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Anime Expo 2014
Aniplex of America

by Bamboo Dong,

EJ "Aniplex Guy" Rivera kicked off the Friday morning Aniplex of America panel with a rundown of all of the special guests being hosted by the company, including those from Studio Trigger's Kill la Kill—scriptwriter Kazuki Nakashima, character designer and chief animation director SUSHIO, voice actresses Ami Koshimizu and Ryoka Yuzuki, producer Yousuke Toba, and singer Eir Aoi—and Sword Art Online, including author Reki Kawahara, character designer abec, editor Kazuma Miki, as well as the English cast.

Rivera then talked about some of the current Aniplex properties that were streaming online, including the 13-episode The irregular at magic high school. This summer season will also see the simulcast of Sword Art Online II, Gen Urobuchi's Aldnoah.Zero, and Persona 4 the Golden Animation. The titles will be available streaming on the Aniplex Channel, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Daisuki.

Currently available on home video is Sword Art Online volume 4, which compiles episodes 20-25 of the series. Those who purchase the BD, DVD, or wallscroll at the Aniplex panel will receive a ticket for an autograph session featuring the Japanese and English Sword Art Online guests. For those who'd rather experience the series in its original light novel form, the first volume of Sword Art Online: Aincrad is currently available from Yen Press.

Titles slated for a July release include the Gurren Lagann the Movie Double Feature BD set (Childhood's End and The Lights in the Sky are Stars), the first two Madoka Magica movies (BD/DVD), the first season of Silver Spoon on DVD, and the anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day movie. Joining these titles is the first volume of Kill la Kill, the Limited Edition of which includes the first four episodes on BD and DVD, as well as the CD soundtrack; a standard BD/DVD release will follow. Those who buy the set at the Aniplex booth Saturday morning will receive tickets for an autograph session with Nakashima, Sushio, and Toba.

Other planned releases for the year include Oreimo 2 on August 5, Kabukimonogatari on August 26, and Fate/stay night in Fall 2014, a remake of the TV series from ufotable.

For special announcements, the entire first season of Valvrave the Liberator will be released on Blu-ray on September 23. The limited edition will include the first 12 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles, a postcard set of all the Valvraves, a double-sided poster by character designer Katsura Hoshino, and a slipcase. Pre-orders will begin on July 7, with an MSRP of $149.98 and a store price of $119.98.

Lastly, Rivera invited a special guest to the stage, Aniplex Japan executive Koichiro Natsume. Natsume showed a trailer for next year's Anime Japan 2015. After introducing another guest in the audience, Anime Japan chairman and Sunrise president Kenji Uchira, Natsume announced that Aniplex of America would be holding a contest for two lucky people to receive a trip to Anime Japan. More details will be available on AniplexUSA.com.

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