Ah, Day 3, the day when I realized that I am simply not equipped to be able to sit on a floor waiting for a panel for 5-6 hours per day. By the end of the day I was reduced to begging for a chair from staff (who were very helpful). Fortunately, I only had two panels for the day (apologies to Azuki, who I wanted to see, but I know Kodansha would be a huge line because of the Attack on Titan teaser, and also to Inside the Manga Industry, because somehow Yen managed to get scheduled against ITSELF), so there was not quite as much waiting, but I admit I am rather bone weary today.
That said, I suspect fans who came to the Kodansha panel just for the Attack on Titan stuff came away a little disappointed, as most of it was just normal manga announcements. They pointed out the manga gallery on display at Anime NYC, which looked quite impressive as I walked quickly by it. (Look, Attack on Titan and I are exes and we don’t get along, OK?) They’re also encouraging people to tweet about the series with the #thanksattackontitan tag, which I’m sure will be SAFE AND FUN. And there were two other announcements: The Best of Attack on Titan in Color, which has an assortment of the best chapters in the series… well, in color. And also a box set for Part 1 of “The Final Season”.
The rest of the panel was blissfully Attack on Titan free. We got the December digital debuts, which makes me the that types up Manga the Week of posts very happy. My Master Has No Tail (Uchi no Shishou wa Shippo ga nai) runs in good! Afternoon, and is basically a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of a manga, containing not only tanuki but also rakugo masters! Shaman King: & a Garden is a spinoff series focusing on the women in the series, and it runs in shoujo magazine Nakayoshi. My Darling the Company President (Darling wa Shachou-kun) is a 6-volume josei series from Ane Friend, where an office lady finds the new company president is a boy that she used to tutor, but now… He Is All Grown Up. And Her Majesty’s Swarm (Joou Heika no Isekai Senryaku) is the manga adaptation of the novels J-NC have been doing, and runs in Suiyoubi no Sirius.
They then had a bunch of print announcements for the Fall of 2022. Which makes sense given how hard it’s been to get things printed these days. Wistoria: Wand & Sword is a new series by the writer of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, running in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. Boy has no magic powers, but he does have a cool sword. Go Go Loser Ranger (Sentai Daishikkaku) is the newest series from Quintessential Quintuplets creator Negi Haruba, a Weekly Shonen Magazine series parodying the stock tropes of sentai shows, and starring a villain who is tired of being the “Villain of the week” sort. Run Away with Me, Girl (Kakeochi Girl) is a josei yuri series that ran in Hane Kiss. Two girls who dated in high school haven’t seen each other in ten years. Will things rekindle when they meet each other?
Shonen Note: Boy Soprano is from Morning Two, and is by the creator of Our Dreams at Dusk, which means it automatically should go to the top of everyone’s list. It actually came out before that series in Japan, though. The story of a boy with a lovely soprano voice, and what happens when puberty starts to change that. As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World (Tensei Kizoku Kantei Sukiru de Nariagaru – Jakushou Ryouchi o Uketsuidanode, Yuushuuna Jinzai o Fuyashite Itara, Saikyou Ryouchi ni Natteta) is a Magazine Pocket series about… aw hell, you know what it’s about. Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Close to You (Ochikadzuki ni Naritai Miyazen-san) is a cute romcom from… Gangan Joker? Story there, I bet. In any case, delinquent boy, proper girl, love blooms.
Avant-Garde Yumeko is a one-volume series from Shuzo Oshimi, acclaimed creator of Flowers of Evil, Blood on the Tracks, etc. This one… doesn’t have quite the same feel. Yumeko is a girl obsessed with the male organ, and she has decided that art class is the best way to see it. This is only one volume, and… gotta say “Oshimi raunchy sex comedy” is not really what I was expecting, but hey. I have heard others say it “has the subtlety of a truck”. An Older Guy’s VR First Love (VR Ojisan no Hatsukoi) is also one volume, and ran in Ichijinsha’s Zero-Sum Online. 40-ish guy plays in the VR world as a female character, and grows closer to another female in the game. But will real life get in the way? I heard this is quite serious.
Kodansha also announced print versions of a lot of series we’ve seen digitally already, including The Iceblade Sorceror Shall Rule the World (starring former Frank Zappa singer and guitar player Ray White), In the Clear Moonlit Dusk, Shangri-La Frontier, I Was Reincarnated as the 7th Prince so I Can Take My Time Perfecting My Magical Ability, and horror favorite PTSD Radio. We’re also getting box sets! Sweat & Soap, Wotakoi, and Rent-a-Girlfriend for those. And omnibuses! Noragami, Fire Force, Ghost in the Shell, and No. 6. Ghost in the Shell is supposed to have all sorts of bells and whistles (no, don’t ask about the missing pages, the answer is still no). Noise from Tsutomi Nihei will be getting a print release. No Longer Human and Dissolving Classroom will be getting Complete Editions. And, to the annoyance of many fans in the audience, Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro is also getting a box set.
Lastly, to show that Kodansha’s troll game is still A+, they announced an exciting release for Nisioisin fans! No, not Monogatari Off Season. No, not Zaregoto 4 & 5. Instead, we get Katanagatari, which had prevoiusly been released in hardcover omnibuses, as paperback omnibuses. See? Much better than Sodachi Fiasco. (Please put away those knives).
After this, I decided to check out the panel introducing Yen Audio! This had marketer Mark and editor Ivan, and also a special guest… Bryce Papenbrook! The voice of Kirito was there himself, so the usual Kiroto hate from fans was pretty much absent. We listened to a clip from the first Sword Art Online book, and he discussed the differences in acting for anime vs. acting for audio books – this was his first audiobook, something he has in common with the other actors we heard today. He loved it being first person, and also talked about having a bit more freedom with his delivery as he did not have to match the lip flaps of the animation. The second Sword Art Online audiobook has Cherami Leigh as Asuna being the narrator, but Bryce also comes back to do the Kirito stuff there.
He then left to go back to his autograph panel, and we got the rest of the audio hype. We heard clips from books already released, including Overlord, Solo Leveling, and The Saga of Tanya the Evil. And we got three new announcements! There are no narrators set just yet (though I would assume calls have been put in to J. Michael Tatum and Brianna Knickerbocker), but we got to hear that we’re getting Spice & Wolf, So I’m a Spider, So What?, and Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. The last of those has never had an English dub, so it will be definitely interesting to see who they get.
And after this I took my leave, heading to the train to collapse and try not to fall asleep. Anime NYC 2021 was a con with lines both inside and out, but it was also a lot of fun, and attendance hit 50K despite COVID restrictions. They’ve already announced 2022, so (my feeble body permitting, I am utterly exhausted today) I will see them again.