Anime Central 2011 Sentai Filmworks Panel
by Theron Martin, May 21st 2011
David Williams, public relations rep and producer for Sentai Filmworks, opened the panel by explaining that he is pretty much a jack-of-all-trades for Sentai right now (he even manned the Sentai booth in the dealer room earlier in the day) and then moved along into a rundown of titles Section 23 will be releasing for them over the summer. He finished the listing with the mention that MM! and Amagami SS, both new acquisitions, are slated for September releases, probably in subtitled-only form. Without further ado, David then opened the floor for questions.
Answers to many of the questions involved clarifications concerning titles Sentai currently has planned for upcoming release. David confirmed that Sentai got the multi-language track for Night Raid 1931 and not the purely Japanese track. He also confirmed that Sentai has both the two OVA episodes and the recap episode and will be including them on the August Blu-Ray and DVD releases, although the recap episode will not be dubbed. He also clarified that Sentai does have both the OVA shorts and the voiced-over 4-panel content for Samurai Girls and will be including them on the upcoming releases - and it will be an uncensored release. Sentai does not have the OVA episode for Highschool of the Dead, however, as that is a separate license. Sentai also has no plans to release any further Glass Mask, which has been a sales disappointment for them, but they do intend to release more Golgo 13 once the necessary masters are available to them.
In response to other questions, David explained that, while they had not initially paid much attention to streaming numbers, they are increasingly starting to factor them into their decision-making processes on how they release titles. Demon King Daimao was cited as an example of a title which was originally slated for a subtitled-only, DVD-only release but was bumped up to dubbed and Blu-Ray status due to streaming numbers on The Anime Network that were second only to Highschool of the Dead. Sentai does not have any plans to do combined DVD/Blu-Ray releases because they have yet to find a way to make them economically viable for them. David did also confirm that, while licensing costs are still expensive, they have come down considerably since the boom days of the market and that Japanese Licensors are being sensitive in that respect to the recent changes in the American market.
David closed out the panel by awarding several DVDs and Blu-Rays to attendees.
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