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Well, actually, it’s only Viz’s plans for 2009 up through May, and I’m only going to be looking at new manga series, since, let’s face it, is there any real doubt as to whether subsequent volumes of Naruto or Nana will be coming out?
And with that, let’s soldier on …
Heaven’s Will by Satoru Takamiya. A young girl gains the power to see ghosts, teams up with an exorcist and supernatural hilarity ensues. $8.99.
Oishinbo: Japanese Cuisine Vol. 1 by Kariya Tetsu and Hanasaki Akira. Viz is carefully selecting their favorite stories from this 100-plus volume cooking manga about a culinary journalist who attempts to put together the “ultimate menu.” It looks like succeeding volumes will be focused around a particular ingrediant, like sake. David Welsh has been raving about this one. $12.99
Dragon Ball: The Complete Collection and Dragon Ball Z: The Complete Collection. For $114.99 and $185.99 respectively, you can own all of Akira Toriyama’s seminal shonen manga series in one fell swoop.
Happy Happy Clover Vol. 1 by Sayuri Tatsuyama. “Clover the Bunny and her fluffy friends are always getting into mischief in mysterious Mikazuki Forest!” I bet they are. $7.99.
20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa. Now we’re cooking with gas. I hereby dub 2009 to be the year of Urasawa, starting with this acclaimed gem about a group of childhood friends who reunite in adult life to find the answer to their buddy’s mysterious death. If it’s as half as good as Monster, it’ll be pretty goddamn awesome. $12.99.
Otomen Vol. 1 by Aya Kanno. Sexual stereotypes are completely blasted out of the water when a boy who likes girly things and a girl who can’t sew or bake meet cute. I’m sure I’ll never look the same way at Ladies Home Journal again after reading this. $8.99.
Pluto Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa. You thought I was kidding about this being the year of Urasawa didn’t you? Not when Viz is releasing what is supposed to be his finest work yet — a complete reimagining of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy story “Pluto.” Those who have been reading the scantillations have proclaimed it jaw-droppingly good. $12.99.
The Magic Touch Vol. 1 by Izumi Tsubaki. Ok, let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Apparantly this one school happens to have a “massage club.” And this one girl in the club falls in love with this guy after seeing his beautiful back, but her attempts at romance are thwarted by her twin sister. At least there are no haunted vaginas. $8.99.
BakeGyamon by Mitsuhisa Tamura and Kazuhiro Fujita. This is one of those “bored boy discovers monster fighting game that will no doubt be spun off into an actual collectible card game very soon.” $7.99.
Hot Gimmick Vol. 1 by Miki Aihara. Aihara’s popular shojo series gets the VizBig treatment. $17.99.
Dinosaur Hour Vol. 1 by Hitoshi Shioya. A gag manga for kids about dinosaurs who act like people. $7.99.
Dogs Prelude, Vol. 0 by Shirow Miwa. “Boasting furious action, switchback plotting, magnetic characters and dazzling art, Dogs tells the story of four individuals struggling to survive a dystopian urban future by gun and sword and courage and luck.” $12.99.
Honey Hunt Vol. 1 by Miki Aihara. A young girl tries to find her own path when her super-famous celebrity parents get divorced. A new shojo series from the author of Hot Gimmick. $8.99.
Leave It to PET Vol. 1 by Kenji Sonishi. A young boy recycles a bottle only to have it come to life as a robot and try to help him. Wackiness ensues. $7.99.
Ponyo On the Cliff By the Sea Film Comic. A cine-manga version of the new Miyazaki film, which should be in theaters around the same time. $9.99.
Ikigami, The Ultimate Limit Vol. 1 by Motoro Mase. In a world where the government selects citizens for random termination, what do people do when they get their Death Notice in the mail and find out they only have 24 hours to live? Have these people never heard of hiding from the process server? $12.99.