Just in time to deplete your holiday budget, Viz has announced a series of art books based on such popular properties as NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, FUSHIGI YÛGI and HANA KIMI, as well as their first instructional art book, SHOJO BEAT MANGA ARTIST ACADEMY. Full details in the jump.

VIZ Media’s ongoing series of art books have each garnered acclaim for their lavish coffee table presentations filled with lush character and mechanical illustrations, as well as insightful commentaries and essays by some of the most renowned manga and anime artists. These newest editions will be unique must-haves and make solid gift ideas as the 2006 holiday season approaches, but will also make a thoughtful present for any occasion.

DER MOND: THE ART OF NEON GENESIS EVANGELION • MSRP: $24.99 • Available October 2006

Stylish, delicate, and consistently edgy, DER MOND collects the color illustrations of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, one of the most acclaimed manga and anime artists of all time. The book includes 74 pages of paintings and designs devoted to his smash hit manga series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, plus another 50 pages from other works including THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE, NADIA: THE SECRET OF BLUE WATER, BLUE URU, and non-manga works like his cover for Eric Clapton’s 1998 album, PILGRIM.

THE ART OF FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: THE ANIME • MSRP: $19.99 • Available October 2006

THE ART OF FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: THE ANIME is a wonderful companion to the best-selling manga series (distributed by VIZ Media) and the top-rated anime seen on Cartoon Network. The stylish artwork of the popular series has now been compiled into a hardcover edition that is sure to delight fans and collectors. Original art inspired by the anime, along with initial character concept designs, cel art and production notes are featured, along with a rare interview with Yoshiyuki Itoh, the character designer for the anime.

THE ART OF FUSHIGI YÛGI • MSRP: $19.99 • Available October 2006

A delightful edition for fans of shôjo and manga titan Yuu Watase, THE ART OF FUSHIGI YÛGI features a plethora of detailed artwork depicting the artist’s signature style. The book presents over 100 pieces of art, with several new drawings and paintings produced especially for this release. An 18-volume hit manga series published domestically by VIZ Media, FUSHIGI YÛGI combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, humor and romance. Watase is also the popular artist and creator behind many best-selling manga series, such as ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND, IMADOKI!, ALICE 19TH, CERES: CELESTIAL LEGEND, and FUSHIGI YÛGI: GENBU KAIDEN, all of which are also published by VIZ Media.

THE ART OF HANA-KIMI • MSRP: $19.99 • Available November 2006

Another must-have for any shôjo manga fan, THE ART OF HANA-KIMI offers 80 pages of stunning, full-color artwork by series creator, Hisaya Nakajo. Characters from the best-selling shôjo title, which is published domestically by VIZ Media, come to life in this over-sized and lavishly illustrated hardcover art book. The HANA-KIMI manga series centers around a Japanese girl who idolizes a young athlete she sees on TV and eventually transfers to Japan to attend the same school that the object of her infatuation also attends. There is a catch, however, because the athlete attends an all-boy high school and Mizuki must disguise herself as a boy to enter. Plenty of comedic and romantic plot twists follow! THE ART OF HANA-KIMI also contains a sheet of collectible character stickers.

Available October 2006

This is a wonderful selection for any aspiring manga artist or fan of the style of shôjo art that has captivated North American audiences. VIZ Media is pleased to offer this comprehensive volume which features instructional techniques and tutorials from shôjo manga masters like Yuu Watase (ALICE 19th, ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND) and Mayu Shinjo (SENSUAL PHRASE, LOVE CELEB). These artists and others will lead the reader through a step-by-step guide to developing and illustrating original shôjo manga, including tips for using screen tone and digital coloring. A materials index will also give aspiring artists insights into what the pros use.