Anime Expo 2005
Anime Expo - FUNimation

by Bamboo Dong, Jul 4th 2005
Representatives: Lance Heiskell, Adam Sheehan, Melissa Ellis, Jon Baumgardner

The FUNimation panel started off with some news on upcoming releases. Of note, Tenchi Muyo! OVA 3 Vol. 1 will be in stores on July 5, and the following week will see the second discs of Gunslinger Girl and Burst Angel. Both of those will also be available in Wal-Mart.

Other notable releases include the first volumes of Galaxy Railways on July 19 and Kodocha on August 2. The Kodocha limited edition will come with a Mythware bag and a clamshell box similar to the one used for Fruits Basket.

The next Fullmetal Alchemist disc will come out on July 26 and will contain a promo video for L'Arc~en~Ciel and the first episode of Spiral. Heiskell also spoke about the current contest being run for the chance to see the band in concert in Japan. More information can be seen on the series website.

As for Samurai 7, each volume will come in two variations, regular and limited edition. Each limited edition volume will come in a special box which will contain a 160-page storyboard booklet for each episode. In addition, each disc (regardless of edition) will contain a 32-page color insert booklet.

In merchandising news, the panelists talked about the Fullmetal Alchemist merchandise already out on the market. The near future will also herald figures from Southern Island Toys for Case Closed, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fruits Basket, and Blue Gender. The Case Closed TCG is already out on the market, and August will see a Fullmetal Alchemist TCG from Joyride.

Afterwards, the panelists talked about their current Gonzo properties, like Basilisk, Speed Grapher, and Desert Punk.

Two versions of Desert Punk were made—a naughtier, tongue in cheek DVD release, and a censored, light-hearted one that was made for TV. The TV version will be included on the discs as an extra.

FUNimation then announced their newest acquisition, the highly anticipated Trinity Blood. They prefaced this with a nod to Sunao Yoshida, who died almost a year ago after writing 13 novels, which were adapted into an anime series by Gonzo. There are currently 24 episodes of the series out in Japan.

A preview of the first episode of Trinity Blood was shown to the audience, and was met with much applause.

Heiskell opened the floor to a Q&A session which answered a few questions about future company plans. While FUNimation holds the merchandising rights for Tenchi GXP, they don't have them for Tenchi Muyo!.

When asked about the Sakura Wars videogames, they stated that a Japanese company has confirmed that all the games will eventually come to the US, but no comment could be made on the licensor.

Yū Yū Hakusho boxsets will be released, with the Chapter Black Saga Set slated for October.

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