The last day of NYCC is usually the quietest, and this year was no exception, as I only had one industry panel to cover. This is not to say that it was without interest, however. I got to see Masakazu Ishiguro and Masahiro Ohno at the JManga booth, and asked a question that was totally irrelevant to the panel they were at on Friday: what the heck happened to Geobreeders? For those unaware, despite dying fast in America, the manga had continued till 2010 or so, but has been on hiatus since then. it turns out that the author, Akihiro Ito, has had health issues. Indeed, he apparently can no longer use his right hand. The hiatus is because he is teaching himself to draw left-handed so he can finish the manga. I was impressed.
I then waited in a long line for the Viz Media panel. I expected this to be about 75% anime, and I was correct. But that doesn’t mean it was entirely without interest. They showed a clip from the new Inu Yasha anime, and I was reminded once again that when she’s on her game, Takahashi is simply better than everyone else at showing ‘I yell at you because I love’. Kagome and Inu Yasha are adorable. There were also some Naruto clips, both for a new game and a new movie. They were talking about Neon alley, the new Playstation Network that has now gone live with lots of new anime shows (and not just Viz Anime either – they have Funimation’s One Piece, for example).
On the manga front, they mentioned the new titles that have just started on Shonen Jump Alpha, and once again indicated others were coming soon (I expect Assassination Classroom fans will be happy to hear that). They talked about the Barrage GNs coming out, as well as the new Rurouni Kenshin series. They’re also doing 3-in-1 releases for both Dragon Ball and D.Gray-Man (I may pick up the latter, as I never read it when it first came out). Inoue fans will be ecstatic at hearing they licensed Pepita: Takehiko Inoue Meets Antonio Gaudi, an artbook that was inspired by a recent trip to Spain. There were also three other licenses of note: Sunny, a new Taiyo Matsumoto series that runs in Shogakukan’s Ikki (see, folks? SIGIkki refuses to die!), which is apparently about an Orphanage. Fans of Tekkon Kinkreet will not be unhappy at all. There was also a Tiger & Bunny manga announced. Fans of the series may know there are several manga spinoffs of it in various titles; the one licensed seems to be a Kadokawa property, and runs in Newtype A. Viz will also be releasing a doujinshi anthology (clean, of course) with various artists contributing work.
Viz also has two new VizKids series, done with North American artists. Monsuno is running on Nicktoons, and Viz is adapting it. And Ugly Doll Comics has a lot of different artists, including James Kochalka. Both sound like they should be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, as with the SJA panel, there was no audience Q&A, but I got to say ‘Excel Saga’ at the panelists again as they left, which I’m sure was met with bemusement.
After that I attended the Moyoco Anno signing, where she was professional and nice (and remembered me from the question I asked at her panel!). Then I went home, as I was so tired I decided against sticking around for the last late panel.
NYCC was a lot of fun this year, and I enjoyed hanging out with Melinda, Bridget, and the other manga bloggers. Given the sheer size of the event, I think the showrunners did a pretty good job, and there were no line issues or security gooning that I personally noticed. There were some choices I found questionable – Sir Terry Pratchett deserved better than the open-air stage he got, and was barely audible – but I will put those down to last-minute scheduling snafus. For the most part NYCC continues to be a professional, well-run con. I look forward to next year.