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Anime Central 2004
Anime Central: AnimEigo

by Christopher Macdonald & Mikhail Koulikov,
Studio Representatives: Scott Carlson, Operation Manager and James McLean, Production Manager

2004 marks AnimEigo's 15th anniversary; it is, therefore, the oldest surviving anime company in North America. Although no “new” titles are planned for release, the sixth and seventh Urusei Yatsura box sets will be made available in July and October, respectively. The episodes contained in these sets have never before been commercially released in English. They will also be releasing the third and fourth Urusei Yatsura movies in 2004. All of Urusei Yatsura should be available on DVD by mid-summer 2005. The TV series is being released subtitled only, while The UY Movies and future OVAs will be subbed and dubbed in English.

Other releases for 2004 include AD Police (September), and a DVD rerelease of Bubblegum Crisis (November). The new Bubblegum Crisis DVDs will include everything that was included in the previous set, as well as some new, unspecified extras. This will be the first time that AD Police will be available on DVD in North America.

AnimEigo is working on "capping off" their existing anime line, meaning that they are working on getting all of their remaining catalog titles onto DVD. Some titles however will not be released on DVD. For example Genesis Surviver Gaiarth and Shonan Bakusozuku will probably not be released on DVD.

AnimEigo's big thing for the coming year is their new line of Metal Munching Maniacs videos, which will join their existing anime and samurai video lines. The Metal Munching Maniacs DVDs will feature matches and interviews from the growing Robot Combat (Battlebots / Robot Wars) sport.

Carlson was very quick and adamant to point out that this new line of videos does not mean that AnimEigo is abandoning the anime market. Although Carlson was not willing to speak about any licensing specifics, he did inform ANN after the panel that AnimEigo still remains very much open to licensing new titles.

AnimEigo has explored the possibility of merchandising and Carlson stated that he would not be surprised if some AnimEigo merchandise came out by Christmas. The first merchandise would most likely be related to Bubblegum Series.

This report was verified for accuracy by Scott Carlson

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