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New York Anime Festival 2009
Bandai Entertainment (Updated)

by Bamboo Dong,

Update:Robert Napton, Bandai Entertainment Director of Marketing, notified ANN that he said at this panel that the first Gurren Lagann film (Gurren Lagaan the Movie: Childhood's End) is playing at New York Anime Festival. However, he emphasized that Bandai Entertainment itself did not announce plans to release it. This panel report has been corrected to reflect his.

Panelists: Ken Iyadomi, Robert Napton, Loy Fruel

President and CEO of Bandai Entertainment, Ken Iyadomi, started this year's panel by saying that they would not be announcing any new licenses, due in part to the economic recession. However, starting in 2010, the company will be placing more emphasis on Blu-ray releases.

Although he couldn't announce which titles were slated for a Blu-ray release, as no contract has been signed yet, Iyadomi revealed that they would be releasing a TV series, and an OVA series. Bandai is still deciding the best pricing and release structure for a 26-episode series, debating whether to split the series into 2, 3, or 6 volumes. Part of the issue lies in the fact that some of the Japanese licensors are not happy about the lower MSRP of BDs in North America, as all countries share the same region code.

Afterwards, Loy Fruel talked a bit about Lantis, Bandai-Namco's music subsidiary. The label currently has a small selection of anime and Jpop on US iTunes, including artists like JAM Project, Aya Hirano, CooRei, yozuca*, and Minori Chihara.

The panelists then showed trailers for recent and upcoming titles, like Kannagi, Kurokami, Code Geass, and Gundam 00, all of which can be streamed for free on Bandai's YouTube channel. Kannagi can also be viewed on Anime News Network, and the second volume was released on DVD this past Thursday.

Bandai Entertainment recently screened Eureka Seven - good night, sleep tight, young lovers around the country in conjunction with Fathom Events. The movie will be available on DVD (MSRP $24.98) and BD (MSRP $39.98) on January 26, 2010.

Other featured releases include the Lucky Star OAV, Hayate the Combat Butler, True Tears, sola, and .hack//GU. They are also re-releasing Ghost in the Shell: Innocence on DVD and BD, which will include a new US dub, in conjunction with the original UK dub. Also, the Escaflowne movie will be released next year on Blu-ray.

Bandai then talked about their manga releases, starting with Code Geass, the first five volumes of which are currently available, as well as the Code Geass light novel series. The first two volumes of Code Geass: Suzaku of the Counterattack are also available, as well as the first two volumes of Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally.

Other manga series and manga adaptations from Bandai include Gundam 00 and Gundam 00F, A Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Lucky Star, and Gurren Lagaan. Eureka Seven and Witchblade Takeru will be released in oversize prints. Although Witchblade Takeru was previously released in color by Top Cow, the Bandai printing is the B&W version.

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