San Diego Comic-Con International 2009
by Carlo Santos,
Panelists: Ken Iyadomi, Robert Napton, Taku Otsuka
Bandai's panel began with an overview of their new business partnership with Lantis, which was previously announced at Anime Expo. As a music company, Lantis provides a new channel for distribution of anime soundtracks and other related music in the US.
Moving on to anime, newly licensed property Kannagi was the first title featured, along with a trailer to introduce the series. Episodes 1-4 of the series are now available for online streaming. The first volume DVD is also currently on sale, and the Vol. 2 DVD comes with a t-shirt as a preorder bonus.
Marketing director Napton also pointed out that fans can watch streaming series on the Bandai Entertainment Youtube channel, including Kurokami, Code Geass and Gundam 00. Napton also mentioned that Kurokami will be Bandai's first TV series available on both DVD and Blu-Ray when it is released in disc format.
Giant robot title Eureka Seven also returns with a theatrical feature: Eureka Seven -good night, sleep tight, young lovers-, an alternate-universe retelling of the original series, will be shown in US theaters on September 24 of this year. Meanwhile, another theatrical feature, the historical action anime Sword of the Stranger, is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
In the giant-robot action department, fans can look forward to the following: the first DVD set of Code Geass R2 comes out in August, including a special edition with the first volume of the manga; a similar DVD set for Gundam 00 has just recently gone on sale; and Gurren Lagann has come full circle with the release of the final set of the dubbed version.
Comedy fans can look forward to the Lucky Star OVA, the DVD of which comes out August 4 and will retail for $14.98 (subtitles only), while the first DVD set of Hayate the Combat Butler has also just gone on sale.
Long-running franchise .hack gets a new release with the .hack//G.U.: Trilogy movie DVD, which is due out in August and will retail for $19.98. Another theatrical feature, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, is also currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Bandai's Anime Legends line of full-season sets includes the following: recently licensed high school drama True Tears went on sale this week and the DVD set is now available for $39.98, while sola is available as a complete series collection for $44.98, and the Eureka Seven complete set also comes out this month.
In publications, Code Geass is currently on the shelves as both a manga and light novel series. The Gurren Lagann manga also has Volumes 1 and 2 now available. Meanwhile, the manga adaptation of the film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has also gone on sale, and Lucky Star is also selling well, having gone into a second printing for Vol. 1. For upcoming titles, the Gundam 00 manga comes out in August, and flagship Bandai manga titles Eureka Seven and Witchblade: Takeru will come out later this year in omnibus format.
The panel ended with a short question and answer session, mostly about the particulars of Bandai's various titles. One question was about the currently running second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya; unfortunately, any details about this potential acquisition are currently "classified."
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