San Diego Comic-Con 2012 Kodansha Comics panel
by Zac Bertschy,
The Kodansha Comics panel was headed up by Dallas Middaugh, who got right into it with a powerpoint presentation running through recent titles. Sailor Moon was first up (greeted with enthusiastic applause from the audience), which Middaugh mentioned that unequivocally, Sailor Moon is the #1 selling manga in America. The series just had its 20th anniversary celebration in Japan, where a new anime series was announced. To celebrate the anniversary in Japan, collector's edition 20th anniversary editions of the manga with new pages and original anime DVDs will be released, although there are no announced plans by anyone to release any of that in the US. Middaugh took took a few questions from fans about the event; notably, he couldn't answer questions about any re-release of the original Sailor Moon art books or the 20th anniversary manga editions.
The presentation continued with the "second season" of Genshiken, the manga currently in re-release by Kodansha after initially being published by Middaugh's old outfit, Del Rey. The "second season" will begin release on September 4th. Up next was Missions of Love, by Emi Toyama, author of Pixie Pop and I Am Here; to be released in November, this is a popular romantic comedy about a famous 'celphone novelist' who gets entwined with the most popular boy in school. The series had 10,000 Facebook fans before Kodansha decided to release it in the states, a fact central to the series' marketing campaign. Battle Angel Alita: Last Order was introduced, the 16th volume of which will be released by Kodansha in December, with a Spring 2013 release of the original Alita series in Omnibus format. The Omnibus release of Alita will include the original stories the author drew for the Japanese re-release. Next was Danza, a collection of short stories by House of Five Leaves author Natsume Ono, for release in November. Rounding out the presentation were Attack on Titan, the final volumes of Negima! (the last volume, #38, will release in April 2013 along with the Negiho spin-off), Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Fairy Tail, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Miles Edgeworth Investigations (both of which Middaugh mentioned were deadline nightmares due to the number of companies involved in the license), and the company's classic manga rereleases such as Love Hina and Kitchen Princess. The panel finished up with a lengthy Q&A session dominated by questions about the company's translation of Sailor Moon and license suggestions that Middaugh couldn't talk about or answer; several people suggested that the company pick up more abandoned Del Rey titles (which Middaugh said 'was a possibility') and a few quick questions about the company's digital release plans were answered.
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