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Anime Expo 2010: Days 3 & 4

Phew, I’m feeling a little bit better than yesterday, but more importantly, I have more time to write this post than I thought I did! Always a good thing!

Saturday:

Viz’s industry panel started off the morning by telling shonen fans everywhere that Shonen Jump‘s subscription price has dropped to $26.95 and, in case you are a Los Angeles anime fan, Stan Lee is having an Ultimo-only signing at the Grove Barnes & Noble on July 16th. (I think I’ll skip that one.)

New licenses included Mistress Fortune and Sakura Hime Kaden by Arina Tanemura, Oresama Teacher by Izumi Tsubaki and Ai Ore by Mayu Shinju.

Viz also announced the simulcast of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan starting this week on their website. You can already watch the first episode.

The Production I.G. panel was switched from Sunday to Saturday, allowing Production I.G. a better time slot, albeit fewer attendees. They announced the license of Loups=Garous, Broken Blade and (mistakenly announced) that Nozomi Entertainment had the license to the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie.

I attended the live recording of the ANN Cast, which you can listen to here. I didn’t have any good questions to ask, but you can hear me yell at the guy gunning for Princess Knight anime and manga releases that he may have been confusing the popularity of the Tezuka manga with the international fame of Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles. Guy hadn’t even heard of Vertical Inc. and their spectacular Tezuka line-up. What a shame.

Then the day was over, I had bought too much manga, and wound up attending an industry party that was a lot of fun. But I did manage to snap some cute pictures of cosplayers from the first two series I edited: Zone-00 and Sgt Frog! (Here’s another one.) New volumes of both those manga are due out this month, in case you are interested in my work.

Sunday:

Sunday was much more laid back. No big industry panels, still lots of people in the dealer’s hall because it was a weekend and my last round of manga buying. I was rather sad that I left without From Eroica With Love volumes 12 and 13, which I had sworn I’d seen on sale somewhere the day before, but I managed to buy volumes 14 & 15 instead.

It was a fantastic con for me, although I kept hearing whispers of low dealer registration for next year’s con and grumbles from the dealers themselves. I wonder how future Anime Expos are going to turn out if dealers do not want to return, but I hope the SPJA can do something to bring them back before that even happens.

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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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