Anime Expo 2010
by Bamboo Dong,
Funimation marketing manager Adam Sheehan charmed a packed audience Friday evening, thanking the fans for their continued support and feedback over the years. He started the panel with a status update on Funimation's presence in the anime industry, assuring fans that the company was still growing.
According to data collected from their DVD surveys, the majority of anime fans are dub fans, so Funimation will continue to produce dubs for every title that they release. Interestingly, from the same surveys, it appears that although 51% of anime fans are ages 25+, and 40% are in the 18-24 demographic, the largest source of new fans is the 13-17 market. Sheehan also talked about the company's anti-piracy efforts, mentioning that one of the most important things that fans could do would be to watch free internet streams. To ensure that fans can watch new series as soon as possible, Funimation has offered several simulcasts, including One Piece, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Rainbow, House of Five Leaves, and The Tatami Galaxy.
Afterwards, Sheehan showed trailers for some of Funimation's new releases, including My Bride is a Mermaid, Master of Martial Hearts, Casshern Sins, Corpse Princess, Eden of the East, and the highly anticipated Hetalia: Axis Powers.
He then went on to make several new announcements, starting with the simulcast of the live-action Moyashimon TV show, which will be part of Funimation's noitaminA block, along with House of Five Leaves and The Tatami Galaxy. They will also be offering a simulcast of the animated series, Shiki. Both will start on July 8.
Funimation will also be offering simulcasts of the second seasons of Black Butler, Sekirei, and Sengoku Basara, in addition to the first season debut of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes. Dates have not been announced yet, but will be available in the upcoming weeks.
In terms of licensing rescues, Funimation will be releasing Chrono Crusade, Gantz, Kaleido Star, and Peace Maker, which were previously released by ADV. Everything on the original discs will be left intact, including the English dubs.
Funimation will also be re-releasing more titles from Geneon's catalogue, including Texhnolyze, Ai Yori Aoshi, Armitage III (both the TV series and the movie), Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, and Serial Experiments Lain. They will also be releasing the entire Tenchi Muyo collection, which includes the movies, the OVAs, as well as Tenchi in Tokyo and Tenchi Universe.
There were new acquisitions as well. Amongst them are Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. In addition, they will be releasing the second season of Darker than Black, and the second season, movie, and OVA of Shakugan no Shana. Funimation also licensed the third season of Black Lagoon, and Hellsing Ultimate V through VII.
The biggest announcement was saved for last, though, when they revealed that they had the rights for the new Trigun movie, Trigun: Badlands Rumble. After showing the trailer, they invited a special guest to the stage—Shigeru Kitayama, one of the producers of the movie. Speaking in English, he welcomed the fans to Anime Expo, and announced that they would be the first ones to see a subtitled version of the movie (a raw version was shown at Sakuracon). The film will be screened tomorrow at 4PM in the Film Room.
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