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2004 Year in Review
Opening Editorial

by George Phillips,
Welcome to 2005, everyone!

2004 was a time of big names, big numbers and big events...

Many of the biggest names in anime resurfaced last year. The popular character Doraemon celebrated his 25th anniversary, and has been in the news since then with a flurry of controversy surrounding the FCC's KidsZone website. Mamoru Oshii returned to the theaters with Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Katsuhiro Ōtomo presented Steamboy to audiences all around Japan, and Hayao Miyazaki once again drew attention with Howl's Moving Castle. It's rare that three major directors release superb films in a single year, when any one of them would merit attention from film industries from all around the world.

Thousands of fans saw L'Arc~En~Ciel's first North American concert at Otakon. This past summer also saw the expansion of The Anime Network to a linear feed, a first in the history of Video on Demand. TAN now reaches millions of households across America in both formats. Del Rey began its explosive entry into the manga market with titles like Negima and xxxHOLiC; all four of Del Rey's debut titles made the Bookscan Top 12.

New entertainment and more choice means greater diversity for anime fans, and that's always a good thing. It's clear that anime won't be going anywhere for quite some time.

I'd like to offer my thanks to everyone who's made ANN such a great website. Although I stepped down as co-Editor-in-Chief last March, I've been watching and assisting the site ever since, and I'm proud of the work that's been done.

After all the many things that happened to anime in 2004, it's hard to imagine what the future holds. Nonetheless, I'm certain that Anime News Network will be in the thick of it.

-George Phillips
Former co-Editor-in-Chief

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