Anime Expo 2012
by Carlo Santos,
Candice Uyloan of Viz Media led a panel outlining the company's recent and upcoming releases. The presentation began with a trailer of anime series that are currently available through Hulu Plus or the VizAnime.com website. Next was a rundown of Viz Media products that fans can look forward it.
New and upcoming anime disc releases include:
- Naruto Shippūden Uncut DVD Set 11, (July 2012)
- Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors DVD Sets 1 & 2 (currently available) and Set 3 (August 2012)
- the Pokemon: Black and White! movies (as a single DVD set), which feature parallel stories but different endings
- InuYasha: The Final Act Set 1 in both DVD and Blu-Ray (November 2012)
New and upcoming manga and books include:
- Mameshiba: We Could be Heroes! original graphic novel (July 3, 2012)
- Mameshiba: How to Be the Best Friend Ever! activity book (August 7, 2012)
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind premium "box set" featuring Hayao Miyazaki's complete manga (November 6, 2012). This deluxe hardcover edition also includes a full color fold-out poster.
- Loveless Vol. 9 (September 11, 2012). As part of the license rescue from Tokyopop, Loveless 2-in-1 editions of the previous volumes will also be released starting in October.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 13 (November 2, 2012), simultaneously with the Japanese release
Several manga series are also debuting their first volume, including:
- Strobe Edge Vol. 1 by Io Sakisaka (November 6, 2012), a romance that will appeal to fans of series like Boys Over Flowers
- Demon Love Spell Vol. 1 by Mayu Shinjo (December 4, 2012). This fantasy series shows a different side of Shinjo compared to her previous works like Sensual Phrase and Ai Ore.
- Jiu Jiu Vol. 1 by Touya Tobina (July 3, 2012), a fantasy romance were puppies transform into handsome young men. As part of a Jiu Jiu promotion, Viz is also holding a "pets in cosplay" contest with a chance to win a $250 petco.com gift card.
In addition to print releases, there are also many manga titles available digitally on VizManga.com and through their iPhone/iPad app. Several series that have just debuted their first volume include: Fall in love like a comic!, Sand Chronicles, Zombie Powder, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.
In addition new digital volumes have recently been released for:
- HunterxHunter Vol. 10
- Hikaru no Go Vol. 9
- Stepping on Roses 6
- Full Moon Vol. 7
- Kekkaishi Vol. 28
- Black Bird Vol. 14
- A Devil & Her Love Song Vol. 3
- The Earl and the Fairy Vol. 2
- Dawn of the Arcana Vol. 3
- Shaman King Vol. 5
Upcoming digital releases include:
Much to the excitement of the audience, a digital manga app for Android was also announced, although there is no fixed date for its release yet.
Next up was a rundown of Shonen Jump Alpha offerings. The current Shonen Jump Alpha weekly digital magazine runs several series including: Bleach , Naruto, One Piece, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Toriko, and Barrage. In addition, a chapter of Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration also comes out every month.
A trailer for the new Naruto Shippūden: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations was also shown at the panel. This highly anticipated 3-D fighting game will feature characters from the entire history of the Naruto saga, hence the "generations" title.
Shonen Jump Alpha will also be debuting Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal in the weekly magazine starting on July 9th.
Finally, Viz's newest project Neon Alley was introduced, a 24-hour channel that fans can view on their TV through a major video game console. All shows will be dubbed in English and uncut, with exclusive weekly premieres and shown in HD when available. In addition, the Neon Alley lineup is also not limited strictly to Viz-licensed titles, and various animated shorts, OVAs, music videos, making-of features and even live action martial arts movies will also appear on the channel.
While there are already places to view subtitled series online, Neon Alley is geared toward dub fans, as well as to help others explore and discover new titles. The service will be available for $6.99 per month. The panel ended with a video trailer offered a preview of select titles that will be available on the service, including Zetman, Tiger and Bunny, and the new Berserk: the Golden Age movie.
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