- Bakuman, by Death Note creators Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, will run in Shonen Jump in 2010
- Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro's Toriko will also run in Shonen Jump.
Write-UpVIZ a little late (actually I think they started a little early), but I think I caught some new Shonen Jump titles for the magazine: Bakuman, a manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (creators of Death Note) about...making manga! And Toriko, a manga about a "gourmet hunter" by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro. Actually I think I remember hearing about that one so I'm not sure if it's new. Sorry! I'm also having Internet troubles, so while I'm apologizing, let me say sorry for the fact that this is running a bit late...free internets are sloooow.
Yu Yu Hakusho is also about to complete its run in Shonen Jump, one of only a couple of series to run in its entirety in the magazine, if I heard that correctly.
A few questions before the guest arrives. VIZ works hard with FUNimation on titles that they share the manga and anime, such as One Piece-- which you can actually get a cool shitajiki (pencil board) from Japan for today. You have to go to the FUNimation booth and ask for it, and they'll give you a voucher you take to the VIZ booth to pick it up.
Naruto Shippuden on TV? No word at this time, not sure when it'll be back on TV (when, not if!), but you can watch on Naruto.com. No other TV plans at the moment.
And here is our guest... Hiroyuki Takei, co-creator of Lee's Ultimo and creator of Shaman King! His editor, Takenori Asano, is also here.
Ultimo is, of course, the latest addition to Shonen Jump. Some questions for Takei from whoever's running the panel (I can't even see, it's so crowded!). First up: why is the focus of the manga on ultimate good vs ultimate evil? It was part of Stan Lee's plan, and he went along with it.
Does he already know what side will win? "I actually have decided," he says. "Vaguely."
When did he get the idea to design a character around Stan Lee himself (Dunstan, if I'm spelling correctly)? He came up with the idea himself, since Dunstan was the creator of Ultimo in the manga. Was he nervous showing Lee the drawing for the first time? "I thought he was going to kill me." Aww!
You know, I didn't realize that there is a character named Vice, and a Vicemaster in Ultimo. Will definitely have to look into this...ahem.
Takei notes that his own beliefs are seen mostly in the villain master Kei, because Takei doesn't believe in a strict black and white view of good and evil.
When we talk about ultimate evil and ultimate good, it's sort of off-beat and unbelievable in our real, day-to-day lives, especially since in Japan we don't have guns. Not that we carry around katana or swords anymore, of course, Takei says, which was the case in Shaman King, but in Ultimo he wanted to portray things in a more realistic way.
Stan Lee has just joined the panel....to applause, cat calls, and other such fanfare. I love hearing Stan Lee talk, he's got this great kind of gravelly New Yorker voice. Unfortunately he says he's already losing his voice this con! But we're going to try to suck some answers out of him anyway.
What did he think of Dunstan when he first saw that? He didn't realize it was him at first, actually...
Lee notes that Vice isn't really "evil," so much as he's "not good," but he can't talk too much without giving stuff away.
He also says that Ultimo is completely different from an American comic, and nothing has ever been as fun. Lee says he gets lots of credit for it while Takei-sensei does all the work, which he enjoys. (He's mostly kidding.) Lee jokes that he likes to do things in their native tongue, when asked if he reads Ultimo in Japanese, so he started a crash course. But he hasn't finished it, he's only up to the part where you put the last name first. Heehee. He's such a character. (Err...pun not intended?)
Does Lee think that other creators should work with manga creators? Lee says there's a lot that we can learn from the Japanese style of storytelling, and they might have a thing or two they can learn from us, so he loves moving Japanese and American comics closer together-- and hopes that he can do it without ruining both of 'em.
Takei says that it's hard to create something for both audiences. Lee says it's hard to curb Takei's enthusiasm-- Takei says he has strong feelings about the project, and is trying his best. Lee says he's great to work with, because if Takei says something bad to him, Lee doesn't know it. Takei promises he's not saying anything bad, and Lee says he's liking him more and more.
When asked if he had any input on the design of Ultimo, Lee says he originally said "Hey, Takaki [sic], design 'em good." Takei is asked now if Dunstan will be killed off in the series after that, and Takei says Dunstan is a fire boss.
I can't catch all the fun back and forth between Takei-sensei and Lee, unfortunately, but you're just going to have to trust me that it's awesome, especially when Lee complimented "Takaki-san" on his Japanese (and Takei-sensei responded with "thank you" in English).
Someone asks about Dunstan's voice in Takei's head, and a hoarse Lee practically screams, "don't make him sound like this!"
Can there be a Dunstan action figure? (Please?) It sounded like a "not at the moment." Lee asks if the questioner realizes what such a figure would do to world relations, especially since Ultimo is the first step in unifying the world. (Heh.)
For Lee and Takei: what do you want readers to take away from the story of Ultimo? Lee offers a heavy sigh and Takei says "it's all about good and evil." Lee follows up: "it's all about selling a lot of copies." And that's the end!