Viz adds <i>Tenjho Tenge</i> — uncensored! — to its lineup

Viz Media sent out a press release today highlighting its spring-summer 2011 lineup, and the manga publisher has scored a coup: Tenjho Tenge, by Oh! Great, which Viz will be releasing "100% faithful to the original" in two-volume omnibus editions.

A classic boobs-and-battles manga, Tenjho Tenge was originally published by CMX, the now-defunct manga arm of DC Comics, and it was nearly the death of the imprint, too, because someone at CMX made the mistake of trying to release it as a teen-rated manga. To do this, CMX had to cover up the nudity, rewrite the dialogue to eliminate sexual innuendo, and downplay the violence, thus obliterating the key selling points of the series. This heavy editing caused a surge of white-hot Internet rage, with manga fans storming message boards, boycotting the series (reading it in scanlation form instead, just to twist the knife), and even setting up a website (now defunct) solely dedicated to the sins of CMX. DC stonewalled at first, but when Asako Suzuki became director of manga in 2006, she acknowledged that perhaps it wasn't the best decision, and eventually, under her guidance, the editing got lighter and lighter. Despite the popular outrage, CMX editors consistently said that Tenjho Tenge was one of their biggest sellers, and the series was up to volume 18 when DC pulled the plug on CMX last spring.

Viz will release the series without edits, beginning with volume 1, as part of its Signature line, which is aimed at older readers. Anime News Network followed up with Leyla Aker, the editor-in-chief of the Signature imprint, who told them that Viz chose to start the series anew because the differences between its version and CMX's would be so profound that they might confuse readers; she added that she and Viz Vice President Alvin Lu are "longtime fans" of the series.

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