Sakura-Con 2012 Aniplex USA
by Bamboo Dong,
Panelists: EJ Rivera, Yosuke Kodaka
Aniplex kicked off their panel with a sizzle reel showing some of their properties, inciting excited crowd reactions from titles like Baccano, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero and others. In addition to their industry presence, Aniplex also brought a few special guests to the convention, including Nitroplus' Gen Urobuchi, who penned Peulla Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero. Also guests of Aniplex are Seikaisha editor-in-chief Katsushi Ota (Garden of Sinners, Fate/Zero) and Aniplex Executive Producer Atushiro Iwakami (Oreimo, Garden of Sinners, Fate/Zero). All of the guests are due to appear in the proceeding panel for a fan Q&A, as well as two autograph sessions—Saturday at 4:30PM in Autograph 4B and Sunday at 1PM at the Aniplex Booth.
Trailers were shown for some of Aniplex's current properties, starting with Blue Exorcist, which is currently available on DVD. Also shown was a trailer for fan-favorite Puella Magi Madoka Magica, volume two of which is available for pre-order, but also for purchase at the Aniplex booth. Fans of the series should also swing by the Madoka panel on Saturday at 11AM in Video 6C, which will feature appearances by Urobuchi and Iwakami, and a screening of the first four episodes of the series.
Also cheered loudly by fans was a trailer for ufotable's Fate/Zero, whose second season will be continuing this Spring, with a simulcast available on Niconico Douga and Crunchyroll. The first season is available from Aniplex in a Blu-ray boxset, which includes the entire first season as well as two music CDs, a translation booklet, and an art booklet. The second season will air in Japan on April 7 at midnight (JST) on Tokyo MX, but Sakuracon attendees will get the chance to watch episodes 14 and 15 on Saturday at 1:30PM in Panel 1, along with featured appearances by Urobuchi, Ota, and Iwakami.
In addition to their BD release of Fate/Zero, Aniplex will also be releasing official albums from LiSA, who's best known for singing “Oath Sign,” the opening theme from the first season of Fate/Zero. Their lineup of albums includes her debut single oath sign, Lover “S”MiLE, and Letters to U. Lover “S”MiLE will be released both as a regular edition, and also as a CD/BD with music clips and live concert footage. Recently, LiSA was confirmed as a special guest of honor at Anime Expo 2012.
Aniplex announced that they will be issuing a re-release of Oreimo on DVD, although a release date is not yet available. They will also be releasing a complete DVD boxset of Garden of Sinners, which was previously released on BD earlier this year in February.
Also announced was their acquisition of Bakemonogatari, an adaptation of NisiOisin's light novels of the same name. Fans can currently watch Nisemonogatari on Crackle, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.
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