Anime NYC 2019, Day Two

Saturday started with a live drawing from TAa, the author of Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family. Denpa’s panel Friday did not have much time to introduce her, so this was very welcome. She loves Fate, and her art is excellent – throughout the panel she drew Saber smiling and holding a rice bowl.

TAa started doing Fate fanart as a hobby, then was asked to do a chapter for an anthology, which is how she got a foot in the door. She was then approached to do the EMiya Family manga as a one-shot, and then when it was successful it got picked up as a series. She did that plus her day job for a year and a half, then this became too much, and now she draws manga full time.

She has assistants now, but did not at first, which shows how much work she was putting into the series. As for Fate itself, she got into the series through Fate/Zero, then bought the FSN game and became totally obsessed with it – this is why she started to draw art. She also loved Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, FSN’s sequel game, though notes it’s very hard to find these days. (One of the Emiya Family chapters with Assassin was almost an adaptation of a scene from Ataraxia.)

Ed Chavez, who was the moderator of the live drawing, talked about how cute and soft the anime was, and also the time and budget that UFOTable put into it. When she first heard about the anime, TAa thought she was being pranked! It was a rapid production from inception to release date – possibly as the company is so familiar with the Fate characters. She also got some new ideas discussing things with the anime staff.

When thinking of a new idea for a chapter, usually the food idea comes first, then she thinks of the characters that best suit that food. She also incorporates a lot of seasons and holidays. Type-Moon has almost no involvement at all – this is all her.

We then got some Q&A. She enjoys Japanese food as her comfort food, says obviously she’d want Shirou to cook for her if she had a choice. She and the editor do eat the meals that are in the manga – a tonkatsu was her favorite, though that chapter is not published yet. She was then asked what her favorite characters are to draw – she loves long-haired characters, particularly Rider.

Someone asked if we might see Bazett, the star of Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, and someone else asked if the mysterious robed figure hanging out with Gilgamesh is Caren rather than Kirie. She hedged on the second, but definitely has Bazett in mind for a future chapter if she can think of a good way to introduce her and incorporate the food. Someone also asked about New York City food in the manga – Shirou buys bagels for everyone?

It was agreed that the flashback episode with Shirou and Kiritsugu was the best of the anime episodes. She tries to keep the series very kind and “happy in life” – since Fate was a big battle game originally, she wanted to see more of the day-to-day life. As such, don’t expect a lot of Zero characters or the Lancer “hot dog” joke from Ataraxia. This series is too nice and sweet for things like that.

This is considered the right time for a series to come out – not because cooking manga are new in popularity – in Japan, they’ve always been popular – but because of the popularity of Fate, which ten years ago was not as high. She was also asked her favorite heroine, and the audience tensed – it’s a dangerous question. She likes them all, but picked Saber.

My next panel was Square Enix, which was doing its first Anime NYC panel. After quite a bit of audio difficulty, we started with a video showing off SE’s most famous properties. Tanya Biswas (formerly with Yen) and Leyla Aker (formerly with Viz) are the people behin things in America, with Masa also on the panel as the Square Enix rep. Masa has been to this con before, notes how fun it always is.

They did a recap of prior licenses, and trailers for two of them. Most of these have been talked about before – A Man and His Cat, Cherry Magic and Soul Eater’s Perfect Edition got the most talk. They also gave away A Man and His Cat merch, including a fantastic plushie. We then got several new announcements.

Ragna Crimson is a dark fantasy title from Gangan Joker. A man sets out to get revenge on the dragons who destroyed his partner. The Apothecary Diaries (Kusuriya no Hitorigoto) is probably the title I was most interested in. A woman working in the palace and trying to keep a low profile is found to have knowledge of herbal medicine, and after saving a royal heir, she’s promoted and ends up involved in palace intrigues. She’s apparently quite eccentric. This runs in Big Gangan.

Beauty and the Feast (Yakumo-san wa Edzuke ga Shitai) is a May-December romance, sort of, as a 28-year-old widow finds herself cooking for her 16-year-old neighbor, and food (and possibly romance, but mostly food) follows. It runs in Young Gangan. The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! (Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!) is a Gangan Joker title about a former demon villainess who’s now in modern Japan and also a cute little girl. Can she get her poweres back? Can her frustration stop being cute? Likely no to both questions.

By the Grace of the Gods (Kamitachi ni Hirowareta Otoko) just had its novel licensed by J-Novel Club. It’s from SE’s MangaUP! app and stars a reincarnated salaryman reincarnated as a boy with magic powers, who discovers that slimes are more valuable than you’d expect. Finally, we get the only novel of the panel, NieR Automata – Yorha Boys. It’s a prequel to the game, and another novel in a series which has already had some novels released by Viz Media.

Next up was Yen Press, who had a ton of new books and also a ton of light novels. The biggest surprise came first – High School DxD, whose manga was licensed in 2014, finally is getting the light novels released. This was a constant request, right up there with Date a Live and Gamers!. I recall not liking the first manga much, but suspecting I’d be more interested in a prose version. Now I get to see if I’m right.

They alternated between manga and novel announcements, so next was Bestia, a Shonen Ace series about a boy who goes to London to discover his past and finds magical beasts and adventure. We then got another surprise LN – High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World, whose manga started coming out in 2018, from the creator of Chivalry of a Failed Knight, also recently licensed.

Lust Geass is a Young Ace title that will play well with fans of ecchi manga, the story of a boy who finds a spell that will cause women’s sexual desires to explode. Restaurant to Another World has already had a manga release digitally via Crunchyroll, but Yen are now going to be releasing it in print. And another light novel, The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy (Seiken Gakuin no Maken Tsukai) which combines demon lords and magical academies – two hot genres in one!

A monster girl harem manga came next, To Save the World, Can You Wake Up the Morning After with a Demi-Human? (Sekai wo Sukuu Tame ni Ajin to Asa-chun Dekimasenka?). It turns out our hero is destined to father the hero who will defeat the demon king… and so everyone wants to sleep with him. (When did Yen Press become Seven Seas?) Another light novel follows, more on the slow life side: Banished from the Heroes’ Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside (Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shimashita), a Kadokawa series whose title is its premise.

Sadako at the End of the World (Shuumatsu no Sadako-san) is a post-apocalyptic Sadako manga, where she finds that those who watched the videotape are delighted to see her, as she’s another human being in this wasteland. It sounds fun, is complete in one volume, and ran in Comic Gene. Another light novel, In the Land of Leadale (Leadale no Daichi nite), about a girl with injuries who ends up in a game world. Judging by the cover, this is also a slow life series.

A yuri manga is next: I Love You So Much I Hate You (Nikurashii hodo Aishiteru). A Kadokawa manga, it’s an office life yuri title with adult concerns and problems. The last novel announced is a one-shot, Three Days of Happiness (Sugaru Miaki), a dark fantasy about a young man who sells his lifespan for cash. It’s apparently quite interesting. Lastly, Yen has licensed the Carole and Tuesday manga, based on the anime, which runs in Young Ace.

Q&A then started, but remembering how excruciating that was last year, I left early.

My last stop was J-Novel Club’s panel, with Sam Pinansky and Aimee Zink introducing a giant pile of new
series. They started with two new print announcements – Sexiled, which has had huge buzz ever since it came out, and My Next Life As a Villainess!, which is also getting an anime next year. (More villainesses are coming later in this panel.)

Kodansha has a new imprint called Legend Novels, and from it JNC licensed five new novels. (No new manga announcements this time, these are all novels.) The Economics of Prophecy: Avoiding Disaster in Another World (Yogen no Keizaigaku) seems to be along the lines of Realist Hero, as a reincarnated economics whiz and a princess with prophetic abilities try to save the world.

Kobold King features a gentle man who was very powerful and respected in his time trying to quietly relax and befriend the local kobolds… who are very mistrusting of his powerful self! Outer Ragna (Game Jikkyō ni yoru Kōryaku to Gyakushū no Isekai Kami Senki) doesn’t have the Japanese protagonist, a livestreamer, enter a game world himself – instead he possessed the female lead! Her Majesty’s Swarm (Joō-heika no Isekai Senryaku) has a girl ending up in a game as an evil queen, and unlike a lot of villainesses in these sorts of books, seems to embrace her evil. Also, spiders warning for this one.

Isekai Rebuilding Project (Isekai Saiken Keikaku) was touted by Sam as the first North American book with “isekai” untranslated in the title. It’s about a Japanese man who is called to “fix” worlds where the isekai’d hero has saved the world and gone home… but left too many cultural issues that can’t be put back inside Pandora’s box. Also, the hero has a friend who is a dragon. Seems to be a slow life title.

A new partner for J-Novel Cliub, Pash! Books, gives us the next few series. Teogonia was described as “what if a Ghibli movie was a light novel?”, and he notes this is pure Japanese fantasy about a booy who awaken old memories and discovers the real rules of the world. The World’s Least Interesting Master Swordsman (Jimi na Kensei wa Soredemo Saikyou desu) sounds like a cross between One-Punch Man and I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years, as a reincarnated boy practices his sword skills for 500 years and is the strongest around… but his techniques are boring!

We’re then told about a new label, J-Novel Heart, that will be publishing shoujo light novels! This has long been requested by fans. (By the way, My Next Life As a Villainess!, which is a shoujo LN in Japan, will switch to this new label in print.) The first book is called Tearmoon Empire, which features a spoiled brat of a noble who ends up getting killed because of her family. She ends up redoing her life, and (despite still being spoiled) tries her hardest to avoid getting killed again.

The Tales of Marielle Clarac (each book will be called “The _______ of Marielle Clarac”) isa romance and mystery book, as the rather plain noble girl tries to figure out why the super perfect man of her dreams wants to marry her – is there an ulterior motive? It’s a good book “for wallflowers”. The Bibliophile Princess (Mushikaburi-Hime) is another book with mystery, conspiracy and intrigue, and (as you might guess) has a book lover as the main character.

I Refuse to Be Your Enemy! (Watashi wa Teki ni Narimasen!) is another in those “my reawakened memories tell me I’m actually a villain who gets killed off” sort of books, only instead of trying to fix things with the various handsome young men this girl tries to flee from everything. That won’t go well. Fukushu wo Chikatta Shironeko wa Ryuuou no Hiza no Ue de Damin wo Musaboru, which has a tentative but unapproved English title of The White Cat’s Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King’s Lap, has the best friend of the heroine abandoned in a forest, then turned into a cat. We follow the friend as she tries to get revenge on the “heroine” who abandoned her.

The final license was the biggest surprise: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Isekai, a doujinshi light novel collaboration between six light novel authors, including those behind Tanya the Evil and Re: Zero. It’s a short story anthology, essentially, that began when the authors asked themselves what they’d do if they were isekai’d. This is licensed directly from the authors – no company involved! It’s also pretty short, so should be available soon.

That was the final announcement, and I then headed out to get dinner and type all this up. Tomorrow we get one big panel, and that’s about it. Surprise me, Kodansha and Vertical!

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