran Tachibana bursts into her classroom carrying a gun and tells her that her life is now his. Ran, the richest, most powerful 17-year-old in Japan, wants her as his wife and he's not taking no for an answer!" Shojo Beat, $9.99.
Maoh: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 1 by Kotaro Isaka and Megumi Osuga. "Ando is a high school student who has the power to make others say out loud what he's thinking. Inukai is the mysterious leader of a vigilante group called Grasshopper, which is at odds with the city's redevelopment plan. In this chaotic city, these two will come together to weave a story of courage, determination and confrontation." Shonen Sunday, $9.99
Saturn Apartments by Hisae Iwaoka. Far in the future, humankind has evacuated the earth in order to preserve it. Humans now reside in a gigantic structure that forms a ring around the Earth, thirty-five kilometers up in the sky. The society of the Ring is highly stratified: the higher the floor, the greater the status. Mitsu, the lowly son of a window washer, has just graduated junior high. When his father disappears and is assumed dead, Mitsu must take on his father's occupation." I really like the look of this series. Ikki/Signature, $12.99.
Afterschool Charisma by Kumiko Suekane. "St. Kleio Academy is a very exclusive school: all of the students are clones of famous historical figures such as Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Mozart, and Freud. All of them, that is, except for Shiro Kamiya. As Shiro struggles to adapt to this unusual campus, St. Kleio's first graduate, the clone of John F. Kennedy, is killed. Are the clones doomed to repeat the fate of their genetic progenitors, or can they create their own destinies? And how does a normal boy like Shiro fit in?" Ikki/Signature, $12.99
Library Wars: Love and War by Kiiro Yumi. Original Concept by Hiro Arikawa. "Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she's finally a recruit, she's finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!" Shojo Beat, $9.99.