All posts by Linda

Linda is a life long fan of anime, and dabbles in a lot of things. She writes with a tentative neutral voice.. and as for that three year anime blogging mark, she tries to defy that as she is gaining a voice in other mediums ie: Twitter. Find her at other places online. "They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance." -Terry Pratchett

12 Days: Where’s More of Gintama?

image

Yes I am cheating on this post with an image from season 5′s conclusion and Kondo’s heavily censored a** saying “sorry.” But where’s more of Gintama? I expected or wished for the anime to continue with a 7th season in the fall after the 6th season aired in the Spring. Did the movie that was promised in Japan for the summer flop? These are questions that, as an American fan, must be finally written about..

I do know that the manga is still continuing, but I am sad that Viz discontinued the English manga at vol 23, and knowing that the manga in Japan has released 50+ volumes frustrates me.

Granted, I do hear the seiyuu of Gintoki, Tomokazu Sugita, loud and clear in other 2013 anime like Gingitsune and Samurai Flamenco. But how I long to hear Gintoki and the rest of the Yorozuya.

I can’t help but say that I really buy into this series’s formula. Are there any other longish series that you want never to end?

12 Days of Christmas: Passion Supports Yowapeda

image

Yowamushi Pedal has been my top anime for the fall. This is a sports anime on bicycling, so there are the typical themes of competition, the underdog and of course a fiery passion. The protagonist, Ononda, happens to be an otaku who pedals on a utility bicycle weekly or daily from his school to Akihabara. He unsuccessfully tries to re-form an anime club, but fails; so he ends up joining the bicycle club where he becomes the unexpected hidden talent among the other more serious bicyclists.

The screen cap is from a moment at Ononda’s welcoming race, as he races to be the first on the top of the hill. In a race, there are critical moments when the body is exhausted, and to beat the other competitors is vital. The need to find motivation is clear, so this was his way of finding that last bit of energy.

What makes this heartwarming for me is the fact that Ononda finds solace in his niche hobby, and this can translate in reality as a passion or support for enriching life. I remember reading an entry MangaTherapy wrote on his blog that speaks about challenges. It is like choosing a career. Typically a person chooses what they find the most happiness in completing. But the harsh reality is how many would succeed in a field of their passion? Having multiple hobbies and passions makes life easier.

For me, Yowapeda brings inspiration and fun as I think about the various slashable couples and anime moments that make me a fan.

12 Days of Christmas: Echoes of Reality in “Silver Spoon”

image
What a series…Okay, Silver Spoon is definitely not a revolutionary anime, but it is a simple coming of age tale. A slice of life story that I would have definitely have enjoyed if I were 10+ years younger.

Hachiken finds himself burnt out by exams and makes a life altering decision to move to the boonies, where he attends an agricultural school. He becomes surrounded by classmates that basically are expected to inherit family agricultural businesses and farms.

Being an urban kid, this is definitely different, and his experiences of being thrown in as a new kid makes this one of my top anime for 2013. In my own life, I have learned that trying to gain employment in my chosen career field is difficult, with bittersweet temporary working periods. Knowing about Hachiken as he makes his life choices makes me feel like we are comrades. Hence my choice for this screencap, since he realizes that reality is not that easy, nor is it fun and games.

There is going to be a second season next year and as I wait, I know that I can relish memories of the first season, when there was a pizza party episode, his first road kill, curing Tonkatsu and watching little moments for his sparks of awareness.

NYCC 2013: Seeking Anime/Manga Panels in a Sea of Comics and Tsunami of People

IMG_20131024_164106

Since last year’s announcement that New York Comic Con would officially embrace New York Anime Festival, seeking out anime/manga goods and panels became a navigating challenge, whether it was on the show floor, artist alley, or at panels. The anime and manga panel block this year was smaller, and at certain times there were conflicts or panels were located at rooms where the room was already maxed out. Due to fire regulations, rooms were not cleared after each session, so people who wanted to go to a particular panel would have to have either sit through an earlier panel or wait outside in long lines.

For the anime/manga panels this year, I was able to get into the Vertical, Kodansha, Yen Press, and Viz’s History of Ranma ½, Aniplex, and Daisuki. The following are notes that I took during the convention.

nycc 2013 -Friday (1 of 88)

Vertical
This is Vertical’s 10th year in publication. Since New York is the headquarters of Vertical, Ed Chavez, Vertical’s marketing director, considers NYCC’s presentation to be a state of Vertical.

  • Biggest seller for this year happens to be the Gundam Origins series.
  • Two new titles were announced at this convention and they were In Clothes Named Fat, a manga on eating disorders from Moyoco Anno and Attack on Titan: Before the Fall light novel. Both titles are to be sold around Summer, 2014.
  • Prophecy by Tetsuya Tsutsui is also a new license announced during the panel. It wasn’t announced at NYCC, but it is a title that Vertical acquired directly from the creator’s agent, though this was originally published as a Shueisha title.

 

nycc 2013 -Friday (16 of 88)

Kodansha
Ben Applegate, manga editor, moderates this panel with input from other Kodansha staff.

  • Thanks Attack on Titan fans right off the bat; it has been the biggest seller this year with 500,000+ English copies in print.
  • Announces a series catch up for Attack on Titan, and will be caught up with Japanese releases in January, 2014.
  • Announces four additional Attack on Titan books that Kodansha will publish. Attack on Titan Guidebook being released June 2014. Titan Junior High, an alternate reality of cast being in middle school. Attack on Titan: No Regrets, a spinoff manga on Captain Levi. Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, comic adaptation of light novel that Vertical licensed.
  • Manga for My Little Monster and Say I Love You is going to be coming out next Spring. My Little Monster is going to have 12 volumes. These are titles that had gotten anime releases that streams on Crunchyroll.
  • Monster Soul, a two volume series by Hiro Mashima, is going to be out Spring 2014. This is a work that has been released prior to Fairy Tail. This is going to a be a print and digital release.
  • xxxholic Rei is coming out in 2014, with omnibus for xxxholic and Tsubasa Chronicles being released as well.
  • Negima spinoff series is to be available Spring, 2014.
  • Kodansha iPad app no longer updates. Kodansha has been selling on Apple platform and various ebook platforms for Kindle and Nook.
nycc 2013 -Friday (30 of 88)

Stance from Kodansha on ebooks

nycc 2013 -sat (6 of 49)

Yen Press
Kurt Hassler moderates this panel, with the rest of the Yen Press editorial team.

  • These are titles that Yen Press announced during the panel that they would be releasing. Ani-Imo, Void’s Enigmatic Mansion, Demon From a Foreign Land (new license from Kaori Yuki), Alice in the Country of Diamonds Fan Book, High School DxD, He’s My Only Vampire
  • Due to licensing concerns, Yen was pretty mum about a lot of titles.
  • Light Novels has worked for Yen Press, and they reassured fans that they won’t shy away from long running series.
  • Digital releases have worked for Yen, but it is only a very small part of their business.
  • Many of Yen Press’s e-publications has been available in the .epub format, they want to make their publications more accessible in all emarket devices.
  • Yen Press’s stance on speeding up on series as not a great thing for a series.
  • Due to contract and licensing conditions, they won’t be releasing their digital magazine on the Apple market anytime.

Sunrise
Robert Napton moderates with Shin Sasaki and Akane Hagino on panel.

  • Recent Sunrise titles to be released on DVD for the U.S. includes Tiger and Bunny, Daily Lives of High School Boys.
  • Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere and Good Luck Girl (Binbogami Girl), to be officially streamed online via sites provided from Viz, ANN, Huly, Crunchy Roll
  • Love Live School Idol Project Season 2 is green lighted after surprising popularity of season 1. Due to be aired next spring.
  • Tiger and Bunny: The Rising will have a 2014 theater release, and will be released onto DVD.

nycc 2013 -Friday (45 of 88)

Viz’s History for Ranma ½

  • This panel was meant to be a pair for Viz’s screening on Thursday of Ranma 1/2 and heavy marketing seen at New York Comic Con is meant to show Viz’s sincerity to re-release and reintroduce to a new generation one of Japan’s initial mainstream manga successes in the English market.
  • Manga of new Ranma will be two volumes combined into an omnibus of 300 pages. They would be using Japanese covers, and will only be 19 volumes of the initial 38 volume series. This is a remastered edition.
    Viz had done two different editions of Ranma in the past, so slides of the previous releases in comparisons to the new English manga release was shown.
  • The anime is going to be done in original Japanese episode order. Viz pushed blu ray more than the DVD to be enjoyed by fans.
  • Anime is not going to include OVA and Movies, only the tv series.
  • Manga is only going to be in print version, there is going to be no digital version.
  • Spring 2014 is the schedule for both anime and manga. This re-release by Viz is meant to be the definitive version for this beloved gender bending comedy.

nycc 2013 -sat (20 of 49)

Aniplex

  • For those who follow Aniplex and were at the convention, take note that this panel had a room change at the very day it occurred to a larger room. It was pretty packed since Aniplex is an anime company that produces anime and has also released physical copies of DVD/Blu-Ray to be owned by those who appreciate physical media.
  • Anime that is produced by Aniplex that is currently streaming are Montagatari 2, Magi 2, Valrave, Samurai Flamenco, Kill la Kill.
  • Anime that is current available in blu-ray/dvd are Madoka movies, Gurren Lagann, the DVD was called a “Box of Awesome” and the Blu Ray a “Cinderbox of Awesome”,  Blue Exorcist, Geo Tokyo Fish Attack, Blast of Tempest, Sword Art Online, Fate Zero, Blue Exorcist the movie
  • At this panel they made an announcement for the Madoka Rebellion to be seen at American theaters in December. Premiering on Dec 3 in Hollywood, CA and release on Dec 6 to theaters in Canada and the US.  At the last time I checked New York theater tickets have all been sold out.
  • Magi‘s English Cast was also announced during this panel.

nycc 2013 -sun (2 of 40)

Daisuki
Robert Napton moderates this panel with Eri Maruyama and Kunihiko Shibata on panel.

  • This is their first Q and A time ever with fans in the United States.
  • Daisuke began May 2013, and is founded in part by a group of already established Japanese anime companies. Companies include Toei, NAS, Sunrise, TMS and Aniplex.
  • Other than providing anime online, Daisuki also has a store that sells anime merchandises.
  • This is a streaming site, with no plans to distribute media in other formats.
  • As a site Daisuki would have plans to stream other Japanese media content like JAM Project pvs, or personalized messages from creators.
  • Daisuki currently streams, Magi, Kill la Kill, Valvrave, Sword Art Online and more.
  • They have an iPad app that was released around the time of NYCC.
  • Daisuki is ad supported, but ads are only seen at the beginning, and there is no breaks in the middle.
  • At this time, it would be too early to say if they would ever bring down any of their current content.
  • Comments are welcome and encouraged on their Facebook and Twitter.
  • Due to surveys conducted for older series, Daisuki will be streaming the entire series for Cowboy Bebop, but can’t say if other older titles that were surveyed will be out of the running.
  • There is a different streaming schedule with older series vs. newer series. They would be airing one old anime episode per week. The example they used was One Piece.
  • Daisuki promises to be a world wide streaming service.
  • Daisuki will consider if they would take donations.
  • Resolution of video at this time would only be 720p, and not 1080p yet.

So that ends my notes from NYCC 2013, this year. Clearly there is a great love for the anime and manga business in the United States. Since this is an importing business, there is a great deal of money limiting what can be brought over or not. The anime and manga presented at this convention represents a small portion of what is out there. What I observed was that on the anime aspect, many of the title announcements as either blu-ray or dvd releases were limited to what already has a fan base and popularity, whereas the manga titles being announced had more variety. I learned that there are only specific titles that American publishers (other than Kodansha USA or Viz) can take from the pie of Kodansha Japan or Shueisha.

NYCC 2013: Con Reflections

IMG_20131024_164106

New York Comic Con, an industry driven behemoth convention, spans over four days. Initially, this was a three day convention, but with more demand, a fourth day was added for professionals and those who are hard core fans.

Tickets for 2013 rapidly sold out earlier in the year, so it is assumed that 2014 would be a similar situation as it was this year. Comic Book Resources reported that attendance for New York Comic Con hit San Diego Comic Con numbers.

IMG_20131010_103716

For the press, VIP’s, pros, and exhibitors there was a different entrance from the general public, and that was located closer to 34th street on 11th avenue. This was referred as the blue entrance.

nycc 2013 -Thurs (1 of 84)

Attendees had their bags inspected and badges scanned as they entered and exited the Javits. There was an issue Thursday on unauthorized tweets and facebook messages automatically generated by NYCC as a way to socially be the big thing, but it definitely created a negative ripple that Reed repealing this authorization breach on Friday. I had an unauthorized tweet, that I found and definitely deleted due to phishing fears.

IMG_20131010_140052

Badges were mailed out prior to the convention, so lanyards were available around the convention’s information booth to people who needed it.

Whether attendees were shopping, cosplaying, waiting on huge lines for either panels or autographs, Javits was packed. The main attraction was on the third level for the enormous show floor. Panels were held at 1-A. Autographs at 1-B. Main events and theaters were around 1-D to 1-E. Artist Alley was at the North Pavilion.

nycc 2013 -Friday (43 of 88)

Mobile technology was the key to getting updates or tweeting. Charging stations were also provided at designated areas around the Javits, either on the show floor or at stations like this.

The convention for me began on Thursday morning and went on until Sunday afternoon. Thursday was when the professional targeted panels occurred. These are targeted presentations/panels for individuals whose careers and livelihood stem from working within the industry. Pro panels are slightly different from industry panels.

There are several reasons why people who would choose to attend pro panels and this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Learning
  • Networking
  • Contributing editorial views
  • Showing sincerity (this ties in with learning)
  • Topics to affirm what you know and bring back to your professional life

Industry panels at conventions are conducted by various companies that would talk about their current products, upcoming releases, and announcements.

Throughout the weekend, there were plenty of things occurring on the show floor as well as all parts of the Javits. It took good shoes, layers, convention survival tactics, extra batteries, planning, and patience. This was all within a small part of New York.

For this year’s New York Comic Con, Anime Diet had myself and Eric Chu covering the convention. Photographs we took have been uploaded to Anime Diet’s Flickr, so be sure to check that out.

Otakon 2013: Vertical Industry Panel

otakon sat (28 of 53)

Vertical, the one Industry panel I was able to attend this year. As people who follow me on twitter, can see.. I did make an attempt to live tweet the panel. Ed Chavez, marketing director from Vertical Inc that day, cosplayed as a general from the Gundam series. The following are notes that are either from presentation slides or my Twitter, many of this is similar to what Ed presented at AnimeNEXT.

  • Chavez stressed the survival of Vertical is dependent on pre-orders made, before seeing Vertical books published.
  • Knights of Sidonia: Vol 4 on sale August, 2013.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origins Part 3 on sale September, 2013. This is a prized project of Vertical, there’s going to be an anime next year.
  • Flowers of Evil: Vol 7 on sale October, 2013. There’s a completely new style of cover, and that got revealed.
  • Chi’s Sweet Home: Vol 10 on sale August, 2013. Ed reiterated that Chi is a very big seller for Vertical. Konami Kanata, mangaka who was a guest at Toronto Comics Arts Festival in 2012 was quite impressed by fans and decided to extend the series to being concluded in 13 volumes instead of 10 volumes as planned.
  • Insufficient Direction on sale February, 2014. This is Moyoco Anno’s manga on living life with her famous husband, Hideaki Anno who was responsible for directing Evangelion. Moyoco Anno previously published Sakuran in English with Vertical.
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? By Fumi Yoshinaga, this title was announced at Otakon, and targeted to be released around March, 2014. This is a 10 volume series that speaks about being homosexual and living in modern Tokyo with foodie experiences being mention.

otakon sat (43 of 53)

So after all the Vertical announcements were over and with time remaining. Ed jumped right into educating audience of this panel to the professional side of what it takes as a publisher to license and release manga in America.

There are several steps that includes Research & Development, Budgeting, Bidding, Contracting, Production, and Scheduling.

Research & Development involves a lot of reading. Ed mentions how lucky it is for non Japanese fans to get the best of the best when there is a lot of mediocrity in the manga market. He stresses that Vertical is very accessible to fans over on Tumblr. But he does mention that Vertical would listen to media companies more. Many of their titles like Flowers of Evil, From the New World and Gundam the Origins has anime adaptations and reaches a wider audience, so if there was other interests in it, then they would listen to the bigger group.

Budgeting involves seeing how much money would the publisher have. This also ties into Bidding and Contracting. Scheduling is the agreed upon time, so a publisher must print in a proposed time or they lose out. This happens to many American companies who are no longer in the manga business. The concept for Out of Stock is different from Out of Print. Japanese companies operate on a different scale than American companies. They require all money up front, before American publishers localizes any title. Also apparently there is the current standard for publishing and pricing digital books. It is definitely more cheaper for consumers to purchase digital, but behind the scenes it takes three times the price for publishers to produce such digital copies. It does sound like a strange concept, but it can be said that publishers such as Vertical is selling print book to afford emanga.

Nobuo Uematsu’s Pinocchio take in Blink-0 1946

blink01946

Any video gamer familiar with Square Enix RPG games would know Nobuo Uematsu’s credit on being the composer of Final Fantasy music. This summer of 2013 however, Blink-0 1946 was released as Uematsu’s first ebook credit. The story takes place in the period after WW2, where German doctor Dr. Mabuse successfully created artificial intelligence in a robot named Blink-0.

Similar to Pinocchio’s story, Blink-0 lives with a dream of becoming a human. There is a morality lesson to be learned in this tale. Not to spoil too much of this story, there are two ways to experience this product. One is to purchase the book to read on the iPad, or another is purchase the three specific track that is composed especially to tie into Blink-0 1946′s story. 

The three songs are “Blink-0 1946″, “Ah But Why?” and “So Close.” Upon my first time of listening to these pieces I was reminded greatly by Vocaloid music with its digital voices, but it can also be compared to MIDI music. So a reader reads the story and embedded within the pages are the songs itself.

I don’t have to say much about who the writer and composer Nobuo Uematsu happens to be, but for the illustrator of Blink-0, this is Hiroki Ogawa who works as a director under Uematsu’s founded music label for Dog Ear Records. The story is short, but for fans of Nobu Uematsu, this is a good book to experience.

(This Ebook was received as a review copy)