VIZ Is Bringing Bleach’s Tite Kubo to SDCC, Where Disaster Awaits


Viz Media “solved” the “mystery” of their “Kubo is coming,” campaign, revealing that Bleach manga-ka Tite Kubo will be a guest at the San Diego Comic Con. This will be the first time a major Shonen Jump author will be attending any con, anime or otherwise, as well. But because I have to talk doom and gloom about everything anime and manga, let me explain why this is probably a bad idea.

Bringing Japanese guests to cons is always a huge gamble. If the con isn’t well-attended, or the guest isn’t high profile enough in America, no one attends the guest’s panel and the Japanese guest is embarrassed and furious. Obviously, SDCC is well-attended, and Bleach is as high profile as anime gets in America. But how many of Comic Con’s attendees will be anime/manga fans? Will there be enough to fill his panel, so he won’t feel slighted? And remember, these manga-ka are like rock stars in Japan?they usually expect to be fawned over the same way, and have abnormally high expectations of how they’ll be treated in America. They really expect U.S. fans to bow and kiss their feet, and when U.S. fans just ask weird questions, they get genuinely upset?I’ve seen so many Japanese stars pissed at their America con reception. Think back at how many big anime/manga stars have attended U.S. cons over the years…and how few have returned.

Also, one minor note?every Japanese anime staff member of manga-ka I’ve ever met at a con has at least partially come to America to buy our porn. It is totally uncensored and stars huge-breasted women, which cannot be found in Japan. I remember one director buying an extra suitcase to hold porn. Whee!

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Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.