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Anime Expo 2013

by Bamboo Dong,

The Funimation industry panel was presented by senior manager of social strategy and development Justin Rojas, and social media manager Michelle Lee. They briefly talked about their online social media presence, like Facebook and Twitter, as well as other popular sites. They also mentioned several ways that fans could watch their shows, including Toonami, the FUNimation Channel, and streaming online at Funimation.com.

Speaking about Funimation.com was senior marketing manager Adam Sheehan, who introduced Funimation's new website for streaming, which will be launched this summer. This new site will replace the old one, and will run faster than the previous one, as well as include some new features. While many shows can be watched for free, “elite video subscribers” can also access English dubs prior to the DVD and Blu-ray releases, as well as more episodes.

The panelists then talked about several of the company's simulcast offerings, including One Piece, Toriko, A Certain Scientific Railgun S, and Attack on Titan. This summer, Funimation will be adding Danganronpa: The Animation and Brothers Conflict to their simulcast lineup. Danganronpa is adapted from a murder mystery visual novel that was developed and published by Spike Chunsoft. The game itself was licensed by NIS America, and will be released on PS Vita early 2014. Brothers Conflict is based on a Japanese novel series, and tells the story of a girl named Ema Hinata who moves into the Sunrise Residence complex with her 13 new stepbrothers.

Following this, the panelists talked about some of the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases and showed trailers for the properties, starting with the next two installments and second collection of Fairy Tail, and the next collection of One Piece, both of which will be released later this July. Coming in August is Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail, Haganai, EUREKA SEVEN AO, High School DxD, and Guilty Crown.

Also being released this August (August 13, 2013) is the Dragon Ball Z: Rock the Dragon DVD boxset, which features the original Canadian Ocean dub that aired on North American television in the late 90s. This collector's edition contains 53 episodes, plus movies 1-3 (Dead Zone, The World's Strongest, and Tree of Might), as well as a hardbound, full-color 48-page book.

Coming also this August is the special edition release of part one of Ghost in the Shell Arise. Only 2,500 units will be released on imported Blu-ray, subtitled only. The release includes the imported Japanese O-card, film strip, and an English-translated art booklet. The four-part anime will eventually be released in a standard edition with an English language dub.

Although Funimation's neweset acquisitions and special announcements were made earlier this weekend, they summarized them again for panel attendees. A release date has been announced for the One Piece film: Strong World, which will be released on Blu-ray/DVD combo on November 19, 2013. They also announced the English dub casts for the Blood-C: The Last Dark and Wolf Children films.

Funimation has acquired the rights for Wit Studio's Hal anime film, which opened in Japan on June 8. They've also acquired the rights for the 009 Re:Cyborg film, which was directed by Kenji Kamiyama and produced by Production I.G and SANZIGEN Animation Studio. They also announced that they will stream the Hyperdimension Neptunia TV anime series.

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