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Sakuracon 2005
Sakuracon - Bandai Entertainment

by Kyle Pope,
The Bandai panel was conducted by Jerry Chu. He had no new title announcements but discussed the future releases of known Bandai acquisitions. He did say that there were announcements but they weren't ready and would probably be announced at Anime Boston.

In the coming months we can look forward to the release of PLANETES in June. PLANETES will be a 6 disc release. All PLANETES releases will be special edition 2-disc sets. The extras disc will include footage shot at Johnson Space Center with scientists discussing the scientific concepts behind the show. Orbital debris is a real concern to NASA as it does pose a real threat to further space exploration. There's more to the concept of "garbagemen in space" than that appelation would suggest. Jerry Chu endorsed PLANETES as the must-see title on Bandai's upcoming release schedule. DICE is also being released in June. Coming as well is a basketball anime titled Hoop Days, Stratos 4 OAV, Gundam Seed theatrical movies 1, 2 & 3 and a Ghost in the Shell music anthology DVD and CD. Get ready for another chance to buy Gundam again. Collectors editions of Gundam 08th MS Team, Gundam 0080 and Gundam 0083 are coming out as well. Infinite Ryvius and Silent Möbius TV will be getting boxed releases. In July we can look forward to Mars Daybreak while Avenger will be following on in August. September will see the release of Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex Second GIG. Also coming in the Fall is Cowboy Bebop Remix. This edition will be the complete series remixed in Digital Dolby 5.1. Addtionally it will contain a plethora of special features to include both Japanese and US staff and cast commentaries to include Yoko Kanno. Also added will be Adult Swim's trailers for the show. Unusual is Bandai's co-production of Eureka 7 in that the show will start airing in Japan on April 17th. Similarly to .hack, Eureka 7 will be a multi-format property, with video games, manga, merchandise and etc... However while .hack's central property was the video game, Eureka 7 is driven by the anime. Bandai's domestic release of the series will follow the Japanese DVD release. While Gundam Seed Destiny has been acquired, production of its English language version hasn't started as of this writing. However Bandai is in negotiation with Cartoon Network for a television airing of Gundam Seed Destiny.

Like ADV Bandai is considering alternate methods of content distribution to include streaming. As it is Bandai is providing content for Adult Swim's Video on Demand service. They are also looking at the new Blu-Ray and HD DVD technology. However they are holding off commitment to the new DVD technology until one of the competeing standards becomes dominant. Also on the technology front Bandai is in negotiation with Sony with regards to providing content for the PSP. I imagine it's a safe bet that all the anime distributors are under consideration as content providers for the PSP.

As for what isn't happening at Bandai. There will be no DVD release of CLAMP Campus Detectives as Bandai has lost the license. The Cowboy Bebop game will not be forthcoming either.

While I am disappointed in the lack of new title announcements Bandai did give us plenty to look forward to over the Summer and Fall.

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