In its third year, Anime NYC 2019, held at the Javits Center in New York City from November 15 to 17, expanded to fill the 410,000 square feet of exhibit with booths from anime companies. , games and manga as well as sellers of swords, soft toys, collectible figurines and other accessories.
Anime NYC 2019 saw 46,000 unique attendees this year, according to Peter Tatara, director of Anime NYC, a significant increase from the 36,000 unique attendees at last year’s show. Attendance figures, he said, represent unique participants rather than the total number of turnstiles.
What was evident on this show, more than at comic book conventions that include Asian pop, is the multiplatform nature of many Japanese properties: the same stories and characters appear in manga, novels, and dramas. anime, games and collectible figurines, and all had their place at the show.
The most prominent Japanese guest was Yoshiyuki Tomino, director and screenwriter of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime, which spawned a huge multimedia franchise that includes spin-off and back-to-back cartoons as well as toys, collectible action figures, and manga. Tomino was at AnimeNYC to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original anime.
The three biggest manga publishers in the United States, Viz Media, Kodansha Comics / Vertical and Yen Press, were all in attendance, as were newcomer Square Enix and independent publisher Denpa. Viz’s star guests were Dr Pierre creators Riichiro Inagaki and Boichi, who appeared on several crowded panels and signed autographs for fans, and the latest episode of the anime premiered on the show.
Viz announced two new manga licenses, Venus in the blind spot by horror master Junji Ito and Splatoon: Squid Kids Comedy Show, a collection of four-fold gag comics based on the Nintendo game. An American-Japanese production of his graphic novel Uzumaki is in the works for 2020. As a measure of the strength of the US manga market, Viz senior director of publishing sales Kevin Hamric said PW Sales of Viz prints in 2018 hit an all-time high and mark “six consecutive years of growth”.
Denpa’s new manga licenses included one on the show’s special guest: The men who created “Gundam” represents Tomino and character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko working on the original series. The manga combines story, biography, and comedy, and Denpa president Ed Chavez described it as a “hilarious take” on the story. Denpa also announced that it will release Little Leo, by famous designer Moto Hagio. Although most of Hagio’s work in English is serious and literary, Little Leo is the story of a cat who tries to do human things.
Japanese publisher Square Enix, best known in North America for games such as Final fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, announced earlier this year that they were setting up US offices in New York. Their first titles will be released in early 2020, and during their AnimeNYC panel, they announced five new manga, all in the fantasy genre, as well as a novel based on the NieR: Automata Game.
The growing popularity of light novels was evident not only by the number of new licenses announced at the show, but also by the presence of J-Novel Club, which specializes in light novels but has recently branched out into manga. Light novels, such as the Sword Art Online series, are often adapted into anime, manga, and games, and publishers are licensing them in increasing numbers.
During its panel, J-Novel Club announced a new imprint, Heart, which will focus on shoujo (teenage) novels. The J-Novel Club business model is digital first, with novels released multiple times on their streaming service, then collated into eBooks, and then in some cases published in print. The publisher recently added manga to its range.
US vs Japan, a panel on the differences between American and Japanese manga publishing, was one of the busiest sessions at the show. The panel included Gina Gagliano, director of publishing for the all-new Random House Graphic, and Udon Entertainment publisher Erik Ko, among others. In Japan, the panelists explained, publishers use reader surveys to decide which short films to cancel, books are published quickly and promoted later (unlike the US edition), and the demands placed on artists by long films. manga series can be debilitating.
During its panel, Yen Press announced six new light novel licenses, including High school dxd, which served as the basis for the manga (also published by Yen), as well as seven new manga series. Indeed, the show ended on Sunday with the Prime Minister of Alter with you, a new romantic fantasy anime, directed by Makoto Shinkai, who also wrote a fictionalized version of the story, which is published in the United States by Yen Press. Vertical devoted its entire booth to VOFAN, the Taiwanese artist who creates the covers of Monogatari’s novels, and during their panel, they announced three new novels, all by author Nisioisin; two are part of the Monogatari series and one is stand-alone, Bishonen Tanteidan (Pretty Boys Detective Club).
Additional reporting by Drucilla Shultz and Gilcy Aquino
Update: Official attendance figures for this year’s Anime NYC have been added to the story.