At Anime Expo Dark Horse announced a number of key manga and novel acquisitions including Hiroya Oku's adult-oriented Gantz manga and the Blood+ novels and manga. Both the Gantz manga and Blood+ releases are closely related to popular anime releases. The Gantz manga features the same combination of CG backgrounds and hand drawn characters used in the ultra-violent Gantz anime, which was one of ADV's most popular thinpak releases of last year. The ongoing Gantz manga, which began in 2000 and appears in Shueisha's seinen anthology Young Jump, has reached 21 volumes in
Production I.G.'s Blood + anime, which has been airing on Adult Swim, is a continuation of the vampire/science fiction mythos first explored in Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) and features the same sword-wielding heroine Saya Otonashi who has to hunt down and slay the vampire-like Chiropterans. Dark Horse is publishing two Blood+ novels, Blood+ and Blood+ Russian Rose, which are adaptations of the TV series and also provide lots of background information on the struggle against the alien Chiropterans, which extends back to 1833. Dark Horse plans to release all three of the manga series spawned by the TV series including Blood+ (Asuka Katsura's official adaptation of the TV series that appears in Kadokawa's anime-friendly Shonen Ace anthology), the two-volume Blood+ Adagio by Kumiko Suekane (which chronicles Saya's (and her guardian Haji's) past adventures in Russia), and the one-volume Blood+ Yako Joushi (a story that takes place before the TV series and features Haji).
Dark Horse also announced two other acquisitions with major potential, The Color of Rage by Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf & Cub) and Seisaku Kano, a vintage series from the 1970s (like Samurai Executioner and Path of the Assassin) about a shipwrecked black American ex-slave and his Japanese friend trying to survive in samurai-era Japan and Ghost Talkers' Daydream, a nine-volume seinen series written by Saki Okuse about a dominatrix, who moonlights as an exorcist for the government. Portions of the manga were adapted into a four-issue OAV, which Geneon has released in the
Dark Horse's final announcement was Bride of the Water God, a superbly illustrated manhwa exercise in shojo-style storytelling.