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Anime Expo 2006
A.D. Vision

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Fully aware of how many people would want to attend, ADV split its Anime Expo presence into three parts, with two panels on the second day of the convention, and one on the third. David Williams and Matt Greenfield were present at all three, and for the Monday session, they were joined by company founder and CEO John Ledford.

Each of the three panels followed a roughly similar format, beginning with a general overview of some of the projects ADV is currently working on, the announcement of a new title, the showing of a full episode or clip, and then Q&A. The first Sunday session gave us the news that ADV has acquired Nerima Daikon Brothers, which Williams and Greenfield referred to as the “nothing is sacred” series, and mention of the fact that the first volumes of both Jinki:Extend and Comic Party: Revolution will be out in September.

The apparent slowdown in announcing new licenses through the first half of 2006 was actually due primarily to the fact that negotiations for the strategic partnership with Sojitz had to be concluded before ADV could really move forward with plans. In the meanwhile, ADV was contracted by Kadokawa USA to handle the production and dubbing aspects of the upcoming release of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, while Funimation takes care of marketing and distribution. As for ADV's manga titles, at this point, the focus is on “titles that move through stores the fastest.”

The Sunday afternoon panel expanded on some of the announcements made earlier that day, as well as at previous conventions. Currently, ADV has no plans to release the original Fist of the North Star TV series. On the other hand, the company is now actively looking at licensing various Japanese live-action series. All of the in-episode songs in Nerima Daikon Brothers will be dubbed on the English track, and apparently, director Shinichi Watanabe based the look of the show's main characters on the two mascots of Anime Central, where he was a guest of honor in 2004.

At this point, ADV announced their second new license, Paniponi Dash. Given the text-heavy nature of this anime, ADVidNotes will be making their comeback in the DVD release.

The final ADV panel, on Monday afternoon, focused somewhat more on The Anime Network, which is now seen in over 24 million households and is the nation's largest video-on-demand service. Over the next two years, ADV's plans for the channel include developing significant amounts of original/non-fiction content.

Although at previous panels, ADV had stated that there were plans to release its entire back catalog on DVD, because of rights issues, some titles may never be released. Similarly, although Kurau: Phantom Memory had previously been mentioned as an ADV license, by Otakon, the company will clarify whether or not it actually does hold the rights to it.

At each of the three panels, Williams and Greenfield clocked the time it would take for the first question about the Neon Genesis Evangelion movie to be asked. At the first two, it came within the first five minutes or so; at the last, not until about the twenty-minute mark. A major announcement about this project is going to be made sometime this fall. When asked about another ADV title now being considered for a live-action adaptation, Battle Angel Alita, they responded by saying that “the word 3D has come up.”

Finally, the last ADV license of this year's Anime Expo was confirmed as the new Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor TV series. The first volume will hit store shelves sometime in October to November of this year.

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