Anime Expo 2009
by Zac Bertschy,
Representatives: Michael Chang, Candace Uyloan
The Viz panel began with a packed and enthusiastic audience; Michael Chang launched the panel with news from the Shonen Jump division of the company.
The first announcement was the One Piece manga's new accelerated schedule, with 5 volumes coming out every month beginning in January 2010; volumes 24-53 will be released this way. Also mentioned was the manga's new website, onepiece.viz.com, which will have free manga pages available and motion comics.
The next few volumes of Naruto and Bleach manga were announced, with volume 46 of Naruto streeting next week, and volume 47 following on October 10. Bleach volume 28 will see release on September 9th, with the 29th volume out on December 1.
A handful of new manga release dates were announced; the first was Waq Waq, with volume 1 hitting shelves on August 4th, TegamiBachi volume 1 on September 9th, Yu-Go-Oh! R on October 6th, and the first volume of the Rosario + Vampire Season II manga streeting on April 6th, 2010.
The panel then moved on to Shonen Jump anime announcements. First up was the second Bleach movie, titled Diamond Dust Rebellion, which hits DVD on September 9th and premieres at the new Viz Cinema in San Francisco on August 19 and 20. Chang also announced a new contest for a pair of guitars signed by Bleach creator Tite Kubo.
Following Bleach, Death Note Relight 2, which retells the second half of the Death Note series through the eyes of Mello and Near, will release on DVD October 27. The third live-action Death Note film, L Change the World, will be in stores August 18th. Meanwhile, The final box set for shonen action series Hunter x Hunter will hit on December 1st.
Chang then shifted to Naruto; the first volume of the Naruto Shippuden TV series will be out September 29th, and it'll be the only way to see the show dubbed. The first Naruto Shippuden movie will also hit on November 1st. Also upcoming is Kakashi Chronicles, a short animated series following Kakashi's backstory. It'll be available on Viz's website August 6th.
The mic was then handed over to Candace Uyloan, who focused on Shojo Beat and Viz Signature titles. Uyloan discussed some recent releases, and then announced the first Nana anime box set for release on September 8th; it'll include the first 11 episodes plus a special half-length episode. Also in the pipeline is the first Honey & Clover box, which has the first 13 episodes of that series, on September 22nd.
Uyloan moved on to new manga series, beginning with a slew of announcements; here's the master list:
Boys over Flowers Jewelry Box: 10-13-2009
Beast Master vol.1: 11-3-2009
The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross artbook: 11-17-2009
Butterflies, Flowers vol. 1: 12-1-2009
Natsume's Book of Friends vol. 1: 1-5-2010
Crown of Love vol. 1: 2-2-2010
Cactus's Secret vol. 1: 3-2-2010
Stepping on Roses vol. 1: 4-6-2010
Flower in a Storm vol. 1: 5-4-2010
Moving on from Shojo Beat, Viz Signature titles were up next. The only brand new title announced was Biomega, the new manga from Blame! creator Tsutomi Nihei; it's set to street on February 9th, 2010. The panel wrapped up with a trailer for the Sigikki.com online manga series Children of the Sea, and a very short Q&A session.
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