San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies , has announced the release of three new manga series for the first quarter of 2007. These releases include INUBAKA: CRAZY FOR DOGS and two new romantic shjo series, BACKSTAGE PRINCE and GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE+.
INUBAKA: CRAZY FOR DOGS Rated "T+" for Older Teens MSRP: $9.99 Available February 2007
All alone except for her loyal canine companion, Lupin (named for the famous anime character), 18-year-old Suguri moves from the country to the big city in search of a career and a new life. On a walk with his owners to check out the new neighborhood, the gregarious Lupin meets a female Labrador Retriever named Noa who he soon gets pregnant. Noa's owner, Teppei, is dismayed and crushed to learn his dream of a litter of pure bred Labrador puppies has been shattered. To make up for the indiscretion, Suguri offers to work at the pet store Teppei manages. She soon meets an assortment of quirky dogs and their even stranger owners and an adventure in canine antics begins. This loveable story from Yukiya Sakuragi will delight animal lovers! An online preview of INUBAKA: CRAZY FOR DOGS will be available for viewing on www.viz.com in February.
BACKSTAGE PRINCE Rated "T" for Teens MSRP: $8.99 Available March 2007
Set against the vivid backdrop of Kabuki theater, BACKSTAGE PRINCE introduces readers to Akari, an average high school girl who fails to see why the other girls in her school are so interested in Ryusei, a young and talented Kabuki actor and fellow student. Akari happens to run into Ryusei at school and accidentally ends up bruising himwith her book bag. Later, Akari ends up following a cat all the way to a Kabuki theatre and by chance runs into Ryusei once again. To make up for her mistake, she volunteers to become Ryusei's assistant until he is healed. The reclusive and socially inept Ryusei accepts only because Akari gets along with his pet cat, the very one she followed all the way to the theatre. When Ryusei is finally better, Akari realizes she has fallen in love. The couple's blossoming love takes a turn for the dramatic as their relationship is put to the test by Ryusei's profession and popularity and those who disapprove of their relationship, especially Ryusei's strict father and Naoki, another Kabuki actor who loves Akari.
THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE+ Rated "T+" for Older Teens MSRP: $8.99 Available March 2007
In return for a business loan of 50 million yen, the prestigious Kamiya family gave their daughter Haine away for adoption to the successful Otomiya family who send her to the Imperial Academy, an exclusive school for the children of wealthy families. Haine, now an Otomiya, is appointed to the student council of the exclusive school. Even though Haine is of proper lineage to be on the council, she finds herself struggling to find her place among the many secrets of its elite members, especially those of the president who holds her heart - Shizumasa Togu, aka "the Emperor." Haine has been in love with Shizumasa Togu since she read the fairy tale he wrote as a child. However, the Emperor is so well sequestered by the student council that she hasn't been able to speak to him in the three months she's been at the academy. And as rumor has it, he already has a lover. As impossible as the odds may seem, Haine-chan's innate optimism keeps her going, as she pursues her love. THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE+ is the newest shjo manga series from Arina Tanemura who also created FULL MOON, also published by VIZ Media. The first printing of THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE+ Volume 1 includes a 2-sided full-color poster.
"We're excited to expand our manga roster with the addition of these three newest series," states Liza Coppola, senior vice president for marketing for VIZ Media. "The continued popularity of the shjo manga genre will ensure an eager audience for BACKSTAGE PRINCE and THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE+, which were recently previewed in SHOJO BEAT magazine. Animal lovers will likewise delight in the quirky and heartwarming canine adventures in INUBAKA: CRAZY FOR DOGS. We're pleased to open 2007 with these debuts, and look forward to these series establishing dedicated followings and delighting readers of all ages."