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Anime Expo 2003

by Bamboo Dong,
Hosted by Justin Cook and Lance Heiskell, the Funimation panel was kicked off by a visit from a few guests from Studio Pierrot. The guests included Noriyuki Abe and other character designers from the popular series Yū Yū Hakusho. They fielded questions about the characters asked by Cook, who was also the English voice actor of Yusuke in the series. After a few questions were answered by the guests from both Cook and the audience, Heiskell started the Funimation portion of the panel by announcing plans for upcoming releases.

All 26 episodes of Blue Gender will be released as a DVD boxset retailing for $119.98. Included with the first run of them will be a poster autographed by voice actor Eric Vail. Also, Broly will be released on uncut VHS and DVD on the 26th of August for $24.95. Other release dates include Kiddy Grade, which will be released some time in 2004.

Heiskell also mentioned that the Dragon Ball Z Budokai game would come out on August 15 with an effect called “Toriyama Shading” that would make the artwork look like the manga.

The big announcement of the day came when Funimation finally announced their newest acquisition. Amidst a torrent of excited screams, they stated that they have the rights to the first 104 episodes of Detective Conan, as well as the two movies. However, the crowd reaction wasn't as surprised as it could have been since Funimation's website accidentally put up a page on Conan two hours early. Regardless, the panel was successful and the fans left the room pleased and content.

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