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FEATURE: Anime Expo Day 4 - Misc thoughts

Manga Entertainment

According to DVD AniMania and Megazone's comments on the Anime On DVD forum: "X DVD - not until the R2 disc is released. Manga can't release one until they get it on DVD."

So, there won't be an X DVD until it's out in Japan, most likely due to licensing issues.


Robert Woodhead of AnimEigo announced yesterday that Urusei Yatsura Volume 25 will be the last VHS tape of the series, and that Volumes 26 and up will be on DVD only.

Macross will recieve a well-deserved touch-up. Lines have been sharpened and colors enriched. The net result is one of the best-looking transfers ever seen, according to those who were able to attend.

For more information, see Megazone's post on Anime on DVD here.

Disney Crackdown

One thing I hadn't mentioned until now (but was mentioned on several other news sites, as well as our own webboard) was the Disney crackdown on Anime Expo Dealers and Video Programming.

For those who haven't heard yet, the story goes something like this:

Friday night, Disney (or someone closely affiliated with Disney) began searching throughout the Dealer's Room. Although no one seems quite sure why Disney began searching for adult material, but the end result is that Disney forced several dealers to remove their adult material, and Himeya Software (best known for their translations of Japanese computer games into English, and their Hentai games) was apparently forced to leave the convention early.

Rumors abound about why this search came about, but there have been no official reports about this incident, but as we mentioned before, Anime News Network will attempt to contact the dealers involved to find out more.

In addition to the Dealer's Room, the Video Programming rooms' schedules were altered. The "late-night" anime showing in Video Room 5 was shut down completely, and several other shows had to be replaced due to sexual or violent content.

Although scheduled, the later episodes of Rurouni Kenshin didn't play in the Video Rooms as originally planned. This wasn't a Disney request though. The RRK TV tapes simply were unavailable for showing at Anime Expo. Other series such as Brain Powerd, were not so lucky and hit the Disney chopping block.

Another happening at Anime Expo was the resignation of Sy Picon, founder of SyCoNet, for health reasons. SyCoNet's retail division, Anime Depot, was present at AX. Sy, please get well soon!

Misc Notes

I apologize for making the mistake about Utena in my Day 2 and 3 coverage. I should have caught that when I posted the news, but I didn't. Sorry everyone, for the mistake, and thank you for catching it so quickly!

Software Sculptors (a division of CPM and USMC) does indeed have the rights to Utena, not Manga Entertainment! I must have confused Manga Entertainment and US Manga Corps again. Sorry, everyone, for the confusion.

Mini-EDITORIAL: Final Thoughts

This was the first time I attended Anime Expo, and I was impressed with how the convention was handled. Lines were quick-moving, the panels were efficent, and the fans were numerous. As of Friday night, over 5000 attendees had already visited Anime Expo. When the final numbers are tabulated, Anime Expo expects that number to raise above 10,000.

The Dealer's Room was immense, and the anime was plentiful. The only drawback I could find was the immense amount of counterfit Taiwanese products (such as Son May CDs and Ever Anime CDs) that some dealers sold without making any attempt to discern them from the real product.

My one suggestion for AX (and any other convention): If the space is available, set up an "Adult" dealers room, constantly monitored so that only adults can browse and purchase adult material. Alternatively, the convention could browse the Dealers' goods before allowing it to be sold. Either way, "Disney" should not be involved in the policing of the convention -- the convention should handle enforcement and punishment itself.

The hotel itself was quite roomy and easy to maneuver throughout the halls. A big "thank you" goes out to the Anime Expo staff, as well as the Disney staff for their assistance throughout the convention. I wouldn't mind returning to the Disneyland Hotel in the future, if the "Crackdown" doesn't ever happen again.


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