Sakura-Con 2002
Sakura-Con Saturday Panel report

Apr 28th 2002
The panels were more numerous and more informative today.



Pioneer

Pioneer announced their projected release schedule as follows:

June - Armitage: Dual-Matrix.

July - Hellsing. Hellsing will come in two flavors. You can acquire the DVD alone or a DVD and box in which to collect the rest of the series. Hellsing will be released in four volumes much as their other short series (to which ADV had a response which I will cover in their section.)

August - I, My, Me, Strawbery Eggs, retitled Strawbery Eggs for the US market.

September - X TV plus the Episode 0 OVA (8 volume release), Vandread Second Stage (4 volume release).

Additional tidbits. Pioneer has no interest in selling empty boxes for series that have already been released. While they are offering box sets they have no intention of making those boxes available to those who have already purchased a given series. Other companies are not following suit.

Bandai

The big announcement from Bandai was the acquisition of Earth Girl Arjuna though Bandai will title it Earth Maiden Arjuna. No projected street date was given as this title was only just picked up. Also acquired was Kaze Makase Tsukikage Ran. The official English title of this release will be "Carried by the Wind" with "Tsukikage Ran" as the subtitle. Additional titles announced though not news were Fancy Lala, Escaflowne movie, and Char's Counterattack.

Bandai is pushing for a theatrical release of Char's Counterattack as well as a Fall broadcast on Cartoon Network. Cities listed as screening sites were New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. Others may be added. Also Bandai is pushing G-Gundam as the next Gundam to air on CN. Unlike the previous Gundams to air Bandai will be going on an all-out mainstream advertising push for G-Gundam. They will be advertising this one beyond the normal anime media. The Kikaider anime has been postponed indefinitely due to the higher priority of Bandai's current projects.

Bandai has also signed some merchandising agreements around Cowboy Bebop which has received a considerable sales boost since its run on Adult Swim. Interestingly enough Jerry Chu cited that Cowboy Bebop has scored exceedingly high in the 6 - 11 year old demographic. So much for Adult Swim being for adults. Among the merchandise scheduled to hit the shelves this Fall are character busts, a Faye resin kit, Cowboy Bebop Zippo cigarette lighters, an Ein plush and an Ein dog dish. Oddly enough all of this merchandise is already available in Japan. Also Bandai is relaunching their website at www.bandai-ent.com with a new look, streaming content and current information on their current and future projects.

A.D. Vision

The ADV panel was hosted by the famous David L. Williams. The man is bizarre. But he had lots of news. Williams discussed a number of titles including:

The release of Noir will also include the R2 DVD extras. ADV is also working on converting the rest of its back catalogue over to DVD and they hope to have this completed by the end of this year or early next. Dragon Half will be coming to DVD this Fall and though he was hounded about it he had no word on when Nuku Nuku would come to DVD. Though there were no specifics given ADV is also in negotiation with several outlets for possible broadcast of ADV properties.

In addition to video, ADV will be releasing anime soundtracks as a part of their AnimeTrax partnership with TRSI. Among the titles confirmed are:

Also ADV announced that 6 discs will be the standard release format for their 26 episode TV series and will be making 3 discs the standard for 12 and 13 episode series. Their reasoning was that selling a 13 episode series over 4 discs was the same as selling a 26 episode series over 8 discs. So in the interests of consistency they're reducing the disc count of their short series as well. It will be interesting to see how the other anime companies respond to this move that will undoubtedly make ADV very popular among fans. It will certainly give Super Techno Arts quite an obstacle given their rather thin episode count for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. ADV also announced that they will be making empty boxes available to series owners through an outside vendor.

[Update]
We previously reported that ADV had announced s-CRY-ed. David Williams of ADV informed us that this is not the case. We apologize for the error.



Kyle Pope

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