Anime Expo 2017: Kodansha Comics exclusives, events

We're really excited to be at Anime Expo this year. We've got more exclusives, freebies, announcements, and things going on than we ever have. (And we're holding an Anime Expo-related digital sale too!)

Come see us at Booth #1006 in downtown Los Angeles's Convention Center July 1-4, and one of us will give you the AX lowdown! But if you want a quick preview and/or you can't be there but are dyin' to know what's happening anyway … psst, here's a lil' cheatsheet:

Where: Kodansha Comics/Vertical Booth #1006

Mini-shikishi Gift with Purchase
1 of 2 different shikishi with every purchase, while supplies last

Monogatari mini 5-poster set

Enamel Pin limited-edition sets: Attack on Titan, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Chi's Sweet Home

Manga-art T-shirt: Attack on Titan, The Ghost in the Shell

Pre-street books from Kodansha Comics
Aho-Girl, volume 1
Waiting for Spring, volume 1
Welcome to Ballroom, volume 6
Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, volume 2
Queen Emeralda, volume 2
Interview with Monster Girls, volume 5
Fairy Tail, volume 61
The Seven Deadly Sins, volume 21
Princess Jellyfish, volume 5
Tsubasa Omnibus, volume 5

Pre-street books from Vertical Comics
Gundam Wing, Volume 1
She and Her Cat

Where: Kodasha Comics/Vertical Booth #1006

Daily button giveaways
Saturday: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
Sunday: Welcome to the Ballroom
Monday: Sailor Moon
Tuesday: Attack on Titan

Manga Samplers

8×11 artcards

comiXology free download-code cards

Where: Kodasha Comics/Vertical Booth #1006

 The Attack on Titan Quest #AoTQuest
Starting prize: exclusive Attack on Titan bag

Finishing prize: exclusive Attack on Titan Quest medal
Join the Training Corps inside AX, kill Titans with your phone in Little Tokyo!
Sailor Moon Fan Club Membership Drive
Free gift for every Fan Club member (those who already renewed and those who sign up at the booth)
Display of special 2017 membership items

The Attack on Titan Manga to Anime Gallery
Gengas from the Season 2 anime
See how manga pages got turned into indelible images from the Season 2 anime

The Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card CLAMP Illustration Gallery
Color illustration reproductions from volume 1
Manga manuscripts from volume 1


Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card anime world-premiere screening
Saturday July 1 at 4 pm
Room: Main Events (Hall B)

The world-premiere showing of the OVA anime, followed by Q&A with producer Chiyo Kawazoe. Special prizes from Japan and free download-cards for advance digital editions of the Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card manga. 

Kodansha Comics Industry Panel with special guest Princess Jellyfish Editor Yuki Sukemune
Monday July 3 at 10 am
Room: Live Programming 5 

Joined by special guest Yumi Sukemune, editor of Princess Jellyfish, Kodansha Comics presents a peek behind the scenes of manga production in Japan and the United States. Also: new licenses for 2018, some very special announcements, a discussion with oureditorial team, and, as always, lots of exclusive giveaways!

…and check out these related events from our partners:

The Attack on Titan Food Truck brought to you by Funimation! 
Right across S. Figueroa Street at 601 W. Pico Blvd

·         Experience the once-in-a-lifetime Attack on Titan Food Truck from 10 am to 8 pm every day during Anime Expo! Funimation is partnering with Mad Dumplings, a food truck that has been taking the SoCal streets with a delicious, creative spin on dumplings, and offering an Attack on Titan-branded menu! Funimation is giving away a limited number of vouchers for the food truck at 10 am at the Funimation Booth #1800 each day, so don't miss out on your chance to get some free food!


 Funimation Presents: Attack on Titan Season 2 VA Panel
Saturday July 1 at 2:30 pm
Room: JW Marriott LP 

Welcome to the Ballroom screening — a Pony Canyon event
Sunday July 2 at 10 am
Room: Main Events (Hall B)

Sailor Moon Day panel — a VIZ Media event
Monday July 3 at 11 am
Room:  LP1/ Petree Hall


Attack on Titan Quest: Dedicate Your Heart

Kodansha Comics and Funimation are proud to present Attack on Titan Quest: Dedicate Your Heart #AoTQuest, a uniquely structured 2-part interactive quest set in downtown Los Angeles, based on the hit manga and anime series Attack on Titan during the week of Anime Expo 2017.

OUTSIDE THE WALL can be played by anyone with a mobile device who happens to be in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo neighborhood. OUTSIDE THE WALL starts today June 27.

INSIDE THE WALL takes place for Anime Expo attendees July 1-4 inside the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Both "outside" and "inside" are completely free to play. And all Quest players, whether “outside the wall” or “inside the wall,” will receive via email a unique download code to redeem a free digital edition of the latest volume of Attack on Titan (volume 21) from comiXology.

Attack on Titan Quest: OUTSIDE THE WALL June 27-July 4

Join the Survey Corps and defeat the Titans in Little Tokyo! Captain Levi awaits you for training to survive outside the wall. 


You don’t have to attend Anime Expo to play. Just bring your mobile device to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. The Kinokuniya bookstore might be a good starting point! 

To join Attack on Titan Quest: OUTSIDE THE WALL,

visit to register.


Attack on Titan Quest: INSIDE THE WALL July 1-4

New cadets wanted: the Training Corps are now recruiting cadets to play an SMS-based* scavenger-hunt mission inside of Anime Expo! Your favorite characters from Attack on Titan may help you along the way!

New cadets must claim their exclusive gear:
• Start the quest and receive an exclusive Attack on Titan Quest bag** 
• Complete the quest and receive an exclusive Attack on Titan Quest honorary medal!*** 

To join Attack on Titan Quest: INSIDE THE WALL, visit the Kodansha Comics booth (#1006) at Anime ExpoParticipants can expect special messages from their favorite Attack on Titan characters!

*standard SMS rates apply
**while supplies last
***while supplies last

Check out the Attack on Titan Food Truck brought to you by Funimation! 

Right across S. Figueroa Street at 601 W. Pico Blvd

         Experience the once-in-a-lifetime Attack on Titan Food Truck from 10 am to 8 pm every day during Anime Expo! Funimation is partnering with Mad Dumplings, a food truck that has been taking the SoCal streets with a delicious, creative spin on dumplings, and offering an Attack on Titan branded menu! Funimation is giving away a limited number of vouchers for the food truck at 10 am at the Funimation Booth #1800 each day, so don't miss out on your chance to get some free food!

MEDIA: To download the official press release, click here

Report from Anime Expo: An exclusive interview with Naoshi Arakawa


Interview by Misaki C. Kido

Naoshi Arakawa was the Guest of Honor at Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles. And while Arakawa’s best known work Your Lie in April has gained recognition from the popularity of his manga and its anime adaptation, there’s not much public information about the man himself. But during a rare Stateside appearance, Arakawa spoke candidly about himself in front of a large audience there for his highlight panel, hosted by Kodansha Comics.

Your Lie in April volumes 1-9 are available in print and digital editions from Kodansha Comics.

Kodansha Comics (KC): How did you come up with the story of Your Lie in April?
Naoshi Arakawa (NA): It was actually one of the scrapped story ideas I had after debuting as a mangaka. When I got a spot in a monthly magazine to start my own series, I brought up one of my old ideas. I think I just saw a girl a playing violin on TV or something. I thought it was cool, so I wanted to do that. Originally, I was going to make it a story about a boy and a girl violinist. But it’s hard to keep drawing scenes with two violinists. So I decided to make the girl a violinist and the boy a pianist.

KC: Why did you pick the subject of classical music for your manga?
NA: At the time there was already a really popular rock manga called BECK. So no one dared make a manga about music that went head-to-head against that manga. There was also a manga about classical music called Nodame Cantabile. But it was focused on the orchestra and not so much on playing a single instrument, like violin. So if I were to draw a manga about music, I definitely wanted to focus on the violin. I wanted to make sure my own music manga didn’t seem second string.

KC: Did you play any instruments when you were growing up?
NA: Actually no, I didn’t play any instruments.

KC: What? Then how can you draw scenes like this one?
NA: People often ask me that and are surprised to know I’ve never played an instrument myself. But I did other things like kendo when I was growing up. So I’m familiar with the tension in the air at competitions. I drew these scenes based on those experiences. My editor was the one with the experience of playing music, actually, particularly violin. So I often asked any questions about classical music to him. I also went and did research myself.

KC: Beside the music, romance is another big theme in Your Lie in April. Why is that?
NA: When I first became a mangaka, I worked with a storywriter to make a slice-of-life manga about teenagers. My next manga was about soccer, but it was also in a slice-of-life style. When I got a chance to make my own series, the editors told me to do the same thing, but I’d already started to get bored of that, since I’d drawn so many of those in a row. So I started to think, “What if I did a shonen manga with some romance, like in a shojo manga?” Eventually, though, I even got bored of that, so I decided to make the musical performance scenes more like in a shonen manga, so I could blow off some steam.

KC: Why did you decide to become a mangaka?
NA: I think I wanted to be a storyteller. I have an older brother who was into reading Shonen Jump and Shonen Magazine. So I remember being surrounded by manga all the time. I also joined a manga club in college because my friends wanted to. But I never told anyone I wanted to become a mangaka. I grew up in the countryside where people are bit conservative. So if I told anyone I want to be a mangaka, they’d definitely look at me funny or tell me to “get a decent job with the government.” I was a rare breed. I was super-shy, so I didn’t want to get involved with people and just wanted to get into making stories. Only later I found out you need a certain level of communication skills and to involve yourself with other people to make manga.

KC: Do you have any hobbies?
NA: Hobbies? Hm … I collect figurines, like Iron Man. I actually like three-dimensional objects more than just pictures. I like statues over poseable figurines. I don’t know if you would call it a hobby, but I definitely have a collector tendency.

KC: What’s your zodiac sign?
NA: I’m an Aquarius.

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New chapters of Farewell, My Dear Cramer is available from comiXology and Kindle.

KC: After you’ve completed Your Lie in April, you’ve started to a new manga, Farewell, My Dear Cramer. Could you tell me a little bit about your work?
NA: Personally, I’ve been calling it “a manga that supports women’s soccer.” The world of women’s soccer is pretty rough, because they don’t get much funding. Even the American team, which is the best team in the world, they’re treated so differently compared to the men’s team. So there’s a talk about them boycotting from the Olympics. Japanese team seems to be the same way. Most of them are in business group team, so all the players have to work regular hours, then go to practice. I just wish that by making this manga, there will be more awareness about women’s soccer.

KC: The characters in this manga is not really typical girly-girls.
NA: I’m not interested in drawing girls who are just cute or “moe.” I want to draw girls who are cool and awesome. Of course later down the line, I would like to introduce more unique characters. But for most of the part, I want to focus on the three main characters. It’s a story about them working together. One of them was actually a lead character from my old work, Sayonara Football. So if you read Sayonara Football first, you’ll understand Farewell, My Dear Cramer even more deeply.

KC: Could you show us your work process?
NA: Here’s a rough sketch storyboard. We call it the “name” stage.

NA: And here’s the same page after linework. I do most of inking with G-pen. All the human characters are hand-drawn by me. After this stage, the assistant draws in the backgrounds and effects like speedlines.

NA: This is the same page, but fully inked. Sometimes I do this process myself, but I like to leave it up to the assistant. After it’s fully inked by hands, I scan it and make minor adjustment on the computer.

KC: Could we watch you actually draw?

KC: Thank you!

Here's a highlight video of Kodansha Comics at Anime Expo 2016:

Click here for more recaps of Kodansha Comics' announcements from Anime Expo 2016.

Get the Yamada-Kun App for Miki Yoshikawa’s Appearance at Anime Expo

Hit Manga and Anime on Crunchyroll Gets iOS App with Manga, Messages & Animated Autograph from the Author

San Francisco, Calif. (July 2, 2015)—Kodansha Comics just released a special Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches iOS app, with graphic-novel volumes of the manga, special messages from author-artist Miki Yoshikawa, and her animated virtual autograph, to celebrate her rare Stateside appearance at Anime Expo on July 3 and 4.

The link to download the app is at

The app is produced by Kodansha Comics’s new San Francisco-based digital-content arm Kodansha Advanced Media, in partnership with innovative mobile-comics platform Madefire, using their newly debuted Motion Book Publisher service.

“The app provides a direct connection from the artist to her work and to her fans,” said Alvin Lu, Kodansha Advanced Media’s General Manager. “Updates will include continuing new graphic-novel releases, interviews with Miki Yoshikawa, con coverage, news, and special messages from the author to her English-language fans.”

An in-app manga purchase unlocks Yoshikawa’s animated Virtual Autograph, which was built with Madefire’s Motion Books technology. Those at Anime Expo who bring their Virtual Autograph to the Kodansha Comics booth (booth #324) will receive an AX 2015 Exclusive Shikishi (signing board), which they can then have Yoshikawa sign at one of her Anime Expo autograph sessions.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.47.08 PM

Miki Yoshikawa will be attending Anime Expo as a Guest of Honor. Her visit is being sponsored by leading anime-streaming site Crunchyroll, with events scheduled for Friday July 3 and Saturday July 4.


Friday, July 3rd, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Interview and Q&A on the Crunchyroll stage (booth #1001)

Friday, July 3rd, 3:30 p.m  to 4:30 p.m.: Live drawing on the Crunchyroll stage (booth #1001)

Saturday, July 4th, 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.: Miki Yoshikawa Panel in panel room LP5 (409AB)

Saturday, July 4th: 1:50 p.m. to 3:20 p.m, 3:50 to 5:20 p.m.: Autograph sessions in Kentia Hall


Tickets can be picked up at the Concourse Foyer starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Early arrival is highly suggested. The start of the line will be outside of the building, and attendees will be led into the hall just before 8 a.m.

The latest anime episodes and manga chapters of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches are streaming exclusively on Crunchyroll, where it is one of the site’s most popular titles in both formats. Graphic novels of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches are published, in both print and ebook format, by Kodansha Comics.