Toon Zone News was able to attend three industry panels at Anime Boston 2008 for FUNimation, ADV and Bandai Entertainment. Bandai Visual USA had to cancel their panel due to their representatives being recalled to Japan.
FUNimation was the first to take the stage in one of the big panel rooms with Events Manager Adam Sheehan handling things. There were no licensing announcements from FUNimation this year. They did confirm that One Piece has been moved by Cartoon Network, but they do not know when it will be airing when it returns. It has not been canceled, though. Case Closed may be coming to the FUNimation Chanel in the future, but they do not know right now. There also may be a box coming out for Shuffle. As of right now, they do not have any broadcast plans that they could announce for any of their shows that are not currently on air.
Bandai Entertainment, represented by Mr. Robert Napton, had a mid-day panel on Saturday. They confirmed that they have licensed Rocket Girls for US distribution. The show is a science fiction adventure story about a group of teenage girls who become astronauts. It consists of 12 episodes and will be released sometime in 2008. The Lucky Star series will be maintaing a two-month release cycle starting with Volume 1. Gode Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion will be airing at 1:30 AM on Saturday nights as part of the Adult Swim block on Cartoon Network. It will also debut online at Adultswim.com on Friday night. The DVD for CLAMP School Detectives will be out sometime in August 2008. In response to the problems with some of their DVD releases last year, Napton said that Bandai Entertainment relies on their duplicator to ensure that all discs are correct and that the proof copies were correct when Bandai received them.
He said is a possibility of a box for the Eureka 7 series in 2009, though he was not sure. The final DVD and theatrical specs for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time were also released. There will be a minimum for 10 markets receiving the film, which will be the original film version, not the DVD version. The DVD release will be the same version as the Japanese DVD release. There will be a number of subtitled films prints made as well as a digitally released English language version.
ADV was the final industry panel of Anime Boston 2008 Saturday night. Mr. David Williams served as the company representative. He announced that ADV will be handling the dubbing and distribution of the Kiba series for Upper Deck cards, though there were no other details released. The most interesting tidbit from the panel was that ADV is actively investigating the possibility of buying out another company, though Mr. Williams didn’t give any clues as to who. As of the panel, he could not give any information out about the Gurren Lagan property, or about Sgt. Frog, which is currently being held up due to negotiations with several other unnamed companies over “maximizing” the value of the show. It was confirmed that the linear feed of the Anime Network was shut down due to a lack of interest from the cable companies.
ADV is hoping to be able to speed up the process of getting anime both subtitled and dubbed into English for the US market as well as looking at how they package their shows to see if there are better ways of selling some of them, be it a full show in one box on one release date or in half-boxes over more time. The single disc packages are not going to be going away yet though. ADV should be caught up with its DVD releases by May of 2008. The bumps in the schedule recently were due to a transfer of some licenses that necessitated the hold up.