three-part interview up with Gonzalo Ferreyra, VIZ Media's veep of Sales and Marketing, who talks about the company's performance in manga and anime, as well as plans on upcoming distro-- definitely required reading for industry otaku. (You know, the ones who always want to know what's going on? Yeah, you know who you are.)
For those of you who are a bit more time-sensitive, a few highlights:
- Amusingly, when Ferreyra is asked about what manga are doing particularly well, all three are vampire-related: Vampire Knight, Black Bird (there's demonic blood-drinking), and Rosario+Vampire. I guess we live in a post-Twilight world, after all.
- Also of note, ICv2 mentions that there are "several conversations happening" relating to possible original material from VIZ. A little insider info here: I know someone who was just encouraged to submit a series for consideration, so they're clearly still looking, but we don't know if they've found a title they like just yet.
- Ferreyra also points out something I've mentioned a few times: that anime-wise, VIZ focuses primarily on A-list titles for release. He also thinks that the market that is shrinking is specifically the market for B- and C-list titles.
- It doesn't look like VIZ is going to release any Blu-Ray anime in 2010; they're still hammering out the best way to do it without ruffling the feathers of the Japanese owners due to counter-importation problems.
- Aaaand Ferreyra says he's heard "anecdotally" that simulcasting is having a positive effect and that piracy is shrinking somewhat.
Whew, that should more or less cover it. Looks like VIZ is in for a year of some tough navigation, but with plenty of fun titles-- which actually I think may apply to the North American fandom as a whole.