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Otakon 2012: Viz Media Panel Report

Viz Media’s industry panel was hosted by Eric Eberhardt, Marketing Manager for Weekly Shonen Jmp Alpha and ShonenJump.com writer Urian Brown. The pair began by promoting Viz’s upcoming 24-hour, subscription-based channel Neon Alley, which will include weekly premieres of dubbed and uncut anime. In mid-July, the channel’s platform was confirmed to be the Playstation 3 console via Sony’s Playstation Network. Titles confirmed for dubbed premieres on the channel include Naruto Shippuden, Tiger & Bunny, Zetman, Buso Renkin, Inuyasha – The Final Act, Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne-, Blue Exorcist, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, and the movies Bleach the Movie: Fade to Black and Berserk: The Gold Age Arc I – The Egg of the King. Other anime confirmed for the network include the first Naruto series, Naruto Shippuden The Movie, Vampire Knight, Death Note, Kekkaishi and Nana.

After promoting Neon Alley, the panel turned its attention to print publishing. Two new Mameshiba children’s books, We Could Be Heroes and How to be the Best Friend Ever, were and will be released on 7/3/12 and 8/7/12 respectively. After mentioning them the panelists singled out Viz’s upcoming new box set release for Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga, which predates the 1984 animated film and goes beyond where it ended. The complete manga will be collected in two volumes featuring new cover designs and eight full-color pages, and the box itself will also contain a full-color, fold-out poster. The set will be released on 11/6/12 for $60 MSRP.

Viz also promoted the July 3rd release of Jiu Jiu by Touya Tobino, and upcoming releases for Loveless by Yun Kouga, which had been formally printed by Tokyopop.  Volume 9 streets on 9/11/12 while Viz’s first two-in-one book collection arrives on 10/12/12. Next Viz highlighted the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto; volume 13 arrives on 11/2/12 while the a three-in-one collection compiling the first three volumes comes out on 11/13/12. Also coming out on Nov. 13th is Street Fighter x Sanrio: World View and a tie-in sticker book, which crosses over characters from the fighting game franchise with Hello Kitty and other characters owned by Sanrio.

On the digital publishing front, Viz promoted an upcoming “end of Summer sale” on its mobile app, where all volumes will be on sale for 20% off from August 1st through the 20th. Recent and new digital releases include Hunter X Hunter volume 12, volume 10 for Toriko and Hikaru no Go, Kimi ni Todoke volume 1, and volume 8 for Stepping On Roses, Yu-Gi-Oh GX and Blue Exorcist. Bakuman volume 13, Ouran High School Host Club volume 15, Tegami Bachi volume 10, Hikaru no Go volume 12, and volumes 44 and 45 of Bleach will be available on on 8/7/12.

Finally, Viz discussed its weekly digital magazine Shonen Jump Alpha and plugged the latest additions: Takama-Ga-Hara and Blue Exorcist. Nothing that Blue Exorcist runs monthly in the shonen magazine Jump Square, The panelists emphasized the company’s ability to draw on titles from assorted manga magazines in Japan as well as the fact that money and feedback do make their way back to the original creators. Subscribers to Shonen Jump Alpha get 48 issues for $25.99.

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