Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Anime Expo has announced that it will host the Black Lagoon manga creator Rei Hiroe and the world premiere of the first episode in the Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail anime during the July 1-4 event in Los Angeles.
Hiroe created the original manga about a typical Japanese businessman who gets caught up in the escapades of modern-day pirate mercenaries off the shores of Asia. The manga has sold over 4.5 million in copies in Japan, and Viz Media is slated to publish the ninth volume in North America in July. Hiroe's other works include Hisuikyō Kitan, Shook Up!, and Phantom Bullet.
The Black Lagoon manga inspired two television anime series and the upcoming Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail video series from Japan's Geneon Universal Entertainment. The first episode of Roberta's Blood Trail's will premiere on July 1 at Anime Expo — over two weeks before its Japanese release date of July 17.
Geneon Entertainment released part of the Black Lagoon anime in North America, but Funimation has since agreed to take over distribution of the first two television anime series. Funimation has reissued the first anime television series and shipped the entire Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage series on DVD.