ICv2 covers Viz’s announcements at the Book Expo America. Actually, most of these titles were announced at NYCC, but ICv2 provides a bit more info. Buko Rensin, a new series by Rurouni Kenshin author Nobuhiro Watsuki, looks promising and a steal at $7.99. Once more I wonder (quietly, so they won’t hear) why Viz prices their shonen books so low; with a built-in fan base, this book is bound to sell well.
On the other hand, $4.99 sounds about right for the well-intentioned 1 World Manga, which is shorter than their regular books and was developed in partnership with those noted masters of the genre, the World Bank. Volume 4, Child Soldiers, is due out next, and that does seem like a natural theme for a manga.
The Law of Ueki will benefit from synergy with the anime series, which will be released this summer, and O-Parts Hunter has generated a little buzz. I do wonder who will be reading the Naruto novels. The other novel they’re releasing, Be With You, sounds like the Japanese version of Nicholas Sparks and could do well if it attracts attention in the right places (book clubs in the suburbs).
But the real hard-cores will be waiting for October to get the competing versions of Train Man from Viz and CMX.
Elsewhere, ICv2 notes that graphic novels were all over the BEA and predicts that they are so well integrated at this point that next year they won’t have a separate pavilion.