Sunday on the web with Viz

shosuncoverI’m guessing that the recent flurry of press releases from Viz is some kind of pre-San Diego warm-up routine to prevent cramping during panels. The one that’s really caught my eye is the announcement of another imprint, Shonen Sunday. The full release is below, but here’s the nut paragraph:

“[Viz] has announced the launch of a brand new imprint, SHONEN SUNDAY. Featuring the works of some of the top shonen manga creators in the world today, the Shonen Sunday magazine in Japan provides the content for this imprint. The magazine recently celebrated its 50th anniversary since its first issue arrived on newsstands in March of 1959.”

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the parent magazine from Shogakukan, and here’s the magazine’s Japanese web site. It joins Viz’s Shonen Jump imprint, which features manga from Shueisha, which co-owns Viz with Shogakukan and probably wanted its own brand. It also allows Viz to brand some of its homeless shônen titles.

With the demise of Viz’s Shojo Beat magazine, speculation and wishful thinking have turned once again towards the possibility of Viz creating an online presence or anthology featuring manga for girls. I think that would be great, and while Viz still as the Shojo Beat imprint, the prospect motivated me to throw together a quick poll.

Edited: Posted too early, as I meant to add links to the listed magazines: Ribon (official), Margaret (official), Cookie (official), Betsucomi (official), Ciao (official). If you have another choice, please note it in the comments, and I’ll add related links.

Edited again to add other anthologies of choice, without regard to whether or not they’re published by either of Viz’s co-owners: Hana to Yume from Hakusensha (official), LaLa from Hakusensha (official), Princess from Akita Shoten (official), flowers from Shogakukan…

And, as promised, here’s the release:


A New Imprint and Web Site Launch Rumiko Takahashi’s Newest Series RIN-NE Gets Its First Volume

San Francisco, CA, July 8, 2009– VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the launch of a brand new imprint, SHONEN SUNDAY. Featuring the works of some of the top shonen manga creators in the world today, the Shonen Sunday magazine in Japan provides the content for this imprint. The magazine recently celebrated its 50th anniversary since its first issue arrived on newsstands in March of 1959.

The first series to launch from the first volume under this new imprint will be RIN-NE by Rumiko Takahashi, the first manga novel ever to be published simultaneously in Japan and North America, which will arrive on store shelves on October 20, 2009. Chapters of RIN-NE have been serialized online for free at on the same weekly schedule as it appeared in Japan’s Shonen Sunday magazine since May of this year. The Rumic World web site is the official North American destination for all Rumiko Takahashi-related news.

VIZ Media will be announcing new Shonen Sunday series for 2010 at its Manga and Anime panel at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International on Friday, July 24th from 3:00-4:30 in Room 32AB. Other VIZ Media series that will move under the Shonen Sunday banner include INUYASHA, KEKKAISHI, CASE CLOSED, HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER, and YAKITATE!! JAPAN. Going forward, DVD products from the select series will also feature the Shonen Sunday imprint.

The imprint’s web site ( will be updated regularly with exclusive content such as previews, trailers, news, and interviews and will go live on July 22, 2009.

RIN-NE by Rumiko Takahashi · VOL. 1 · October 20, 2009 · Rated T+ (For Older Teens) · $9.99 US/$12.99 CAN

As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year, then one day her always-absent classmate shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

RIN-NE is the first new manga from Takahashi since her epic INUYASHA (published domestically by VIZ Media) ended in 2008 in Japan. Shogakukan’s popular WEEKLY SHONEN SUNDAY manga magazine has featured Takahashi’s work since the early 1980’s. With over 170 million copies sold in Japan alone, Takahashi’s substantial catalog of work continues to be loved by legions of devoted readers.

The spotlight on Rumiko Takahashi’s career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan’s annual New Comic Artist Contest for Those Selfish Aliens. Later that same year, her boy-meets-alien comedy series, Urusei Yatsura, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. This phenomenally successful manga series was adapted into anime format and spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular in their own right. Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another—Maison Ikkoku ran from 1980 to 1987, Ranma ½ from 1987 to 1996, and Inuyasha from 1996 to 2008. Other notable works include Mermaid Saga, Rumic Theater, and One-Pound Gospel. Takahashi won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award twice in her career, once for Urusei Yatsura in 1981 and the second time for Inuyasha in 2002. A majority of the Takahashi canon has been adapted into other media such as anime, live-action TV series, and film. Takahashi’s manga, as well as the other formats her work has been adapted into, have continued to delight generations of fans around the world. Distinguished by her wonderfully endearing characters, Takahashi’s work adeptly incorporates a wide variety of elements such as comedy, romance, fantasy, and martial arts. While her series are difficult to pin down into one simple genre, the signature style she has created has come to be known as the “Rumic World.” Rumiko Takahashi is an artist who truly represents the very best from the world of manga.

7 Responses to Sunday on the web with Viz

  1. […] released in Japan. More Shonen Sunday titles will be announced during Comic-Con International. David Welsh offers some background and commentary. [press […]

  2. […] Welsh polls his readers on what Japanese shoujo manga magazines would be good fodder for a U.S. anthology, and he puts in […]

  3. lys says:

    It may just be wishful thinking, but I’d love to see more Margaret manga published here! For a long time I considered many of the series from Margaret or especially Betsuma (its slightly-older-age-demographic sister magazine) my favourites—LoveCom, High School Debut and Kimi ni Todoke are a couple great titles being published here. Lately my interests have shifted to Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume/LaLa shoujo manga empire, but those are spread out between so many US publishers and not affiliated with Viz like Shogakukan/Shueisha. Still, Margaret and Betsuma titles hold a special place in my heart. I’d love to see some sort of online feature and a chance to read more of those titles!

  4. Laura says:

    If I had a choice it would be Hana to Yume because it serializes the majority of authors I enjoy reading.

  5. Connie says:

    I voted for Princess, because I am inordinately fond of all of Akita Shoten’s series, and Princess seems to have produced a good number of great series. CMX seems to be the normal Akita Shoten shoujo licensor for America, though.

    For maximum wishful thinking, I also would have voted for Flowers, the josei anthology where Shogakukan seems to stick its older, popular artists. The artist line-up on the Flowers home page lists people like Yuu Watase, Moto Hagio, Setona Mizushiro, Yumi Tamura, Chiho Saito, Akimi Yoshida, Keiko Takemiya, and a number of others.

  6. lys says:

    I think Go!Comi has a lot of Akita Shoten shoujo titles too, probably even more than CMX? Princess does seem to have a fun, slightly different take on the shoujo genre. I’d like to read more of their titles here too!!

    But, since this is Viz, owned by Shogakukan and Shueisha, I think Flowers would actually probably have a better chance of getting picked up, if Viz decided to start up a josei line to go alongside their shoujo imprint (rather than just calling it all shoujo like they do now). Actually, that would be pretty cool…!

  7. Connie says:

    Yes! I knew there was one other publisher that picked up Akita Shoten licenses regularly, but it was escaping me. I was only thinking of Eroica and Apothecarius Argentum. I think you’re right, a good number of Go!Comi’s shoujo series are Akita Shoten titles, they’ve probably got more than CMX.

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