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Anime Next 2006
Del Rey

by Mikhail Koulikov,
The Del Rey panel was led by Betsy Mitchell and Tricia Narwani and also featured Toshifumi Yoshida and Trish Ledoux, who are now responsible for the translation and adaptation of the Negima manga.

Del Rey's one new manga license announcement is the Kodansha version of Densha Otoko. This is a one-volume shoujo take on the story, with art by Machiko Ocha. Other current or upcoming manga Del Rey is particularly excited about include Pichi Pichi Pitch, Basilisk, Eternal Sabbath, Gundam Seed: Destiny, Q-ko-chan, and Air Gear. Basilisk, Del Rey's first mature-rated manga, will be published shrink-wrapped, at a $13.95 price point. One reason behind the price point will be to make it less accessible to purchasers who do not fall into its intended age rating. At the same time, the trim size of the volumes will be larger than standard (5.5" x 8.25").

In terms of more strategic decisions and the future direction of the company, Del Rey is starting to consider publishing original (non-Japanese) comics. On the other hand, at this point, the company is not interested in exploring online distribution of manga, primarily because most Japanese manga publishers are still not entirely comfortable with the concept. There are also no plans for Del Rey to begin licensing or distributing anime, although the company is always interested in working to cross-promote the anime that are related to its manga licenses.

Del Rey's four most popular titles are Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE (over 715,000 copies sold), Negima, xxxHOLiC, and The Wallflower. Volume 1 of Negima alone sold over 100,000 copies, and Mitchell confirmed that an anime adaptation of Wallflower is currently in production.

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