New York Comic-Con 2012
NISA Anime Panel

by David Cabrera,

The NISA panel opened with a reminder not to ask about videogames: the first audience question was about Disgaea.

After a game trailer (Mugen Souls), the panel gave way to anime trailers. An interesting point about this procession of trailers is that many of the titles, despite very recent releases, were already either out of print forever (Prince Enma Burning Up!) or close to it (Anohana and Bunny Drop), with no plans to print new copies. This led to a very frustrating pattern where the audience was introduced to an exciting new series, and then told that though it came out just a month or two ago, it was already gone forever and they'd never be able to buy it from NISA. The final trailer was for the newly announced “Ground Control to Electromagnetic Girl” (Denpa Onna to Seishun Shonen), which thankfully was not yet out of print.

The second section of the panel was on NISA's philosophy on licensing and localization, explained by producer Mitsu Hiraoka and localization director Eugene Chen.

An amusing moment was a slide on which NISA's criteria was listed as “anti-fanservice”... but the backdrop was of a busty girl bending forward. The slide then went to a racier image, and Mitsu admitted that “As an ordinary man, I personally enjoy this kind of thing”.

Hiraoka explained NISA's philosophy as an emphasis on quality. They're very proud of their big-box releases and the many researched extras that reside within. The boxes are designed to bring about a deeper appreciation of the work.

Chen came up for a section on localization, which might have been a lot more interesting if not for technical issues. NISA's releases are all subtitled, as you may know... and if you know conventions, you know how common it is for people's heads to block the subtitles on the bottom of the screen. Chen ran through various scenes in Enma that highlighted exactly how they decided to handle certain scenes: sometimes Westernizing, sometimes literally translating, sometimes translating for meaning. However, the subtitles were completely invisible for all but the very front of the audience, so the audience either scratched their heads and moved around each other or gave up for this long section of the panel.

After this, it was back to the releases, specifically highlighting extras such as Occult Academy's yearbook, Katanagatari's extensive terminology reference, and Anohana's archive of translations of the main character's T-shirts.

Finally, Electromagnetic Girl was announced, giveaways were had (including such oddities as Anohana beach toys), and questions were taken from the audience. And no, NISA won't be dubbing anything any time soon.

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