Category Archives: Induatry Panel

Official Industry Announcements and News

Anime Expo® 2010 Announces Japanese Musical Artist, MELL, as an Official Guest of Honor

Anaheim, CA – May 7, 2010 – Anime Expo® is pleased to announce today that Japanese musical artist, MELL, will be an official Guest of Honor at its July convention. Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga convention, is scheduled for July 1 – 4, 2010, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. MELL is scheduled to perform Friday evening, July 2, in Nokia Theater as well as participating in guest panels, meet-and-greets and autograph sessions.

MELL comes to Los Angeles as an accomplished vocalist, heavily influenced by the trance and techno genres. Her 2006 debut single, Red fraction, was a smash hit through which she rose to instant fame. MELL’s subsequent singles and debut album, MELLSCOPE, helped establish her as the successful, one-of-a-kind artist that she is today. Her unique sound and extraordinary stage performances have proven to be the driving force behind her increasingly large fan following.

“We are honored to host MELL at this year’s Anime Expo,” said Convention Chairperson Joyce Lim. “Fan support and excitement continues to grow with each 2010 Guest of Honor announcement, and we trust their reaction to MELL will be no different.”

MELL has lent her vocal talents to various anime titles, singing the openings for Rideback, Sky Girls and Black Lagoon. She is also featured on the soundtracks of Hayate the Combat Butler and KILL, a live-action feature film by Mamoru Oshii.

Dark Horse has good news, Bad news, and Domo news?

by Marcio Guastavino

That’s right! I haven’t missed a Dark Horse panel yet! Well, at the very least since I started going to Anime Expo. Looks like Dark Horse has a few new releases through the end of the year. Hellsing Vol. 9, a new Astro Boy Paperback, Gantz and a Ghost Talker’s Daydream (looks interesting to me). One they were very proud to announce was the upcoming release of the Ikari Shinji Raising Project. It’s a spin-off of Evangelion, but with a much more humorous outlook on it. From what they say, romance and comedy is what it’s going for. In other words, don’t think Evangelion when jumping into the reading, clear your minds people! Another announcement that was good to hear was that they actually are caught up with many of the series out in Japan. Hence why some series *coughBladeoftheImmortalcough* are taking so long to come out with new volumes. At least you can get a Domo figure and make yourself happy. They will be selling them at CoimicCon in different colors. They’re even going to have some crazy rare, you’re never going to get your hands after the con, version of Domo at ComicCon this year. If you happen to be at ComicCon then go check it out. Aside from all this other news the most important is that Berserk is still alive! BAM! AND they’re thinking of beefing up from Bi-monthly releases! That would make me a happy camper.

Thus Dark Horse some pretty good announcements this year. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll be passing around any more goodies for us to see. Not at the panels anyway. Apparently someone ran off with a copy of a manga that was not released yet. This is why we can’t have nice things!

CMX and Funimation at Anime Expo 08!

By Von Jared Omo

 

 

Anime Expo is done and another year we must wait to see what the anime industry has in store for us next.  This year, I had the honors of meeting with two very familiar names in the manga/anime industry today: CMX and Funimation.

CMX manga, a branch of DC Comics who publishes many known anime such as Crayon Shinchan, promoted one of their up and coming releases: Batman:Death Mask. The manga revolves around the dark crusader, Batman (whose alter ego is billionaire Bruce Wayne) and his struggle to find this new killer that has been terrorizing the city of Gotham. However, the killer has ties to Bruce’s training in Japan. Does the killer know that Bruce is Batman and did this past experience drive him to start his killing spree? The manga is done by manga superstar Natsume (creator of Togari). He debuts his unique vision of the Dark Knight with the miniseries collected in this compact, manga-sized edition! Check out http://www.dccomics.com/cmx/ for more info!

Next we go on to Funimation. Their booth showcased their upcoming releases as well. They’ve got some movies they plan to release in 2008 and here’s a list of what’s to come:

One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and The Pirates Adventures in Alabasta – From the popular manga and the series currently airing on Cartoon Network comes the eighth movie from the One Piece tale. Six pirates may be all that stands between salvation and total destruction. The island kingdom of Alabasta is about to erupt in civil war – a war engineered by Crocodile, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and his criminal organization Baroque Works. Monkey D. Luffy, his Straw Hat pirates and Princess Vivi race to the island, where the strongest warriors of Baroque Works wait to stop them.

Genghis Khan – To the Ends of the Earth and Sea — This full-scale Japanese epic follows the life of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongolian Empire who took the throne in 1206. The film, adapted from a novel by Seiichi Morimura, covers Genghis’ life, his battles and his relationships with women. The infamous historical figure was brought to life by director by Shinichiro Sawai and stars Takashi Sorimachi, Rei Kikukawa, Mayumi Wakamura, Yoshihiko Hakamada and Kenichi Matsuyama.

Vexille — Director Fumihiko Sori and the team behind the 2004 big-screen version of APPLESEED have reunited to create VEXILLE. In addition, Paul Oakenfold of THE MATRIX RELOADED has created the score for the film written by Haruka Handa. A dark, futuristic CGI anime about illegal robotics research and set in 2067 Japan, the story follows Japan‘s isolation after the United Nations bans further research on robotic technology out of concerns of a threat to mankind. The U.S. has intelligence that Japan is developing the banned technology and dispatches a team led by a female commander named Vexille on a secret mission to determine Japan‘s ambitions.

Love and Honor — An award winning masterpiece, of sacrifice and devotion, LOVE AND HONOR weaves a timeless tale set in the waning days of feudal Japan. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Yoji Yamada (THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI) and starring Takuya Kimura (2046), LOVE AND HONOR depicts the emotional intensity of an age when respect was more valuable than riches and love cut more truly than any sword.

Shinnojo Mimura is a samurai sharing a hand to mouth existance with his beautiful wife Kayo. Frustrated by his lowly status with the castle ranks, Shinnojo dreams of better days instructing children in the way of the sword. But destiny, it would seem, has other plans…

A freak accident takes the warrior’s sight, leaving Shinnojo cursed. Losing his status and pride, his hopes and dreams, and even himself to his life of eternal darkness, only one path lies open for Shinnojo: That of the true and noble samurai.

And for you anime fans out there, Funimation is releasing Tsubasa Vol.7 on DVD! Check out the trailer at the TMEVLOG right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r79w13gL55Q

 

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.

 

I <3 Mega64 Panel

Once again my favorite panel of this year was Mega64’s. I laughed so hard that I may have had to change my pants had they gotten any funnier. I love all of their material no matter how stupid or insignificant it turns out to be. The room they got this year was as big as a warehouse! And they got the attention they deserved. It was an impressive turn out to say the least and I tell you the only people crazier than these guys, are their fans. They’re easy to like though and the cool thing about them is that they’re just like any other person out there. When I spoke to Rocco (I was getting an autograph and gamertag for Metal Gear Online) it was like I had always been friends with him or something. One word to describe them…awesome.

They were available for questions and the fans got the answers they wanted to hear.  This creative group of gius started with just some videos on YouTube and then instant stardom.  Makes you wonder……

ADV Industry Panel

By Angie Quidim

An odd silence settled the room as ADV’s panel began.  People expected answers with the announcement of the dissovled partnership with Sojitz.  The room was filled to capacity with many eager fans waiting to hear the words of their favorite distribution company and their fate.  According to Anime News Network “Earlier in the morning, North American distributor Funimation announced through a press release that they had picked up 30 anime titles, all of which had been previous ADV titles. John Ledford acknowledged that their former business partner Sojitz had withdrawn their financial support and management, and several anime licenses.”

With this being said the panel had begun and inquiring minds wanted to know.  John Ledford started with a few pre-written statements; thanking the fans for their support and showing up to the panel.  He went on to state that it was ADV’s 16th year at AX and then let out the bad news.  “It’s no secret that it’s been a very bad year for ADV,” said Ledford.  Surprisingly he let fans know that another Japanese company had come and replaced Sojitz and they had already made preparaions to aquire 30 new titles.  No announcements were going to be made further regarding this until Otakon.  One of the ADV reps said “we’re waiting for the blood to dry.” before the new business partners can be revealed. 

When asked why the partnership with Sojitz dissolved, Greenfield said, “from the very beginning, it was difficult working in their world where everything is run by spreadsheets and so on,” and knew that, “this is simply not going to work out.”

Other things that were talked about was a live-action Evangelion  was still in the works, and that they had proposed the project to three studios. Weta is still on board to work on the movie.

ADV was pretty careful of what they were to say in the panel due to various negotiations and NDA’s.  I hope that all this hush hush comes out profitable for them as the studio literally is hemoraging dollars. 

No titles will be released on Blu Ray as of yet due to the non printing of Blu Ray in Japan.  If those titles were going to be printed on Blu Ray in America, they have to hit Japan first. 

The Manga division had no positive news as it was announced that there would be no new acquisitions next year and although the motivation to continue the current series is there, it was speculated that they may not be able to do so. 

After a short Q&A they rescreened Kiba from Thursday’s panel.

Viz Industry Panel

By Angie Quidim

Viz had several announcements that kept attendees glued to their seats.  One of the upcoming releases is based on the XBOX 360 video game Blue Dragon wich was slated for September 16th of this year.  Other releases expected out this year are the second and third Naruto movies and the first US release of the Bleach Movie.   Other DVD titles announced were  Other big DVD releases include Hunter X Hunter volume 1 (Dec. 9) and the first Death Note box set (Nov. 18), which will include the first 20 episodes on five discs.

Announced manga that will be released from Viz include the second edition of One Round GospelReal and Slam DunkSolaninBlack LagoonCowa, and  Nora. In September Viz will also release the Vizbig edition of Vagabond,a 3-volumes-in-one collection that will retail for $19.99.   Viz will re-releasing some of their previous manga titles as collector’s editions, that will feature hard covers and dust jackets, retailing for $19.99. Some of these titles that are included are Bleach, Death Note, Dragon BallDragon Ball Z, Naruto, and Yu-Ghi-Oh!

2009 releases will include Oishinbo, a manga about food. Heaven’s Will is expected to be released.  Viz will also release two of their previous titles in omnibus format, with the Vizbig versions of Fushugi Yugi and Hot Gimmick.

Viz ended the panel announcing three new acquisitions: Honey Hunt, Magic Touch, Otomen and Gestalt.