Big Apple Anime Fest
by Mikhail Koulikov,
Three new titles, all related to current Funimation properties, have been licensed. These are the Lupin III: Farewell to Nostradamus and Lupin III: Dead or Alive feature films, and the Blue Gender Movie. Release plans are currently in development with an estimated date of summer 2004. Limited theatrical release will be considered. Overall, In addition to the films, Funimation holds the rights to 10 Lupin III specials. The only extra specified at this time will be an interview with Lupin creator Monkey Punch that will appear on the Dead or Alive DVD.
Sakura Taisen Memorial Concert will be released on December 02 at a price point of US$9.99. Contract terms require that "Sakura Taisen," rather than the translation ("Sakura Wars") be used as the official title.
The Sakura Taisen: Ecole de Paris OVA will be released on April 13. The DVD will contain the three episodes as well as all three twelve-minute cast and staff interviews included on the Japanese DVDs. Funimation has been unable to secure the participation of the American voice actors who provided voices for the Sakura Taisen TV series or the first two OVAs. However, the voices that will be used will match as closely as possible those in the OVAs.
The first volume of Kiddy Grade will be released on February 17. In all, six volumes will be released at a price point of $29.98 each. A box set, including multiple unspecified premium items, will be released as well. New covers may be developed for the US release, and using the original Japanese artwork on reversible covers is being considered as well.
The Blue Gender box set, which will be made available shortly, will include a limited edition poster signed by the actors voicing the series' two main characters.
Although 4Kids Entertainment holds the rights to the Shaman King anime series, distribution of DVDs will most likely be through Funimation.
Finally, Mr. Heiskell confirmed that Funimation holds the rights to all Detective Conan properties available, including both the TV series and movies.