NHN Japan has just announced that the popular sticker characters from omnipresent free voice & chat app LINE are headed to manga stands and TV screens around Japan! TABROID attended the live announcement in Shibuya and we will do our best to relay the excitement.
Anime: LINE OFFLINE: Salaryman (TV Tokyo)Start: Jan 7, 2013 (Mon)Time: Weekly, Mon Tue Wed 1:30-1:35AM
Manga: Character Times (Weekly Shonen Sunday)
Start: Jan 9, 2013 (Wed) (starting in vol. 6)
Manga: LINE OFFLINE: Bokura Zukan (Our Picture Book) (Weekly Young Jump)
Start: Jan 4, 2013 (Fri) (starting in vols. 5+6)
These are the three projects that were presented. I was slightly apprehensive about how the LINE characters would make the jump from static stickers to moving anime characters, but the short video we saw allayed whatever fears I had.
In the video, Moon plays the jokester, James is a bit full of himself, and Brown is silent (he does have a voice actor, so he will speak eventually, I think), which means the characters are pretty close to what we sticker-users would have imagined.
The presentation also included a couple more surprises:
The LINE manga is also scheduled to be published in Margaret, a manga magazine aimed at teenage girls, along with some kind of collaboration with women's fashion magazine CanCam. All this, plus plans for a full 30-minute per episode anime series! LINE is taking over the world!
Mr. Torimitsu, editor for Young Jump, and Mr. Shima, editor for Sunday, both showed up at the event and shook hands.
Next to Mr. Morikawa, head of NHN Japan, stood Mr. Kii from Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, the company that will handle the sticker characters. Mr. Kii talked about expanding the LINE franchise overseas, making this event seem like the start of something pretty big.
So yeah, a lot of exciting news regarding LINE. I can't wait to see how this turns out!
Translation by Jason Morgan