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Otakon 2005
The Indigo + Geneon Entertainment

by Trisha L. Sebastian,
After a bit of a miscommunication in the printed schedule, the panel about all things Geneon at Otakon got off to a start. First up were Miki and Yuichi, the singer and instrumentalist (respectively) of the pop duoThe Indigo with a Q & A session.

The Indigo were responsible for the ending theme song to Ai Yori Aoshi, its sequel Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ and Someday's Dreamers, and the duo played mini-concerts at the Geneon industry booth all weekend. From the pleasant, but not overwhelming round of applause that greeted the duo, it was clear that not everyone in the audience was a devoted fan of their work.

The Q & A session was very light-hearted, with the first question coming from their translator: “Are you two going out?” The two answered almost simultaneously. “No,” Yuki said, while Yuichi said, “It's a secret.”

The duo has been together for eight years, having met in 1997, and made their professional debut in 2000. As for the name “The Indigo,” Yuichi joked with the crowd, saying that they decided to call themselves that “simply because we liked the color. We'll leave the rest to your imaginations.”

On a more serious note, he explained, “The color has a mythical quality, and the ability to ward off ghosts and demons. It touches a part of all of our audiences.”

The Indigo got to ask some questions of the audience in the panel as well. “What does the city of Baltimore mean to everyone?” Yuichi asked. “Is it a good city?” When part of the crowd roared back with a healthy, “No!” Yuichi replied by miming a “thumbs down” gesture.

For a duo that's been together for eight years, their past as musicians is surprisingly light. Both indicated that they did not have professional training. Miki said that when she was younger, she would sing along with the anime she liked on TV and with her favorite idols. “I really liked The Carpenters,” she said, citing another famous pop duo. Yuichi added that he feels lucky to have a job as a musician.

And speaking of The Carpenters, The Indigo has another thing in common with them in addition to a shared musical sense. Just as Richard Carpenter performed all of the instruments and orchestration for The Carpenters, so does Yuichi for The Indigo. One convention attendee asked a question about the back-up band on their CDs, and Yuichi replied that he was the one who played all the instruments on the CD!

Throughout the entire panel, Miki and Yuichi were very outgoing, being teased by their translator and teasing the audience in return. When asked what their favorite anime was as a kid (Yuki answered, “Slam Dunk” to a chorus of appreciative applause), Yuichi answered that he couldn't remember the anime he liked as a kid, just remembering that it was probably shows that were played at 5:30 pm.

A fan shouted out a show title, and he replied, “Oh, that one!” and jokingly added, “Of course, being Japanese, that makes me automatically more knowledgeable than you.”
Another fan asked if being distributed internationally is a help to their career. Yuichi replied, “Yes. Next question.” He did answer the question seriously, though, adding, “Now Japanese animation knows The Indigo [and] we are helping to make Japanese music popular internationally.”

A question came up about which of their CDs were available in the U.S. Yuki replied that only one of them, “Indigo suite Best Indigo” is being currently released in the States. “But if the people at Geneon will do it...” she teased, looking at the Geneon representatives off-stage.

When their time was up, the applause for them was much louder than at the beginning of the panel, indicating that The Indigo may have at least won over a few more hearts on their first international tour.

The second half of the panel consisted of the showing off of the trailer reel for shows that are currently in production from Geneon Entertainment, Co. Ltd. In Japan. This was the same trailer reel that they showed at Anime Expo, including the Hellsing Ultimate OAV trailer that had fans screaming and cheering for their favorite returning characters.

After the reel had finished, the panelists had time to answer only three questions before they started handing out prizes.

Because all of the titles shown on the trailer reel are currently still in production, they do not have any idea of when the shows will be running on the air in Japan, much less when they will be licensed and released here in the U.S. However, their best guess as to when an episode of Hellsing will be released in Japan is in 2006. Fate/stay night is likely to be released in Japan by late 2006 or early 2007.

Hellsing Ultimate OAV may or may not retain the original voice cast from the Hellsing TV series. Though they intend on keeping things consistent, because they don't even have a script yet, they cannot say for sure whether or not they will keep the same seiyuu.

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