Otakon 2013
Viz Animation Featuring Neon Alley

by Crystalyn Hodgkins,

Charlene Ingram, senior manager of animation marketing at Viz Media, hosted the Viz Animation featuring Neon Alley panel on Sunday afternoon. Charlene kicked off the panel by showing a sizzle reel for Neon Alley, which outlined the service and previewed some of the shows currently streaming, including: Inuyasha, Bleach, Blue Exorcist, Accel World, Zetman, Fate/Zero, Lagrange The Flower of Rinne, Naruto Shippuden, and Buso Renkin.

Ingram then explained that Neon Alley is a 24-hour streaming service on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and on PCs and Macs. The programming is all anime-focused, even in the commercials, although it does stream some martial arts films on the weekends.

Neon Alley just recently became available online for PCs and Macs due to popular demand. Additionally, Neon Alley will allow subscribers to catch up on shows they've missed. The catch-up service isn't available yet because Viz Media is still working on perfecting it, but it will be out soon. Neon Alley is a subscription service that costs $6.99 per month, and new members can get a seven-day free trial. Panel attendees can instead get 30 days for free with a card handed out to the audience members during the panel. All shows on Neon Alley are English dubbed, uncut, and in HD when available.

Ingram then talked about shows currently streaming on Neon Alley. Ingram prefaced each title with a trailer. First up was Fate/Zero, which has new episodes streaming on Neon Alley on Fridays. Aniplex is releasing the series on home video. K is also currently streaming on Neon Alley, with new episodes also debuting on Fridays. Neon Alley also debuts new episodes of One Piece on Fridays. The service is streaming One Piece from the beginning. Other shows are also streaming now, including Tiger & Bunny, Blue Exorcist, Inuyasha: The Final Act, Death Note, Vampire Knight, Death Note, and more.

Ingram then talked about anime coming soon to the service. Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning will stream on Neon Alley tonight, and Viz has made the television series available on home video. This fall, Madoka Magica and Magi will stream on Neon Alley, and Viz Media is releasing the first volume of the Magi manga this month. Ingram then announced that Neon Alley will stream Gurren Lagann this fall. Ingram noted that more announcements will be coming for Neon Alley at a later date.

Ingram then noted that Neon Alley is on Facebook and Twitter, and is also available on NeonAlley.com.

Ingram then talked about anime home video releases available now and upcoming:

Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 1 available now
Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 2 available on August 20
Bleach volume 17 available now
Bleach volume 18 available on September 10
Naruto Shippuden volume 15 available now
Naruto Shippuden volume 16 available on October 8
Naruto Shippuden: The Lost Tower available on September 17
Tiger & Bunny volumes 1 and 2 available now
Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning available on October 1
Lagrange The Flower of Rinne set 1 available now (Set 2 out this winter)
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II - The Battle for Doldrey available now
Zetman the complete series available on November 5
Accel World set 1 available on November 26

Ingram noted that Lagrange The Flower of Rinne was selling very well for them, and assured fans that Viz Media's release of the third Berserk film, Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent, will be the R18 version of the film. For the Accel World release, Blu-ray Discs from selected retailers will come bundled with a 48-page artbook.

Ingram then talked about anime coming soon. Viz Media will release Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The series will also be streaming on VizAnime.com. The home video release will include the OVAs, and will ship in 2014. Viz Media also plans to release Blood Lad on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in 2014. New episodes of the series debut on VizAnime.com on Sundays.

Ingram mentioned that Ranma ½ will be available on Neon Alley this fall, and for the first time the anime will be available digitally and will stream on Hulu and VizAnime.com. The company also will re-release the series on DVD and, for the first time, on Blu-ray Disc. Viz Media will also host special Ranma ½ programming at New York Comic Con in October, although Ingram could not expand on the details of that at this time. Viz Media is also re-releasing the Ranma ½ manga. The manga will be unflopped for the first time.

Ingram then launched into a Q&A, and she also gave out prizes to those who asked questions. During the Q&A, Ingram noted that there is not currently a release date yet for the third Berserk film. When asked if Neon Alley will host convention coverage, Ingram said that having camera crews at conventions is a bit difficult, but Neon Alley does air commercials for various conventions across the country. When asked if Neon Alley will be available on Roku, Ingram said that Viz is considering putting Neon Alley on new devices. Ingram then noted that Viz Media does host surveys intermittently, and in those surveys subscribers can request things like what platforms they'd like Neon Alley on.


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