This weekend, over 21,000 fans came out to New York City's Jacob K. Javits Center to take in the fun, fashion, music, anime and manga at the 3rd annual New York Anime Festival. From the official show blog MediumAtLarge.net, show manager Lance Fensterman noted that this was a 16% increase in attendance from the 2008 show, a promising sign in a tight economy.
While fewer manga publishers had a presence on the exhibit floor than in past years' shows, several companies hosted industry panels to showcase their new manga and anime acquisitions for 2010. I'll be posting more detailed descriptions of the panels and the graphic novels later this week, but thought I'd share the "short list" of notable announcements that you'll be hearing lots more about in the coming year.
Probably the biggest buzz of the show was generated by Vertical's announcements of four new manga titles for 2010.
Chi's Sweet Home by Kanata Konami - June 2010 br>
A kitten is separated from her family, and gets adopted by a young couple and their son. The trouble is, they live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow pets. Chi's Sweet Home is already a fan favorite thanks to the anime (currently featured on Crunchyroll.com), so this announcement made many fans super-duper happy.
Peepo Choo by Felipe Smith - July 2010
American expat Smith made the move to Tokyo to live the manga artists' dream: to create a series for a top weekly manga magazine. Now his adventure/drama/comedy series of wacky culture clashes will be reaching readers in the U.S. next summer.
Twin Spica by Kou Yaginuma - Spring / Summer 2010
A young girl dreams of becoming an astronaut -- but turning her dreams into a reality may prove to be a difficult journey.
Needle by Nobuaki Tadano - Spring / Summer 2010
A high school loner shuts off the rest of the world by wearing headphones -- but after surviving a seemingly lethal accident, she starts hearing voices talking to her from her headphones.
Online Marketing Manager Lex Schebule and Director of Marketing Candice Uyloan had lots to share with fans on the anime, manga and books fronts -- but here's the most buzz-worthy bits:
InuYasha: The Final Act - US / Japan simulcast begins October 3, 2010
Fans who were eagerly awaiting the final season of the InuYasha anime series will now be able to watch each new episode at almost the same time as Japanese fans. See each episode online for free at http://www.shonensunday.com/anime
Gente by Natsume Ono - July 2010
"Take home a handsome Italian waiter" -- or at least the follow-up volume to Ristorante Paradiso, the manga /anime that makes older Italian men in aprons... well, kinda sexy.
Library Wars: Love and War by Hiro Arikawa and Kiiro Yumi - June 2010
Banned books is serious business in the world of Library Wars, as a fearless squad defends libraries against the threat of censorship.
Grand Guiginol Orchestra (Ningyou Kyuutei Gakudan) by Kaori Yuki - October 2010
From the creator of Godchild comes her latest supernatural horror series that mixes haunted puppets and supernatural sirens with her signature Gothic flair.
- Nice to Meet You, Kami-sama (Kamisama Hajimemashita) by Julietta Suzuki - November 2010
From the creator of Karakuri Odette comes a story about a girl who becomes homeless after her ne'er do well Dad leaves her saddled with debt. But she's saved from being homeless when she gets invited to live at a shrine with a guy who appears to be a fox god.
Kirby! - September 2010
The happy-go-lucky pink bouncing blob of video game fame is the latest addition to the VIZ Kids imprint of manga you can give to your younger siblings without blushing.
DEL REY MANGA
Besides handing out Moyasimon surgical masks at their booth, Marketing director Ali Kokmen, editor Trisha Narwani, licensing director Mutsumi Miyazaki, and publicist April Flores were on hand to showcase these new titles:
Arisa by Natsumi Ando - November 2010
A more 'serious' shojo manga series from the artist of Kitchen Princess, Arisa is about twin sisters who were separated during their childhood, and are reunited when they are teens. When they decide to switch schools to see how the other lives, one sister, Arisa tries to kill herself after receiving a mysterious letter.
Yokai Navi Runa by Michiyo Kikuta - May 2010
From the creator of Mamotte! Lollipop comes a story about an orphan girl who discovers that she has supernatural powers that might be tied to her keepsake amulet.
Here I Am by Ema Toyama - Fall 2010
A new series from the creator of Pixie Pop, Here I Am is described as a "very sweet, realistic" story about a shy girl falling in love for the first time.
Rave Master by Hiro Mashima - September 2010
After TokyoPop announced that they lost the license to Rave Master, many wondered if Del Rey would pick up the rights to publish the last three volumes in the series since Del Rey is already publishing Mashima-sensei's current series, Fairy Tail. We now know that the answer is yes, and it'll be a special omnibus edition of the last three volumes.
TokyoPop had a few technical difficulties as they attempted what no other publisher has done before: doing a live webcast from their NYAF panel presentation. But glitches were sorted out, packets of ramen were handed out and the show went on. Marketing Manager Kasia Piekarz and Senior Editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl shared the news about these new titles:
Ratman by Sekihiko Inui - May 2010
A uniquely Japanese spin on superhero comics and romantic comedies from the creator of Comic Party and Murder Princess. The formula should sound familiar: a boy who loves superhero comics gets powered up thanks to some strange medical experiments -- can he save the girl of his dreams, or will he be thwarted by some not-terribly discreet villains?
Songs and Laughter by Natsuki Takaya - May 2010
Short stories from early in the career of Fruits Basket's creator.
Fruits Basket: Banquet by Natsuki Takaya - May 2010
The first Fruits Basket fanbook, Fruits Basket: Cat was only part of the story. This new Fruits Basket fanbook covers events and twists from Volumes 15 - 23, including info about the dramatic end of this beloved shojo series.
Qwasar of Stigmata by Satou Kenetsu, Yoshino Hiroyuki - August 2010
My notes are a little vague here -- but what I do remember is that this series has "lots of boobs"
- .hack//Link by CyberConnect2 and Megane Kikya - August 2010
Yet another installment in the ever-popular .hack series -- but this time it's "super cute!"
- Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, Christian De Metter - January 2010
TokyoPop announced three movie tie-in graphic novels -- this one will be a full-color one-shot adapting the upcoming movie directed by Martin Scorcese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Cabin in the Woods, based on the film directed by Joss Whedon - February 2010
The second movie-adaptation graphic novel is based on the upcoming horror film by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
- Priest: Purgatory by Cory Goodman, Min-Woo Hyung - July 2010
The third movie adaptation is a new graphic novel one-shot to tie into the upcoming release of the Priest movie starring Paul Bettany.
These 22 new titles are just a sampling of what was featured at New York Anime Festival. Stick around, I'll be posting more thorough synopses of the panels, and maybe some photos of this weekend's fun too.
Image credit: © Kanami Konata, © Felipe Smith, © Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise 2009, © Natsumi Ando, © Ema Toyama, © Sekihiko Inui, © Satou Kenetsu, Yoshino Hiroyuki, © Dennis Lehane, Christian De Metter