Browsing through my RSS feeds this morning I spotted Deb Aoki's sneak peek at 24 upcoming VIZ titles. Most of them we've talked about, but I did want to get an opportunity to spotlight a couple of them that were announced prior to Anime Vice's launch, to make sure you all know about them and buy them.
Ooku: The Inner Chamber
This title-- by Fumi Yoshinaga, best known for her yaoi titles, although this isn't one –is an absolutely phenomenally-illustrated historical fiction tale set in the Edo era, in which Japan comes to be ruled by a female shogun due to a massive reduction in the number of men in the country. This doesn't stop the shoguness from having a harem, though-- Oooku (yes, three Os: おおおく –refers to the section of an Edo castle that housed the harem ladies and female family members of the palace. This manga has won several awards, including the Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy's fifth annual Sense of Gender awards in 2005, and the Excellence Award for manga at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival.
Detroit Metal City
A shy, earnest young man who wishes to be a kindergarten music teacher (or better yet, a pop star) stumbles upon a way to gain money and acclaim: when he puts on the alternate personality Johannes Krauser II, he's a perfect metal star. His fans actually believe he may be the devil. This hardcore metal comedy was recently adapted into a rather popular live-action film starring Kenichi Matsuyama, who you may remember as the live-action Death Note films' L.
A gender-bending fantasy from manga superstar Yun Kouga (of Loveless and Earthian fame) comes another beautifully-drawn manga revolving around a priest, Father Oliver, who is having a religious crisis. He decides he'll go find the demon beast god known only as G to see if he can reconfirm his faith. On the way he meets Ouri, a beautiful young girl who claims to be a sorceress who lives on G's island, and they agree to travel together. But is Ouri everything she seems?
Literally “letter bee,” this manga is exquisitely drawn by Hiroyuki Asada and tells the often-melancholy tale of a young boy who delivers letters in a sci-fi future. I actually came upon this manga some time ago at a Kinokuniya store due to its fantastic art; the vignettes format suits the story, which is about a boy named Lag Seeing, who attempts to follow in the footsteps of his missing idol, Guche.
Others among the upcoming releases were discussed in my interview with VIZ reps, such as Oishinbo, 20 Century Boys, and Heaven's Will. If you haven't watched yet, make sure you do!