The Anime Industry panel was split across the Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday panel opened with two surprise announcements from Manga- Attack on Titan and the live action Space Battleship Yamato have been licensed by them, with trailers running on the theatre’s main screen. No specific dates are currently set for Titan but Yamato is currently set for release on 19th August.
MVM’s Tony Allen announced that the company would be releasing several titles across the rest of the year including Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, Pumpkin Scissors, Red Garden, [C]:control, Shangri-La and Heaven’s Memo Pad.
Recent entry to the market Anime Ltd. promoted their upcoming Cowboy Bebop Blu-ray release in addition to announcing they had licensed Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning, the first movie spinoff of the popular superhero title.
Viz Europe followed on from this with the news they had licensed The Beginning Side A and Side B manga tie ins. They will also be releasing a One Piece Volumes 1-23 boxset in November, a full Bakuman boxset and have plans for Legend of Zelda manga too.
The first audience question asked if FUNimation will be licensing any more One Piece seasons than they currently have. None of the panel were in a position to answer the question but Sunday did bring the news that Manga will be releasing volumes 5-8 in the UK next year.
Regarding the chances of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo we were informed that all major territories are interested in licensing it, though a release might not come until next year.
Manga announced they have licensed the movie Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works for DVD and Blu-ray. When asked if they would also release the prequel series Fate/Zero, they stated they would prefer to see MVM license it as the hold the license for the original Fate/Stay Night series.
One audience member asked if Manga’s blog would discuss the fan-made Dragon Ball Absalon series. This would need strict approval from Toei Animation who understandably may not welcome acknowledgement of such a project.
Asked if Sword Art Online would be licensed, Manga’s Jerome joked that a knife fight would be held back stage as interest from the collective UK licensors was very high. The panel felt it was likely to see a UK release but was currently being held up by the issue of how Aniplex USA will release it first.
The Sunday panel opened with a refresh of the previous day’s announcements and the reveal that the president of Toei Europe had been in attendance and was delighted with the popularity he saw for titles including One Piece and Dragon Ball Z.
Questioned if the UK TV airing of Dragon Ball Kai had impacted the recent DVD sets of the original version of the show, Manga revealed that they aren’t privy to Kai’s UK ratings but that DBZ has been a strong seller for them 26,000 boxsets total currently sold. In turn they hoped to release a special limited edition (possibly 1000 units) DBZ complete series set at Christmas, though this was awaiting approval.
The new Ghost in the Shell animated project is being considered for licensing but is being held up mainly over Japanese fears of reverse importation. Manga are hopeful to give it a UK release next year.
Amidst the various discussion of DBZ and its continued popularity, a 12 year old attendee asked if the panel could explain the show to him as he had never watched it. Manga offered the boy a free copy of volume one, with Jerome joking that they liked to get their customers addicted nice and young.
Blue Exorcist will be re-released in a new ‘Definitive Edition’, making use of the newly produced Neon Alley/Aniplex dub that did not exist at the time of Manga’s previous sub-only release. It will be a Blu-ray release but if popular enough they may re-author the DVDs. The Definitive Edition will be released in two sets, with the first currently set for July/August.
Asked if they could cast any well known actor in an anime who would they choose, the panel offered Morgan Freeman as a sensei or villain, Arnold Schwarzenegger as DBZ’s Android 16 and a fully Mike Myers dubbed version of Panda Go Panda.
On the continued release of Fairy Tail, Manga are waiting for FUNimation to sign on further episodes and the movie. The current projected date to see Fairy Tail continue in the UK is spring 2014.
Regarding the chances of newly produced seasons of Saiyuki, none of the panel had heard of anyone in Japan making a pitch for any.
Asked if the release of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica TV series would be followed with the movies there was a tight lipped answer that suggested things were in motion but nothing could be revealed at this time.
Roberta’s Blood Trail, the most recent Black Lagoon project, is in the hands of Kaze who are awaiting dubs. The eventual release is planned for both DVD and Blu-ray.