Funimation Industry Panel

By Angie Quidim
Adam Sheehan was one of the representatives present for the packed Funimation panel. The excitement filled the air as fans were chanting “Don’t Panic!”  It seemed like the audience wanted to hear about the recent transitions that had occured during the week with Sojitz and ADV. Sheehan had continued to explain how Funimation was adapting to industry changes and demands. Funimation has embraced a new marketing strategy that will cater to the mainstream or “non-anime market”.  Unlike some other companies, Funimation plans to utilize the new technology avaialble out there and will release select titles on Blu-Ray and digital download.

There will be two new acquisitions that will be added to ITunes in late july.  Aquarion and Witchblade will be available for download for $1.99 per episode.  The shows will be available dubbed to the American audience. There also will be Video on Demand downloads for mobile phones, specifically for ATT and Sprint subscribers.  Shows that will be offered to these subscribers are Gunslinger Girl, and Moonphase.  There will a fee of $4.99 a month per episode package and  the first season of Galaxy Railways will be included free.  All episodes will be split into five minute chapters.

Funimation has also created a partnership with Youtube to provide full episodes of the following shows: Blue Gender, Slayers, Peach Girl. Mushi-Shi, and Kiddy Grade.  The are plans to add more series later.

Sheehan annouced that there will be several titles available on Blu-Ray, including two Dragonball Z double features, Afro Samurai, SHINOBI (live action), Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, and Vexille.  In the coming months there will be boxsets of Yu Yu Hakusho season 1, Case Closed season 1, One Piece season 2 part 2 will be released in September, and finally the sixth season of Dragonball Z will be release in the fourth quarter. The Dragonball GT series will be released in quarter four as well (late 2008). Other titles expected to be released in the first quarter of 2009 are Ouran Host Club and Darker than Black.

There were many new acquisitions announced that were announced in previous press releases.  These titles included Save me Lollipop, Big Windup!, Gunslinger Girl, Il Treatrino, Strain:Strategic Armored Infancy, Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Romeo X Juliet, Kenichi, and Heroic Age.  They will also distribute a couple of titles that were previously owned by Geneon.  Geneon will be finishing the dubbing and production on these shows.  They will be released as individual discs but eventually be released as full box sets. 

Funimation recently accquired the distribution rights for 30+ titles previously owned by ADV.  According to CEO Gen Fukanaga they are planning to have ADV finish the production of the newly acquired sereis.



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