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Otakon - 2003
Bandai Entertainment

by Bamboo Dong,
Representative: Jerry Chu

Bandai Entertainment presented its panel on Saturday at 12:30, with Jerry Chu hosting the panel. The room was packed with well over 200 fans eagerly waiting for the one series that Chu was going to be announcing.

The event was kicked off with the same sizzle reel that was being shown in the Bandai booth in the Dealer's Room. The reel showed clips of past series, current releases, and upcoming titles, including the hotly anticipated Witch Hunter Robin, Wolf's Rain, and others—all announced at earlier conventions.

Afterwards Chu announced the acquisition of Gundam Seed, a title that fans have already been expecting Bandai to license. He asked for fansubbers to please stop distributing both Gundam Seed and also Wolf's Rain.

Chu then elaborated on some of the upcoming series for this year. Zeta Gundam will be released in two parts—the first a for-fans release as an exclusive boxset, complete with a special Japanese extra. After that, Bandai will release the discs individually. There are also plans to release action figures and models for the series.

Information was also revealed about .hack//SIGN. The Platinum Edition of volume five will include a CD box to hold all of the soundtracks. The sixth volume will be released as a two-disc set, with the second DVD housing the two extra episodes 27 and 28 that were released in Japan.

Chu also talked about the plans that Bandai had for television broadcasts. First, the Kikaider OAVs would have been broadcast on Cartoon Network, the will DVDs follow shortly.

The Superior Defender TV series will start airing on Cartoon Network in December. Different from the SD Gundam that was shown in Japan before, this new series was produced and animated entirely by Sunrise. The American broadcast will take place before the Japanese one, with DVDs planned for next year. To follow up this news, Chu showed the fifth episode of SD Gundam, which has already been dubbed. There are plans to make a collectable card game for the series, as well.

The special release of the first disc of Infinite Ryvius with the box will include a plushie. There will also be mini pencil boards included with the releases. The material on the “fan discs” that were released in Japan will also be included with the Platinum Edition discs.

The Witch Hunter Robin special release will come out in early October. The first disc will be packaged in a sturdy box with a T-shirt, different from the ones that Bandai has been giving out at their convention booths. The box will also come with a CD soundtrack and a beverage (shot) glass.

Cyber Formula will come out in November, with all 37 episodes being released at the same time.

The Saber Marionette J Collection boxes will be individually signed by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Although mentioned at the Production I.G panel, it is noteworthy in the Bandai report as they are the North American distributor, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has been extended to 52 episodes.

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