Otakon 2010 Madhouse Industry Panel
by Crystalyn Hodgkins,
Madhouse founder and producer Masao Maruyama hosted his yearly Madhouse panel at Otakon on Friday morning. Maruyama started the panel by introducing Madhouse's current titles and showed promotional videos for each of them: Highschool of the Dead, The Tatami Galaxy, Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail, Rainbow - Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin (TV) - Anime News Network, and Trigun: Badlands Rumble. Maruyama's translator (also an employee of Madhouse), mentioned that Otakon is hosting the director of Rainbow, Hiroshi Kojina, at Otakon this year, and he has a panel on Saturday. During the Trigun: Badlands Rumble promotion, it was mentioned that Funimation might put the movie in theaters.
Next Maruyama introduced titles coming soon, which included Tibetan Dog, the Marvel anime projects (Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men and Blade), Redline, and one more title that had a picture on top of it that said "censored." Tibetan Dog is a co-production with the Chinese government. It will have character designers by 20th Century Boys and Pluto manga creator Naoki Urasawa and will have Masayuki Kojima as a director. Maruyama noted that he went to Tibet for research for the film. The film is about a boy growing up in two cultures, as he is both Chinese and Tibetan. It is planned to be finished at the end of this year with a release next year.
The Iron Man anime will be 12 episodes long, but as of right now only one episode is finished. It will air in October in Japan.
Maruyama then played a new trailer for Redline. The trailer had an English narrator. Maruyama confirmed that Anchor Bay will release the movie in the U.S. Maruyama, speaking about Redline, recommended that people bring eye drops to the film because of the hectic nature of the film, but he noted it will be a movie you will want to see over and over again. Maruyama noted that everything for the movie was hand drawn, and it took six years to make. Maruyama said that he thinks it will be the last ever hand drawn animated movie with this much effort put into it.
Maruyama reminded the audience of his other panels throughout the weekend and the various panels with other Madhouse-affiliated guests. He then began the Q&A session. When asked about his Marvel anime collaboration, Maruyama said Marvel gave Madhouse a lot of freedom with the project. When asked about the Supernatural anime project, Maruyama said that one-third of the Supernatural series will be taken from the first two seasons of the television show, another third will explain backstories of the characters, and the other third of the episodes will be made of original stories scripted by Madhouse. When asked about the "censored" upcoming title, Maruyama noted that he couldn't talk about it, because the last time he mentioned a title in that way at Otakon, without consulting with the Trigun Committee first (the Trigun movie announcement), it turned out he had to make it. If he mentions something at Otakon, then it has to be made. But Maruyama then revealed that it would be a story about "some guy in drag with a sword who fights ninjas." He noted that a webisode is in development and that the webisode would act as a teaser trailer. Maruyama said he would eventually like to make a film out of the project. It is tentatively titled "Ninja Ten Battles."
When asked why Madhouse does not animate many "moe" series, Maruyama said it's because he thinks Madhouse "sucks" at making moe series, but that if they were approached to make a moe series, they would make it. When asked if Madhouse would make more Vampire Hunter D anime, Maruyama said a few years ago he approached the creator of Vampire Hunter D and was asked to wait a while because at the time they trying to pitch it as a live-action film. However, a few years have passed and nothing has happened with the live-action project, so he thinks now is a good time to approach him again about it. Maruyama also echoed what Satoshi Nishimura said at Sakura-con, saying that if the Trigun film is successful enough, they will be open to animating more. When asked if there would be more seasons of Kaiji, Maruyama noted that the main funding source, the producer of Nippon TV, is very eager to make the sequel, so there is a good chance.
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