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Otakon 2010
Aniplex USA Industry Panel

by Crystalyn Hodgkins,

Hiroe Tsukamoto, Vice President of Development and Marketing, and Yosuke Kodaka, Manager of Licensing, presented the Aniplex USA panel on Friday afternoon. They first passed out fliers for the U.S. premiere of Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW, which will be screened on Saturday morning. Then they showed a compilation video showing clips from various Aniplex series, from Rurouni Kenshin to Read or Die, and shows Strike Witches, Kuroshitsuji II and Darker than Black.

Tsukamoto and Kodaka then introduced their company, and noted that Aniplex have just started releasing titles directly to the U.S. market. They began with the first two titles they released in the U.S., the two compilation Gurren Lagann movies. For the Gurren Lagann the Movie –Childhood's End- DVD, there is a limited edition that come with the first Parallel Works DVD, a replica of the Japanese deluxe program book, and two original postcards. After showing a trailer for that film, they talked about the second Gurren Lagann film, Gurren Lagann The Movie 2: The Lights in the Sky are Stars. This movie was released on DVD today, and is available at their booth. This DVD also has a limited edition, which has the second Parallel Works DVD, a replica of the Japanese deluxe program book and an original post card. A trailer was then shown for that film.

Tsukamoto then talked about Aniplex's YouTube channel, where fans can watch exclusive video content and full-length anime epsodes. Right now Aniplex is streaming the entire season of Miracle Train - Ōedo-sen e Yōkoso. They will also stream Read or Die, Ghost Slayers Ayashi, and Toward the Terra soon on YouTube.

Then Tsukamoto talked about the U.S. premiere of Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW, which features the same director, screenplay writer, character designer and animation director of the Read or Die OAV and the Read or Die TV. Koji Masunari, director, Masashi Ishihama, character designer, and Tomonori Ochikoshi, producer, are guests at Otakon this year and will also host a few panels. The first 22 minutes of the film are now streaming on their YouTube website. There will also be a special screening of Gurren Lagann The Movie 2: The Lights in the Sky are Stars on Saturday.

They also confirmed their announcement from yesterday that they will release a BD collection of both the Read or Die OAV and the Read or Die TV series. It will be released this winter.

Next Tsukamoto talked about their recent announcement that Aniplex will release Durarara!! in the U.S. in January 2011. Aniplex is releasing the series on three DVD sets, 8-9 episodes each. They introduced the characters of Durarara!! with a screaming match to see which character was most popular (Shinra won). They noted that it is now being streamed on Crunchyroll. They also noted that there will be an English dub on the DVDs and they announced the first three members of the cast:

With this announcement they started the Q&A session, and they gave away prizes to those who asked questions. In the Q&A it was revealed that they will not use the same English voice actors for the Baccano! characters that make an appearance in Durarara!!. They are using Bang Zoom! Entertainment for the dubbing of Durarara!!. Also for Durarara!!, they will probably keep the original Japanese voice actor track when they're speaking Russian, and may include liner notes for the "text speak" in the chat room scenes in Durarara!!. When asked if they would eventually do just one boxset of Durarara!! instead of three, they said maybe down the road, but for right now just the three boxsets. Regarding dubs, Kodaka said that they would be doing dubs for releases on a case-by-case basis. Kodaka also noted that right now they have the rights to the Kara no Kyōkai - the Garden of sinners multi-part film, but they are negotiating with a partner. Kodaka said he hopes to bring it over "quite soon."

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