FanimeCon 2011 Viz Media
by Evan Miller,
Panelists: Candace Yulon, Viz Media Marketing Director
Viz Media's industry panel got off to a late start Sunday following the Q&A panel for Flow, but order was restored quickly and tickets for prize giveaways were passed out. Yulon dedicated her panel to the memory of Tokyopop; she was a member of their staff and said that she "got the job at Viz because of the experience she got at Tokyopop." The heartfelt dedication was met by warm applause from the audience, as was the announcement that Viz is making its first appearance at Fanime in close to ten years.
The first announcement of the panel was for a special "25 Year Anniversary" site celebrating Viz Media's 25 years in business. The site launches June 1 and will include some "special announcements" regarding upcoming projects. In regard to digital content, Yulon discussed the new Hamtaro game on the iPad and iPhone which the company developed. Viz's manga app, also for the iPad and the iPhone, was also presented. The app features 200+ volumes, including Smile, a special manga by Slam Dunk author Inoue Takehiko dedicated to Japan disaster relief efforts. New titles on the app in June include Story of Saiunkoku, Ai Ore!, Dengeki Daisy, and Children of the Sea. Most volumes are priced from $4.99 to $6.99.
The panel then turned to two anime simulcasting on Viz's website, Blue Exorcist and Tiger and Bunny. Viz will also be simulcasting Reborn! beginning on June 1, while the Mar anime will be available from May 31 on Netflix. In terms of DVD anime releases, the first DVD set for Hero 108 will hit stores on June 14, while the first box set for Kekkaishi lands on shelves on June 21.
For printed manga releases, Viz announced that they will be printing a "big" 3 in one 1 edition of the CLAMP classic X, which arrives in October 2011. Another new release coming up is Tesoro by House of Five Leaves author Natsume Ono; the title will be released in November 2011. For Sanrio fans, a manga based on their iconic Cinamoroll character arrives in January 2012. Also in the vein of cute titles, a manga for the Mameshiba characters, based on the online anime of the same name, will be released in November 2011.
The Viz Panel did have one special license announcement. Viz will be releasing a two volume "film comic" series for the Studio Ghibli film The Borrowers. The comics will be released in early 2012, potentially to coincide the anticipated North American release date for the film. No price or cover art has been released yet.
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