Anime Expo 2011 Viz Media Industry Panel
by Gia Manry,
Viz Media's panel started significantly late due to previous panels running over, including the Hatsune Miku keynote. Brand manager Candice Uyloan launched the show noting that the convention was granting her significantly less time than she had originally been slotted for due to the late start. While people entered, she ran a small Mameshiba giveaway and issued a request that all iPad owners log on to Viz's manga viewing application. A video followed, spotlighting some of Viz's anime titles available on Hulu: Tiger and Bunny, Naruto: Shippuden, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Bleach, Blue Exorcist, Death Note, InuYasha, Buso Renkin, and Vampire Knight.
Next, Uyloan directed the audience to the viz.com/25years website and began discussing the company's 25th anniversary. Viz is launching a sweepstakes in which a fan will get a free trip to New York City for the premiere of Naruto Shippuden the Movie -Bonds-. They're also giving away an iPad 2.
Moving on to digital publishing, Viz is releasing a number of manga on their iTunes application, including Takehiko Inoue's Smile charity manga project; four volumes are currently available. There is also now a Hamtaro iPhone and iPad application. They are also adding the first volumes of Grand Guignol Orchestra and solanin to the app on July 11. They will cost US$4.99 and $8.99, respectively.
A trailer for the Mameshiba character goods and graphic novel line elicited chuckles from the audience. The Mameshiba On the Loose! full-color graphic novel is officially coming out in a week but is available in some stores now. A Meet Mameshiba! character guide is also now on sale.
Upcoming manga releases include: Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds volume 1 and the first Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 omnibus volumes. Viz will release Matsuri Hino's The Art of Vampire Knight art book in September. The company will also launch a 3-in-1 omnibus series for CLAMP's X manga in October, along with the first volume of the manga Psyren.
Next, Uyloan revealed that the second season of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan— titled Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Demon Capital will begin streaming on Sunday, July 3. The first volume of the manga is now available for free in their iTunes store for an unspecified limited time. Additionally, the fourth volume will be available on the iTunes store a week before the print version hits stores.
Viz will also stream the Blue Dragon anime uncut starting on July 22.
The first volume of Hero: 108 is currently available in stores, and the first episode is available for free on iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand. The first Kekkaishi DVD set is also now on sale. Vampire Knight Guilty volume 3 is set for July 26, and the first live-action Gantz movie is also set for July.
Pokémon Zoroark: Master of Illusions will be released on September 20, ad Naruto Shippuden the Movie -Bonds- on October 25. The Naruto film will be out on DVD, Blu-ray, and download-to-own all on the same day. Uyloan showed a trailer for a new Bleach film, Bleach the Movie -Fade to Black-— which hints at an Ichigo versus Rukia fight — that is coming out in November on DVD and Blu-ray.
And finally, Viz announced that it will release the anime film Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva this fall, with more details to be announced later.
Due to time constraints, Viz Media's panel closed without a question and answer session.
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