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Suika07

Viz Media Absent

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Hey all,

Does anyone have any info on why Viz was nonexistent this year? I have been going since 2007, and I think this was the first year that I saw 0 representation from them. No panel, no booth, not even 1 rep. There also was no mention of their very obvious absence anywhere that I could find (from Otakon or them).

Their industry panel is one of the main ones I make sure not to miss,  and they always have SM goodies that I look forward to (along with that scavenger hunt for the scouts they've been doing for awhile now in the Dealer's room).

Also, I noticed on their social media they made a HUGE announcement on Sunday -- One Punch Man season 2 coming April 4 2019! -- but it just made their absence seem even more odd to me, because normally they would be at Otakon to make an announcement that big, not just do it on FB. And on a con day, no less.

Anyone else notice their odd absence, and does anyone have any info?

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I mean, there could be a lot of reasons. These cons are expensive for companies to make such a big presence at, and there are SO many conventions now. I suppose they need to pick and choose which ones to attend each year carefully. I did miss Crunchyroll, Viz, and Vertical. Happy Dark Horse was there. 

 

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Its not painting a good picture when industry decides Otakon isn't worth going to though. That means Otakon doesn't get to announce first time news, they don't get to show premiers, they don't get industry in the dealers room, and more. Its just not a good thing that those high profile industry members would not go to Otakon.

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Agreed with this concern. Also does not help Funimation for two years in a row has had a poor industry panels (this years wasn't as bad, but 2017's was embarrassingly weak presentation wise.) Discotek and Right Stuf are carrying the convention industry panel wise, with Discotek winning by a huge margin. 12 titles announced. That's amazing.

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I missed Rightstuf’s Panel but I agree Discotek has one of the best panels at the convention. It ended my convention on a high note despite having a disappointing time overall. From following Mike Toole on Twitter I think he’s always been an Otakon supporter  so I think that helps a lot. I know Mike Toole isn’t the only Discotek employee but obviously he is a big part of their team. 

 

I also agree that the lack of industry presence and lackluster booths from industry that were there is not a good sign. Not just Viz but Crunchyroll was also noticeably absent. Otakon used to be the second largest anime con in the US after AX. Now we aren’t worth their time. 

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I doubt it's related to Otakon specifically so much as it's general belt-tightening by the industry. You would need to compare the industry presence at all the other conventions and whether they're trending up or down before you could definitively say that Otakon was being targeted for exclusion.

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Yeah. Otakon attendance was down last year (24,000) which may have informed decisions. 

This year was 29,000 so I think it’ll play a part in future decision making. 

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15 hours ago, esw01407 said:

Funimation for two years in a row has had a poor industry panels (this years wasn't as bad, but 2017's was embarrassingly weak presentation wise.)

You mean you don't like sitting for an hour listening to "buy our stuff?"

Edited by robotzor
Censors?

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10 hours ago, Fadamor said:

I doubt it's related to Otakon specifically so much as it's general belt-tightening by the industry. You would need to compare the industry presence at all the other conventions and whether they're trending up or down before you could definitively say that Otakon was being targeted for exclusion.

Fair. The only thing about this, though, is that Otakon historically has been one of the very top, can't miss conventions. Used to be touted as 2nd biggest in the country, and biggest in the North East.

So, like razisgosu and kirarakim pointed out, the mere fact of a huge Industry partner like Viz or Crunchyroll deciding that Otakon is a convention that they can afford to miss this year is concerning, whether they remained present at other cons or not... Even if they are belt-tightening, then I would have thought Otakon would be one of 2 that they would stick with. If they are belt-tightening, then that still means they chose something else as priority over Otakon presence, which means Otakon is no longer "can't miss" for them. :(

Though, I am also hoping this isn't a sign that Viz is struggling... it would be unexpected because they are huge, but such surprises have happened before in the industry.

texside-- I agree, the low numbers last year may have played a role. Hopefully they will be back next year if that is the case, since oyr numbers were much better!

Thank you all for responding! Glad just to know I wasn't alone in feeling the lost presence, at least..  Agreed with those who are concerned and pointed out low industry energy in general this year.

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Regarding Crunchyroll, they're a bit of a mess right now and have been for a while and are going through somewhat of an identity crisis as they are passed from holding firm to holding firm. I actually would have been surprised if they DID show up.

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57 minutes ago, robotzor said:

Regarding Crunchyroll, they're a bit of a mess right now and have been for a while and are going through somewhat of an identity crisis as they are passed from holding firm to holding firm. I actually would have been surprised if they DID show up.

Thank you for that info! I didn't know that. Good to be aware.

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I can't speak to any specifics this particular year, but Crunchy has their own con now, and had some major turnover in staff.  Viz also lost a longtime convention staffer, and that can throw off their game a bit.  We'll see how things go next year.

As for belt-tightening, that's certainly the case across the board, and timing is also another factor.

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On 8/14/2018 at 6:26 PM, alabaster said:

I can't speak to any specifics this particular year, but Crunchy has their own con now, and had some major turnover in staff.  Viz also lost a longtime convention staffer, and that can throw off their game a bit.  We'll see how things go next year.

As for belt-tightening, that's certainly the case across the board, and timing is also another factor.

Thanks for the insight! Here is hoping they both will be back next year, then!

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On 8/14/2018 at 11:12 AM, robotzor said:

You mean you don't like sitting for an hour listening to "buy our stuff?"

The big problems with Funimation this year is that a good chunk of the panel was basically a review of most of their big titles that they've released this year and that some of that time could have been dedicated towards building up their plans for November (and possibly some sort of license announcement).

On 8/14/2018 at 6:26 PM, alabaster said:

I can't speak to any specifics this particular year, but Crunchy has their own con now, and had some major turnover in staff.  Viz also lost a longtime convention staffer, and that can throw off their game a bit.  We'll see how things go next year.

As for belt-tightening, that's certainly the case across the board, and timing is also another factor.

Meanwhile, when it came to Good Smile Company (who was here a couple of years ago), Otakon once again conflicted with Comiket, an event that Good Smile usually attends.

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Have to say the same about Sentai this year. Their panel was a lot more low energy and less exciting with announcements than last year. More just pushing product and filling time rather than actual content. Might just be a slow year or all announcements blown elsewhere. Not sure as I don't follow what gets announced when/where.

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On 8/18/2018 at 10:03 PM, F00LY said:

Have to say the same about Sentai this year. Their panel was a lot more low energy and less exciting with announcements than last year. More just pushing product and filling time rather than actual content. Might just be a slow year or all announcements blown elsewhere. Not sure as I don't follow what gets announced when/where.

Actually it surprises me that Sentai is even surviving with their tiny smattering of really good shows and the rest being drivel. They don't treat the properties they do have with much respect, and you can see that from the way they go pretty unrepresented at conventions. I'm happy that they bring us properties we might not see otherwise, but it can kind of be a death sentence to massive popularity for a series here if they grab the rights.

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On 8/17/2018 at 10:29 PM, TnAdct1 said:

The big problems with Funimation this year is that a good chunk of the panel was basically a review of most of their big titles that they've released this year and that some of that time could have been dedicated towards building up their plans for November (and possibly some sort of license announcement).

Yeah I felt that Funimation's panel was essentially a copy and paste of what we saw at Katsucon. 

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3 hours ago, robotzor said:

Actually it surprises me that Sentai is even surviving with their tiny smattering of really good shows and the rest being drivel. They don't treat the properties they do have with much respect, and you can see that from the way they go pretty unrepresented at conventions. I'm happy that they bring us properties we might not see otherwise, but it can kind of be a death sentence to massive popularity for a series here if they grab the rights.

I liked many of the titles that Sentai picked up for dub/sub licensing. While some could be classified as "drivel" I still enjoyed watching them. "Angel Beats" was definitely not one I would fit in the "drivel" category. "Log Horizon" had an interesting take on the "isekai from a game" sub-genre, though most people will toss the entire genre into the "drivel" category just on principle. "Danmachi" ( Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka ) or "Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?" covered the first five volumes of the light novel but IMHO the following volumes of the light novel have turned the story into a much more satisfying (though darker) tale. I learned from the Sentai booth in the DR this year that they will be picking up the second season of the anime that was first announced in Japan this past February. I am VERY interested in seeing how the anime producers handle the more adult topics that the subsequent chapters of the LN presented.
<spoiler> (Highlight the white space below to see the white on white text)
Wars between the deities using their familias!
</spoiler>

Edited by Fadamor

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To my surprise, a lot of my favourite shows that I end up cosplaying are Sentai - Food Wars!, School Live!, No Game No Life!, but they just had less to offer this year.  Also they were less hype about cosplay.  Every year at both Katsu and Ota I've seen them both do to my group, and a ton of other groups, photos, freebies, and general chitchat if they saw you in cosplay for their shows, and I saw tons of people who were buying things not even get chatted up. Perhaps bad timings, but was strange after a few years of the opposite.

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The way they do sublicensing makes it really difficult to find merch for their stuff. Notice any properties that are nearly nonexistent in Dealers halls? Good chance it is sentai owned. If they start reaching out to more licensees rather than waiting to get calls from them, they could vastly improve in this area. 

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I've noticed this just in general.  When I was in Japan last month, I saw hardly anything for my favourite Sentai shows merch wise.  Maybe shows with little merch (and sadly little AA representation!) just go hand-in-hand with Sentai T_T

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