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Anime Next 2006

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Presenter: Josh Poole

The Tokyopop panel was largely a repeat of their presentations at Anime Central and Anime Expo, which themselves drew heavily on the announcements first made at the New York Comic-Con. The panel commenced with Josh introducing the manga-based novels Tokyopop is currently working on: .hack//Another Birth, Gundam Seed: Country of Peace, Gravitation, Devil May Cry and Love Hina. After .hack//AI buster was criticized for continuity errors with the original TV series, Tokyopop hired several fans to serve as continuity editors. In addition to the four novels already confirmed for the Pop Fiction imprint, Tokyopop will be publishing the original Trinity Blood novel, although no release date has been announced as of yet. A number of "classic" Japanese novels are currently being considered for publication. The Pop Fiction label will not be limited to works that were originally published in Japanese.

The original Labyrinth graphic novel, Return to Labyrinth, will be first presented at San Diego Comic-Con. This will be set several years after the events of the 1986 movie. The Dark Crystal manga, which is a prequel to the film, is currently slated for publication in the first quarter of 2007.

In addition to the release of Shōnan Junai-gumi, Tokyopop is planning on releasing Tohru Fujisawa's other manga, that are not set in the GTO universe, starting with Rose Hip Zero (November 2006). The original GTO manga itself will be re-released as a series of Deluxe Edition books similar to the 400-page volumes of Shōnan Junai-gumi, and the company is currently looking at doing the same with several other longer manga it has published in the past. Other longer-term projects include putting Clover and Sailor Moon back into print, making Tokyopop titles, including those that have gone out of print, available via either digital distribution or print-on-demand, and exploring the possibility of producing animated projects based on some of Tokyopop's OEL/global manga. The Tokyopop website will also be redesigned and re-launched in the near future. The new version of the site will include extensive interactive and user-generated content, and the company is currently actively looking for content writers and reviewers.

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