Press Releases

September 17, 2007

News for MangaNEXT 2007:

MangaNEXT announces three more guests for 2007

MangaNEXT is pleased to announce three more guests for 2007, Jason Thompson, Hiroki Otsuka and Mari Morimoto. Jason Thompson's favorite manga genres are horror, battle manga and romantic comedies. From 1996 to 2006 he worked as an editor at VIZ Media LLC, where he supervised the English editions of Dragon Ball Z, Shaman King, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Secret Comic Japan, Uzumaki, Tekkonkinkreet, SHONEN JUMP magazine and many other titles. His book Manga: The Complete Guide, an encyclopedia of all the Japanese comics released in America, comes out from Del Rey on October 9. He has also written for Otaku USA, The Comics Journal, Animerica and PULP. He draws the web comic The Stiff at

Born in Shiga, Japan in 1974, Hiroki Otsuka studied graphic design at The Tokyo Designer Gakuin, Aichi, Japan. He lived in Tokyo for two years before deciding to move to the United States. After a brief time in San Francisco, he settled in New York City and currently lives in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. He has created erotic comics for various publishing companies in Japan under his name and the penname Pirontan. Some of his most memorable comics have been I Love Shock and Pirontan 21. Over the past two years, he has begun showing his work in various galleries in the US, Europe, and his native Japan. He had a show in summer 2005 at the Stay Gold Gallery in Broklyn, NY, which received rave reviews. He is currently featured in AB / OVo, which will travel to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. His latest comic, "The Girls Diary" was published by Heiwa in Japan. He is also illustrating for TokyoPOP in Los Angeles, and is featured in the TP manga, Boys of Summer.
MangaNEXT proudly welcomes back Mr. Otsuka. He will be participating on several manga-related panels throughout the weekend. So don't be shy and come meet Mr. Otsuka. For more information, visit him on the web at

Osaka-born and Manhattan-raised, Ms. Morimoto never strayed far from urbanity until she spent 9 years at an upstate NY college. Actually, it's Dr. Morimoto, whose "real job" as a big city veterinarian often wars with her "moonlighting" as a freelance manga translator. She got her foot in the door with VIZ Media through luck and circumstance, and since then has expanded her resume to include panelist, panel leader, interpreter and personal assistant to Guests of Honor, and GoH at several Northeast cons. She has also contributed several articles to the English edition of Shonen Jump. Highlights of her translating career include meeting and rubbing elbows with Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama, Ninja High School creator Ben Dunn, and meeting the late Osamu Tezuka as a child.

This is the Doc's second appearance at MangaNEXT. She will be participating on several manga-related panels throughout the weekend as well as interpreting once again for Hiroki Otsuka. Her current titles are VIZ's Naruto, Inuyasha, and Knights of the Zodiac, and Del Rey Manga's new title Dragon Eye but she has also previously translated Dragonball, Maison Ikkoku, and One Pound Gospel, among others.

MangaNEXT will be held on October 5-7, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza, Meadowlands, just 5 miles from New York City. Come out to meet artists, visit our Artist Alley, take part in workshops and panels, take advantage of our Manga Library, and much, much more.

Universal Animation (, the non-profit group that organizes MangaNEXT is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Anime and Manga in the United States. Founded in 2002 in NYC, Universal Animation is responsible for planning AnimeNEXT, which is held annually in the Tristate (NY/NJ/CT) area. Universal Animation is an independent organization with no affiliation to any commercial entities.