Viz Media, the company that brought such popular manga to the United States as “Bleach” and “Naruto” arrived at Comic-Con International in San Diego with news on what’s in store in the coming year for the popular manga anthology “Shonen Jump.” Legendary American comic creator Stan “The Man” Lee was scheduled to appear to promote his “Ultimo” which appears in the pages of “Shonen Jump” but was feeling ill and could not attend.
A survey was passed out to the every member of the crowd before the panel began. The survey will be used to assess how fans feel about the many changes coming to “Shonen Jump” in the near future. These surveys were also used throughout the program to give away prizes to the excited fans as a way of thanking them for their support of the magazine and its endeavors.
The panel began with a chant of sorts lead by the people from Viz, “I love manga. I love anime. I Love ‘Shonen Jump’.” Was shouted at the top of their lungs by the capacity crowd.
The panel began with the discussion of a new introductory offer to get people on the “Shonen Jump” wagon. All new subscribers can now get the magazine for six months at the low price of ten dollars.
Editor in Chief Christopher Boily said that the company has been “trying to evolve the magazine.” He encouraged the fans to inform him of their likes, dislikes and desires, going as far as to offer out his personal email, Christopher@viz.com to all who would like to contact him about the magazine. Some of the changes that Boily discussed were improved character profiles, ‘Previously in’ pages and a brand new layout for the table of contents. Look for major changes in the December’s seventh issue.
As far the actual manga content of “Shonen Jump,” fans should keep their eyes open for “Bakuman” from the creator of the acclaimed manga series “Death Note,” Tsugumi Ohaba. “Bakuman” follows two young manga creators as they attempt to break into the manga business. In “Death Note” news, the Black Editions which contain two volumes in one will be on sale in January.
“Genkaku Picasso” will be among the upcoming offerings as well. It is the tale of a young boy who is in a freak airplane accident. He then finds out that the only way to prevent himself from rotting to death is to use his art to help people.
Hiroyuki Takei’s “Shaman King” will be returning with more stories about the shaman tournament that will decide the fate of the world. “Shaman King” is a New York Times best-selling manga and the applause in the room proved why. Takei’s other work in “Shonen Jump” is “Ultimo,” based on a concept by Stan Lee. “Ultimo” Volume Two was released just in time for Comic-Con with Volume Three following in December. Takei actually came to the panel as a surprise replacement for Stan Lee and said to the excited fans through the help of a translator, “The most interesting thing about volume two is it won’t get interesting until volume three.” Takei promised great things though from volume three forward.
On the anime end of things “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” is now streaming simultaneously with its airings in Japan. The story follows a part-human, part-yokai boy destined to be the next yokai commander.
“Naruto” fans have a lot to be excited for this year with a video game and a new art book coming out. The art book will be released November 3, while the “Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2” video game comes to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii on October 12. The game features online modes and the ability to play as Lars from “Tekken 6.” According to Urian Brown, a member of the “Shonen Jump” editorial staff, “This game transcends the anime-video game barrier.”