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Anime Expo 2009
Production I.G

by Evan Miller,
Panelist: Maki Terashima-Furuta

The Production I.G panel opened with an introduction of the studio's newest titles, followed by trailers of each title. The first title mentioned was Tales of Vesperia ~The First Strike~, based on the popular Tales of... RPG game series. The feature length anime features an opening song by Bonnie Pink and will be released on October 3, 2009 in Japan.

The next title announced was the I.G and CAPCOM collaborative project Sengoku Basara, which has already been licensed by Funimation. A release date has not been announced yet. Another popular title, Eden of the East (which aired on Fuji Television's Noitamina block this spring) was also promoted. Terashima-Furuta apologized that she didn't have a trailer for the forthcoming Eden of the East movies, but mentioned that the production is moving along smoothly.

The next title mentioned was the feature film Musashi Miyamoto: The Dream of Samurai, which features a "great cast and script" by famed anime director Mamoru Oshii and is directed by Mizuho Nishikubo of Ghost in the Shell fame. The title is currently looking for a licensee, and demand for the title promises to be high. On the other side of the spectrum, the feature film Oblivion Island, a completely CG project, is scheduled for release on August 22, 2009. Terashima-Furuta described the film as "very un-I.G like" and said that the title might draw comparisons to Pixar and Ghibli titles more than it will to previous I.G projects. The title is currently searching for a licensee. At the end of the preview reel, the first episode of the animated short series Abunai Sisters was also screened. The title can already be ordered online.

After the trailers were screened, Terashima-Furuta hinted that a bigger announcement about a collaborative project with Microsoft Xbox will be made at San Diego Comic Con during a panel on the 23rd at 3PM. On a similar note, she also mentioned that a Wii game based on the Oshii film The Sky Crawlers will be released this winter.

At the end of the panel, Joe Goyette from Film Roman took the stage to announce a special new project that Film Roman and Electronic Arts are conducting. According to Goyette, they are making an anime compliment to the game Dante's Inferno in an omnibus style like The Animatrix. Production I.G will be involved with making two scenes for the film, directed by Yasuyoi Umetsu of Kite fame and Murase Shukou of Ergo Proxy respectively. Other studios and directors are also involved in the project.

During the question and answer session, one fan asked about the possibility of a third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Terashima-Furuta answered that she expects the project to happen, but that the director is currently tied up in other projects. She also confirmed that the live-action rights for Jin-Roh were sold but a film has not been made, and that the Mamoru Oshii experimental anime Tachigui Retsuden has still not been licensed.

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