New York Comic-Con 2011 Crunchyroll Panel
by Todd Ciolek,
Crunchyroll's New York Comic Con panel saw the announcement of one new Japanese title to be added to the site's streaming service. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere will join the Crunchyroll lineup shortly, bringing the site's total number of current-season streamed series to 20.
Crunchyroll President Vincent Shortino and brand manager Keith Kawamura stated that details of Horizon's streaming, including the date of its launch, are not yet finalized. Based on a series of light novels by author Minoru Kawakami and illustrator Satoyasu, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is set in a distant future where the human-race returns to an Earth abandoned long ago. With much of the plant inhospitable, entire countries are set up in alternate dimensions, and those nations later rise up and conquer the only viable land left on Earth: the isle of Japan. It falls to the residents of the roaming ship Musashi, practically a nation in itself, to reclaim Japan. The anime series began airing in Japan on October 2, and it is currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks. The series also airs digitally on The Anime Network.
Shortino and Kawamura also discussed Crunchyroll's new J-manga venture. The website offers a variety of manga, including a number of titles not otherwise available from North American publishers. Free previews are available, and subscribers pay fees to read full manga.
“The service is in its infancy now,” stated Kawamura. “There are a lot of licensing issues, but publishers are more and more open to getting manga out digitally.”
Shortino added that the length of a preview on J-manga is determined by the Japanese publisher.
Regarding the site's live-action dramas like Unstoppable High Kick, Kawamura stated that Crunchyroll has a new partnership with Korean company KBS, and that some “really big titles” are coming in the future.