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Otakon 2002 Takahashi Report

July 30, 2002
Compiled by Margeaux Zion, Keith Trudeau, and Spareblue

Three of our intrepid messageboard regulars paid a visit to the Viz Panel at Otakon this year and were able to bring back the latest news regarding Rumiko Takahashi's titles in North America. The following are the highlights of the question and answer segment of the panel.

  • Regarding the status of the Urusei Yatsura manga...
    Viz has no plans to restart the release of the Urusei Yatsura manga in English. They feel that people are more interested in "21st century Takahashi" rather than her older work.

  • On the release of Inu-Yasha on Cartoon Network...
    Viz has been in contact with Cartoon Network for a few months now regarding Inu-Yasha appearing on the channel. The DVD has been held off until the series started airing, but with no new headway being made Viz has decided to proceed with the release of the anime before the year is through with or without a network deal.

  • On the running length of the Ranma manga...
    Viz feels that it will run close to 38 graphic novels since it ran for 38 tankobans in Japan. Originally Viz did not use the original tankobans as a guide for the length of their graphic novels, and the numbering was thrown off in comparison to the Japanese release. Viz now releases the same amount of chapters per novel as was originally released in Japan. Another question was raised about whether the Ranma manga would be completed in English. The Viz representatives saw no reason why it would not be, as it is one of their highest sellers and has always performed well for them in the past. The same was said for the Ranma anime as well.

    Editors note: The Ranma anime is currently in it's final season, and all episodes have already been recorded in English as of September 2001.

  • Regarding the possible release of Senmu no Inu and the new One-Pound Gospel chapters...
    The Viz spokesperson "didn't know but appreciated the question."

  • Regarding the return of the Maison Ikkoku anime...
    Currently Viz has no plans to begin rereleasing the Maison Ikkoku anime in any format. They feel the market is not viable for this series, and recommend that fans try to convert their friends into fans of this series in order for it to gain popularity. The Viz representative did feel this was Takahashi's strongest series though.

  • On the possibility of Viz releasing Mermaid's Scar on DVD...
    Viz has no current plans to release this title on DVD.

  • Discussing Ranma products...
    Viz said they are releasing new watches, clocks and "polystone figures" this year. When asked though, they did not know what a "polystone figure" was exactly.

So it was mostly a mixed bag of good and bad news. The Inu-Yasha anime has everyone excited, but a lot of fans are still clamoring for a Maison Ikkoku DVD release. As for manga, none of Takahashi's short stories or Urusei Yatsura seem to be on the horizon. Again, extra special thanks to Keith, Margaux, and Spareblue for their fantastic reporting job.

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