Tokyopop Opens a New Chapter in Novels

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TOKYOPOP, the #1 publisher of manga in the U.S., is thrilled to unveil the latest addition to its rapidly growing novel publishing program with the release of .hack//AI buster, the heavily anticipated prequel to the .hack mythology. With a unique layout incorporating design motifs from the .hack franchise and a peppering of manga-style illustrations, the .hack// AI buster novel successfully combines the best of the visual and literary worlds. Priced at $7.99, TOKYOPOP’s .hack//AI buster novel will be available in stores everywhere in August 2005.

.hack is a multimedia phenomenon unlike any seen before. Released simultaneously in Japan as a series of Playstation 2 games, two anime series and the manga series, each incarnation helps tell the greater story of .hack. The first anime series now airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S., the first of four Playstation 2 games is a top-seller in the States and now the thrilling TOKYOPOP adventure novel takes readers even deeper into the .hack saga.

Welcome to The World, the most advanced online game ever created. In The World you can be anyone you want to be, act out your adventure fantasies and through teamwork and determination, you can even become a hero. In .hack//AI buster, the avatar Albireo is a solo adventurer in The World. When he comes across Lycoris, a strange little girl in a dungeon, Albireo wonders if she's simply nothing more than a bug in the system. As the two journey further into The World, Albireo watches Lycoris turn all of the rules of The World upside down. Slowly, he comes to realize that she may hold a very deadly secret--a secret that could unhinge everything in cyberspace...and beyond!

"Few people realize that a lot of the anime and manga out there actually began as text novels and was adapted into other mediums, says TOKYOPOP novels editor, Nicole Monastirsky. "And now, in Japan, that’s becoming the rule rather than the exception. There’s a wealth of great root material out there, and if you thought you loved the manga and anime, imagine reading the source stuff—first generation details that lead you deeper into the characters and the backstory of the individual universes."

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