AnimeExpo2012: VIZ Media Panel Report
Representing VIZ Media at AX2012 this year was Candice Uyloan and Ryan Brown. VIZ heavily stressed their digital presence, leading off with a promotional video about their content on Hulu that generally celebrated their relationship with Hulu. That Hulu love was a bit unexpected, as VIZ also announced they are launching their own streaming network/service, Neon Alley. Neon Alley will be on an as-yet-unannounced video game console, featuring dub-only content from VIZ and Aniplex and costing only $6.99 a month. Also on the digital front, VIZ announced they will finally add an Android app for accessing their digital manga storefront. In general, every division of VIZ made a huge point of noting their online presence, whether that was the Shojo Beat Facebook edited and maintained by the same people who worked on the long-defunct Shojo Beat magazine, or the massive amount of attention they devoted to Shonen Jump Alpha as e-publication and website.
Speaking of which, Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal coming to Shonen Jump Alpha was only one of many announcements made at their panel. Their digital publishing announcement for catalog titles was so numerous that your best bet would be checking their website, though this is everything I could catch: Fall in Love Like a Comic, Sand Chronicles, Zombie Powder, Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal, Hunter x Hunter, Stepping On Roses, Full Moon O Sagashite, Kekkaishi, Blackbird, A Devil and Her Love Song, Earl and Her Fairy, Dawn of Arcana, Kimi No Todoke, Vampire Knight, Bakuman, Bleach, Rosario + Vampire, Siren and Dengeki Daisy were all getting new digital volumes and/or were new to digital release as a whole.
On the physical release side, there were some serious gems. InuYasha: Final Act gets a home video release in November on Blu-ray, and Naruto: Shippuden and Pokemon: Diamond And Pearl also will get additional volumes soon. On the manga side, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind will be getting a premium hard cover boxset with a mini poster in November. Neon Genesis Evangelion will see it’s 13th manga volume release simultaneously with Japanese release. VIZ is also rescuing Loveless, which was dropped when TokyoPop imploded. VIZ will be releasing double length reissues of the first 8 volumes while finally releasing volumes 9 and 10, and the color pages will be intact for the first time. Also on deck are Strobe Edge, Demon Love Spell and Jiu Jiu. Jiu Jiu is also getting a pet cosplay contest tie in with Petco, which is fitting since it’s about a girl with pets that turn into handsome guys. Wrapping up the publishing side, VIZ Kids noted two releases tied to Mameshiba specifically a comic book and activity book.
All in all, VIZ’s panel was so packed they didn’t even have time for Q&A at that end, so it was definitely a great showing for them.