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Anime Expo - TOKYOPOP Panel

By Sakura Eries     July 06, 2008

By Ron Quezon

The TOKYOPOP Anime Expo Industry Panel took place on July 5, 2008 at 10am. Representing TOKYOPOP were Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (Senior Editor), Marco Pavia (Director of Marketing), and Kasia Piekarz (Marketing and Merchandising Manager). Though there was a long line of people coming in, the panel started very close to on time at 10:03am. The panel first went through 30 minutes of TOKYOPOP's release schedule, answered Q&A for 20 minutes, and saved 10 minutes to raffle off some of the goodies they brought along.

Here are some announcement highlights:

  • Tsubasa: Those with Wings by Natsuki Takaya, creator of Fruits Basket. With an
  • April release, this is the second series she created (with Phantom Dream being #1).
  • Three volume series, and planned to release every 4 months.

    Maid Sama! is scheduled for a January release. Lillian and Marco commented this title is very popular in Japan (top 50). The class president/ female social activist is discovered working at a maid café by the school hunk. What else do you have to know?

    Castle of Dreams will be a January release, labeled as stories from the Kare Kano Creator. It will be a single volume anthology of both Castle of Dreams and Where Angels Roam by Masami Tsuda.

    Ghostbusters, scheduled for an October release, is to coincide with the video game. Set in the timeframe of the video game, it is five separate stories by several artists including Yamashita, Johnson, Delk, Lorenzo, Shelfer, Watson, and Steinbach. Delk (AKA Chrissy Delk) was in TOKYOPOP's Rising Stars of Manga.

    The full color graphic novel (7"x10'), Orange, will be coming in February. This story is a bit dark, but the use of water colors is amazing. The author, Benjamin, is a Hong Kong superstar and is very popular in Japan as well. TOKYOPOP will release another of his titles, Remember, in summer of 2009.

    Battlestar Galactica: Echoes of New Caprica comes in March. Lillian commented that they are in close contact with the writers and some of the stories they are using are ones that could not fit into the regular show.

    Here is a full list of titles and release information:

  • August 2008 - Hannah Montana
  • September 2008 - Hannah Montana
  • September 2008 - High School Musical Volume 1, 2
  • October 2008 - Camp Rock
  • October 2008 - Ghostbusters
  • October 2008 - Hannah Montana
  • November 2008 - High School Musical Volume 3
  • Winter 2008 - .hack//G.U. (novel)
  • January 2009 - Castle of Dreams
  • January 2009 - Maid Sama!
  • January 2009 - MomoTama (2 volume retelling of Momotaro with demons and hot guys)
  • January 2009 - The Tarot Café (novel)
  • January 2009 - Togainu no Chi (3 volume adaptation of video game by Nitro+Chiral, by Suguro Chiyamachi)
  • February 2009 - Orange
  • February 2009 - Pixie
  • March 2009 - Battlestar Galactica: Echoes of New Caprica.
  • March 2009 - Luuna
  • March 2009 - NG Life (4 volumes of some friends living in Tokyo have figured out they are reincarnated citizens of Pompeii.)
  • March 2009 - Peacemaker 1: Kurogane, (a five volume set, releasing every 3-4 months)
  • April 2009 - Demon Sacred
  • April 2009 - This Ugly Yet Beautiful World (a three volume series by Gainax)
  • April 2009 - Tsubasa: Those with Wings
  • Summer 2009 - Remember

    Some Q&A highlights-

  • Battlestar Galactica: it was not clear if the stories will be set pre or post New Caprica. It is will be set in season 3 and the stories are being crafted now.
  • Twelve Kingdoms- TOKYOPOP is still revaluating most titles after the split, and they need to work out items with the rights holders. Marco commented Twelve Kingdoms will likely continue.
  • Beck, Samurai Deeper KYO - with Kodonasha setting up shop in the US, Lillian commented that it does not affect current titles. For TOKYOPOP this is business as usual.

    Highlights of the audience on the verge of rioting:

  • 14th Q&A: Person asks to the TOKYOPOP panel to please stop publishing Yaoi. Why? Because he doesn't like it. Lillian had a prompt response that she doesn't like Hentai, and therefore doesn't buy it. Later on he even ended up with a winning ticket during the raffle! The crowd immediately started chanting to give him Yaoi.
  • 8th Q&A: Person asks repeatedly where is the TOKYOPOP London office. Finally, he reveals that TOYOPOP should be publishing ancient Phoenician materials.
  • After the Grand Prize (box of 30-40 various TOKYOPOP titles): The panel makes the near fatal mistake of telling a room full of people to just come up and take whatever is left. Thankfully, they came to their senses as a wave of freebie hungry predators rushed up. The panel returned to the raffle format for the leftovers.
  • The raffle lasted a little after 12 pm, and then TOKYOPOP had to leave the room.
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