The Masters of Animanga: A Wikia Collaborative Writing Project is a once-in-a-lifetime initiative featuring fully rendered illustrations and brief character descriptions exclusively curated by manga and anime legends Kazuo Koike (X-Men Unlimited, Lone Wolf and Cub), Takashi Okazaki (X-Men, Afro Samurai) and Sin'Ichi Hiromoto (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Hells Angels) for the Wikia community. Hiroaki Ikegami, along with famed Japanese film producer Masao Maruyama (Ninja Scroll, Trigun) have overseen the project in an executive producer capacity. The project was hosted by the Animanga Wiki, Wikia's anime and manga hub. It began Tuesday, September 3 and closed Friday, September 27.
As part of the collaboration, users contributed to the Masters collaborative story project in a one-paragraph-at-a-time format. Over the course one month, the community co-wrote three different stories across three themes -- vampires, girls, and samurai.
New York Comic-Con 2013 Panels
The finished projects were unveiled during "Wikia [LIVE] Presents: The Masters of Animanga", a panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 12 featuring Kazuo Koike, Takashi Okazaki, Shin-ichi Hiromoto, Hiro Ikegami and Masao Maruyama.
Wikia also presented an additional career retrospective "Learn From the Masters" panel at NYCC 2013, which featured Kazuo Koike, Masao Maruyama, Shin-ichi Hiromoto, Takashi Okazaki, as well as Mike Richardson from Dark Horse Comics.
- Collaborative Writing Project: Red Bat - The inspiration for the first tale, “Red Bat,” comes from the mind of acclaimed manga artist and author Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai)! Hiroaki Ikegami and Masao Maruyama (Ninja Scroll, Trigun) are executive producers. Red Bat took place in New York City in the year 2020 when humans and vampires coexist, but all is not peaceful with Vanarchists and a group called Black Bats Party (BBP) battling it out.
- Collaborative Writing Project: TAO: Rize of the Ying-yang - The inspiration for the second tale, “TAO: Rize of the Ying-yang” comes from the mind of acclaimed manga artist and character designer Sin'Ichi Hiromoto (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness)! “TAO: Rize of the Ying-yang” involved a battle between good (a Buddhist maiden) and evil (a witch) and a young hero that got stuck in the middle!
- Collaborative Writing Project: The Fading Light: A Tale of Zan - The inspiration for the third tale, "Fading Light: A Tale of Zan", is provided by legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano (Vampire Hunter D, Final Fantasy) and the story is executive produced by Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood). In this third tale, a samurai warrior has the power to travel through all of time and space while riding atop Panther, his animal companion, and he faces many obstacles in the process of finding out exactly who he is.