I just got the list of Viz’s manga releases for the first half of 2010, and it’s a long list. So, rather than give you my fun, yet abridged synopses of these undoubtedly great titles, especially since I have yet to read any, here’s the initial installment straight from the mouth of PR:
BIOMEGA · by Tsutomu Nihei · Available February 2nd ·
Rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences · VIZ Signature Imprint
Zoichi Kanoe plunges into the depths of 9JO, a sprawling island city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in search of Eon Green, a girl with the power to transmute the N5S virus. The deadly contagion is spreading across the world and turns humans into disfigured zombie-like "drones.” But he's not the only one looking for her. Agents of the Public Health Service's Compulsory Execution Unit are also in hot pursuit with sinister designs of their own. Zoichi and his trans-human allies have no time to waste; the countdown to the apocalypse has begun!
BOKURANO: OURS· by Mohiro Kitoh · Available February 16th ·
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · VIZ Signature Imprint
One summer, fifteen kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave. There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game. This game, he explains, pits a lone giant robot against a horde of alien invaders. To play the game all they have to do is sign a simple contract. The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their pact.
DINOSAUR KING · by Yohei Sakai · Available February 2nd ·
Rated ‘A’ for All Ages · VIZ KIDS Imprint
Max is obsessed with dinosaurs. He knows his Tapejara from his Pteranodon and can find fossils better than a trained paleontologist. When he discovers a stone tablet that transports him to the age of dinosaurs, it's a dream come true--until it becomes a nightmare. An evil genius named Dr. Z has enslaved the dinosaurs so he can use their hidden powers to take over the world! Now Max has to defeat Dr. Z and his Alpha Gang to save the ancient beasts and life as we know it.
ULTIMO · by Hiroyuki Takei and Stan Lee · Available February 2nd ·
Rated ‘T’ for Teens · SHONEN JUMP Imprint
ULTIMO represents a historic collaboration between comics legend Stan Lee, creator of many iconic series including Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and X-Men, and Hiroyuki Takei, the creator of the popular SHAMAN KING manga series. High above Farmless City, citizens are stunned by the sudden appearance of two floating figures. Are they human boys, monolithic robots, or something even more bizarre? As a battle ensues, destruction and devastation falls on the hapless city. One figure is Vice, and seems to be as evil as his name implies. The other is Ultimo, intent on trying to stop Vice from wreaking more havoc. But who are Vice and Ultimo really? Where did they come from? A new mystery begins with the fate of the world hanging in the balance!
CACTUS’S SECRET · by Nana Haruta · Available March 2nd ·
Rated ‘T’ for Teens · SHOJO BEAT Imprint
Miku Yamada has a longtime crush on classmate Kyohei Fujioka. But no matter how many times she tries to show him how she feels, clueless Kyohei just doesn't get it. Frustrated, Miku gives up on him, only to have him start calling her "Cactus" for being so prickly when he's around. In the opening volume, Miku decides to try telling Kyohei her feelings by giving him chocolates for Valentine's Day. But Kyohei, unaware that he's the object of her affection, offers himself up as a practice partner for her love confession. Will Kyohei ever figure out Cactus's secret?
ARATA: THE LEGEND · by Yuu Watase · Available March 9th ·
Rated ‘T’ for Teens · SHONEN SUNDAY Imprint
In a mythical world where humans and gods coexist, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a girl from the Hime Clan may take this position, but the lack of females born to this family means that a boy called Arata must pose for the role. Meanwhile in modern-day Japan, a boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren't going to be simple when he discovers a mysterious connection to the first Arata...
DOROHEDORO · by Q Hayashida · Available March 16th ·
Rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences · VIZ SIGNATURE Imprint
In a city so dismal it's known only as "the Hole," a clan of sorcerers have been plucking people off the streets to use as guinea pigs for atrocious "experiments" in the black arts. In a dark alley, Nikaido found Caiman, a man with a reptile head and a bad case of amnesia. To undo the spell, they're hunting and killing the sorcerers in the Hole, hoping that eventually they'll kill the right one. But when En, the head sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering his people, he sends a crew of "cleaners" into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds.
RISTORANTE PARADISO· by Natsume Ono · Available March 16th ·
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · VIZ Signature Imprint
In exchange for Nicoletta's playing "the daughter of an old friend," Olga offers Nicoletta a place to live and an apprenticeship at the restaurant. Nicoletta fits in well among the unique personalities at Casetta dell'Orso. She gets along particularly well with the kindly headwaiter, Claudio, a divorced man who, after years, has still never taken off his wedding ring. As Nicoletta's feelings for Claudio become complicated, she finds a sympathetic ear in Olga, leading the estranged pair to form a friendship neither expected. But as they grow closer, the pressure exerted by the secret they share becomes too much to bear.
I’ll try to get my learned fingers on as many titles as possible. Definitely look for manga this year on The Anime Beat!