Shogakukan, the publisher of popular manga series like Detective Conan (aka Case Closed) and Komi Can’t Communicate, is collaborating with Bandai, the company behind legendary products like Gundam and Code Geass, to bring Toon Gate, a reality produce competition web series.
Shogakukan founded Shueisha, which in turn founded Hakusensha. These are three different companies that together make up the Hitotsubashi Group, one of Japan’s largest publishing conglomerates. Namco Bandai Holdings’ North American manga and anime division is Bandai Entertainment.
Toon Gate: The Mangaka Creator Contest
Toon Gate, as the competition is called, will pit ten groups of mangaka against each other to create the best full-color, vertical-scrolling manga, according to the show’s bright, fun teaser trailer. The series’ producers and staff selected the contestants from a pool of over 500 entries.
The mangaka will complete a series of activities while working with professional production teams to create his team’s original manga. Check out Toon Gate’s ecstatic trailer below:
The winners will receive 3 million JP (approx. US$22,000) and also have the opportunity to publish their story in the LINE manga. LINE Manga is a well-known webtoon platform and smartphone app.
Because Bandai and Shogakukan believe that webtoons can foster a deep relationship between readers and the material, LINE Manga was chosen as the publishing site. Additionally, companies have favored the vertical scrolling style over the more conventional manga formats as the former are typically created by development teams across the industry.
Toon Gate will premiere on YouTube on June 28th at 8pm JST, allowing anime fans and manga lovers worldwide to check in and watch the series. The show is narrated by Sakurazaka46’s Minami Koike and hosted by comedy team New York.
Toon Gate has various manga/anime industry contributors including voice actress Arisa Komiya (Love Live! Sunshine!!).
Bandai and the Gundam Universe
Namco Bandai intends to invest 15 billion Jpy (about 130 million US dollars) to bring Mobile Suit Gundam to the Metaverse. Bandai will use the virtual environment to broadcast mecha-themed performances and host online games. It will also be linked to real arcades and hobby shops, allowing players to purchase Gunpla model kits from the virtual arena. Bandai has also hinted that it intends to launch more titles in the Metaverse.
The final episode of the second season of the anime Komi Can’t Communicate has already aired in Japan. Two animated adaptations of the Detective Conan spinoff manga, The Culprit Hanzawa and Zero’s Tea Time, are slated to premiere on Netflix later this year.