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Anime Expo 2004
Anime Expo - Bandai Entertainment

by Bamboo Dong & Mikhail Koulilov,
Bandai Entertainment

Presenters: Ken Iyadomi - Executive Vice President, Jerry Chu - Intern

Bandai Entertainment presented their panel at Anime Expo on Sunday to a well-stocked room. The panel kicked off with a sizzling reel of trailers with a few of the upcoming titles, like the Dear Boys TV series (already in production), Overman King Gainer, and Di Gi Charat Nyo. New acquisitions included Please Twins, the golf anime Dan Doh!!, Scrapped Princess, and Galaxy Angel Z. Iyadomi announced two more titles, Kenran Butou Sai: Mars Daybreak, and a Bones title named Hiyou Senki.

Overman King Gainer will be released on six volumes; Dear Boys is currently in production and set for release some time in 2005.

Bandai is working with Cartoon Network to launch a Video On Demand channel. It will be named “Adult Swim Video on Demand, in association with Anime Village.com” and available through a number of cable providers, including Time Warner and Comcast.

Jerry Chu also announced that Bandai will be taking a very aggressive stance against counterfeit merchandise including Hong Kong bootleg DVDs, wall scrolls, plush dolls, figures, etc. Two dealers at Anime Expo were asked to leave and were escorted out of Anime Expo's exhibit hall for carrying non-licensed products. Further details will be made available later in the week.

This was followed by a question and answer session. It was revealed that while the original planned release for Zeta Gundam was slated for September, delays have pushed it back to sometime in the fourth quarter. Special plans are in the works for the boxset, including an exclusive cover design by Tsukasa Kotobuki better known for his character designs on Saber Marionette J. There are no plans to air Zeta Gundam on Cartoon Network.

When asked about the possibility of licensing and releasing the Galaxy Angel video games, Mr. Iyadomi stated that Sony Computer Entertainment maintains strict control over which titles will be issued license for development on the PlayStation 2 platform.

In reference to Double Zeta Gundam, Victory Gundam, and Turn A Gundam, Iyadomi said that there is a good chance they'll be released. It is just a question of when.

Gundam F91 will be released this year. It will first premiere on 35mm with Japanese audio and English subtitles at Otakon this year. There will also be a limited theatrical run in several markets, including Los Angeles and New York City. The DVD will be released later this year.

The Wolf's Rain soundtracks will be brought over and are available within the Limited Edition release of Wolf's Rain, but it's unsure whether or not Scrapped Princess will get a domestic CD release.

As for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex news, it will be released with a new DTS surround sound mix and the original soundtrack for both the Japanese and English language tracks. The first episode will be aired on Cartoon Network on November 6 at 11PM as announced earlier by Cartoon Network.

The Region 1 release of Yukikaze is concurrent with the Japanese release. Ms. Kanamura of Bandai Visual confirmed that the last OVA episode of Yukikaze will be released before the end of the year - Therefore, fans can expect the final 3 OVA episodes to be released in North America soon after.

More information and announcements were hinted (in particular: new release and Canadian distribution) for Otakon 2004.

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