Tag Archives: Anime News Network

Vertical Licenses Princess Knight, Drops of God and No Longer Human Manga

So Deb Aoki, the manga guide for About.com, accidentally let slip tonight that Vertical Inc. licensed Kami no Shizuku (Drops of God) on Twitter after recording a session of ANNCast. Unfortunately she deleted the tweet after realizing the official announcement hadn’t been made yet. Fortunately this spurred Zac Bertschy, Anime News Network’s executive editor, to post the announcement sooner, sending manga fans all over Twitter into a joyous frenzy when they realized Princess Knight was also picked up.

 

And now we can expect the first volumes of Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight, Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimito’s Kami no Shizuku and Usumaru Furuya’s No Longer Human to be on shelves this fall.

Twitter is delirious with joy and mentions of the now-infamous Princess Knight Guy from the live ANNCast at Anime Expo 2010.

I was lucky enough to win a bid for the first two Kodansha bilingual editions of Princess Knight last year off of eBay. Despite the fact that the purchase set me back $50, I felt it was well worth my money. No doubt I’ll be dropping more cash for the Vertical edition later this year.

Commence squeeing now.

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Causing the Death of an Industry

A few days ago, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) creator Yana Toboso posted a statement on her blog saying if people continued to watch anime illegally, “we creators and voice actors will not eat; this is no joke, we will starve and die. This is not ‘lol.'”  Update: Someone posted a great translation of her full blog post here.

When this bit of news broke on Anime News Network, many people on the ANN forums (not surprisingly) decried the author and declared they would no longer read her works in any capacity, or at least not buy any of her works or merchandise. One poster said, “Sorry, but after I watch it online and like it I may go and buy it depending on price and language. Sorry if you don’t get to eat right away, but i promise you will get your money in the end”

What a nice promise, right? But what if fans don’t carry out those promises? It’s happened before millions of times. I’ve even done it with some of my favorite series, just stopped buying them because I decided to focus on reading other series. It happens. But what happens when the alternative is not buying at all? When instead all your money goes to other things so you can’t buy anything to entertain you? I’m sure in this economy, a lot of fans will take entertainment that’s free so they can pay for their rent, something which Toboso might be able to relate to.

But does that make it right? Doesn’t Toboso have the right to eat? What about her editors? What about the people who print the  magazines and the books she makes? They work so hard to bring the manga to the fans, don’t they deserve the money to be made off of Black Butler‘s success? And that’s just the people in Japan, what about the people in other countries who work to bring the series (and others) to fans in a language they can understand?

What happens when fans can no longer justify having manga publishers in the US? (Don’t be overly-optimistic here, we all know that many manga companies stand on shaky ground at the moment and enough pushing in the wrong direction could send them underground.) What will happen when anime and manga goes back to the same obscurity in the US it had before 1997?

The people who work in the industry outside of Japan will lose their jobs. The people who run the myriad of anime conventions will likely lose their jobs as well. Sure, they can go and get jobs at other companies, in other industries, but will that pay their bills? Who knows?

And if the same happens in Japan, will Toboso really starve on the streets? Probably not, but she certainly won’t be creating manga. She’ll be burnt out and will start looking for another career where her work is appreciated. What good is it to have fans when they won’t help you sustain yourself?

Here’s what fans really need to think about, the worst case scenario: the point where enough fans have made enough justifications to not buy anime and manga that we start ruining the industry  in Japan.

First, the publishers will start downsizing. You’ll see fewer magazines being published (this is already happening, actually) which will mean fewer pages and less manga, less anime being created. It won’t be anything you care about, at first. It’ll keep going until the only magazines that are left are the ones publishing Naruto, Bleach, Vampire Knight, only those super-popular manga that do ridiculously well no matter what. And maybe some little kids’ stuff will be left over. Mostly because little kids understand that stealing has bad consequences for them.

By then thousands of people will have been laid off. Mangaka everywhere will be out of work as will their editors, the printers, the animators. On the other hand, Comiket will probably quadruple in size and places like Mandarake will see untold amount of success as they will be replacing their merchandising shelves with self-published doujinshi. In the U.S., Viz will be the only English-language manga-concentrated publisher still afloat.

The end will come when all the scanlators run out of 1970’s shojo manga to post. Fans will realize that they’ve cannibalized themselves, but it will be too late. Everyone who once worked in the industry will have moved on. Their libraries of manga and anime sitting in the corners of their homes, waiting to be re-read or re-watched when these people want to remember the times when they had a really awesome job. They won’t want to come back and re-form the industry because they’ll be too hurt that no one else loved it enough. After all, why would they want to be used and betrayed like that again? Why would they want to sacrifice their respect like that again?

The time to start changing the way you think about how right scanlations are is now or else this worst-case scenario won’t be that far off. This is a bad economy, and while I’m sure you’re hurting, that means the creators and other industry folks are hurting too. Now would be the best time to tell them, “yes, I like your work and I will purchase what I’ve read online.” If you don’t like what you’ve read online, find something you’d like enough to buy.  Now is the time to put away your lame excuses and start protecting what you love so that creators, publishers and others don’t have to take the steps towards an anime and manga holocaust. You don’t want to have to ask yourself what the industry will kill off first.

If you’re interested in finding legitimate ways to purchase or consume manga for little to no cost, please check out this post.

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Anime Expo 2010: Day One

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.

HIGHLIGHTS:
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!

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Osaka Considering Regulation of Female-Oriented Manga

When I first saw Anime News Network’s clip on how Osaka is reviewing josei and boys’ love manga and other related materials for content that objectifies youth under the age of 18, I didn’t really notice it. After all, Tokyo’s been considering something similar so I figured Osaka just jumped on the bandwagon.

…Until I read Anime Vice’s post on the same subject when I realized something —Osaka is ONLY going after stuff targeted at women.

…WHAT THE HELL, OSAKA?

Imagine a world where josei did not exist for exploring female sexuality.

Now, I can understand the importance of regulating material that objectifies minors as well as the next person, whether it be shojo, josei or hentai. That’s not what I have a problem with. My problem is the fact that the Osaka Prefectural Government is ONLY going after materials that women read and NOTHING that’s marketed at guys. (Oh yes! There is a history of them ONLY going after female-oriented material!)

Excuse me, dudes, I do not think that is fair. I won’t say that the fairer sex isn’t past questionable Harlequin romances and even more questionable yaoi cliches, but I do think that dudes are a little more into objectifying minors than women are. Or, at least, most men do it with a little more frequency than most women do. If I am wrong, then I guess I’m going to hell for over-generalizing and will have to forever apologize to every guy who’s ever masturbated.

Moritheil of Anime Diet reminded me of Japan’s not-so-secretive sexism, how politicians don’t think realistically and how concerned Japan is with being able to sell anime and manga overseas, but I still have to say SHAME ON OSAKA.

I am so royally pissed at Osaka for not going after guy-oriented manga too. I know there HAS to be SOME ecchi, harem, moe-blob or hentai manga being sold in Osaka that’s objectifying minors!! Don’t tell me it doesn’t exist!

I SO wish I lived in Osaka so I could give the prefectural government there a little piece of my mind, but I am stuck with meaningless fan rage. I sincerely hope that Osaka’s government either includes scrutiny of male-oriented manga and related materials in their study or drops it all together in the sake of total free speech.

Ladies and Gents, what are you thoughts about this focus on regulating ONLY female-oriented manga?

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