Anime Expo 2009 Bandai Entertainment
by Evan Miller,
Panelists: Ken Iyadomi, Robert Napton, Ai Takai
Iyadomi started by thanking the attendees for getting up at nine for their panel. He then introduced Ai Takai, who announced a partnership with Japanese music company Lantis to bring J-pop and anime music to iTunes in the US and Canada. The service is scheduled to launch in late July or early August at the latest. Fans can get more information about the release by going to www.myspace.com/j_anisong. Lantis is the managing company for many anime song artists, including Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara, yozuca* and JAM Project. After that announcement, a video for JAM Project was screened from their No Border tour. The band performed at Otakon last year, and their songs will be the first to go on sale when the project launches.
The panel then moved to an introduction of titles. Napton talked about the streaming of the series Kurokami on YouTube, which was also aired on ImaginAsian TV and streamed on CrunchyRoll. This was followed by a commercial for the release of the full-length film Sword of the Stranger, which is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Napton also mentioned the DVD release of Code Geass Season 2, which will go on sale in August.
The next title introduced was Gundam 00, which is currently airing on the Sci-Fi Channel. The first DVD box set will be released on July 21. A special edition box set will also be released the same day and will include the first two volumes of the manga. Another fan favorite, Gurren Lagann, was introduced next. The three DVD sets for the series are available now, which is also running on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Three forthcoming DVD releases were announced next. The first was the Lucky Star OVA, which will be released with subtitles only in the first week of August with a suggested retail price of $14.95. The second was Hayate the Combat Butler, which will be released July 21st and include the first seven episodes. Finally, the .hack/GU movie was announced. The DVD will be released in August for $19.95 with subtitles only.
Next, the presentation moved on to the Anime Legends product line. The first title announced in this block was the True Tears anime, which will be released on DVD as a complete 13 episode series on July 21st. Next up was Sola, which streets in August in a complete three-disc DVD set for a price of $44.95. Finally, existing releases of Freedom and Eureka Seven were also mentioned.
The next set of announcements covered manga and light novel releases, including the Code Geass novels, manga, and the Nightmare of Nunnally side story from the same series. The Gurren Lagann manga releases were also announced (volume 2 out soon) along with the release of the manga for The Girl who Lept Through Time. The Lucky Star manga release was also introduced, followed by the announcement of the Gundam 00 manga. The last two titles mentioned were the three volume omnibus edition of Eureka Seven which will be released in Septemeber, and the complete collection for the Witchblade Takeru manga, which has been nominated for Harvey Award for repackaging. The manga will street this November.
The panel concluded with a new license announcement for the full-length Eureka Seven movie release, which will be screened in theatres via a partnership with Fathom Events on September 24th. As a special addendum to this release, Napton also advertised the online streaming of the original TV series on Anime News Network, which begins today.
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