Anime Next 2006

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Presenter: Lance Heiskell

Funimation's one new license, announced towards the end of the panel, is the Gonzo-produced theatrical feature Gin-iro no kami no Agito, which will be retitled Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ for its US release. This movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was also a contender at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The other item of interest Heiskell made known was that unfortunately, Funimation was not able to secure the rights to the Duran Duran song Girls on Film, which is used in the Japanese opening of Speed Grapher. For the US DVD release, Funimation will have to produce an original opening.

The rest of the panel focused on release schedules and general plans. Desert Punk is now on a monthly release schedule, while a volume of Negima will be released every six weeks. These two shows will serve as test-beds for how appealing an accelerated release schedule is for both retailers and fans. At this point, in addition to the September 12 DVD release, the Fullmetal Alchemist movie will be featured in at least 30 movie theaters, in at least 25 major metropolitan areas.

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