Anime Boston 2008
by Mikhail Koulikov,
Bandai Entertainment's Robert Napton presented his company's news and announcements. Last summer, Bandai was very active in licensing new shows, and the dubbing and production on several of those is just about finished. Lucky Star will be Bandai's first upcoming new release, scheduled for May 6. A new DVD of the series will then come out every two months, for a total of six volumes, and each one will contain thorough liner notes explaining Lucky Star's vast numter of in-jokes and references to other anime.
Even before that, on Saturday, April 26, the first episode of Bandai's military science ficiton series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion will premiere on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. Before the broadcast, on Friday night, and on every subsequent Friday, the episode that is scheduled for that week will also be streamed on adultswim.com. There is no set date for when Code Geass will come to DVD yet, but Bandai is working on dubbing the series, and onlincluding as many of the extras, such as sound dramas, that are available on the Japanese DVDs as possible. On April 6, the second 25-episode season of Code Geass will begin in Japan, and Bandai's license already extends to cover that, as well as the manga adaptations of the series and the light novel.
The summer months of the year will see Bandai brining out the first volume of Ghost Slayers Ayashi (aka Ayakashi Ayashi), starting around June. Both the 25 episodes of the main television series and the five of the Ayashi Divine Comedy OVA sequel will eventually be brought out. The initial volumes of Toward the Terra and Clamp School are also set for the summer, as are the single-volume My Otome Zwei and the four episodes of the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Special Edition OAV. To avoid confusion, the 90-minute episodes will be brough out as the Gundam Seed Destiny TV Movies. Over the summer, Bandai is also planning limited theatrical distribution for its The Girl Who Leapt Through Time feature film. Both a subtitled and a dubbed print will be distributed to theaters, based on interest and the concentrations of anime fans in the markets that individual theaters serve. The prints will be based on that used for the Japanese theatrical run of the film, rather than the slightly different DVD version, which Bandai is currently scheduling for the fall.
Bandai Entertainment's one new announcement of the 2008 Anime Boston, is last year's 12-episode science fiction comedy Rocket Girls, about a high school student who stumbles into becoming an astronaut while looking for a part-time job. Until a short time ago, fansubs of the series were hosted on the Crunchyroll service, which removed them following a Bandai request.
As the victory of Blu-Ray in the DVD format wars has been declared, Bandai is looking at the beset ways to take advantage of it. No definite decision about when the company will begin releasing discs in the new format has been made yet. Overall, Bandai Entertainment's core business remains producing and distributing anime. Despite the fact that it has been publishing the Eureka 7 manga, and will be bringing out the three companion manga series to Code Geass, it still considers manga to be a shoot-of from its primary products. When manga related to Bandai's licenses do exist, however, it does plan to consider acquiring the rights to them, and in fact, Bandai is extremely pleased with being able to end up with as high-profile a manga as Code Geass.
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