Viz Media is planning to publish a number of prose novels under two different imprints in 2005. Science fiction titles such as Full Metal Alchemist, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence After the Long Goodbye and Steamboy will all appear under the Viz Media brand, while novels aimed at female readers such as Socrates in Love and Kamikaze Girls will appear under the Shojo Beat imprint.
The first of the science fiction titles to appear will be the only previously announced title, Full Metal Alchemist: The Land of Sand (cover price $9.99), which is due out in October. So far in 2005 Full Metal Alchemist has been the breakout anime and manga title and, in addition to the FMA manga and novels, Viz is also preparing an art book based on the popular property (see 'Viz Plans Full Metal Alchemist Novels & Art Book'). Also releasing in October is Ghost in the Shell: Innocence After the Long Goodbye ($19.99) a novel by Masaki Yamada that serves as the prequel to Ghost in the Shell: Innocence movie (and Ani-Manga). In December Viz plans to release Steamboy ($17.99) a novelization of Katsuhiro Otomo's Steamboy animated feature with illustrations by Shinji Kimura, the art director of the Steamboy movie.
The Shojo Beat line of prose novels debuts in October with Socrates in Love ($17.99), the all-time best-selling novel in Japan, Socrates in Love, a Love Story-like romantic tale, which has inspired a blockbuster movie, a hit TV show and a popular manga. In February Viz plans to release Novala Takemoto's Kamikaze Girls, a cult classic in Japan that has inspired an internationally acclaimed film.
The three top American manga publishers, Tokyopop, Viz and Dark Horse have now all announced prose novels to supplement their numerous manga offerings.