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Anime Central 2004
Anime Central: ADV

by Christopher Macdonald & Mikhail Koulikov,
Studio representatives: David Williams, Matt Greenfield

Three new licenses for ADV Films were announced. In addition to Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, and Peacemaker Kurogane (as “Peacemaker”), ADV will be releasing the classic series Gatchaman, uncut. An edited version of Gatchaman ran on American television in the 1980's as G-Force and Battle of the Planets. Episodes of G-Force and Gatchaman will also be airing on The Anime Network later in the year. The Gatchaman DVDs will be bilingual.

A promotional film ADV prepared for retailers gave the following figures related to ADV properties and the North American market for Japanese popular culture in general. In terms of number of titles it releases, ADV is the fourth largest home video distributor in North America (after MGM, Warner, and Sony). The total market size (not just ADV) is currently $4.2 billion, of which $500 million is home video sales. The current circulation of Newtype USA is over 100,000, and The Anime Network currently has over ten million subscribers. 18 volumes of manga were released in 2003, and over 250 are scheduled to be released throughout 2004.

As recently announced, The Anime Network will be coming out in a linear broadcast form on Insight shortly. There are also deals with other unspecified providers in the works, Greenfield commented that the “When is The Anime Network coming to ...” question will be solved with these deals.

Approximate release dates for several ADV anime properties were announced. The first volume of Peacemaker will be released sometime in the fall, Get Backers in late summer, and the Excel Saga Imperfect Collection box set in July. Production on the Fist of the North Star OVA series is nearing completion and a release date will be announced shortly.

The Mutineer's Moon anime TV series will run for 26 episodes and will be broadcast in Japan and the USA. ADV will soon be making announcements regarding the key production staff for the series.

The upcoming RahXephon The Movie: Limited Edition release will include the DVD, a booklet and a box. The booklet is the same thick booklet that came out with the Japanese version. ADV is aware of some disappointment with the first RahXephon box. This one will be a sturdy chip board box that will hold the entire TV series and the movie. This is a limited edition release. Although ADV will not be producing a specified quantity of the release (they will produce enough to meet pre-orders), they will not produce anymore after the first run. They are also doing the same with the limited edition Evangelion release with the slip covers.

Currently, no theatrical releases are planned for any feature films ADV holds the rights to, however this may change with future acquisition announcements. Regarding the Neon Genesis Evangelion live-action movie, a rough draft exists and the search for a director is now underway.

ADV Toys will be one of the major growth areas in the company in 2004. Items to be released include plush toys of Menchi (Excel Saga) and Jonathan the Seal (Kaleido Star), and a variety of other products, especially related to Excel Saga and Noir.

As usual, there are a number of projects in development across all of ADV's product lines that cannot be announced at this time. They are in fact already doing production work on numerous titles that they have not yet announced.

One panel attendee asked ADV why they edited Happy Lesson, to which Williams and Greenfield both responded “It wasn't edited.” They explained that ADV released exactly what they received from Japan and that their release was identical to the Japanese TV broadcast. They did suggest that it was possible that the Japanese DVD release may have had changes made to it by the Japanese producers, this would explain any differences between the Japanese DVD release and ADV's DVD release. This has already been the case several times with other studios.

Regarding episode count per DVD, ADV has no set policy. The episode count is decided on an individual basis with numerous factors contributing to the decision. For example the Evangelion Platinum Edition was originally planned to be 6 DVDs, however it would not fit on 6 DVDs without down-sampling the bit-rate, something ADV felt would be inappropriate for a “Platinum Edition.”

When asked about a possible DVD release of Scrapped Princess, they would not comment.

Bubblegum Crisis 2041 is in “development hell.” Work is being done on re-assembling the staff from BGC 2040, however they are currently divided among other projects.

When asked about any future giant robot shows, ADV would not comment on any specifics but stated that they will be making announcements in the near future that fans will “lose control of their bowels over.”

They are also working on licensing more soundtracks but they are waiting for one big contract to be resolved, following which they will be able to announce numerous soundtracks.

ADV expects to license more older titles. Greenfield explained that The Anime Network was conceived of as a way to establish market interest in titles that did not already have an established market.

This repost has been verified for accuracy by David Williams

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