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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
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Stance from Kodansha on ebooks

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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