Anime Expo 2000
Day 2/3

by George Phillips, Jul 8th 2000
Pioneer

Pioneer announced their anticipated release months for a number of titles.

In July, the most important releases are Amazing Nurse Nanako volume 1, and Key the Metal Idol volume 1 DVD.

On Monday, 7/3/00, Tenchi Muyo! will air on Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network handled the editing of the series, not Pioneer as previously expected. Edited Tenchi Muyo! VHS tapes will be available this October, and will be labeled to reflect their edited nature. Unedited tapes and DVDs of Tenchi Muyo! will continue to be sold.

Every episode of Tenchi Muyo! will be broadcast, although the OVA series will take quite a bit of digital painting. In addition, Pioneer plans to release several Tenchi products, including Ryo-oh-ki plushes and backpacks.

The Sailor Moon Super S Movie dub and bilingual DVD are expected to ship in August. Unfortunately, the 3x3 Eyes VHS and DVD are delayed and won't ship for another month.

Also, Pioneer will restructure prices around this time. Titles such as Armitage, the Tenchi Muyo! Movies, the Dragon Ball Z TV DVDs, and Battle Athletes will be reduced to $14.98. Hyper Dolls and Phantom Quest Corps DVDs will be priced at $14.98 when they come out later this year (or perhaps early 2001).

The Dragon Ball Z Movies will be reduced to $19.98.

In September, Pioneer expects to release the first tape of Dual. This series is a great semi-serious, semi-humorous parody of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Although it's not for everybody, and the characters remind me highly of El Hazard, it's a pretty good series.

Card Captor Sakura is still expected to ship in September, on a sub-only DVD and VHS tape. Anticipated prices are $24 for VHS, and $29 for DVD.

In October, we can expect to see Black Heaven volume 1, Nanako volume 2, and the first edited release of Tenchi Muyo!.

In November, we can expect to see the Fushigi Yuugi Second TV Box Set, as well as the Fushigi Yuugi OAV series. The OAV omake will be included on the DVDs. The Fushigi Yuugi Music Videos will be included on the Second TV Box Set.

As for other news:
When commenting about Card Captors on Kids WB, Pioneer said that Kids WB picked up the "13 best episodes" for broadcast. The subtitled tapes and DVDs will be in the original Japanese order, but the dubbed tapes will be in the order that Nelvana and Kids WB choose. Pioneer does have the rights to release all 70 TV episodes subtitled. It's anticipated that CCS will have 3-4 episodes per tape/DVD.

BOA, the music group best known for the Serial Experiments Lain opening theme, has apparently reached a recording deal with Pioneer to release their music in the United States.

Pioneer updated everyone to the status of Animetronic. The project is slated to be completed in the 4th Quarter. The music for this project will be original pieces from numerous bands. The soundtrack is expected to be released shorltly before the video is.

The new Akira DVD will be dual-language, putting some fears to rest that it would be dub-only.

When questioned about the missing Mihoshi Special OVA from the Tenchi Muyo! DVD set, Pioneer said that it may be included in the Pretty Sammy OAV DVD. A Pretty Sammy TV DVD will be released "eventually" but is not expected anytime soon.

On a sadder note, the El Hazard DVD Box is out of the current production cycle. It hasn't been canceled, merely delayed. The Wanderers from El Hazard TV series will not be seen on Cartoon Network, contrary to rumors.

Although rumors abound that Tenchi Muyo! will have a 3rd OVA series, Pioneer has denied that it will happen.

ADV Films

The most suprising thing that ADV announced was that they had acquired the original Robotech rights, and that Carl Macek is in charge of handling the series. Although the format is still undecided, ADV is pulling together many promotional clips of Robotech for release on the DVD, including anticipated Voice Actor interviews and old commercials that only aired the premiere week of Robotech.

In the next 1 1/2 years, expect to see ADV Films release most of its catalogue on DVD. We've already started to see this happening, and it will continue, not only with ADV, but with nearly every other anime company in the USA.

There won't be any new ADV Fansubs titles yet, but ADV hopes that a TV Dub of Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water, can be completed, and that Nadia might be broadcast on a television station.

The biggest news that ADV seemed to be toting is their planned theatrical releases which may include Spriggan and the You're Under Arrest Movie. A theatrical trailer for Spriggan is already in the works, although there's no guarantee when it may show up in theatres.

Viz

Viz announced their acquisition of Ayashi no Ceres, both the Manga and the TV series, on Saturday.

Viz has the rights to the Revolutionary Girl Utena manga, which will make quite a number of Utena fans happy.

Viz said to expect an announcement soon about the InuYasha TV series, but they can't say what the announcement is.

There will be no Video Girl Ai DVDs in the near future, as Viz was unable to acquire the DVD rights.

For Maison Ikkoku fans: Volume #18 is the last dub. Volumes #19-21 are currently being replicated and should be available in the near future.

Bandai

Bandai showed visitors to their Panel the Fox TV Escacflowne opening, and the results seem pretty positive for it. We'll have to wait and see how fandom reacts to it when Escaflowne airs, but if the AX reaction is any indication, things are looking pretty good for Escaflowne.

Bandai also announced Juubei-chan, Fancy Lala, Angel Links, Betterman, and a few other things for late 2000/early-mid 2001 release.

Finally, Bandai hinted that they're trying to work with Cartoon Network to put another anime series on Toonami. This is still in the early negotiation stages, so please do not consider it set-in-stone by any means.

AnimEigo

Contrary to the many rumors on the internet, AE will not release every series that reaches a 1500 signature petition.

AnimEigo also mentioned that an Otaku no Video DVD should be available in 2001.

Unfortunately due to the problems which prevented an update last night, I was unable to attend much of the AnimEigo Panel, so I cannot report if there were more announcements from AnimEigo.

Manga Entertainment

There is no "X" DVD planned, but the dub VHS tape should be released in July and the sub VHS tape should be released in October if things go well. Unfortunately, M.E. has not recieved permission to release the X^2 (X Squared) Music Videos, so they will not be included on the X release.

The Wings of Honniamise DVD has been delayed, but might be available later in October.

There are still no release dates planned for the Neon Genesis Evangelion Movies, but Manga Entertainment said that they were fairly confident that they could get all of the ADV voice actors for the movies.

Manga Entertainment announced that they have the rights to Virus. Unfortunately, contrary to earlier reports, M.E. says that it does not have the rights to "Big O", a series that looks and feels like the early 90s Batman animated series.

M.E. also said that there will be DVDs for Giant Robo, Gunbuster, and Orgus 02. Giant Robo may see a boxed DVD release.

Central Park Media/U.S. Manga Corps

Before I get to the important things, this weekend is the 10th anniversary of the first hired employee for CPM. Congratulations, CPM, for 10 years of success!

Now, the important news: CPM has obtained the rights to episodes 14-26 of Utena, and has options on the remainder of the series!

Expect to see CPM's subtitled VHS sales to return for a short time, but (with many other companies) they plan to phase out most subtitled VHS sales. CPM went as far as to say that subtitled VHS may only be sold during pre-orders only.

Onto other news:
Escaflowne movie

Wow. First thing is it's incredibly well-drawn, and the backgrounds are quite realistic. The character designs are slightly different than in the TV series, but all of the main characters are in the movie. The voices are (as far as I can tell) the original voice actors.

Once again, wow. The fluid animation and seemless-blending of CG sequences makes this an astoundingly beautiful show. The background music contains many familiar Yoko Kanno themes as well as some new songs.

I won't spoil the movie for anyone, but it's quite amazing for the limited amount of time the show runs. The character interaction is very good, and I enjoyed some of the characters more in this movie than I did in the TV series.

The movie occurs in an alternate timeline to the Escaflowne TV series, but it pulls elements from the original TV series and reworks them into a new masterpiece.

One interesting fact is that the Escaflowne movie was finished a mere three weeks before Anime Expo started, and the subtitles were completed the same week as Anime Expo started.

Utena movie

Take the Utena TV series and add a slice of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and you might end up with something vaguely like the Utena movie.. oh, and throw in elevators, suicide, and traffic signs, too.

Nothing I have ever seen has combined cows, car racing video games, and fencing into a single feature. Although I didn't understand most of what the movie was about, the one theme remained clear: "Break free of the old world and the old ideals, and make your own road.".

The character designs were left pretty much unaltered from the original TV series, although the backgrounds were amazingly well drawn, arguably better than the Escaflowne movie backgrounds. The storyline occurs in a parallel universe to the original TV series. Like the Escaflowne movie, it ties in some features from the TV series and meshes them into a new, fresh show,

No one has announced the rights to the Utena movie yet, not even Manga Entertainment, who have released the Utena TV series.

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