SDCC: Kodansha Announces Tony Moore Variant for "Attack on Titan"

Kodansha Comics, the publisher of the best-selling manga "Attack on Titan," shared an advance look at two special editions of the next two volumes at its panel on Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The big reveal of the panel was the variant cover for volume 16 of "Attack on Titan," which will feature art by Tony Moore, the artist for the first six issues of "The Walking Dead" as well as "Fear Agent" and "Deadpool." The "Attack on Titan 16 Special Edition with Playing Cards" will have a dust jacket with the variant cover art and, as the title indicates, will come packaged with a special deck of playing cards, each of which features a different piece of full-color art from the series. The special edition will come out on August 26, the same day as the regular manga, and will be priced at $19.99.

Volume 17, which is due out on December 1, will also include an extra: A DVD of an anime based on "Ilse's Notebook," a side story that appeared in the manga. This anime, which was made by the same producers and voice actors that did the television anime, will only be available in English in this special edition package. The story features the first appearance of Captain Levi, one of the most popular characters in the series.

Kodansha's associate director of publishing services Ben Applegate spoke about two "Attack on Titan" books that will be available soon. "The Science of Attack on Titan" is written by a Japanese author, Rikao Yanagita, who has written a number of analyses of fictional worlds. "He actually crunches the numbers," Applegate said. "It turns out if you shoot the maneuvering gear [that the characters use to fly through the air] and activate it while you are standing still, it is going to rip you apart. That running jump makes all the difference." Yanagita also speculates that the Titans get their energy from photosynthesis. "One of my favorite pictures n the book is of the Survey Corps discovering a bunch of Titans sunbathing," Applegate said.

Also coming up is the second volume of "Attack on Titan: Colossal Edition," which will be out on September 3. At nearly 1,000 pages, "This is a massive, massive book," Applegate said. The book, which is larger than normal manga at 7" x 10.5", includes volumes 6-10, a gallery of sketches by creator Hajime Isayama, and the eight-page Marvel crossover, "Attack on Avengers."

Kodansha also had one new manga license to announce: "Paradise Residence," by Kousuke Fujishima, the creator of "Oh My Goddess." The manga depicts life in a women's dorm at a boarding school, through the eyes of one rather clumsy girl, Hatsune Takanashi.

Applegate also highlighted three new titles that were announced at Anime Expo last weekend. The first was "Princess Jellyfish," which Applegate said was "easily the most requested title on social media that we have had in the last several years." In the book, a group of girls who live in "a dorm for nerdy women" in Tokyo must overcome their social awkwardness and band together to prevent a developer from tearing their building down and replacing it with a high-rise. The manga will be available digitally on Crunchyroll starting next week, and Kodansha will publish the book in print in two-in-one format volumes beginning in February. "We only have the license to the first 12 Japanese volumes, because that is the first story arc of the manga," Applegate said. "Then, we will have to go back and look at the sales numbers on whether we will continue it."

Applegate described "Magatsuki" as "a cute romantic comedy fanservice manga." The story centers on a teenage boy who lives in a shrine; just as he is about to confess his love to a childhood friend, he breaks a sacred mirror and is cursed to be followed around by the goddess of misfortune -- and if he gets too far from her, he will die. "The goddess of course manifests as a cute teenage girl, because this is manga," Applegate said. "This leads to some hilarious situations."

The third manga announced at Anime Expo was "Real Account," a sort of social-media twist on trapped-in-the-game stories such as "Sword Art Online." "This has a really simple premise," Applegate said. "If you reach zero followers, you die." Real Account is a Twitter-like social media service, and one day some of the users wake up in a virtual world where their life depends on having followers -- and if they die, their followers die as well. "Status updates, likes and shares are all power," he said. "This is like a survival-game type manga with a really interesting social media twist on it."

In addition, Kodansha announced that "Noragami: Stray God" would be released on a monthly schedule in the fall, and also that the anime of "Parasyte" will be coming to Toonami, with the debut tentatively scheduled for October.

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