Otakon 2011 Funimation Industry Panel
by Gia Manry,
The Funimation panel launched about 30 minutes late due to some technical set-up difficulties. Marketing manager Adam Sheehan and social media manager Justin Rojas launched the panel with a trailer of Funimation titles, including Dragon Ball Z, Ouran High School Host Club, Fullmetal Alchemist, and many others. After joking about the heavy bass from the video, Sheehan launched into the company's current presentation, whose first portion is similar to that at Comic-Con International and Anime Expo:
- Relief for Japan - autographed items auctioned off to benefit earthquake relief. Auctions will start again in August.
- Social media - The Funimation blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Streaming video - YouTube, Hulu, and the Funimation video site.
- Simulcasts - Aria the Scarlet Ammo, One Piece, Toriko, C - Control, and Baka and Test Summon the Beasts 2
- Hulu Plus - Afro Samurai Resurrection, Blue Gender: The Warrior, Ichi, and other films
- Funimation.com's Summer of Streaming promotion
- The Funimation Channel - call your local provider for access, followed by a trailer for upcoming shows and movies set to air this summer and fall
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Fullmetal Battle Facebook game - still set for "late this summer" and demo available at the company's booth Upcoming titles - Such as Dance in the Vampire Bund, Rideback, Sgt. Frog, Shin-chan, Baka and Test, Noir, Eden of the East, Spice & Wolf, etc.
- The Anime Classics line
Finally came special announcements, starting with a variety of special events and screenings taking place at Otakon. As announced at Comic-Con, Dragon Ball Z remastered on Blu-ray is set for 2012 and Sheehan also showed the Comic-Con videos for the Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker co-production.
The one new announcement for Otakon was the acquisition of the Heaven's Lost Property film, Heaven's Lost Property the Movie: The Angeloid of Clockwork. Sheehan and Rojas both promised that there would be more announcements in the very near future, as they had been very close to being able to announce other titles during this panel.
During the question and answer session, one attendee asked whether there would be a mobile app allowing users to watch Funimation.com videos on their mobile devices. Sheehan revealed that they are working on apps for Android, iPhone, etc. and are gunning to release it by the end of the year.
A couple of questions about Dragon Ball Z: it WILL feature the original Japanese music, but they're not sure yet whether it will include "marathon mode" (which allows the viewer to sit through all the episodes on the disc in a row, bypassing credits and episode previews). Sheehan said he assumed it would, but isn't 100% sure.
There is only time for one more question: has Funimation acquired the rights to any Ouran High School Host Club video games? Sheehan replied that the company doesn't handle any games, and he isn't sure if anyone else might have picked them up.
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