Anime Central 2001 ACen 2001: AnimEigo
by George Phillips, May 11th 2001
Robert Woodhead, Shin Kurokawa and Scott Carlson represented AnimEigo at this convention. They spent much of their panel discussing the Macross DVD boxed set, You're Under Arrest, and the new Vampire Princess Miyu OVA DVD.
The Macross boxed set has nearly passed 15,000 pre-orders, and is growing by about 1,000 orders per month. Robert said their initial expectations were in the range of 2,500 to 3,000 orders. Obviously, Macross was more popular than their wildest expectations. This drastic increase in Macross box orders has prompted AnimEigo to send Macross through two rounds of touch-up work. The first restoration significantly brightened colors and improved details. The second digital restoration is being done by Sensory Technology, one of the biggest names in film restoration. This second pass fixes chemical spills and some cel errors missed by the first, as well as some additional de-speckling of the video itself.
Robert humorously said that at this rate, Shin could continue his touch-up work, and by the time he finishes 8 months from now, there would be enough additional pre-orders to send him back to do yet another level of video improvement.
You're Under Arrest TV is off to a good start. The Japanese company provided English scripts for AnimEigo that were very well done. Robert said this will greatly speed up YUA production. In addition, dubbing will start on July 1st. The only non-returning actress is Miyuki, who will instead be voiced by the actress who played Belldandy.
The Vampire Princess Miyu OVA DVD looks incredible, and sounds equally so. AE showed several clips of the OVAs and pointed out where and how they enhanced the video and audio quality. Although the Miyu OVAs didn't receive the same treatment that Macross did, they do look sharper and clearer than before.
Finally, when asked about the Ah! Megami-sama (Oh! My Goddess) Movie, Robert rattled out, "I can neither confirm nor deny that. I can neither confirm nor deny any confirmation or denial of that. I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of anime, and even Japan. I'm not so sure about this whole 'Internet' thing either."
A similar lack of confirmation or denial was displayed for Vampire Princess Miyu TV, but it was announced after the convention that TokyoPop owns the rights to it.