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Anime Expo 2012
NIS America Anime Panel

by Zac Bertschy,

The panel opened to a fairly packed Live Programming 2 on Saturday afternoon, with company representatives Ryan Phillips, PR and Marketing, the president of Nippon Ichi Software and NIS America Sohei Niikawa, Mitsu Hiraoka, anime producer for NISA, and Eugene Chen, localization director.

Phillips then ran a trailer for the company's latest wares, including Ano Hana, Zakuro, Occult Academy, House of Five Leaves and more. A brief look at the company's online store and their Facebook page followed, and promotion of the company's various social media outlets. Eugene Chen spoke next about the company's newest releases - Ano Hana and Kimi ni Todoke volume 2, which were being sold in the exhibition hall at the convention, Bunny Drop, which releases in August, and Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up, which is a September release. Trailers for these releases followed.

Mitsu then took the mic to talk about NISA's policy about anime, mostly discussing how they're trying to comunicate their love of anime with the fans by picking up titles they think fans would enjoy. He stressed his appreciation for fans who purchased Toradora! and Persona 4, which helped them continue their anime business, and talked about how they're aware of fansubs and thus tailor their products to make sure they're providing something more than just the show itself (hence the artbooks and deluxe packaging). He spoke again about how they select licenses, guided by two principles: one, if the title is story-driven, meaning it has a solid narrative, and two, the show's sense of humor. They love licensing comedy (Mitsu mentioned that Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up is one of his all-time favorite shows) and hope to license more in the future. Following this, a trailer for Zakuro, one of the company's newest releases, was screened. Eugene then spoke briefly about the company's art books and what it took to put them together.

Phillips then introduced the release plans for the company's previous acquisition, Natsume's Book of Friends, and showed a brief trailer. The first two seasons will be included in the initial packaging, with a Fall 2012 release date, with preordering beginning right now. A Q&A session wrapped up the panel.

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