ANIME TODAY #116: Previewing Fall 2010 Manga With Vertical Inc. Marketing Director Ed Chavez

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Episode run down:

Since last episode, where we posted a ton of great chatter from this year's Anime Expo, Alison, Christy, Chad and Nick headed to a much smaller gathering of otaku here amongst the cornfields. So, for episode 116,we'll be playing a small portion of our Anime Iowa panel with a few questions from the great fans who attended. Then later on, we'll play the quick cosplay interviews Nick gathered while weaving in and out of happy midwest folks.

Also in this episode, Alison, Rich and Nick will be talking to the Marketing Director for Vertical, Inc., Ed Chavez. Some of Vertical's recent releases include the adorably playful Chi's Sweet Home, to the heart-wrenching tear-fest Twin Spica, all the way across the train tracks for an in-your-face, yet oddly fulfilling joyride on the sin wagon that is Peepo Choo. Keep your ears perked up for this wide-ranging conversation later in the episode.

To honor one of Japan's greatest directors who recently passed away, this episode you'll be listening to music from the Paranoia Agent CD Soundtrack from Geneon Music. At the young age of 46, Satoshi Kon left us with many spellbinding anime projects such as Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent and Paprika.

Nick will also be featuring three hand-picked songs from the vast catalog throughout the show. “The Whole World Smiles On You” from cargo, “Because of You” from Sweet Vacation and “I'm in blue (the Blue in Green Remix)” from DJ SADOI.

Chad’s back with What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga followed by Rich reminding you to try out some great Live-Action titles during the last few days of our sale on Tai Seng DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Next we'll pick up some feel-good energy from cargo with the track “The Whole World Smiles On You” to lead us into the brief clip from our Anime Iowa panel.

Then we'll have the winners of our last two Otaku Biltz contests, and we’ll kick off our new contest where we’ll be giving away some more grab bags full of anime, manga and K-drama prizes. We’ll also launch a new contest with YA Entertainment where you could win a You’re Beautiful box set. Then we’ll have the first part of Ed’s interview, followed by the track “Because of You.” Christy’s back this time with a new If.../Then segment featuring the Toradora! DVD Box Sets. After that, we’ll talk with a few of the cosplayers we ran into while wandering around Anime Iowa. Ed Chavez returns for the next part of his interview, and then “I'm in blue” from Finally, we’ll wrap up this episode with some customer reviews from our store at

We'll be posting the additional content from our conversation with Ed in the next two weeks. Topics covered will be the ways fans can tap directly into future licensing discussions with Vertical, the effect of piracy on publishers, as well as manga creators, and upcoming projects and events for manga fans to put on their radar.

Episode 116 Bonus: Vertical Inc. Marketing Director Ed Chavez Talks About Licensing, Piracy & Upcoming Projects

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Ed Chavez – the marketing director for Vertical, Inc. – talks about how Vertical gives fans a voice in licensing decisions, the effect piracy has on publishers and manga creators, and upcoming projects and events where Vertical will be appearing in the continuation of his interview from episode 116 of ANIME TODAY.

Also in this ANIME TODAY bonus: • Nick shares how fans can “order up some savings” on the manga Neko Ramen and other books from TOKYOPOP (through Monday, September 13, 2010). • Listen to tracks from artists oshare boys (the title track from nocturne), the Fish Bird (“Futures Melody” from their self-titled release), and henrytennis (“Red Cats” from R.U.R.).

What's Hot?

Makoto always upstages Jinnai without trying, which only aggravates the delusional rivalry that Jinnai has concocted within his own mind. However, when Jinnai attempts to sabotage Makoto's newest invention, the machine creates a dimensional rift and throws Makoto, Jinnai, and several others from their school into a strange, new world filled with amazing creatures, beautiful sights, and dangerous enemies. If they ever want to get home, it's going to take wits, courage, and a lot of luck!

Explore the unknown when El Hazard: The Wanderers DVD Collection bursts in September 7th.

Makina Hoshino and her entire family burned to death in a fire set ablaze by the vicious undead. Tied to this world by her hatred, Makina is unable to cross over, and instead she makes it her mission to bring down those like her family’s murderers before they can do even more damage to the city and the innocent people left behind. Armed with two MAC-11 machine guns, she’s ready to make sure the dead stay buried.

Take aim when Corpse Princess DVD Parts 1 and 2 unleash Makina’s vengeance on September 14th.

What if the nations of the world were actually a cadre of bishonen who spent their days flirting, bickering and immersing themselves in every inappropriate stereotype imaginable? Would there have been a World War II? Would the adorable Allies still have had to retaliate? Who could even think about fighting in the face of such cuteness?

See the world with new eyes when Hetalia: Axis Powers Season 1 rewrites history on September 14th.

After a violent terrorist attack strikes his peaceful island home, a young boy finds himself capable of sudden powers, including the ability to transform into Xam’d, a hyper-strong mecha. What do his newly developed skills mean in the grand scheme of things? Is he destined for great things?

From the studio behind Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Eureka Seven, Xam'd Collection 1 transforms onto DVD and Blu-ray this September 21st.

Akira Takizawa wakes up naked outside the White House with no memories. A gun in one hand and a cell phone in the other, he doesn't know if he's a good guy or one of the worst. He doesn't remember that the phone gives him instant access to ten billion yen and a woman who can make his most outlandish requests a reality. He doesn't recall his connection to the ongoing missile attacks terrorizing the Japanese people, or the part he played in the sudden disappearance of 20,000 shut-ins. He doesn't even remember he's supposed to save Japan and will be murdered if he fails.

Wake up when Eden of the East DVD Complete Series is revealed September 28th.

Check out the PREORDERS and the Got Anime? Purchasing Club!

Shawne's Specials and the Imperial Savings Sale!

Shawne's Specials and the Imperial Savings Sale!

See all of Shawne's Weekly Specials!
Check out the Bargain Bin!

Anime Iowa Anime Iowa Anime Iowa Anime Iowa Anime Iowa Anime Iowa Anime Iowa Anime Iowa

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

  • Congratulations to our Otaku Blitz #61 winner! Diedra L of Muncie, Indiana will soon receive a Golgo 13 Kewpie doll cell phone charm.
  • Also, congrats to Otaku Blitz #62 winner, Richard H of Winston Salem, North Carolina, who won a Golgo 13 golf divot!
  • For our new Otaku Blitz contest, we're giving 3 lucky contestants each the chance to win one of our new grab bags full of anime, manga and K-drama prizes.


    To enter, visit for more information, and get your entry to us by the end of the day on September 1st. We’ll announce the winners on the next episode of Anime Today!

Enter the "Weekly Prize Blitz" Contest!
Enter the "Weekly Prize Blitz" Contest!

Tamra Island box set Congratulations to Joe D of Orlando, Florida, Grand Prize winner of our recent joint contest with YA Entertainment. He will receive the complete 21-episode Tamra Island box set. Runners up Joan M of San Andreas, California; Jason O of Woodbridge, New Jersey; Kerrie M of Bothell, Washington; and Debbie G of San Francisco, California will each receive a Tamra Island screener disc and poster.


There's Something About Sunyool

Manga and manhwa readers rejoice! We’re partnering with NETCOMICS to offer fans the chance to fall in love with new romantic series There's Something About Sunyool from Click and June creator Youngran Lee. (5) lucky fans will each receive a copy of There's Something About Sunyool, Volume 1.

To enter, visit's contest page before the end of the day on September 1st. We’ll announce the winners for this and other contests during the next episode of Anime Today!

You’re Beautiful And once again, we’re teaming up with YA Entertainment to offer 7 You’re Beautiful gift packs: (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a copy of the complete 16-episode You're Beautiful box set, and (6) runners-up will each receive a You're Beautiful preview disc and poster!

To participate, just visit the contest section at, and get in your entry before the end of the day on September 22nd.

Ed Chavez from Vertical

Ed Chavez from Vertical

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See all the VERTICAL books in our online store:

Kaze no Stigma Season 1 DVD Set (Hyb)

If…/then with Christy

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started watching Toradora!. The show had been recommended to me by a ton of friends – all of whom like very different styles and genres of anime – so I figured that if it could appeal to so many people without alienating any single faction, it would likely be enjoyable, and I was right.

Toradora! and its characters do a ton of things right. The series takes a pretty ordinary plot – boy loves girl’s best friend, girl loves boy’s best friend, duo teams up, hijinks ensure – and adds a coat of unique personality. It’s a fairly standard high school setting, but I never really felt like, “Oh, I’ve seen this before,” and that’s not always the case.

The show is never more fun to watch than when its two lead characters, Ryuji and Taiga, are bickering – which is pretty much the majority of the series. The duo have an enjoyable chemistry, whether as friends or otherwise – and they’re pretty relatable. Almost everyone knows two real life people who argue like cats and dogs despite being close – though granted, it’s seldom as adorable.

Much of the show is pretty lighthearted and comic (often even hilarious), but it does delve into some slightly more serious moments at times. Even when the tone becomes darker, it doesn’t veer into melodrama. Characters react in believable ways showing how their back stories drive their actions – even when that means less than stellar behavior. It takes themes like romance and friendship and ties them to themes of family and responsibility.

My main concern and part of the reason I held off on watching Toradora for so long was the fact that one of the main plot points is that Taiga is super tiny making her look years younger than her age – and, honestly, Taiga’s character does look really young most of the time, especially in comparison to the other females in the cast. It’s built into the story, along with all the issues you can imagine are tied to it, so if you can’t get past that, this might not be a show for you. But if Taiga’s youthful character design isn’t an issue, I would definitely suggest picking up the series, even if it’s not normally your cup of tea.

A show that immediately came to mind as a rec when I started watching Toradora was Full Metal Panic, particularly the FUMOFFU season. It, too, features a strong, somewhat hot-n-cold heroine who constantly bickers with the male lead. FUMOFFU, is a series of stand-alone humorous stories that stay away from the action found in the first season. It’s basically all the fun and games and occasional friendly Kaname violence you’d expect from a Full Metal Panic show with a hint of romance, minus the meccha and explosions.

I definitely think that those who were a little put off by Taiga’s young look, but who loved the overall feel of the series, should give Full Metal Panic FUMOFFU a shot.

Though the leads’ relationship doesn’t develop in quite the same way as Ryuji and Taiga’s, I think Haruhi and Kyon’s interactions in the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya might also appeal to fans of Toradora!. The two definitely have a master/servant vibe going, and the cast is full of colorful characters. It never delves too deeply into particularly serious themes, but it is a lot of fun, and it’s definitely an easy way to wean yourself from the claws of the Palmtop Tiger.

Do you have a suggestion for fans of Slayers? Make sure you head to our Anime Today discussion forums on, and make a post in the Toradora If…/Then thread.

Or, if you want to get a head start on making recommendations for next time, we’ve also posted the thread for our next If…/Then feature, which will cover Shigofumi.

You’ll also find rec threads for other potential If…/Then segments.

We love getting feedback, and you never know -- you just might hear your recommendations on a future episode.

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