With Anime Expo wrapping up we have some manga publishing announcements, including Viz’s new licenses for early 2018. New books include FIRE PUNCH, a dystopian thriller for the VIZ Signature imprint; , KENKA BANCHO OTOME: GIRL BEATS BOYS, a gender swapping shojo; a new hardcover collector edition of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST; and SISYPHEAN, the latest novel to join the Haikasoru literary imprint. Finally two new titles based on the mobile game Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector – which I suck at BTW.
FIRE PUNCH ∙ Rated ‘M’ For Mature Audiences ∙ Available January 2018
In the not-too-distant past, the Ice Witch blanketed the world in snow, starvation and madness, leading the inhabitants to seek their salvation in fire. With that, an unusual destiny unfolds for two young orphans, Agni and Luna, blessed with the ability to regenerate. But will this ability prove to be more of a curse than a blessing? FIRE PUNCH was a nominee for the 2017 Manga Taisho Award.
SISYPHEAN (Novel) ∙ Unrated ∙ Available January 2018
In this award-winning novel by Dempow Torishima, even after the world and humanity itself have been rendered nearly unrecognizable by genetic engineering, a day in the office can feel…Sisyphean. The company stands atop a tiny deck supported by huge iron columns a hundred meters high. The boss there is its president – a large creature of unstable, shifting form once called “human.” The world of his dedicated worker contains only the deck and the sea of mud surrounding it, and the worker’s daily routine is anything but peaceful. A mosaic novel of extreme science and high weirdness, Sisyphean will change the way you see existence itself. Sisyphean was a winner of the prestigious Japan SF Award and also nominated for a Seiun Award.
NEKO ATSUME: KITTY COLLECTOR—WHERE AM I MEOW? ∙ Unrated ∙
Available February 2018
Expand your play from the popular mobile game Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector with a fun activity book for cat fans of all ages. In this full-color book, seek and find favorite kitties from Neko Atsume Kitty Collector as they romp through imaginative new environments, learn facts about the classic cats and play with dozens of stickers!
NEKO ATSUME: KITTY COLLECTOR HAIKU—SEASONS OF THE KITTY ∙ Unrated ∙ Available February 2018
Ever wonder what the kitties of the popular mobile game Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector get up to when they’re not on your screen? Join the cast of the cartoon cats of Neko Atsume Kitty Collector in an irreverent journey through the seasons as told in haiku.
FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: FULLMETAL EDITION ∙ Rated ‘T’ For Teens ∙ Available May 2018
Fully remastered with an updated translation and completely fresh lettering, and presented with all the original color pages on large-trim archival-quality paper, this gorgeous hardcover edition presents the timeless dark adventures of the Elric brothers as they were truly meant to be seen. Also includes new behind-the-scenes character sketches and brand-new color art from author Hiromu Arakawa
KENKA BANCHO OTOME: GIRL BEATS BOYS ∙ Rated ‘T’ For Teens ∙
Available April 2018
A captivating new manga series based on the Japanese romantic adventure game, Kenka Bancho Otome. Hinako thought she didn’t have any family, but on the day she starts high school, Hinako’s twin brother Hikaru suddenly appears and tricks her into taking his place. But the new school Hinako attends in his stead is beyond unusual. Now she must fight her way to the top of Shishiku Academy, an all-boys school of delinquents!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.