Otakon 2012
Aniplex America Panel

by Brian Hanson,

Aniplex USA Marketing Specialist E.J. Rivera and producer Hiroe Tsukamoto invited everyone to their Otakon panel, as Rivera snapped a photo of the standing-room-only crowd that filled the entirety of Panel Room 1.

Rivera introduced a sizzle reel of their recent releases - Durarara, Garden of Sinners, Madoka Magica, Baccano, Fate/Zero, Gurren Lagann, and ROD. Rivera then showed a brief clip of some original behind-the-scenes features currently being streamed on animeplexusa.com, where Rivera himself films the Madoka Magica cafe, visiting shopping districts in Akihabara, and so forth. Once the video had finished, Rivera applauded many of Aniplex's guests in the audience, including Otakon Guests of Honor Gen Urobuchi, Ai Nonaka, and Madoca Magica dub actresses Christine Marie Cabanos, Lauren Landa, and Sarah Williams.

Then they began running trailers for their recent releases, beginning with Blue Exorcist, which just had its fourth volume released. Then moving on to the third Limited Edition volume of Madoka Magica, which, for Otakon guests, included a special edition double-sided poster; and lastly the second season of Fate/Zero, currently simulcasting on Crunchyroll and Hulu, releasing on Blu Ray on September 19th. In addition, Fate/Zero OP artist LiSA's "Oath Sign" is available on iTunes and Amazon, and CDs available at RightStuf.

Attention was then turned to reprints of Oreimo, Garden of Sinners (which will have further details available "soon" at Aniplex USA's website) and the Blu Ray collection of Baccano! which is currently available at Otakon and will release to retailers on July 31st, and also the DVD release of the live Hatsune Miko "Mikunopolis" concert at the Nokia Theater.

Then came the new announcements - a Blu Ray boxed set of Bakemonogatari, which contains two subtitle tracks; one that's dialog only, and one with dialog and translations of onscreen text. The series will also be streaming "soon," and further information will be announced on Aniplex USA's website. The version being streamed will be the Japanese TV broadcast version. Rivera then played a trailer for the new series Sword Art Online, streaming on Crunchyroll every Saturday. The series will also be available in packaged media in three versions: a Regular Edition, Limited Edition, and an Anime Edition. Again, Aniplex will be posting further information on their official site. Afterwards, a clip was presented featuring voice actors Johnny Yong Bosch and Bryce Papenbrook, recording the dub for Blue Exorcist, which will be streaming on Neon Alley "sometime in September." The announced dub cast includes Bosch as Yukio, Papenbrook as Rin, Christine Marie Cabanos as Shiemi, and Kyle Hebert as Ryuji "Bon" Suguro.

Shortly before heading into a brief audience Q&A, Aniplex aired a trailer for the Blu Ray Durarara collection, available for pre-order on July 30th to be released on October 30th. The complete collection will be contained in a metal tin lunchbox, and the announced bonuses include a double-sided poster "and more." Pre-orders for the "super-limited" lunchbox Blu Ray begin on July 30th.

The Q&A begins.

Question: Will there be a reprint of the Gurren Lagann movie?

Aniplex: We hope so!

Q: What about the Madoka Magica movies?

Aniplex: We hope to have some news soon. Please check out madokausa.com. The first of the two movies will be released in Japan in October. The third movie is an original story coming sometime next year.

Q: What's the MSRP of the Durarara Blu Ray?

Aniplex: That will be announced on our website.

Q: You guys have snapped up the last few Brain's Base productions, like Durarara and Baccano. Any plans to pick up the new Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple OVAs?

Aniplex: Sorry, Kenichi isn't ours. That's Funimation's!

Q: Any news on a "traditional" DVD release of Fate/Zero with a dub?

Aniplex: Not right now; the goal is to have a simultaneous release with Japan, so we have to make it Blu Ray, sub only.

Q: Do you guys know anything about another season of Sekirei?

Aniplex: Good question - we already have the second season, but the original manga is still going on, so no plans at this point.

Afterward that last question, several Madoka Magica posters, puzzles, and other tchotchkes were given away to lucky raffle winners as the panel ended.

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