For the second year in a row, Anime Expo was held as an online event, with manga and anime publishers making announcements before, during, and after the event. Here’s a look at some of the key manga/anime news

During its panel at Anime Expo Lite, Lucasfilm premiered the trailer for Star Wars: Visions (see trailer below), a collection of nine short, standalone animated stories set in the Star Wars universe.  All nine episodes will be released on Disney+ on September 22, 2021.  Seven anime studios contributed to the project, which already has one spin-off: Del Rey announced on Twitter that it will publish the Star Wars novel Ronin, by Emma Mieko Candon, which was inspired by one of the films (although it is not a strict adaptation).

As it happens, several Star Wars manga are due out just before the anime is released: VIZ Media will publish Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills in August (see “Manga Pick Hits: March 2021”) and Star Wars: The High Republic: Edge of Balance in September (see “‘Star Wars: High Republic’ and New Junji Ito Manga on Deck at Viz”), and Yen Press will publish the second volume of Star Wars: Rebels in September as well (see “Yen Plans Two New ‘Star Wars’ Manga”).

Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed two new manga with anime tie-ins.  The Duke of Death is a gothic romcom by Koharu Inoue; the anime began streaming on Funimation on July 4.  The other new manga license is Classroom of the Elite by Syougo Kinugasa and Yuyu Ichino, which is based on the light novels (also licensed by Seven Seas) and the anime (which streams on Crunchyroll).

At Anime Expo Lite, Crunchyroll announced that it has licensed Orient, based the manga (currently licensed by Kodansha Comics) by Shinobu Ohtaka (see “Kodansha, Vertical, Stone Bridge Press Announce New Titles”); Ohtaka is also the creator of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, which was published by VIZ.  Other announcements included anime versions of The World's Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat and the second season of Restaurant to Another World, both licensed by Yen Press, and The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, a boys-love series published by SuBLime. A premiere date was not announced for Orient, but the others will debut in October.

Also at AXL, Funimation premiered Case Study of Vanitas, a steampunk vampire fantasy that is a new addition to its summer season; the anime is based on a manga by Pandora Hearts creator Jun Mochizuki and published by Yen Press.

In other news, The Pokémon Company International announced that the new season of Pokemon Master Journeys: The Series will be available exclusively on Netflix in the U.S. (trailer below).  Twelve episodes will be released on September 10, with more episodes released on a quarterly basis till the end of the season.  As VIZ's Kevin Hamric noted in March, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise and the publisher is seeing an increase in sales (see “ICv2 Interview: Viz Media Vice President Publishing Sales Kevin Hamric”).

Finally, Bushiroad will release an English dub of the animated series Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress, tied to the new version of the TCG, which launched in May (see "Bushiroad Announceds 'CFV: overDress"), which will run on the Cardfight!! Vanguard YouTube channel beginning on July 8 at 6 p.m. PDT/9 p.m. EDT.  Like the Japanese version, the dub will have 12 episodes, with a new episode premiering every week.