A big, long day at NYCC, where food and relaxation took a backseat to lots and lots of panels.
Started off with Bandai, where I ended up behind one of those fanboys you hear about but it's always surprising to see. "K-on," he muttered to himself. "Come on, K-on. Give us our moe blobs." I swear that's an exact quote. Now I like K-On as well - I was wearing a K-On shirt yesterday, in fact - but come on, Bandai's license of it was a foregone conclusion. What did surprise me was that, after years and years of frustration, Bandai is finally releasing the first Gundam TV series with a Japanese audio track and subtitles. The Suzumiya movie should also be out this spring. Sadly, the rest of the panel fell prey to fanboy mindset for the Q&A, with the crowd asking about other titles they wanted. Guys, if they didn't announce it? They don't have anything to say. These guys don't forget to announce things.
Funimation had the right idea, as they had a slide noting that they will not accept questions like that. Bravo! I don't think they had anything new to announce, but nice trailers for Kaleido Star, Summer Wars, and Eden of the East.
After this was lunch! Yay for food!
Then time for Yen Press. Not a lot of new stuff here, though I was pleased to see that they are going to work with Japan to get the last With the Light stuff the author did before she died and wrap it up with a Volume 8. It's very important to them as it was their first series. They're also doing a new James Patterson adaptation, with art by Svetlana Chmakova, whose Nightschool just finished up. As with Dark Horse, they'd hoped to have more to say, but they're still working on contracts. They did also note that for the digital market, they have the rights to chapters online but not necessarily volumes online. Digital marketing has made the whole licensing process more complicated.
I stayed for Del Rey's SF panel, and was glad I did, as they were giving out advance proofs of Ben Aaronovitch's new urban fantasy novel, Midnight Riot. As a big fan of Ben's work on Doctor Who (he wrote Remembrance of the Daleks in 1988, still possibly the best 7th Doctor story), I was very happy. The panel started with a few manga questions, as the panelists seemed to be unsure if the Kodansha move had been announced. Once that was out of the way, they gave a nice long slideshow showing Del Rey and Spectra's releases for the fall and winter, including new doorstoppers from Connie Willis and Kim Stanley Robinson. They also mocked George RR Martin, which is always fun.
Time for Vertical, who I knew would have two actual manga announcements. Saved for the end, of course. Ed and Yani were in rare form, with Yani in particular noting certain manga grotesqueries he was sure that fans would love. The news here was the announcement of Ningen Konchuuki, which they are releasing as The Book of Human Insects. It ran in Akita Shoten's Play Comic (home of Metro Survive and Ogenki Clinic) in 1970, and is apparently quite striking, in the best Tezuka at Vertical tradition. It will combine the 2 Japanese volumes into 1 hardcover. The other announcement was another Usamaru Furuya title, his newest. It's an adaptation of the novel Ningen Shikkaku, aka No Longer Human, by the legendary Osamu Dazai, and was running in Shinchosha's Comic Bunch. That magazine just folded, but they're apparently starting a new one, and it will finish up in there. It should be 3 volumes long. I've been a Furuya fan since Short Cuts, and know how twisted he can get, so definitely look forward to this.
Got popcorn and a coke to hold the body together, then went to the yaoi and yuri panel, which was excellent, and discussed what gays and lesbians can get out of series that are (in the case of yaoi especially) written by straight women for straight women. Yuri has a broader spectrum than yaoi, mostly as it's not nearly as popular, but still features next to no 'lesbians' in it. Some wonderful discussion all round.
The day ended with another great panel run by Erin Finnegan, and covering unusual manga genres. Lots of weird sports stuff, weird yakuza stuff, weird doctoral stuff, and just plain bizarre. It could easily have gone on for another hour and no one would have complained.
By then I was exhausted and starved, so I grabbed some fast food and went back to the hotel room to watch the Yankees make the Twins their bitch. Again. It gave me a wonderful happy feeling as I went to bed. :) Today there's no Kodansha USA panel, so I think I will browse the show floor, perhaps buy a Hetalia DVD, go to the culinary manga panel at 1-ish, and then the con will end and I can wend my merry way home. Look forward to seeing everyone there one more time!