Whoooo! Anime Expo time! Anime Expo is my home con, the one I’ve been going to through thick or through thin since I started going to cons, so I’m pretty used to the landscape. Although it just seems to me that the dealer’s room just gets bigger and bigger each year…
I was only at the con a short time today due to a night class I’m taking and needing to do important things this morning, but here are my highlights of the day.
Bandai Industry Panel- The big news here is that Bandai Entertainment has licensed K-On!, the anime about a musical group of adorable high school girls. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Bandai is also forming a group of voice actresses/singers to make up the “After School Tea Time” band in the show, much like they did with the ASOS Brigade for their release of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Yeah.
Attendees were also treated to clips of The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan and Nyoro~n Churuya-san, trailers of Bandai’s various Gundam anime and other anime. We also got to hear Christina Vee sing two songs. I’ve personally never heard her sing before, but I figured she must have been sick or something because I wasn’t impressed.
DMP Industry Panel- I was only expecting to go for half of the DMP panel because of my class, but I decided to stay all the way through and it was worth it! They announced a slew of new licenses and gave us some new insight into Emanga.com, their supposed crowdsourcing manga project and a collaboration with Viz.
Their new licenses include: Gochisosama by CJ Michalski, Boku no Shiru Anata no Hanashi by Tsuta Suzuki, Sabaku no Oujisama by Shushushu Sakurai, Houou Gakuen Misoragumi by Aki Arata, Border and Kusatta Kyo Shino Houteishiki by Kazuma Kodaka, Demon City Shinjuku by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Coundown 7 Days and Replica by Kemuri Karakara
Emanga.com has increased it’s rental times from three days to seven, bringing in gift cards (if you’ve got some yaoi-loving friends… what a perfect gift!), adding at least 30 new titles and including ten titles that will be in both Korean and Chinese! How cool! -Edit: I forgot to include (being rather tired last night) that Nao Yazawa, the creator of Wedding Peach, is creating an exclusive manga for Emanga.com called Mizuki. There is also another manga in the early development stages called Moon & Blood. You can catch Yazawa on her Twitter. She speaks English very very well.-
DMP also announced that they’ll be distributing limited edition Naruto animation cels. But wait, you say, isn’t Naruto animated digitally? Doesn’t Viz own the U.S. rights to Naruto? Like I said earlier, Viz (and Studio Pierrot) are allowing DMP to sell these hand-painted cels. They’re extremely limited in quality so if you are a rabid Naruto fan who MUST have these, catch the DMP booth at Anime Expo or the Viz booth at San Diego Comic-Con.
During the panel, Gia Manry of Anime News Network asked whether the representatives present could elaborate more on a project that would utilize scanlators to crowdsource the manga translation process and add 1000+ manga online legally. Michelle Mauk explained that the project was a massive undertaking, which was still in the planning stages, and that the concept had been mistaken by many bloggers and news sites. Mauk said that DMP was currently talking with their translators and other staff in order to see what could be done. It seems to me much like Stu Levy’s comments on a December 2009 TOKYOPOP Insider webcast stating that he would work with scanlators, an idea that was quickly forgotten about and tossed out the window.
-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visits Anime Expo- DMP’s head of sales caught this image of Villaraigosa entering the exhibit hall (DMP’s booth is right at the front.) I wasn’t there at the time, but I certainly don’t envy anyone who was. Villaraigosa has a sort of sordid past and, well, the dealer’s room was already crowded enough without him and all the entourage/paparazzi/gawkers making it worse. Many who saw the mayor or pictures of him at the con wondered if the SPJA charged him admission and if he used tax-payer money to get in.
-If you looking for good deals on manga, there’s plenty of dealers that are selling manga for $5, including DMP and the newly-formed Manga Factory. I personally liberated quite a few CMX manga and some old Deux and Aurora titles before they disappeared from the racks completely. I also managed to find volume 1 of TOKYOPOP’s Beck manga, a license that was lost to Kodansha.
-I also saw this hilarious Hetalia shirt, which will give me the opportunity to share some excellent personal news with you. After contributing to TOKYOPOP’s upcoming release of Axis Powers: Hetalia, I have been declared the editor of the next volume! In the office that usually means I’ll be editor in perpetuity of the title until I’m no longer working for TP or the series is over. -EDIT: I AM A DUMB BUTT. There was a misunderstanding and I’m not the official editor of Hetalia, I am just working on PART of the editorial process again. DURHUR. I am little bit sad that I’m not the editor, but I know Cindy Suzuki will do an excellent job. Sorry for being a dork and bragging about it left and right! The next sentence is still valid however.- I am personally excited because I just *LOVE* Hetalia. I can’t wait to work on it again!