Both of the two largest U.S. manga publishers are launching new freebie periodicals this month with activities at this weekend's Anime Expo. The show marks the first distribution for Viz's re-launched Animerica, which has been converted from a newsstand/direct market magazine to a free periodical that will be distributed at conventions (see 'Animerica Gets 'Conventional'.' Animerica will also be distributed through Borders and Waldenbooks stores. Viz replaced its Animerica subs with Shojo Beat subscriptions.
Tokyopop will have computer terminals at Anime Expo allowing fans to sign up for free subscriptions to its periodical, Takuhai (see 'Tokyopop's Free Magazine'), with the first (roughly 150-page) issue hitting mailboxes in mid-July. In addition to manga samples and creator interviews, editors are contemplating such features as 'Top Ten Weapons in Battle Royale' and 'Straight Eye for the Shonen Ai.'