I just want to let everyone know that we changed servers today for both Naruto Central and Bleach Central. If you are seeing this message, it means you are seeing the new site. If you have any problems or see any errors, drop me an email. I hope you guys have a great day!
Looks like even VIZ Media is not immune from the economic conditions that many U.S. manga publishers are facing now. According to the ICV2 report, VIZ is in the midst of restructuring their business:<br />
VIZ Media CEO Hidemi Fukuhara has issued the following statement: "Viz Media is in the process of refining its focus and is restructuring to adjust to changing industry and financial market realities. Viz feels confident that with these changes, the company will be more streamlined to face the current economic climate."<br />
While several sources have reported this news, there's been no other official details released so far. So it's unclear how many staff members were affected by layoffs and which, if any, divisions were affected by the restructuring.<br />
There was recently chatter surrounding the recent departure of former Shonen Jump Editor-in-Chief Marc Weidenbaum and whether his decision to leave the company had effectively put their original comics program in jeopardy. It's too early to see these two events will mean for VIZ and their various divisions.<br />
However, it should be noted that VIZ's manga titles, especially top series like Naruto, Bleach and Vampire Knight enjoyed consistently strong sales in 2008. VIZ has a lot going for them on the plus side of the balance sheet, so it'd be a real stretch of the imagination to think that there is any risk of VIZ closing up shop based on this news. It just goes to show that the dire market conditions that the industry pros just described at New York Comic-Con 2009 were not just hyperbole -- Things are tight all over, and it's no different in the manga business.
I just wanted to update you guys on the new video game coming out later this year for the Playstation 2. Ultimate Ninja 4 marks the first North American video game based on the popular anime program's Shippuden series, which kicks off with an older Naruto returning to Hidden Leaf Village after spending two and a half years training on his own. The characters are all older, slightly wiser, and definitely more plentiful, with the game's roster of 52 playable characters the largest the series has seen, with the exception of the Japanese sequel to this game, Naruto Shippūden: Narutimate Accel 2, released in December of 2007 in Japan.<br />
<b>Related Links</b><br />
- <a href="http://kotaku.com/5155127/screens-and-scenes-for-naruto-shippuden-ultimate-ninja-4">Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4 Screenshots</a>
Hosting the VIZ Media panel at the 2009 New York Comic Con was Mark Chang and Candice Vyloan, presenting a combination of manga and anime-related news and announcements. New information was relatively light, but you can read more here about the Naruto related announcements.
That's right, Sonny Strait, voice of Kuririn (or Krillin in the English dub) from the English dubbed Dragon Ball series and Usopp from Funimation's One Piece dub is going to guest star on Ramen Radio on February 9, 2009! Strait is not only a very accomplished voice actor but also a comic artist/writer! He manages a weekly comic strip called Car Bombs, which is a hilarious comic illustrating Strait's fantasies of his life. Freek, Neo, and F1n, along with their new staff members, Eli and Platypus are going to be asking Strait a few questions about his job, his comics, and his personal life.
IGN has posted a hands on preview of the new Naruto video game. You can read more about the game preview by clicking on this article. It might be an interesting read for those who were planning on purchasing this game.
Namco Bandai plans to attend New York Comic Con 2009, where it will host a Splatterhouse panel giving fans a chance to interface with the creative team, as well as lets attendees go hands on with titles such as Afro Samurai, Invincible Tiger, <b>Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 4</b>, Dynasty Warriors: GUNDAM 2 and more!<br />
If anyone is attending this, if you can please send in pictures of the Naruto video game tournament that would be awesome. Just drop me an email with the images!
It's the moment beat 'em up fans have been waiting for as Nintendo injects a good dose of Ninja into 2009, with NARUTO Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 European Version set to transform the Wii fighting experience across Europe on 13th February 2009 and Naruto Ninja Destiny 2 European Version launching on Nintendo DS across Europe on 6th March 2009.
I just wanted everyone to know that I'll be on the Ramen Radio, the radio show we sponsor here at both Naruto Central and Bleach Central. I'm not entirely sure what the hosts will be asking me so you guys will have to listen to the show to find out. Remember to click on the radio show icon to your right to find out more information about questions you can submit to me. Hopefully a few of the questions will be answered on the show.
We made a couple of updates to the sites system, none that are really noticeable. One thing I would like people to do though, if they can or want, is to update your profiles. Before weird symbols would show up if you were typing certain symbols like: " ' ; > and other ones. We have been able to fix that now so if you want your profile to not look so messy, then go ahead and update it and retype in the stuff you had!<br />
Also if you are interested in a Dutch language sub for the latest episode. You can click <b><a href="http://www.megaupload.com/nl/?d=0WFPQ3XU">here</a></b> to download it.