Otakon 2007
Media Blasters

by Mikhail Koulikov, Jul 21st 2007

Company representatives: John Sirabella, Frank Pannone.

Complete Panel
Bringing together the two sides of Media Blasters, their Saturday morning panel was hosted by both company president John Sirabella and managing editor of manga, Frank Pannone, looking quite dapper for 9AM in a t-shirt and bowler hat ensemble.

The first show Matt and Frank talked about is the upcoming Kite: Liberator, which will be a 40-minute OVA that reimagines the original Kite story in a futuristic sci-fi setting. To develop this co-production, Media Blasters recently opened a Japanese office. Production work on Liberator has just recently commenced, and should be finished by September of this year. Another co-production the company is working on is the live-action feature film Machine Girl. Reminiscent of Robert Rodriguez' Planet Terror, it features a female protagonist with a machine gun grafted onto one of her arms. A third is Takashi Miike's Crows Zero, a prequel to Hiroshi Takahashi's 26-volume manga Crows, itself the source of a two-episode OVA.

At Anime Exo earlier this month, Media Blasters announced a number of new licenses. Now, Sirabella has been able to clarify many of the details surrounding these releases. One of the reasons Media Blasters acquired the Kujibiki Unbalance TV series and its accompanying Genshiken OAV episodes was to give them a better chance to eventually license the second season of Genshiken. The way the OVA will be released will be similar to that of the first Genshiken series, with each of the three episodes being available only as an extra on a Kujibiki Unbalance volume.

Although the original Ikki Tousen series was released in the US by another company, Media Blasters hopes to use the same voice actors to dub Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny. For Goldenboy and Angel Sanctuary, both of which have also already been released on DVD, they will be looking to produce remastered versions. With regard to new additions to the adult-oriented Kitty Media label, a major package of new licenses is about to be signed. Once confirmed, this package will provide "enough new titles for a year."

When Media Blasters released Gaogaigar, the original plan was to use the release of Voltron to promote it. Unfortunately, this series did not sell to expectations, and while the company will work to complete GGG, the possibility of them acquiring any more older giant robot series is very low. On the other hand, because of how well Voltron has been selling, once Media Blasters starts releasing the uncut original Golion, that series will most likely come out as a sequence of thirteen-episode sets, rather than individual DVDs.

Media Blasters is also looking to embrace new distribution structures, in particular "burn on demand." The first title that will be made available through burn-on-demand at various retail locations, including Wal-Mart, will be Twelve Kingdoms.

They are also going ahead with developing new games. The Discipline hentai game is currently being translated, while Samurai Deeper Kyo for the Game Boy Advance is now expected to be released early in 2008. Media Blasters is also working to bring to the US the online card battle game Alteil.

Media Blasters' one new acquisition is the manga Moso Shoujo Otaku Kei. The plot of this manga, which is serialized in Futabasha's Comic High!, has frequently been compared to that of Genshiken and Tonari no 801-chan. It involves an average high school student who does not care for popular culture, but falls in love with a yaoi fangirl.

This report has been verified by a studio representative.


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