VIZ Media Pubwatch: October 2021

Viz Pubwatch banner featuring Nana from Viz Media

Happy Halloween! It’s time for another VIZ media Pubwatch, where we take a look at news and new releases from everyone’s favorite manga publisher. This month we’re covering the VIZ panel at NYCC as well as some new and ongoing series. And now the news.

VIZ joined by Cristina Vee and Johnny Yong Bosch at NYCC 2021

Photo of the Shonen Jump Booth at NYCC 2021.
Photo from VIZ Media’s Twitter

VIZ Media had a significant presence at this year’s New York Comic Con from October 7 to October 10th. The Shonen Jump booth gave out piles of promotional goods for manga fans, including posters for Bleach and My Hero Academia, a Chainsaw Man foam finger, and Mashle pins. On Saturday, hundreds of fans lined up for the chance to see VIZ’s panel with English dub voice actors Cristina Vee and Johnny Yong Bosch. Panel attendees were given complimentary ZOM100 face masks and could participate in giveaways for trivia. (I tried to win a Haikyu!! page reproduction but didn’t manage to raise my hand fast enough. So it goes.) VIZ representative Urian Brown announced new licenses and upcoming releases, while the voice actors answered questions about their careers and the industry. Very fun!

Fall Anime Season Starts

screenshot from the trailer for the komi can't communicate anime depicting komi being unable to communicate.

Summer’s anime has run its course, and fall anime have sprung up to take their place. I’m personally excited for the animated adaptation of previously-covered series Komi Can’t Communicate, which will be on Netflix internationally October 21. New episodes will be premiering weekly instead of months after the show finished airing in Japan as Netflix used to do for anime series, which is also very exciting.
As far as other VIZ titles getting the animated treatment this season, Demon Slayer’s picking back up with the Entertainment District arc, Yashahime’s continuing on, Platinum End (adapting the latest manga from the creators of Death Note) is airing on Crunchyroll and Funimation, and Way of the Househusband just released a second season on Netflix as well. Something for everyone!

Dr. STONE popularity poll results

Dr. STONE popularity poll splash image depicting some of the characters.

If there’s no popularity poll for it, is it really a Shonen Jump comic? Fans voted on their favorite characters in Riichiro Inagaki’s Dr. STONE last month, and the results are now live! See how beloved your favorite character is here. I have not read Dr. STONE so I can’t really add anything else to this, but if you want to read it, the first three chapters are free here!

I might not be reading Dr. STONE, but here’s a look at…

What I’m Reading

Spy x Family Volume 6

Tatsuya Endo
October 5, 2021

Cover of Spy x Family volume 6 depicting Nightfall pointing a gun at the credits.

I haven’t covered Spy x Family for Pubwatch before, but let the record show I love it a lot. It’s a cute, funny and wildly inventive series, with incredible art and characters. I love watching the spy-assassin-psychic family unit slowly become a real family of choice, even though they’re all together on false pretenses. Volume 6 covers an underground high-stakes tennis match and Anya’s shopping trip with her friend Becky. I adored the fashion montage of the girls trying on clothes, it looked like the artist was having a lot of fun drawing them and I had fun looking at them too. Endo is remarkably successful at drawing and writing young children that are both appealing and realistic. Yor and Lloyd have some cute scenes together in this volume as well. If you haven’t read Spy x Family yet, I highly recommend it!

Marvel Meow

Nao Fuji
October 12, 2021

cover of Marvel Meow depicting Chewie patting Spiderman's head.

I am definitely not the target audience for this one. I love cats, but I’ve seen some but not all of the Marvel films, read maybe a handful of comics, and had to be told there were more than ten X-Men by my friend. But for people who are big fans of the Marvel universe (and cats), Marvel Meow is a fun series of mostly silent comics following Captain Marvel’s fluffy white cat-resembling alien pet Chewie as she journeys through the multiverse and interacts with a number of Marvel characters. For readers who are, like me, not familiar with many Marvel characters, each section of the book has an explainer at the end listing every named character that makes an appearance and describes their superpowers and role in their main continuity, which is helpful but would be more helpful if the names were also tied to faces because I don’t know what the X-Men look like. The use of spot color is very appealing, and Fuji’s art is solid and clear. This square book appears to be collecting a series of Marvel instagram posts with some bonus content. Marvel fans and cat lovers could do worse than pick up this book.

My Love Mix-up! Volume 1

Story by Wataru Hinekure, Art by Aruko
October 5, 2021

cover of my love mix-up depicting the three main characters.

Based on the cover, I was expecting an ordinary shojo romance manga. Then I noticed the LGBT tag and assumed I was getting a boy’s love comic exactly like the dozens of BL comics I’ve read in my life. My Love Mix-up! ended up blowing all of my low expectations out of the water by being hilariously and unexpectedly funny. Due to a misunderstanding involving Hashimoto’s eraser, Ida ends up assuming Aoki has a crush on him, while Aoki really likes Hashimoto and Hashimoto likes someone else. The story is primarily told through Aoki’s point of view, so we get to see him cycle through every stage of grief while Hashimoto and Ida both unknowingly trample all over his heart as he becomes conscious of and develops feelings for Ida over the course of the volume.
BL is so often dramatic and angsty, but Aoki, Ida, Aida and Hashimoto’s interactions are all just consistently hysterical. The dialogue is great, but also Aruko’s expressive drawings help sell the humor to a level rarely seen in shojo manga. Her reaction faces occasionally border on grotesque, but never resort to generic designs.
I don’t know if My Love Mix-Up! would appeal to everyone, but the wacky hijinks in this series are 100% my kind of thing. To quote Junji Ito, “this is my hole, it was made for me.” I’m eagerly looking forward to the second volume.

That’s it from me this month! I’ll see you next month with more VIZ news and reviews!

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