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Anime Boston

by Bamboo Dong,

Panelist: Adam Sheehan

The biggest industry panel of the day was Funimation, led by events manager Adam Sheehan. The crowd was energetic and ready to laugh, screaming over favorite franchises like Dragon Ball and Fullmetal Alchemist. After talking about some of the social networking sites that Funimation had presence on (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), Sheehan reminded fans about Funimation's online panel, FuniCon, which runs interviews with guests, Q&As, and occasionally announcements about new acquisitions.

To thank “hardcore” fans for their continued patronage, Funimation is also continuing to sell convention exclusive merchandise. Currently, fans are able to purchase Rin shotglasses, Dragonaut booty shorts, Spice and Wolf coins, a Soul Eater patch, and a Slayers Revolution coin.

Funimation will be launching a new line of live-action movies under their Hong Kong Connection label. Starting with Shaolin Hand Lock and The Fourteen Amazons, the movies will be intentionally dubbed in English to mimic the “bad dubs” that Western fans associate with older Hong Kong action releases. Upcoming releases will include Hong Kong Godfathers and Invincible Shaolin.

For fans who are looking for more economically priced anime releases, Funimation will be launching their S.A.V.E. (Super Amazing Value Edition) line, which will re-release previous titles at lower price points. OVAs and movies will be priced at $9.98, half-seasons at $19.98, and full seasons at $29.98. Some of the titles that will be receiving the SAVE treatment include Fruits Basket, Blade of the Phantom Master, Aquarion, Moon Phase, Kanon, the King of Bandit Jing, Hell Girl, Air, and others.

Sheehan then ran through some of the company's newest releases, starting with the first two parts of Soul Eater, part 1 of Kenichi season 2, Evangelion: You Are (Not) Alone 1.11, Slayers Revolution season 4, and Strike Witches. Also coming out is Dragon Ball Z Kai, a re-drawn condensation of the Dragon Ball Z series, which re-tells the entire series in around 100 episodes. The original dub cast will be brought back for the series, which will eventually be aired on Nick Toons. Although the version that will be on Nick Toons will sustain edits, the DVD and Blu-Ray releases will be unedited and uncut.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood will be released on DVD and BD on May 25, My Bride is a Mermaid (part 1) on July 20, and the X complete series and OVA on June 15. Initial D will be released as well, starting with the 3rd Stage on May 11. It will be followed by the 4th Stage, and after that, the 1st and 2nd Stages. The entire series will be redubbed, and will be released with all the original Eurobeat music and Japanese names intact.

The panel was topped off by some acquisition news, starting with Black Butler, which was actually announced the previous Monday online. New licenses specific to Anime Boston were the second season of Spice and Wolf, the Eden of the East movie collection, and Chobits, a license rescue from Geneon. Chobits will be released with the original Geneon dub.

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