Anime Expo 2009
Right Stuf/Nozomi Entertainment Panel
by Evan Miller,
Panelists: Shawne Kleckner (CEO)
Kleckner welcomed a few hundred attendees by playing an advertisement for the Right Stuf.com portal and announcing some of Nozomi Entertainment's recently released box sets. These sets include the boxed set for The Third, which is being sold with pencil boards featuring series characters, and Gakuen Alice box set. He also advertised a few of the t-shirts that the company is producing.
The first group of series and previews announced for the audience focused mainly on remastered TV series releases and other previously released properties. The remastered DVDs for The Irresponsible Captain Tylor TV series have already been released, and the remastered OVAs are coming soon. More discs are being used for the remastered sets than the original set to leave room for the more detailed episode files. To show the differences between the original and the remastered DVDs, a comparison was screened for the audience.
Other series are being re-released with new sets and pricing to encourage sales. New sets of the original Astro Boy anime from 1963 are coming out in October 2009. Previously a huge collectors set was released, but the new releases will be "mini sets" without extras that are sold at a lower price point. A few "Anime Value" sets sold for a lower prices will also becoming out this summer for previously released anime series like Boogiepop Phantom and His and Her Circumstances.
Next, Kleckner announced some new licenses. The first one screened was Rental Magica, which will be released in November 2009. Kleckner mentioned the appeal of the music and art in the show. He also announced that the book sold with the show will be over 100 pages and will include notes about cultural references in the show, along with interviews.
The next preview screened was for the fourth season of Maria Watches Over Us. Kleckner mentioned that the series would come out sooner, but it is difficult to get product to market sooner because a release soon after broadcast would lack the improvements that animation companies make for DVD releases. The fourth season, which Kleckner says has been a strong performer for the company, is coming out in 2010.
The next announcement of the panel was for the Aria TV series and OVA, which will both be out in 2010. He mentioned that there will also be special edition lithographs of the art from the series available, and that the lithographs will be printed based on fan feedback posted to the website for the series.
Kleckner made two new license announcements for titles with strong fan followings. The first was Antique Bakery, which Kleckner says was acquired from Fuji TV merely two days ago on Tuesday (the manga is already available domestically from Digital Manga Publishing). Also announced was the first two seasons of the shonen-ai series Junjō Romantica. Right Stuf has also signed a merchandise agreement for products from the show.
The panel continued with the announcement of new licenses for the adult Critical Mass Video line, which include re-releases of titles from Central Park Media's defunct Anime 18 line. Critical Mass will also be releasing a new title called Hypno-Love. To close the panel, Kleckner advertised that the company is trying to develop more user-interactivity features on their website, starting with their "What kind of otaku are you?" promotional campaign and Right Stuf-related content on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social sites.
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