New York Anime Festival and ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga
by Mikhail Koulikov,
The Media Blasters panel included representatives from the company's animation development, translation, and videogame sections, but was missing its usual presenter, John Sirabella. The presenters opened by talking about Akihabara Geeks, a documentary on the Tokyo otaku neighborhood that was created and dubbed into English by Japan's NHK television network. As mentioned several times throughout the year, Media Blasters was the co-producer of Machine Girl, and is currently involved in another live-action project. Its videogame division expects to finally bring out the Samurai Deeper Kyo game for the Game Boy Advance within the next two months, as well as PC and PSP versions of Gurumin. Media Blasters is also putting significant effort into promoting Alteil, which they call Japan's #1 online card dueling game.
Tweeny Witches, the 40-episode fantasy series Media Blasters announced several months ago, is also currently in production, as is Kite: Liberator. Media Blasters is known for its innovative and sometimes elaborate packaging, but for this project, it is considering a simpler package style to keep costs down. And Media Blasters is finally able to confirm its plans to release Genshiken 2.
Regarding the company's current and recent titles, the panelists mentioned that the reason it took so long to bring out Phoenix was because the anime was co-produced by New York City's WNET education channel, which intended to air it; consequently, this held back the DVD release schedule. Although there are no specific dates associated with GoLion/Dairugger, in the words of the panelists, "come hell or high water," these will remain on the Media Blasters calendar. On the other hand, the low sales of GaoGaiGar have effectively "nailed the coffin shut" on the company looking to release any other giant robot series. The presenters also mentioned that since unlike other anime companies, Media Blasters prefers to perform its entire production process in-house. The company is not interested in investing in production facilities for high-definition DVDs until it is sure whether either of the current high-def formats will be successful in the long run.
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