Thursday, July 31, 2014

My SDCC 2014 Experience: Shonen Jump: Naruto Panel

Shonen Jump: Naruto Panel
July 24, 2014
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Room 8

Signed by Junko Takeushi!

If you hadn't already read it/viewed it/either one online or were physically there, San Diego Comic Con hosted a VIZ media panel just for Naruto! It was the first panel of my Comic-Con 2014 experience. The information we can find online makes us impassive to the new Naruto products coming out throughout the year because it's like, "Oh, I already know," but actually attending and seeing things first hand makes things more exciting. Speakers varied from the official English translators of the Naruto manga (I couldn't get their names, I was too far back), to sculptor/painter of the Naruto figurines Shin Tanabe and Katsushige Akeyama, the producer of the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja video games Daisuke Komoto, and special guest Junko Takeuchi, the seiyuu of "Naruto Uzumaki."

The room was packed, every seat filled, so much that fans had to stand against the walls. I came in groggy and tired yet listening the whole time. In order of events, our lovely guest Junko first answered questions about being a voice actress/seiyuu, how she got the role voicing our #1 hyperactive knucklehead ninja, and on occasion played around with bits and phrases. She also did a signing for a Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution poster later the same day. Up next is Shin Tanabe and Kasushi Akeyama, who showed us the process they go through of creating collectible figurines, not the cheap knock offs you find at independent little shops or swap meets; like this one where Gaara had brown hair and was missing the kanji on his forehead or Kakashi's hair is sticking straight up, "WTF is this?" I mean legit detail that would be worth the $150 (I'm not a collector but for those of you out there who wanted to know, there you go.); their featured item was a Naruto where one can customize poses and another wearing his father's Hokage coat. Speaking of which, fans were able to win Blu-rays, DVDs,figures, or shirts by answering simple trivia questions. So simple! That even anyone new to Naruto and Naruto Shippuden would have known the answer to these trivia questions. How many can you answer? [Answers are located at the bottom of this entry.]

Trivia Questions during panel
1) What is Naruto's favorite food?

2) Who undid the seal Orochimaru place on Minato's "Eight Trigrams Sealing Style" (that seal on Naruto's stomach, in lay man's terms or just in case you didn't know) dring the Chunin exams?

3) What animal does Naruto and Jiraiya summon?

4) Is Naruto the #1 selling manga in the U.S.?

And introducing the new Naruto Deck Builder game; new to me I haven't read about it, have you? It sounded straightforward yet complicated at the same time when they were explaining it. You start off with 7-10 cards then collect/buy from a pool in the centoer of 4-6 players, and each side of the card is labeled; I thought it might be interesting to learn and the cards look way too rudimentary. Special preview card for panel attendees; Minato Namikaze!!! Collect them all? Over 200 cards.

Also, in select theaters, coming this August is the English dub version of the movie Road to Ninja: Naruto movie 6. The Naruto movie I care about the most since it hits close to the heart; seeing it as Naruto's growth over the years since the first airing of his show on Cartoon Network's Toonami as an annoying brat in 2005. Come and see your favorite Knoha ninjain English with flipped personalities, or my favorite part the Akatsuki but then again do whatever you want if you give now f**ks for the dub, and support the movie. Tickets are on sale now at

Now, m favorite part, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. What don't you already know? Special samurai DLC for wen you pre-order, mech Naruto designed by Kishimoto-sensei himself, creation of the Akatsuki storyline, 100 plus playable characters, and a mecha Naruto poster from Gamestop when you pre-order? Oh, you do know? Then should I stop here? Well, the trailer was amazing: tournament battles, customizable/unlockable accessories outfit, but my favorite was learning about Itachi... and his Sunny Side Battle... For Lord Jashin's sake Itachi; if you're going to cook with an apron on, at least take off the Akatsuki cloak, geez! Don't you sweat (Amatearus aside)!? I told myself I wouldn't buy another game unless I actually had the time to play but I can't resist this one. (Someone clear my schedule!!! (°□°)╯ ┻━┻) And at the end of the video game trailer, a lucky audience member was allowed to play against producer Daiske Komoto for another wonderful prize. I left the panel more eager to be a Naruto fan than I have in 5 years.

Answers to above questions:
1) Ichiraku Ramen (and red bean soup but on one said that)

2) Jiraiya

3) Toads

4) Yes (Funny how in Japan it's One Piece; last time I checked.)

Pretty cool cosplay while we were waiting in line!

Junko Takeuchi, the voice of Naruto!

Producer of the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja video games
Daisuke Komoto

Shin Tanabe, sculptor of the Naruto figurines!

Junko Takeuchi signs for Naruto fans at the VIZmedia booth!
View the full SDCC 2014 Day 1 album, here!

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