Viz Media usually holds their industry panels in the lazy Sunday morning block of conventions, and NYAF 2009 was no exception. At the con to talk about Viz's new licenses were Candice Uyloan and Lex Scheuble (pictures not available due to some trouble with my camera), who went over all of the facets of Viz's anime, manga, and novel lines.
New licenses were of course the big talk of the panel, so here's what Viz has got going for them in the anime and manga spheres:
- Inu Yasha: The Final Act (simulcast on ShonenSunday.com/Anime): October 3, 2009
- Monster (premiering on SyFy channel): October 12, 2009
- Rin-ne by Rumiko Takahashi (simultaneous Japan-U.S. GN release): October 20, 2009
- Gente by Natsumi Ono (sequel to Ristorante Paradiso): June 2010
- Library Wars by Kiiro Yumi: June 2010
- Vampire Knight Fan Book: September 2010
- Grand Guignol Orchestra by Kaori Yuki: October 2010
- Nice to Meet You, Kamisama by Julietta Suzuki: November 2010
In terms of the current lineup, Candice and Lex were very happy to mention that Naruto Shippuden will be airing this fall on Disney XD, though they haven't gotten any word on how much (if at all) Disney will be censoring the program for American television audiences. The new 30-volumes-in-6-months release strategy for One Piece also got some mention prompting questions from the audience about the possible expansion of such speedy releases to other triple-A shonen titles such as Bleach or Inu Yasha. According to Scheuble, "We don't know, but we can take that back to our team and see." Pretty much, don't count on it, since Viz's production team is already working very hard to bring two series (Naruto and One Piece) to the U.S. at an accelerated rate.
SigIkki.com, Viz's new website featuring Viz Signature titles from underground seinen magazine IKKI, also received some time at the panel, alongside news that the service will be getting two new titles: Bob and His Funky Crew (Bob to Yukaina Nakamatachi) by Puncho Kondoh and What's the Answer? (Kotae Wa Mittsu) by Tondabayashi.
Last but not least is Viz's relatively young Haikasoru line of translated Japanese novels, to which they added four new titles:
- The Book of Heroes (Eiyū no Sho) by Miyuki Miyabe: January 2010
- Loups-Garous by Natsuhiko Kyogoku: January 2010)
- Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka: March 2010
- The Next Continent by Issui Ogawa: May 2010
[Thanks to the Anime News Network for clarification on some of the news that I missed.]