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Anime Expo 2003

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Representatives: Jake Forbes, Mark Paniccia, Jason Alnas and Jonathan Chen

Seven new manga licenses were announced: Mahoromatic, B'tX, Get Backers, PitaTen, Psychic Academy, A.I. Love You (by Akamatsu Ken of Love Hina fame) and Fruits Basket. In addition, the original 1968 Cyborg 009 manga has been officially confirmed as having been acquired, with release expected sometime in September. Several other titles have also been acquired but cannot be officially announced at this time. However, it was mentioned that titles by CLAMP are included amongst these. The only release dates given for the new titles acquired are February 2004 for “A.I. Love You” and Q1/2004 for Fruits Basket.

The “Rising Stars of Manga” competition has concluded. The winning works are: Michael Vega's “Emmalyne's Mansion”, Hans Tseng's “The Little Match Girl” and “Devil's Candy”, by Priscilla Hamby and Clint Buckham.” The second “Rising Stars of Manga” contest is currently accepting submissions; the submission period is set to end on 09/01, and additional information on rules and format is available at www.tokyopop.com.

As per their mission statement of “expanding…beyond just manga and manhwa,” TOKYOPOP has also licensed three manga-style comics produced by American artists. These are Ahmed Hoke's “At Large”, described as “the first hip-hop manga ever,” Terrence Walker's “World of Hartz”, and “Shutterbox”, by Studio Tavicat (Rosearik Rikki Simons and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons). Previous Tavicat works have been published by Antarctic Comics, Oni Comics, and Slave Labor Graphics, as well as TOKYOPOP. Shutterbox is set to be released starting August; the other two titles will street on 10/07/2003.

TOKYOPOP has been involved in magazine-format publishing in the past, with Tokyopop Magazine and the monthly shoujo anthology Smile. According to studio representatives, this past is “something [TOKYOPOP is] definitely considering revisiting.”

As far as TOKYOPOP's anime licenses are concerned, the DVD release of Intial D will commence on 09/16. Episodes of Rave Master (Groove Adventure Rave) will begin airing on Cartoon Network sometime in 2004, with DVD release expected around the same time. Finally, although the Initial D movie will be shown at the upcoming Big Apple Anime Fest, no theatrical release is currently being considered.

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