This month, read the free preview of Cactus's Secret. Prickly Miku Yamada has a serious crush on her classmate Kyohei, but he's far too oblivious to pick up on her signals. How will Miku find her way out of such a thorny situation? And if you like the preview, Cactus's Secret volume 1 is in stores now!
And are you in the mood for a gender-bending romp with a group of uber-wealthy prep-schoolers that happen to be in a Host Club? Then kick back with the complete Ouran High School Host Club anime series, all packaged up and pretty in a DVD box set. The series is out on Blu-ray Disc too. Read more about it on shojobeat.com.
Have you checked out Nana, Season 1, Vol. 2 at the iTunes Store? In these 12 dubbed episodes, the storyline gets a lot deeper, and the characters show more of their complicated personalities.
BLAST plays its first official show in Tokyo, and the band gets to know its number 1 fan. Nana O. gets a romantic blast from the past. Nana K. goes back to her hometown, but her Tokyo life gives the old homestead a new twist. Plus, you'll hear some great music from BLAST and TRAPNEST.
What's Hachi so jealous of? Will Nana O. and Ren get back together? Will Nana K. ever find love again? And what are Ren and Yasu scheming about? Buy the whole season to find the answers, and you'll get a special bonus episode free to boot.
February has been a busy month for the Nana anime. We've added more subtitled episodes here on VIZ Anime, and Nana: Uncut Box Set, Vol. 3 is available at store.viz.com and other DVD retailers nationwide. I want to talk in particular about the DVD box sets, because there's a lot more to them than you might know.
When I heard VIZ Media was releasing DVD box sets of the Nana anime, I quickly volunteered to be the DVD animation production associate for the project. I love the Nana manga, and the anime adaptation features songs by Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia and background music by Tomoki Hasegawa. I was excited to try to bring all that to a DVD product.
The approvals coordinator and designers did a really great job capturing the spirit of the series in the package design. They used the style and colors from the Nana anime, incorporating elements from the mid-century-influenced Nana Komatsu (aka Hachi) and the punk-rock Nana Osaki. Side by side, all four box sets look good displayed on your shelf.
In Every Box Set
Packed in every box set, you will find these goodies. There are two audio tracks — the original Japanese and English — as well as subtitles that are directly translated from the Japanese. You'll get "clean" versions (without the rolling text credits on top) of the opening and endings of each episode. And you'll get a line art gallery, which are reference drawings used in animation production to ensure the animators keep characters and objects looking consistent.
The DVD series also feature special bonus episodes every 12th episode that recap the previous 11 episodes. These take place in a bar called Junko’s Place, run by Hachi's best friend Junko. Right now these special episodes are available only if you buy a DVD box set or a Season Set on iTunes.
Plus Something Special…
We also added unique extras, specific to each box set. Box set 1 contains an exclusive interview with Morio Asaka, the director of the Nana anime, at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con International. Specially marked units of box set 1 come with a NANA guitar pick, which has a nice heavy gauge that has helped me become a better guitar player. Box set 2 has a special version of one of the songs.
Box set 3 contains three clean versions of the ending credits. There's the "Regular" edition, the "Storyboard" edition that shows a storyboarded version of the ending credits, and the "Multi" edition that shows the two other versions in a picture-in-picture format. I like this third version the best since you can study how the credits were taken from storyboard to screen.
Box set 4, due out in April 2010, contains an animated video from the original Japanese DVDs for Anna Tsuchiya's song "Lucy." This nicely animated music video features a different style of animation than in the anime itself. We were extra excited to acquire this video for you.
The Nana DVD box sets are really very special. Everyone on the Nana DVD team loves the manga and anime, and we put our hearts into making the best product possible. We hope that new and existing Nana fans will collect them all.
(Note: The Nana anime is rated M for Mature, as is the Nana manga volumes 8 to present. They are meant for mature audiences ages 18 and up.)
Catch the drama of Nana O., Nana K., Blast, and Trapnest, with more episodes of Nana on Viz Anime, up to episode 47 for your viewing pleasure. With tensions is friendships and relationships, the story heats up. Will it all end with fireworks? Watch Nana to find out.
The Nana anime is rated Mature.
Are you basking in the glow of a happy Valentine's Day gone by or are you still picking yourself up off the floor? Or, did you conscientiously object to the event all together?
Whatever your take, there's a manga to support your stance. To help you out, members of our trusty Shojo Beat team offered up some reading recommendations.
From Pancha Diaz, Nana editor
High School Debut is very pro-Valentine's. It's about the sweetness of new love.
Nana is totally anti-Valentine's. It's all about how romantic relationships let you down, and how friends are the ones who are really there for you. (Nana vol. 1 to 7 are rated T+. Subsequent volumes of Nana are rated Mature.)
From Annette Roman, Sand Chronicles editor
Sand Chronicles is pro-Valentine's Day, yet realistic and sane. Grown women at VIZ Media can still relate to it! It's about really loving and being loved, not just crushing out on each other…
Compare your love life to Honey and Clover ... No matter how bad it seems, I bet it's not as complicated, convoluted, and unrequited!....
From Amy Mar, marketing coordinator
Anti Valentine's: Skip•Beat. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Kyoko will do anything for sweet revenge on the man who threw her away like a used tissue.
Valentine's: Ouran High School Host Club. Why limit yourself to one man when you can have a whole Host Club at your service?
From Amy Yu, Monkey High editor
Check out Monkey High vol. 3 if you want to read about Haruna and Macharu's crazy V-Day!
From Julie Behn, sales and marketing department
Love•Com vol. 2. Risa Koizumi is completely pro-Valentine's Day, but when she really wants to give chocolates to that annoying shrimp Atsushi Otani, who always teases her, ...she wishes she wasn't!
Otomen. Of course Asuka Masamune is pro-Valentine's Day! It's the perfect excuse to make lots of cute stuffed animals, bake cakes, and watch romantic movies!! And did he mention all the flowers!
Sand Chronicles vol. 4. Daigo Kitamura used to be a true romantic, but after breaking up with his childhood sweetheart, there's no reason to pretend Valentine's Day is fun anymore. Put him on the anti-Valentine's Day list because if that love didn't last, how could anyone's?
From Lex Scheuble, online marketing manager
Ouran High School Host Club, because I'm so Haruhi. It's got the best of both worlds: you get that warm mushy feeling when you see people get together, but then you look at the actual host club characters themselves and how yes, they're sorta love dysfunctional, and I just want them to soooooo work... Oh...Shojo. I want my own host club.
I also like Crimson Hero for Valentine's Day. Volleyball and kimonos rock.
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