Anime Expo: Digital to Bring Tezuka to North America, More Moyoco Anno for Vertical

Yesterday was a busy day at Anime Expo, with three manga and four anime panels, and some big news about the Godfather of Manga, Osamu Tezuka.

Digital’s Tezuka Grab: The big news for manga readers came at the Digital Manga panel: Digital has signed a deal with Tezuka Productions to publish all of Osamu Tezuka’s manga digitally worldwide. That includes new licenses and digital editions of manga that have already been published in print by other publishers. Digital has published several Tezuka manga, including “Unico,” “Barbara,” and “Atomcat” in print editions funded by Kickstarter campaigns, and they held out the possibility that if the Tezuka digital editions do well they could go to print as well. (The image of Tezuka and his characters is from the Japanese art magazine “Geijutsu Shincho”; I found it here.) In other Digital news, Yaoi-Con will take place in San Francisco in autumn 2014, and the eManga website is now accepting submissions from individual artists for digital publication on the site.

Moyoco and Hideaki Anno’s “Insufficient Direction”

Vertical: Marketing Director Ed Chavez had one new title to announce: “Insufficient Direction,” an autobiographical humor manga by Moyoco Anno (creator of “Flowers and Bees” and “Sugar Sugar Rune”) and her husband, “Neon Genesis Evangelion” director Hideaki Anno, about their life together. Chavez also gave the audience an insider’s look at how manga licensing works.

Shonen Jump: At the “Shonen Jump” panel, the editors of the U.S. and Japanese editions of “Shonen Jump,” Andy Nakatani and Hisashi Sasaki, respectively, together with SJ staffer Urian Brown, gave a rundown of the history of the magazine, from the 1980s to the present, in both countries. There were no new license announcements, but Viz staff did announce that their English-language “Shonen Jump” will now also be available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa for iOS devices, with Android coming sometime in the future. Also, Viz is offering a discount on “Shonen Jump” subscriptions, cutting the price to $19.99 for one year, through July 14.

Anime: Funimation announced several new licenses: The romantic film “Hal,” the 3D film “Cyborg 009: Re-Cyborg,” a “Hyperdimension Neptunia” simulcast, and a DVD/BluRay release of “One Piece Strong World.”

NIS America announced three new North American anime licenses: A “Brave 10” collection, the feature-length film “Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home,” and “Genshiken: Second Season.”

Aniplex will stream the dubbed version of “Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic” on Viz’s Neon Alley; the subtitled version was simulcast on Crunchyroll as it aired. They also announced they will release “Fate/Zero” on DVD and Blu-Ray with an English dub.

Sentai has signed with Tatsunoko Productions to release some of their older anime; they wouldn’t mention specific titles other than “Casshern,” but they hinted that there could be quite a few titles. Panelists also promoted their upcoming release of Makoto Shinkai’s “The Garden of Words.

Check back throughout the weekend for more news from Anime Expo!