G4 Presents San Diego Comic-Con 2008
G4 Presents: Comic-Con '08 - Bandai Entertainment (Updated)

Jul 25th 2008
Panelists:
Robert Napton, Director of Marketing
Ken Iyadomi, President
Loy Fruel, Honneamise Coordinator

Napton opened the panel by introducing the company's current lineup with trailers. First up was Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, which will launch on August 5 in three different forms:

  • A limited-edition bundle with two DVDs (containing nine episodes), the first manga volume, an original CD soundtrack, and an English dubbing of the Japanese audio drama CD
  • A regular-edition bundle with just the two DVDs
  • Separately sold singles DVDs — the first volume will contain episodes 1-5, while the second volume will contain episodes 6-9.

The remaining DVD volumes will ship every other month.

Gurren Lagann has been shipping in English-subbed DVD packs for US$29.98 since earlier this month, with the second pack in August. The science fiction series will also run during Sci Fi Channel's Ani-Monday programming block starting this Monday. The DVDs that includes both the English dub and the English subtitles will beginning shipping on November 11.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 will also run on Sci Fi Channel's Ani-Monday block this November. However, the DVD release details have not been decided yet.

Lucky Star, an anime project that Kyoto Animation produced after The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, already has volume 1-2 released in North America. The third volume will ship in September. All volumes will have limited editions available with bundled shirts.

Ghost Slayers Ayashi is Bandai Entertainment's latest anime series release from Bones (Fullmetal Alchemist, Escaflowne movie). This supernatural adventure title is set in Japan in 1843, and it features character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto (Cowboy Bebop, Gundam 0083). ImaginAsian TV has agreed to run it on television in the United States. It also stars Steve Blum (Cowboy Bebop's Spike). The first volume ships on October 7.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time film has run in a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles and New York, and it will go to Boston and Seattle in August. Bandai Entertainment are planning five or six more places after those screenings. The US$49.98 DVD release will include a second disc for extras and an original soundtrack CD on November 4.

The four Gundam Seed Destiny TV Movie specials retell the story of the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny series with new scenes and footage. The volume 1 now out now, with the second volume on August 19 and third volume in November. There is also a limited edition with a box.

Rocket Girls will ship in a subbed-only series collection in October.

The Silent Möbius movie will ship in September in two edition: the US$29.98 regular edition and a limited Steelbook edition. This is the first time this movie has been released on DVD in North America.

Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence film will receive a new dub. The panelists said that it will be Bandai Entertainment's first Blu-ray Disc release, then quickly clarified that it is the company's first announced Blu-ray Disc release.

Sword of the Stranger is another film that the company is running in limited release in selected theaters. The Bones production was screening this week in Los Angeles and New York, and Bandai Entertainment hope to move to other cities. It will have a Blu-ray Disc release with an original soundtrack CD.

Bandai Entertainment announced the 52-episode Hayate the Combat Butler anime series at Anime Expo, but the DVD release details are still be determined

As of the end of June, Bandai Visual USA, another Bandai Namco Group subsidiary, became the Honneamise division within Bandai Entertainment. Its main focus is simultaneous releases in Japan and North America, with English language tracks on a title-by-title basis. In its new incarnation, titles will have lower pricing compared to the previous Bandai Visual USA line. It will still strive to maintain high quality in regards to the print, production, and packaging aspects of its releases.

The first of the new Honneamise releases, the entire Freedom series, will ship simultaneously in North America and Japan. Famed director Katsuhiro Otomo designed the characters. Iyadomi noted that Kodansha previewed Otomo's Akira film at San Diego Comic-Con exactly 20 years ago in 1988. Freedom will be on Blu-ray Disc in 1080p resolution. The production team just finished the English dubbing, which was sent to Japan for mastering. This will be the first English release to include Freedom's volume 7.

The Gunbuster vs. Die Buster Gattai Movie will be released on two separate US$49.98 DVDs for the anime's two halves. There will also be a 3-disc box set
for US$99.98. Fruel emphasized that the English-subtitled-only release will be cheaper than the Japanese release.

Bandai Entertainment's Anime Village.com and Bandai Visual USA's dot-anime.us are merging their online retail services. AnimeVillage.com to use dot-anime.us to fulfill all online orders of BEI titles.

Since this panel was at Comic-Con International, Bandai Entertainment ended its presentation by discussing its publishing work. Eureka Seven's six-volume main manga adaptation and the two-volume manga adaptation of the video game spinoff have already been released, and the main manga won Best Manga Drama 2008 from Anime Expo's SPJA Awards.

Bandai Entertainment's partnership with Top Cow yielded Witchblade Takeru, which was recently nominated for a Harvey Award.

Bandai Entertainment had previously announced that it will release the first three Code Geass manga series, with the first volume of the main series shipping in August. Suzaku of the Counterattack and Nunnally's Nightmare are the other two series.

The manga adaptation of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time film was announced at Anime Expo, and as in that convention, Napton emphasized that this manga and CMX's A Girl Who Runs Through Time manga (based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's original novel) are different stories.

Finally, Bandai Entertainment announced its new acquisition: Kagami Yoshimizu's original Lucky Star manga that inspired the anime of the same name. There are five volumes to date in Japan.

Update: Lucky Star volume 3 will be released in September, not November. Thanks, darkchibi07.

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