Toon Zone at Otakon: Where's Bandai? Viz?
This year at Otakon, anime industry heavyweights VIZ Media and Bandai did not make an appearance.
No official reason was given for the Bandai’s absence, but longtime company spokesman Jerry Chu recently left the company. VIZ Media did not attend due to a conflict with previously scheduled events.
Needless to say, hundreds of convention-goers that had come to Otakon to inundate VIZ with questions about the upcoming release of Naruto on Cartoon Network, Naruto merchandising, and other Naruto-related questions were left unfulfilled.
Oddly enough, in June of 2005, VIZ awarded Bandai a master licencing agreement for Naruto games for Sony-based consoles and Naruto CCGs. (Insert random conspiracy theory here.)
Alas, Naruto fans will have to wait until later to see just what VIZ, Cartoon Network, and anyone else involved in the US release are planning.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that VIZ Media did not offer an explanation for its absence from Otakon. A VIZ spokesperson says that VIZ did not attend due to a scheduling conflict, and that the company was never scheduled for any Industry Panels at this year’s event.