Del Rey, a division of Random House, announced the acquisition of five manga series, which are set to debut in theU.S. in the spring of 2007.  Three of the titles, Kitchen Princess, Mamotte Lollipop, and Shugo Chara! are shojo series, while the other two, Parasyte (previously published by Tokyopop) and Mushishi, are high concept horror/supernatural titles. 


Both Mushishi and Kitchen Princess won prestigious Kodansha Manga Awards in 2006.  Yuki Urushibara's Mushishi won 'Manga of the Year' for his on-going 7-volume series about a primitive life form known as 'mushi,' while Natsumi Ando's shojo saga, Kitchen Princess, won the award for 'Best Children's Manga.' The Mushishi manga has also inspired an anime series, which won two awards at the recent Tokyo Anime Awards (TV series, and Art Direction), as well as a live action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) that slated to debut at the Venice Film Festival--so this is a property that will have plenty of visibility.


Mamotte Lollipop has inspired a recent (2006) shojo anime series, while Shugo Chara! is the first actual shojo series from Peach-Pit, two female manga-ka, who heretofore have created shonen series such as DearS and Rozen Maiden.


Parasyte, which won the Kodansha Sci-Fi Award in 1993, is a classic horror saga that director Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) is developing for New Line Cinema (see 'Ju-On Helmer Tackles Parasyte').  Tokyopop published Parasyte flipped back in the pre-'Authentic Manga' days of the previous century, so Del Rey, which is also doing a new translation, will be able to present the series in the original Japanese right-to-left format for the first time in the U.S.