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AX 2002: Pioneer Panel

posted on by George Phillips
Pioneer Entertainment announced quite a few new titles at Anime Expo, including Chobits, Chicchana Yukitsukai Sugar, Ai Yori Aoshi, and Patlabor WXIII!

Pioneer Entertainment's panel opened with a set of titles currently slated for a near-future release, or
have already been released:
I My Me! Strawberry Eggs
Vandread 2nd Stage
Master Keaton
Universe of the 4 Gods (aka the Fushigi Yuugi OAVs)

Then, Pioneer followed things up with a tape showing the opening credits to their new acquisitions:
Mahoromatic (by Gainax)
Ai Yori Aoshi
Gate Keepers 21 OAV
Chicchana Yukitsukai Sugar
Sakura Taisen movie

Following the opening themes came a short demo of the Lupin III dub. While the dub ran, the Pioneer representatives stressed that the dub was not necessarily what the final dub would be. Nonetheless, the audience seemed content with the current cast. Lupin's womenizing antics played well with both his semi-serious, semi-comedic voice acting, while the rest of the cast was equally entertaining.

Next, Pioneer listed several of their upcoming releases. Most notably, in October we will see the release of the long-awaited Mihoshi Special on DVD, coupled with the Pretty Sammy OAVs. This one DVD will finally complete the Tenchi Muyo! OVA series on DVD. Around that time, look for the Armitage III OAV DVD as well.

November brings more Sasami to DVD, this time with Magical Project S. The DVD will be subtitled only, because this Pretty Sammy TV series was never dubbed into English.

Jumping ahead to next year, look for boxed sets of Hand Maid May and a Tenchi Muyo! OVA re-release in mid-Spring 2003.

As the end of the panel neared, a Pioneer rep ran in wish a new video tape. Needless to say, few people, if any, knew that Pioneer picked up Patlabor WXIII, until the title appeared on the screen. At that point, the crowd burst into applause.

Of course, Pioneer's panel wasn't over yet. This time, another guest showed up, with yet another taped trailer. The Pioneer representatives asked Mr. Yasuyuki Ueda to come to the front. Ueda's involved in another co-production with Yoshitoshi ABe, of Lain and NieA_7 fame. The character designs looked highly similar to those found in Serial Experiments Lain, but the trailer showcased a much different plot.

A young girl, floating and flying above the clouds was suddenly pulled into a bright light. As she screams, the camera shifts to an ordinary house, with what appear to be regular people sitting around. Her screams continue, until we see her back, rippling from something underneath. Suddenly, tips of feathers rip out of her, erupting in a bloody mess.. was it the birth of an angel?

The trailer continued for another minute or so, showing the girl, sad, picking up a dark halo off the ground, and being surrounded by feathers. In the end, she asks the question, "Hane haiteru?" ("Do you have wings?")

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