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Anime Expo 2010
Bandai Entertainment Industry Panel

by Gia Manry,

Bandai Entertainment, INC. president Ken Iyadomi opened up Bandai Entertainment's panel by thanking the attendees and discussing the state of the anime industry as well as BEI's intention to encourage fans to buy more DVDs to support the industry. At this point Robert Napton took over the panel and introduced the Bandai Entertainment store, which sells Bandai's merchandise including DVDs and manga, and which rewards buyers with points towards bonus rewards.

The first product presented was Gurren Lagann the Movie: -Childhood's End-, the first of two films that retell the story of Gainax's Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann TV anime with some new footage. The first film has been made available here at Anime Expo and the audience was shown the trailer. The first 100 people who purchase the film will be guaranteed an autograph by voice actor and Anime Expo 2010 guest Katsuyuki Konishi, who played the character of Kamina.

After this announcement came a series of dates: the second Gurren Lagann film will be released on July 30th exclusively on Bandai Entertainment's online store. The $49.98 Limited Edition version will include the second disc of Gurren Lagann Parallel Works music videos made by Gainax, a reproduction of the 32-page movie booklet that was given to movie attendees in Japan, and the postcard that came with the Japanese special edition. A regular edition will also be released for $29.98. Combination packs of both films in both Limited Edition and regular edition are also available for preorder. The Gurren Lagann TV series will be released as an Anime Legends series on July 6 2010 for an MSRP of $49.98.

More dates: Gundam 00 Part 2 will be released in Limited Edition and regular edition on July 6, 2010, and Part 3 on September 9, 2010. Kurokami Part 2 will be released on Blu-Ray (English dub only) and DVD (English and Japanese dubs) on July 20, 2010.

A trailer for the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam films was shown next. Napton announced that after a long delay, the Complete Collection would go on sale on July 6, 2010, as well as each individual film: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Heirs to the Stars, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam II: Lovers, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam III: Love is the Pulse of the Stars. Hayate the Combat Butler's volume 6 will also be released on July 6, 2010, as will an Anime Legends complete collection of Freedom.

Napton played a trailer for Kannagi next; the TV series is currently available in both a complete collection and separate Part One and Part Two collections. Eureka Seven The Movie: Good Night, Sleep Tight Young Lovers, a reimagining of the original Eureka Seven TV series, is currently available on DVD and on Blu-Ray.

Next came a set of announcements involving The Melanchoy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The TV series has been released as an Anime Legends Complete Collection title, and the second season will be released in a complete collection in August of 2010. After a screening of the opening to the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, "Super Driver", voice actress Cristina Vee was introduced a a special guest for Bandai Entertainment. Vee appeared in her Haruhi garb as the leader of the ASOS Brigade and sang an English version of Super Driver. After Vee's performance came a preview of the Haruhi-chan series of shorts, which was dubbed by the regular voice cast for the TV seasons. This was followed by a dubbed preview of the Churuya-san series of shorts. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya whose San Francisco launch screening sold out, will have more theatrical dates in Hawaii with more screenings potentially in the works. The film is also in the process of being dubbed and further announcements on this will be made in the near future.

After discussion of Haruhi events at Anime Expo, Napton announced a new license for Bandai Entertainment: K-ON!. After the announcement and a screening of the closing theme, "Don't Say Lazy", Cristina Vee was re-introduced and sang the song in its original Japanese. After the song it was announced that Vee will be playing Mio in Bandai's promotional videos for the show, a'la what they did for Haruhi. Karri Shirou will be playing Yui in said videos, with performers "Kix" playing Tsumugi, and "Briana" playing Ritsu (no last names were given for those two).

Before breaking into the Q&A, which would include the voice actresses for K-ON!, came a trailer for the Gundam Unicorn OVA's first episode, currently available with an SRP of $49.98. After a trailer, Napton announced guest Stephanie Sheh, who came up to the panel to talk about the series and her character, Audrey Burne. Sheh revealed that the recording of Gundam Unicorn was over Thanksgiving, and that she was sick at the time.

As a final announcement, the first volume of the Code Geass Knight manga anthology ("For Girls") is currently out, and the first volume of the Queen manga anthology ("For Boys") will be out next week. The Lucky Star manga's sixth volume will be out August 25, 2010.

During the Q&A, Ken Iyadomi confirmed that Bandai Entertainment currently only has the license for K-ON!'s first season.

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