Anime Expo 2013 Neon Alley
by Lynzee Lamb, Jul 6th 2013
The Neon Alley panel was hosted by senior manager of marketing for Viz Media Charlene Ingram. Ingram expressed her excitement about the service's newest announcements and special guests. The panel then opened with a trailer for Neon Alley's current season offerings.
After a brief description of the service, Ingram announced that the service is now offered on the internet for Mac and PC computers. For those who miss their favorite episodes, the service will have a video-on-demand service available soon. The subscription is available for US$6.99.
The panel showed individual trailers for its line up, such as Accel World, Fate/Zero, Zetman, and the world premiere of the full K English trailer. K will premiere on Neon Alley on July 12. Viz is offering exclusive K merchandise at its booth and photo opportunities.
The streaming service will start airing more One Piece on July 12 and will premiereNaruto Shippūden: The Lost Tower film on July 28 before the home video release. The Tiger & Bunny - The Beginning film will also premiere on August 11 with a home video release coming in the fall.
Ingram than started the Viz Media portion of the panel. The section opened with a trailer with Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Set 1. The Blu-ray and DVD set was released on April 2. The second set will be released on August 20.
The next trailer was for set 14 of Naruto Shippūden. The Pain Arc is available now and set 15 will follow on August 16.
The next trailer was for set 1 and 2 of Tiger & Bunny. Both are available now.
Bleach Uncut set 17 was previewed next. The set is out now and the following set will be released on September 10.
Lagrange - The Flower of Rin-ne set 1's trailer was shown next. The first set is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. Season 2 will be available this Winter with an official date to be announced soon.
A trailer for Berserk - The Golden Age Arc 2- The Battle for Doldrey was shown next. The second film in the film trilogy will be available on August 6. Pre-orders from Right Stuf includes a Band of the Hawk drink cozy.
Ingram moved on to a trailer for new announcements. Viz will show Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet on Neon Alley, Hulu, and VizAnime.com and it includes the OVA. Viz will release the series in 2014 on Blu-ray and DVD.
Viz Media will also stream this season's vampire comedy Blood Lad on Viz' official website and Hulu. The series premieres in Japan and on Hulu on July 7. Viz is streaming the series the same day it premieres in Japan.
The panel then broke for a question and answer session.
Q: Of the new acquisitions, are you ever planning to do any dubs?
A: We plan to dub both Blood Lad and Gargantia for Neon Alley.
Q: Is there anyway to bring Dennō Coil to the U.S.?
A:It's a series we looked at multiple times. It's an excellent series but we haven't been able to acquire it. It's something we continue to look at, so I wouldn't take it off the table. It's good to hear people are still supporting it.
Q:Now that Neon Alley on the internet, are you going to turn it into an app for Iphone and Android?
A: Basically what we're doing is listening to the fans. We can't do everything at once but we are slowly trying to expand. For us the web was a really big play instead of going to device specific. Devices is something we're looking at and we'll have some surveys come out to help drive decisions of where the service will go next.
Q: Why are there rumors going around that Naruto Shippūden is ending?
A:The simulcast is still going strong every week and you can watch dub episodes every week on Neon Alley.
Q: Can you take me through the process of watching Neon Alley?
A:The stream of Neon Alley is simple. You download the app for PlayStatino 3 or Xbox 360 or you can leave this room and go to NeonAlley.com and watch right away. You can download the schedule too.
Q: Do you intend to put it on the next generation systems and when will it available for the Wii U?
A: We are following the new technology but we don't have anything official to announce today but we are looking at what the hot technology is.
Q:Why should I choose Neon Alley over free streaming sites where I can watch anything subbed on dubbed?
A: If you want to support anime and anime creation, you need to support Neon Alley or Crunchyroll and other legal services. If no one supports these services, anime will cease being a profitable business and it won't be made or dubbed anymore.
Q: Can I switch back and forth between platforms?
A: You can switch back and forth between three devices at a time. YOu can only stream on one device at a time but you can have three per account.
Q: Is there anyway the repeat episodes will slow down with more new episodes at a time?
A: Once the catch-up system starts that will change. Also there's only one new episode at a time because they're airing a few days after the dub is finished.
Q: How to choose what anime to air on Neon Alley?
A: We look at sampling of new shows and we talk to other departments in the industry like Sentai Filmworks, Funimation, and Aniplex and what they would like to see on the channel. We also look at shows with a good pedigree and want to expose new fans to those too.
Q: We are wondering about the stats of the show Monster and if you will show it on Neon Alley.
A: The best way to show that you want something is to buy it when it comes out. Buy the first set. There is a huge push for Monster, but it didn't catch on as much as planned. I can't give a definitive answer and no news at this time for it. The first box set didn't do as well as we hoped. In the future, I hope everyone comes to the party at step one so it can continue. Ultimately it's a business decision, and if there isn't a demand you have to put your resources into something else.
Q: How did you get the idea Neon Alley and was it hard to get it started?
A:It was hard to get it started and we're still new. We got the idea from the fans and their excitement for when Toonami came back on the air. We thought there was a lack of presence of quality dubbed anime in the market. We thought that was lacking and we wanted to support that part because the other parts are well represented.
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