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Anime Expo 2007
Manga Entertainment

by Mikhail Koulikov,

Studio representative: Keith Burgess

Manga's panel began with a discussion of the Highlander: The Search for Vengeance feature film. The DVD, which was released on June 5, is selling extremely well. At over thirty thousand units sold, it is currently the second most-popular anime release in the market, and the film's broadcast premiere will take place on July 30, on the Sci Fi Channel's AniMonday block. A Japanese dub is currently being developed for the overseas release, and once Highlander is available in Japan, Manga will put together a collector's edition package for the US market that will include the Japanese voice track and up to two hours of bonus content. This collector's edition will most likely be brought out in February of next year. Highlander's director, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, is interested in continuing to work in this universe with either a sequel film or potentially even a full TV series, but sales of the DVD in Japan will be the major factor that determines whether any such project is feasible.

The second volume of KARAS is slated for an October release. In order to promote the DVD release, it will also be shown on the Sci Fi Channel. In addition, Manga is planning a re-release of the Blood OVA that will include several deleted scenes the Japanese production company recently turned over. It will be intended to cash in on the upcoming Blood live-action movie. Box set releases for Noein and Tokko are being considered, but no firm dates have been set for either.

Finally, Manga is co-producing the three-episode OVA Strait Jacket, described during the panel as “"Leon the Professional meets Blade Runner, but steampunk.” Directed by Shinji Ushiro, it is scheduled for an October Japanese release. Manga's Region 1 release will follow by August of next year.

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