Tokyo Mint, LLC, a new company, has announced that it has acquired the rights to release a series of cold-cast resin statues based on Love Hina, the successful manga and anime from Japan, in North America. The first release is a 1/8th scale rendition of Love Hina character Naru Narusegawa, in a limited edition of 600 cold cast statues scheduled for release in December 2002. Suggested retail price is $129.
Love Hina has been the surprise hit of 2002, with both the Bandai anime DVDs and the Tokyopop manga trade paperbacks selling much better than expected (see 'Tokyopop Manga in 4000-6000 Stores'). The story is a romantic comedy in which the protagonist Keitaro, a hapless young fellow who has failed his college entrance exams three times, ends up as the superintendent of his Grandmother's inn, which has become a girl's dormitory. With some adventure thrown in for good measure, the series manages to cross a number of genres and appeal to a broad audience. The popular Love Hina manga series created by Akamatsu Ken appeared in Shukan Shonen magazine and has been collected in fourteen volumes, which have sold over 6 million copies in Japan. In 2000, Love Hina was made into a popular anime series produced by Xebec for TV Tokyo.
Tokyo Mint plans to release more statues in the series in 2003.