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Anime Expo 2006
Funimation Entertainment

by Bamboo Dong,
Panelists: Lance Heiskell, Mike McFarland, Jonathan Brands

Fans attending FUNimation's Sunday morning panel were greeted with a trailer for the company's upcoming film, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa. The movie will be released in select theaters on September 8 and DVD on September 12.

The panelists then discussed their other project, the launch of the FUNimation Channel, a station that will broadcast company titles like Case Closed, Kiddy Grade, and their newest title, Negima.

Afterwards, Heiskell talked the company's recent releases, such as the CG-animated Mr. Stain on Junk Alley and Gonzo's Desert Punk, as well as upcoming titles. Notable titles included the anticipated Speed Grapher, which will be released on July 4. August will herald the release of Negima, which will be released with a limited edition artbox, a figure, and a sticker sheet. The Basilisk limited edition guillotine artbox will come with a replica scroll.

Future releases include the Kiddy Grade boxset, which will include cards of all the eye-catches used in the series. The seventh volume of Samurai 7 will come with an optional artbox to hold the rest of the series. September will see the release of multiple Fullmetal Alchemist titles, including the movie.

In terms of merchandising, Heiskell talked about the availability of Fullmetal Alchemist figures, as well as trading card games for Fruits Basket, Dragon Ball Z, and Fullmetal Alchemist. Great Eastern also has a Momiji backpack available, while TUK has Fullmetal skater shoes.

Before announcing their latest round of acquisitions, the panelists briefly went over their most recent licenses, including popular titles like Tsubasa and the xxxHOLiC movie. They then showed a reel of opening themes for upcoming titles like Beck, Full Metal Panic! Second Raid, and Black Cat.

Near the end of the panel, FUNimation announced their two newest acquisitions. The first was Gonzo title Solty Rei, which will be released in 2007. The second was another Gonzo title called Glass Fleet. They rounded things up by showing the opening for Witchblade, a title announced earlier in the year, but not confirmed until today.

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