VIZ Media Anime Expo 2018 Panel Report
It’s time for the VIZ media Anime Expo 2018 panel, which is always one of my favorite panels at Anime Expo! The panel starts with a few technical difficulties, and a joke about Star Trek and phasers. We get the host introduction, Urian Brown, the Shonen Jump editor, and David Brothers, an editor at VIZ. The VIZ staff is always very enthusiastic and Urian tells us he’s a cape collector (shown as the one in the image with the cape on), while David tells us he’s the best dressed editor at VIZ because he doesn’t own any capes. The VIZ staff take an Instagram selfie with the entire audience to share, and promote their social media presence. VIZ has a bit of a different tactic, and it actually involves a giveaway! Urian asks everyone to take selfies at Anime Expo and post them using the hash tag #vizmegaselfie. Doing this will make you eligible to win prizes from the VIZ booth. From there, Urian throws us right in to a trailer for the Sailor Moon theatrical events which are going to be presented through Fathom Events, the Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Super S movies, coming to a theater near you, through Fathom Events.
It seems it is the summer of Sailor Moon this year! Both S and Super are showing in theaters in July and August, July 28th and 30th for S and August 4th and 6th for Super. Fans who attend the show will get a free poster. On the topic of free stuff, Urian tell’s us that those who complete the VIZ media scavenger hunt here at AX, will get a special VIZ media ribbon. Its a nice ribbon the kind you would give a horse at a 4H contest.
Next its on to merchandise, first up is a Sailor Moon Super S collectors edition, that comes with a super special all-metal coin, the Blu-Ray’s and some posters. Sailor Moon Super Set 2 is also coming out this fall. What an exciting time for those who collect physical Sailor Moon media. On this Saturday, July 7th, VIZ is celebrating all things Sailor Moon with a 10am official panel in Hall B and a 4pm Autograph session. If your not at Anime Expo tough luck, hope you can get your merchandise before its all sold out!
Next up we get a look at K7 Stories, a new series of 6 feature films that explore the back story of your favorite kings form the K series. the first one is premiering at AX, Go Nakanishi the producer of the show, will be there to start the premier, as well as answer some questions. The six-episode theatrical anime project will open in Japan starting in July 2018
- Episode 1 R:B ~Blaze~ opens on July 7
- Episode 2 SIDE:BLUE ~Tenrō no Gotoku (Like Sirius) opens on August 4
- Episode 3 SIDE:GREEN ~Uwagaki Sekai~ (The Overwritten World) opens on September 1
- Episode 4 Lost Small World ~Ori no Mukō ni (To the Other Side of the Cage) opens on October 6
- Episode 5 Memory of Red ~BURN~ opens on November 3
- Episode 6 Circle Vision ~Nameless Song~ opens on December 1
Next up is one of the trademarks of the VIZ panel a prize break. This one is for Sailor Moon trivia, and the prize is that you get a ticket to one of VIZ’es many autograph session, involving Sailor Moon. The questions are silly Urian doesn’t really care what your answers are, and I adore the fun of all of it.
Next up is the Shoen Jump part of the panel:
The VIZ both will be selling all sorts of great stuff from Shonen Jump, including the My Hero Academia: Vigilantes manga. This is the story of several of the heroes who didn’t make the cut, and as a result they do some vigilante work, its a nice wider look at the My Hero Academia world. VIZ is also running a special deal: if you buy three My Hero Academia manga, you get a free pin. David also tells us that the My Hero Academia creator is coming to ComiCon this year. VIZ’es booth at Anime Expo is also giving out posters and fans, because everyone loves some free stuff.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is next, and VIZ so loves the series that they even has an escape room set up here at AX themed after it at realescapegame.com. It looks like a fun experience. The booth has a fantastic set from JoJo’s thats for sale, its got a special art book, and two posters, and a bunch of art cards. Its a really nice art book over 100 pages, with a lot of original art. There is also an exclusive JoJo’s figure of Jotaro on offer for pre-order during Anime Expo. Next we hear about the JoJo’s panel tomorrow at 3pm on Friday and that panel will also have the US premier for season 4 of the show. I wont be at that panel, but if you like JoJo’s this is the panel for you, so make sure you check out a stream of it, on the VIZ website.
Shonen Jump finally has an app, where every week you can read all of the manga that you like, including Boruto, My Hero Academia, and Dragon Ball Super. If you want to buy Shonen Jump, you can subscribe for 20$ a month, or 30$ a month, both of the subscriptions come with some freebies, including rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and other freebies. You can find more details on these offers over here.
Now its time for special guests. For a Q and A run by VIZ media, the first question is to Gray Haddock about RWBY which has just metaphorically blown the hell up, its an anime created by an America team that has widespread popularity in Japan, and manga created by actual mangaka. Its a pretty backwards thing (at least according to our guest). RWBY isn’t technically anime, but it is an animated show , and its creator talks a lot about how he doesn’t care what its categorized as, he only cares about the fact that its a good show that people enjoy it. There is a lot of talking about the RWBY manga, which I reviewed its a pretty good manga but it really is a bit of a trip for those of us that aren’t sure if RWBY is even anime at all. Rooster Teeth has their own panel tomorrow at 5:30, where they will talk about whats coming down the line, all sorts of RWBY stuff, and even a new show called Gemlock, that has Michael B. Jordan doing voice work for it. Everyone who is in the panel will get a RWBY poster.
Next up is a product showcase from VIZ. First Dragon Quest Illustrations the 30th anniversary addition is now available from VIZ media. Its chock-full of Akira Toriyama (yes, THAT Toriyama) art for the Dragon Quest Series. Its huge, hard cover, and very expensive.
There are also two Nier: Automata novels coming out in October 2018 and Spring 2019, the first is a novelization of the game, the second is a set of brand-new short stories, both have the blessing of Yoko Taro. This is really a special treat for Nier fans because it’s a very rare event that Yoko gives his blessing to any media.
Next up is “Check it Out”, a section where VIZ tells about upcoming projects. First up is The World Next Door, a narrative adventure action puzzle game, where you get follow June, who is transported to a fantastical world full of magic creatures, we also get to see a world-premier trailer. Personally, I am very interested in this game. The World Next Door mostly looks like a combat game with some puzzlers. I’ve written about this game before and I can say, that despite not having played it, it looks all right.
Remember how I said that VIZ Media got Season 2 of one punch man? Well VIZ is also collaborating with Grand Summoners, and Good Smile, to bring One Punch Man to Grand Summoners. You can play as Saitima, Genos, Bros, and all the great characters from One Punch Man in this gachapon game.
Joey the Anime Man appears and comes up on stage, I have no idea who this is but he must be someone, because he comes up and grabs a microphone to tell us how good the Dead Dead Demons De Dededede Destruction manga is. Its a manga about aliens that come to Tokyo, and some girls that fight the aliens. Anime man loves the mangaka who made this manga, and its a pretty good manga, I have read it. Its got cute girls, and its got aliens, and its just really good manga. I recommend going to read it if you can!
Now available from VIZ media is Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, which is super freaking good, I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s a fantastic manga. Please go read it. She’s a demon murder machine, and her mission is to sleep, and no silly demon is going to stop her.
Also coming from VIZ is Megalo Box, its a show about people who box using exo-skeletons. This manga is really good, and it has an anime out this season. Go check it out. It’s post-apocalyptic, it’s gritty, its fun, and its really a great show, if you like punching and exo-skeletons.
Thats it for this year from VIZ, quite a lot of announcements, and a decent amount of content and of course as always that VIZ brand of humor.