New York Anime Festival and ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga
by Mikhail Koulikov,
Viz's presentation at the New York Anime Fest was run by Wendy Shimamura. She began the panel by going over Viz's upcoming manga releases, the titles of which were announced through the second half of last year.
In March, Viz will debut the Viz Big line of manga collections. Each release under this label will bring together three individual volumes for $17.99. Kenshin will be Viz's first series to get the Big treatment, and both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z will follow starting in May. Volume 28 of Naruto, which introduces a cast that is older and somewhat more mature, is listed for a March release. This will feature an eight-page full color spread, and further volumes will come out once every two months.
As Viz first confirmed at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, in February, they are planning to publish the Naruto Official Fan Book, with content submitted by readers of Viz's Shonen Jump magazine, the Death Note: How to Read 13 encyclopedia, and NisiOisin's Death Note: Another Note side story novel.
Manga that are scheduled for the first months of 2008 include Ral Grad, from Death Note artist Takeshi Obata, Gun Blaze West, High School Debut and Sand Chronicles, both of which are currently serialized in their Shoujo Beat magazine. Currently, the magazine has a circulation of 130,000, with half of those readers in the 18-34 age group. Paperback versions of the Kamikaze Girls and Socrates in Love novels are both set for winter release, along with the one-volume manga adaptation of the novel Be With You. Honey & Clover and Monkey High are due out in March, Haruka in April, and I*O*N, B.O.D.Y., Fairy Cube, SWITCH, Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun and Record of a Fallen Vampire through the late spring and summer.
On the Viz Video side of the business, Naruto box sets six through eight will be released on February 2, April 15, and June 10 respectively, while April 29 will see the release of a box set containing the first thirteen episodes of Busou Renkin. The box will be priced at US$49.95, and the DVDs will not be available separately. The second set, containing the remaining thirteen episodes, will follow.
Viz is also continuing to bring their anime to various download services. Later this month, Amazon Unbox will be added to the line-up, while Eyeshield 21 is joining the Viz anime series that are now available on Toonami Jetstream. Since that service debuted last year, it has streamed episodes of Naruto over 27 million times.
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