Sakura-Con 2012
Viz Media

by Bamboo Dong,

Panelists: Urian Brown, Candice Uyloan, Misaki Kido

Viz Media showed a series of trailers with some of their current and upcoming properties, starting with the Voltron Force comic book. Continuing the Voltron story, the first graphic novel was released this month, and is written by Brian Mith with art by Jacob Chabot. In manga news, Viz will be releasing the first eight volumes of Yun Kouga's Loveless in “2-in-1” omnibus editions, with the first volume hitting shelves in October 2012. Each volume will retail for $14.99, and will include the bonus comics seen in the Japanese editions, along with artist commentary and interviews.

Viz will also be releasing 07-Ghost, from creators Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara. Volume one will be available in Fall 2012. The property was previously held in North America by Go! Comi, but Viz will be re-releasing the series from the beginning. In October, Viz will also be releasing a Manga Box set of Bisco Hatori's popular Ouran High School Host Club. Retailing for $139.99, the 18-volume box set will also come with an exclusive memo pad featuring character art.

Transitioning to their anime properties, the panelists showed a trailer of Zetman, a 12-episode adaptation of Masakazu Katsura's manga that is currently simulcasting on Viz Anime and Hulu. Viz also has the simulcast rights for Accel World, which is based on the light novel of the same name by Reki Kawahara. Animated by Sunrise, the series is slated to run for 24 episodes and is also available on Viz Anime and Hulu.

Viz also announced that they have picked up the rights for the new Naruto spinoff, Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals. The series will be available on Viz Anime and Hulu, although the simulcast is already available on Crunchyroll. No news regarding the manga has been announced as of yet.

The panelists also ran through some of their upcoming anime DVD releases, including more volumes of Bleach, Naruto: Shippuden, and the Pokemon movies Black and White. Viz will also be releasing Inu Yasha: The Final Act this fall on both Blu-ray and DVD; no street date has been announced yet.

For their special announcement, Viz will be releasing the Berserk movie trilogy, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, with the first movie being released this fall. Animated by Studio 4°C, the trilogy is the theatrical adaptation of Kentaro Miura's Berserk manga. Although the manga is still ongoing, there is an anime TV adaptation that was licensed and released in North America by Media Blasters in 2002.

Manga fans who'd prefer to read their favorite titles digitally can check out a slew of new digital manga titles including the first three volumes of Hikaru no Go, the first two volumes of Psyren, and the first volumes of The Earl and the Fairy, Ultimo, Stepping on Roses, Kimi ni Todoke, Full Moon wo Sagashite, The Gentlemen's Alliance†, and A Devil and Her Love Song. Fans looking for shonen titles fresh from Japan can also check out Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, an anthology that is released two weeks after the corresponding Japanese publication date. The anthology includes ongoing chapters of Bakuman., Bleach, Naruto, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, One Piece, and Toriko.

The panelists finished up their presentation by talking about some of their other offerings, including their manga reading app and the latest Naruto video game by Namco Bandai, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, available for Xbox 360 and PS3.

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