New York Comic-Con 2011
Bandai Entertainment Panel

by Crystalyn Hodgkins,

Marketing Assistant Loy Fruel, Marketing Manager Robert Napton, and President Ken Iyadomi hosted the Bandai Entertainment industry panel on Saturday morning. The panel started out mostly full, but as time went on it became completely packed, leaving attendees to stand throughout the panel.

Napton started the panel by talking about the Bandai Entertainment Store. The store will have a holiday sale, which will start soon. Napton next moved on to Gundam UC. The fourth episode of Gundam UC will be released on December 2. The episode will introduce the characters Bright Noa and Loni Garvey. It will be released at US$59.98. Bandai then showed an English trailer for the episode. Bandai will screen Gundam UC episode three and then will show footage from episode four as well at NYCC on Saturday.

Next Bandai moved on to The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film, which is available now on Blu-ray and DVD. Bandai will host a signing with Stephanie Sheh on Saturday at NYCC. Bandai then showed the trailer for the film.

The panel moved on to K-On!. Volume 4 of K-ON! will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 22. Bandai then showed an English trailer for the show. Next was Sacred Seven, and the entire show is available now streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll. Bandai also showed a trailer for that show.

Napton then brought in Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh to talk about Gundam UC. Sinterniklaas directed the dub for Gundam UC. Napton asked what it was like to make the project happen, and Sinterniklaas said that he has loved Gundam for a long time; he mentioned that he was really excited for episode four, and he and Sheh explained how intense the schedule was for the dubbing work on the show.

Napton then touched on the character Bright Noa, who is returning in episode four Gundam UC. When asked how Sinterniklaas decided how to cast the character, he and Sheh explained they handled it like any other audition, but were always very aware of the significance of the role.

Next Bandai discussed the Tales of the Abyss television anime series. The first volume of the series is on sale now on DVD. Bandai also showed a trailer for that series. Bandai also is releasing two Tales of the Abyss-related manga, Tales of the Abyss: Jade's Secret Memories and Tales of the Abyss: Asch the Bloody. Volume 2 of Tales of the Abyss: Asch the Bloody will be out on December 6.

The panelists then talked about its release of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. The first volume of Mobile Suit Gundam is available now, and for the first time it has both Japanese and English audio. Bandai then showed an English trailer for the series.

Next up was Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer. It is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Bandai showed an English trailer for the film.

After this came Star Driver. The series will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 22 and is now streaming on Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Crackle. Bandai will screen some episodes from the show at NYCC on Sunday. Bandai then showed a trailer for the show.

Next was Akira, which Napton said will be released on DVD (Bandai originally only re-released the film on Blu-ray). Bandai showed a trailer for the film as well.

Last, Bandai discussed the Tekken Blood Vengeance film. NYCC will screen the film in 3D on Sunday, and Dai Sato and Katsuhiro Harada will hold a Q&A after the screening. The film will be released on November 22, and the Blu-ray Disc will also bundle a video game. Bandai also showed an English trailer for the film.

Then Bandai launched into the Q&A. From that, some notable points were: Eureka Seven will not be released on Blu-ray— it was on the table for a while, but they ultimately decided no; Turn A Gundam will not get an English dub; Bandai has no plans to release the Gundam UC novels, nor do they plan to release a Blu-ray version for the original Mobile Suit Gundam, and Star Driver will also not have a dub.

When asked if there were going to be any more Gundam pilots in Gundam UC, Sinterniklaas spoke up to answer, "I don't want to say nothing, but, you should totally check out what's coming up in the next episode. I don't even know for sure, but there's some allusions to what's going to happen down the road that are super badass. It blew my mind. When I saw it even in pencil sketch form, I was like 'Oh my god!'"

Each attendee who asked a question at the panel got a T-shirt. Napton ended the panel by thanking the attendees for coming, and asked them to stay for the Sunrise panel, which was held right after the panel.

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