Anime Expo 2007 Geneon Entertainment
by Mikhail Koulikov,
Anime Expo's Geneon Entertainment panel was hosted by Chip Carter, with Chad Kime, Terry Ho, Yukio Kusonoda, and the company's “packaging guru,” John Bailey also participating.
The first part of the session covered new developments in the Geneon Spot online initiative. Not all of the ideas Geneon had for this website were as successful as hoped, but it will be relaunched later in the year. One of the components of the Geneon Spot that has met expectations is the Geneon Talk Radio podcast, which is now available both through the company website and on iTunes. Geneon will also continue to offer for online-only sale various exclusive merchandise items. One such item that the speakers specifically highlighted is the Hellsing Ultimate pocket watch, manufactured by Fossil Watches. Only 666 of these will be produced.
Geneon continues to strongly pursue digital distribution, or "unpackaged media" deals for its series. Currently Geneon anime are available through Akimbo, the XBox 360 Live Marketplace, and Vuze. Geneon is particularly pleased that Akira is now available in high definition on XBox Live.
Carter then moved to announce the acquisition of Deltora Quest, a children's series that began airing on TV Aichi in January. It is based on a line of novels by the Australian author Emily Rodda which themselves are published in English by Scholastic.
Geneon is also active in placing anime series on TV. Currently, the Anime EnerG block on ImaginAsian features episodes of Elemental Gelade, Kyo Kara Maoh and Gankutsuo. Tenjho Tenge and Ergo Proxy can be seen weekly on Fuse.
The next segment of the panel introduced several of the anime that Geneon has acquired earlier in the year. These include Shonen Onmyoji (whose main character is the grandson of the legendary Japanese magician Abe no Seimei, who himself is the subject of Geneon's live-action Onmyoji), Saionku Monogatari, Familiar of Zero, Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Sacred Spirit) and episode 3 of the Hellsing Ultimate OVA. This is slated for an October release as both a regular package and a steel-case special edition. No release date has been set for Familiar of Zero, which the speakers described as “Harry Potter done by the creators of Tenchi Muyo,” At least in part, this is because of the large number of speaking roles that need to be cast. And while no firm date was given for Guardian of the Sacred Spirit either, one of the panelists mentioned that it will hit store shelves “a lot sooner than you may think.”
Finally, the panelists moved on to announce Geneon's final new acquisitions. The first one of these is the Shakugan no Shana OVA, which puts the two main characters of the TV series, along with the rest of their school class, into the setting of a traditional Japanese hot spring. Geneon will also be releasing 2004's thirteen-episode Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series and its 2005 sequel, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's.
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