In the midst of a pretty busy US convention season, this weekend's San Diego Comic Con has provided perhaps the best possible opportunity for North America's various manga publishers and distributors to lift the lid on their future plans and pending releases. Of course, we're more than a little interested in what they have to say, so here are the highlights:
One of the first publishers to have a panel was Kodansha Comics USA - as well as fielding plenty of questions about their continuing releases of Sailor Moon (with confirmation that no omnibus editions of the series will be released until 2014 at the earliest), the company discussed forthcoming releases such as Genshiken's so-called "second season", Danza (a collection of short stories by Natsume Ono), Missions of Love and I Am Here! The company will be continuing releases of series such as Fairy Tail, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Negima, with the latter set to end in April 2013 complete with its spin-off Negiho manga. In terms of future plans, the company discussed additions to their digital manga app coming soon and confirmed that the company has now stabilised enough to consider picking up other former Del Ray, although they were specific in noting that they won't be pursuing any of Del Ray's light novel licenses such as Zaregoto and Kara no Kyoukai.
Viz Media had little in terms of brand-new manga releases to talk about, although they did discuss two Street Fighter Sanrio collaborative books which will be released on November 13th, and also made much of their forthcoming re-release of the original Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga, which will be appearing as a superb full box set. On the anime side of the company's dealings, Viz Media confirmed that they'll be creating an English lanugage dub for Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne, although they have no hard physical release date for the series at present.
The good people at Yen Press were perhaps the busiest in terms of new announcements, confirming that they'll be releasing both the original novels and manga adaptation of horror series Another, with the former in a digital-only form, and the latter as a single, four-volume omnibus edition. Also on the cards is a release of BTOOM!, a manga series which follows a NEET with an obsession with an online combat game who finds himself more deeply involved in it than he could possibly imagine. Finally, the company announced another digital-only release in the form of illustrated essay Welcome to the Erotic Bookstore.
Udon Press had plenty of art books to talk about, confirming a number of Street Fighter related releases to celebrate the franchise's 25th anniversary. The company are also offering their Street Fighter comics available to read for free on their web site, with new updates five days a week. Other forthcoming video game artbooks from the company include The History of Sonic the Hedgehog and artbooks for Brutal Legend, Darksiders 2 and Shining Hearts.
From this autumn, Udon Press will also be launching a range of anime artbooks, starting with a number of products based upon Neon Genesis Evangelion, including a compilation of illustrations named Evangelion Chronicle: Illustrations this November, before episode and movie guides will get an English release in 2013. Also on the slate for 2012 will be the Read of Die: R.O.D. Official Archive and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Art Book.
Finally, digital manga provider JManga confirmed that apps for both iOS and Android will be arriving this October, while confirming that they will soon be picking up some Kodansha titles previously published by both Del Ray and Tokyopop.
So there you have - what future releases are you looking forward to picking up? Let us know in the comments!