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Otakon News


#22

[quote]19:19:00 <bay|Ota|FUNi> Q: High school of the dead, you guys have the rights?
19:19:03 <bay|Ota|FUNi> A; no, section 23…[/quote]

*facepalm

Guess some people don’t have the internet.:laugh:

Though there was a slide earlier that said it was Funimations. :laugh:


#23

[quote=psychopuppet]
19:19:00 <bay|Ota|FUNi> Q: High school of the dead, you guys have the rights?
19:19:03 <bay|Ota|FUNi> A; no, section 23…

facepalm

Guess some people don’t have the internet.:laugh:

Though there was a slide earlier that said it was Funimations. :laugh:[/quote]

I love people that ask questions, but never bother to read the news. :stuck_out_tongue:


#24

[quote=psychopuppet]
EVA 2.22 they said they don’t know about the dub in who they will bring back. I’ll say TG better be in this or war will be called.[/quote]

Agree only Tiffany Grant should be legally allowed to do the English voice for Asuka.


#25

[quote=psychopuppet]
EVA 2.22 they said they don’t know about the dub in who they will bring back. I’ll say TG better be in this or war will be called.[/quote]

If she isn’t in this, I may have to re-consider my Day 1 purchase.


#26

###Otakon 2010: Vertical, Inc. Industry Panel
by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Jul 30th 2010


#27

###Otakon 2010: Madhouse Industry Panel
by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Jul 30th 2010

Madhouse founder and producer Masao Maruyama hosted his yearly Madhouse panel at Otakon on Friday morning.


#28

[size=16]Otakon 2010: Aniplex USA Industry Panel[/size]
by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Jul 30th 2010


#29

[size=20]Otakon 2010: Funimation Industry Panel[/size]
by Gia Manry, Jul 30th 2010

Funimation’s Adam Sheehan opened up the company’s Otakon 2010 panel along with Joshua Morris, the new events and conventions manager. Sheehan launched into a discussion about the state of the anime industry and recalled Funimation’s responses to past crises, including the 2008 Don’t Panic campaign and Funimaton’s 17% growth in 2009.

[details=The Panel]
Morris noted that the industry needs new blood, and offered the following data: that 51% of DVD consumers are over 25, while 40% are between 18 and 24. But the largest group online is those between the ages of 13 and 17. Conventions have also seen growth: Seattle’s SakuraCon grew 22% from 2008 to 2009, and 9% from 2009 to 2010. Anime Boston grew 8% in 2009 and 12% in 2010.

Sheehan then spoke about Funimation’s social media programs, such as the Funimation blog and the company’s official Twitter account, which has 7,500 followers. Funimation’s Facebook account receives over 3.6 million monthly impressions and has 72,000 fans, with an average of 20% growth per month. Funimation’s YouTube channel has 154,000 subscribers, the 56th most-subscribed account in the directors category.

Following up with Funimation’s simulcasts, Sheehan stressed the importance of getting titles within a week, a day, or within hours of the Japanese release, and listed simulcast titles such as One Piece, Rainbow, and Legend of the Legendary Heroes. Morris noted that the FUNimation Channel has also expanded, and invited fans to request the channel via Funimation’s request cards or a web-based form.

Piracy was also addressed: Funimation’s anti-piracy team consists of one lawyer and three additional staff, who work to report copyright infringement. In addition to Internet piracy, the group also looks into counterfeit goods in both online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Next the duo listed new and upcoming releases:
• My Bride is a Mermaid Part One - available now
• Master of Martial Hearts Complete Series - 8/10/2010
• Casshern Sins Part One - 8/17/2010
• Shikabane Hime Part 1 & 2 - 9/14/2010
• Hetalia: Axis Powers Season One - 9/14/2010
• Hetalia: Axis Powers Season Two - 10/12/2010
• Eden of The East Complete Series - 9/28/2010

Sheehan then presented Funimation’s upcoming new social media site, which will be housed at Funimation.com. The site is not publicly accessible but users can sign up for a chance to be in the beta test, which starts in September, at Funimation.com/beta. The site should launch in October, but a firm date will be announced after the beta test. Funimation will also launch an elite membership for the site which will grant users early access to English-dubbed releases, ad-free browsing and videos, exclusive forums and additional contests.

Next came cast announcements for Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~, Oh! Edo Rocket, and Black Butler, which were already announced via press release earlier in the day.

Strike Witches season two was the first new acquisition announced; Funimation will host the simulcast a week after its release on Crunchyroll and the first DVD release will come out in 2011. The next acquisition was Blessing of the Campanella (Shukufuku no Campanella), which will stream online; a DVD release has been announced for a later date. Okamisan, known in Japan as Okami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi, will be released streamed and released on DVD as well. Hetalia World Series (seasons three and four) and the Hetalia movie Paint It, White have also been acquired for DVD and streaming release.

Next came an announcement of the acquisition of the MADHOUSE-animated film Summer Wars, directed by The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’s Mamoru Hosoda. The film will be released in 2011.

The final announcement was the licensing of Hideaki Anno’s Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance, which will be released in 2011. It was hinted that the film will have a theatrical run. Sheehan also noted that they’d love to keep the cast intact but can’t speak to it at this point.[/details]

[details=Morris and Sheehan moved into the Q&A after listing what not to ask about]
• New shows not yet licensed
• Old shows not yet licensed
• New episodes for a show already licensed
• What shows they are looking to license
• What agencies the voice actors use
• Dub cast for newly-announced shows
• Laura Bailey’s phone number

Sheehan confirmed that Funimation does not have Blu-Ray rights to Birdy the Mighty, which they have been releasing on DVD. Funimation has no specific plans for streaming on the iPad or iPhone (beyond what’s available via YouTube), but it’s something they’d like to do. Morris confirmed that the music rights for the Eden of The East opening, sung by Oasis, could only be acquired for the first episode; subsequent episodes will not have the original opening song attached.

When asked about the S.A.V.E. line, Sheehan noted that contracts for anime licenses sometimes preclude lowering the show’s price beyond a specified point. Funimation marketing director Lance Heiskell confirmed this and added that the S.A.V.E. line is generally a way to re-release shows four to five years after their original North American release.

Sheehan also indicated that Sgt. Frog has been performing well. It was also confirmed that there will be a theatrical release for Summer Wars as well as Evangelion 2.22.

Heiskel indicated to ANN during the Q&A that they will be re-branding the FUNimation Channel in the next couple of months. He also confirmed that Funimation has acquired both the Blu-Ray and DVD rights to Evangelion 2.22.

The Dragon Box has also been performing well, said Morris. Sheehan added that they had tailored the release to a smaller number of hardcore fans rather than the larger numbers expected for a standard release. Sheehan confirmed that Funimation does not have Blu-Ray rights for One Piece or Kanon. There will be a mix of the Hulu player and Funimation’s own player on the new Funimation portal.[/details]


#30

It will be interesting to see what they do with the Funimation Channel. I’d really like to see it as a VOD service as big as TAN’s.


#31

[size=20]Otakon’s Convention Center Evacuated Due to Fire Alarm[/size]
posted on 2010-07-31 14:22 EDT
All attendees ushered outside before 2 p.m. EDT but allowed to return after 3 p.m.

The Baltimore Convention Center, the site of the ongoing Otakon event, was evacuated a little before 2:00 p.m. EDT due to a fire alarm. Although fire fighters and police officers were called to the scene, ANN has not witnessed signs of an actual fire. All Otakon attendees were ushered outside without major incidents, but the all-clear announcement has yet to be given.

Update: Otakon’s official Twitter account is announcing at 2:20 p.m. EDT that all attendees must go across the street from the convention center so that the local fire marshal may clear the building.

Update 2: As of 3:00 p.m. EDT, the convention is allowing exhibitors back into the center. Translator and interpreter Toshifumi Yoshida reports that Guest of Honor Yuji Mitsuya led the audience from his interrupted panel to the nearby Sheraton Hotel and continued his panel in the hotel’s lobby.

Update 3: As of 3:05 p.m. EDT, the convention is allowing regular attendees back into the center.

Update 4: Otakon 2010 Chairperson Shawn Chiochankitmun told ANN that a fire alarm was pulled and emphasized that there was no fire. The Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW Creators Panel, which was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. EDT at the nearby Hilton Hotel, was delayed but was otherwise unaffected. The hotel was not part of the convention center’s evacuation.

Update 5: Otakon is extending the operating hours for the dealers room (7:00 p.m. EDT) and art show (11:00 p.m.) on Saturday. It is also rescheduling some panels.


#32

:ohmy: Wow! That’ll be one to remember. Any word yet on what actually caused the alarm?


#33

According to Twitter a couple of hours ago:

“False fire alarm was pulled at the BCC - All entrances are now reopened!”


#34

In the Bandai panel, it was just announced that K-On! was going to be dubbed and they surprised Stephanie Sheh by asking her to be Yui.

[quote]She replied, “Shut up… I mean thank you… I mean shut up”
“Are you in or out?”
“In.”
“Totally cool. Thank you.”
“Of course I need to get Bang Zoom’s permission.”[/quote]

22:18:44 <bay|Ota|BEI> we’re also PLANNING to do simul dvd and bluray


#35

[size=20]Otakon 2010: Bandai Entertainment Industry Panel[/size]
by Gia Manry, Jul 31st 2010

Bandai Entertainment’s “After Dark” panel was moderated by marketing director Robert Napton, Bandai Entertainment president and CEO Ken Iyadomi, ADR director Taku Otsuka, and marketer Loy Fruel. Also on the panel were voice actress Stephanie Sheh and voice actor/ADR director Mike Sinterniklaas. At the panel’s opening, each seat had a t-shirt folded on it, mostly from the TV anime Lucky Star, but also from several other Bandai titles.

[details=Entire Article]
After introductions, Napton praised the Otakon staff’s handling of the earlier fire alarm incident.

Napton then spoke about Bandai’s new online store before listing current and upcoming releases:
• Gurren-Lagann the Movie -Childhood’s End- (currently available)
• Gurren-Lagann the Movie -The Lights in the Sky are Stars- (currently available)
• Gurren-Lagann Anime Legends Complete Series (currently available)
• Tales of the Abyss (TBA)
• Turn-A Gundam (TBA)
• Gundam Unicorn 1 (available now)

Napton gave away a Gurren-Lagann banner signed by Kamina voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya.

During discussion of Gundam Unicorn, Napton asked Sinterniklaas and Sheh to speak about the project. Sinterniklaas said it was like a dream come true to work on something he’s a fan of, and also discussed the simultaneous release of the Gundam Unicorn dub, something only accomplished once before-- by Kurokami, which Sinterniklaas was also involved in. Sheh agreed and added that it was very different to work on something mid-production, which involves more people in the control room. As such it takes longer, but only because they want to make it perfect.

Iyadomi pointed out Sunrise’s Mr. Ozaki in the audience before Napton announced that they would show a new trailer for Gundam Unicorn volume 2, never before seen outside of Sunrise’s offices, as an Otakon exclusive. They also announced the following specs for the release:
• Audio: Japanese and English
• Subtitles: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, Traditional Mandarin, Traditional Cantonese
• Runtime: 80 minutes (60 minutes feature + 20 minutes bonus materials)
• Release date: October 30, 2010 (Playstation Store); November (Blu-Ray)

Sinterniklaas and Sheh talked about recording the second episode; Sheh was happy to not be sick as she had been for the first episode, and Sinterniklaas recalled that there were many small hurdles that all managed to be passed. Sinterniklaas also talked about the auditions for the character of “Full Frontal”, whose name mislead some of the actors into thinking the series was an adult project.

Napton conducted a Gundam trivia contest to give away three Gundam Unicorn posters signed by Sheh and Sinterniklaas, then continued with current and upcoming releases:
• The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 1 Complete Collection (available now)
• The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 Complete Collection (9/14/2010)
• The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya / Nyoron Churuya-san (TBA)
• The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (TBA)

Before talking about a new upcoming theatrical release for Disappearance, Napton showed a short blooper reel for second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and the Haruhi-chan/Churuya-san shorts. Napton spoke about the events revolving around Minori Chihara, Japanese voice actress for Haruhi Suzumiya’s Yuki Nagato, and then announced that The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya will screen at the New York Anime Festival.

A special message from Minori Chihara was then played for the panel attendees, and Napton then ran another contest: six men and five women made their way to the audience microphone. Napton ran two clips from the Haruhi’s second season. Sheh then repeated the lines said by Mikuru, and the fans responded with the original line or their own made-up version. The three winners, decided by applause, each took home a prize: second and third prize took home passes to the New York Anime Festival, while the grand prize winner got a VIP ticket to Chihara’s concert.

Next, Napton played the K-ON! ending “Don’t Say Lazy” before moving on to a new announcement:
Napton actually offered the role of K-ON!'s Yui to Stephanie Sheh during the panel, confirming that the series will be dubbed in English. Sheh accepted the role. They are also currently planning to tentatively release the series on Blu-Ray and DVD simultaneously. Cristina Vee, who was “smuggled” into the convention, will play the role of Mio, and sang several songs after the announcement.

After running through currently-released manga like Kannagi, Code Geass Knight and Code Geass Queen, Gundam 00 Season 2, Gurren-Lagann, and Lucky Star, the next announcement was the 26-episode TV anime Sora Kake Girl (Sora wo Kakeru Shojo), to be titled The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, with more news TBA.

Also licensed is the prequel series My Otome 0~S.ifr~, a three-episode OVA which will be released on one disc in the near future.

Vee was given the opportunity to say hello and express her enthusiasm for the role of Mio and for Otakon. Napton announced that she will be singing at Bandai’s booth, and then opened up the floor for a very brief Q&A session.

The first fan asked whether a CD of Vee and the rest of the cast performing the K-ON! songs would be released, and Iyadomi said it was uncertain at this time. Next came a question for Sheh about the Endless Eight arc of the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Sheh responded that it was easier for her than for other characters, particularly Haruhi (played by Wendee Lee).

Another questioner asked about Blu-Ray and DVD licenses for anime in general, having heard at another panel that they had to be licensed separately. Iyadomi responded that it depended on the company and the title, and that sometimes Blu-Ray was included in the original contract.

The question of whether the original Mobile Suit Gundam series would be released in the U.S. and Iyadomi said that he’d had a meeting at Otakon with Sunrise’s Ozaki and requested the title due to fan demand.

The final question was whether the Gundam 00 movie would be released in the U.S. Iyadomi said that they couldn’t announce anything at this time.[/details]


#36

:slight_smile: Quite the reporter, Slow! They have some interesting stuff going on there. Didn’t realize there was a Gurren-Lagaan movie…


#37

Also Bandai stated they will release the older Gundams one by one.


#38

Man that must have been a crazy thing with the alarm and scary a bit too to some people. There was some weird things went on during anime next this year one of the mornings. I think power went for a not even a minute but never figured out what was going on. I can’t imagine what that was like and hopefully a false alarm again or real fire never happens to a convention anytime soon. I got a friend at otakon that will be something to talk about on tuesday.


#39

One year at RadCon had idiots pull the fire alarm twice during the weekend. :angry:


#40

[quote=ZakuAce]
It will be interesting to see what they do with the Funimation Channel. I’d really like to see it as a VOD service as big as TAN’s.[/quote]

I would be concerned about it for the fact that it doesn’t seem most cable providers would want to air two anime channels, even if just VOD. Space is very limited and anime is a very niche market. Most providers are likely to be just one or the other, and I’d rather stick with the company that actually acquires shows I want. Remember Comcast anyone???

I’m starting to wonder if they may have been the ones that acquired the “Anime Channel” trademark from Central Park’s bankruptcy…


#41

[size=20]Otakon 2010: Hetalia US Premiere and Cast Panel[/size]
by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Aug 1st 2010

Funimation presented the premiere of the Hetalia dub track and had a Q&A session with seven of its cast members at Otakon on Saturday. The panel was slated to start at 1:30 p.m., and just as Brand Manager Charlene Ingram was getting ready to start the video to a packed house, the fire alarm went off, and everyone was forced to evacuate the convention center. Two hours later, the fans packed the large panel room again, completely undeterred by the long wait outside in the heat, and were more excited and geared up than ever to watch the first 10 episodes of Hetalia.

As announced earlier, the Hetalia dub included accents for each of the anthropomorphized characters. The accents were laughably stereotypical, and for a show like Hetalia, which purposely displays the most stereotyped characteristics of the citizens of each country, this fits. France laughs like the French chef from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”. Italy sounds like Mario from the Super Mario video games. Japan replaces every ‘l’ with an ‘r’. But as J. Michael Tatum would explain later, the humor from these accents is not that people from these countries actually speak this way, but that they are making fun of those who think people really talk like that.

There are, predictably, moments where the accents slip in and out. However, J. Michael Tatum and Jerry Jewell, as France and Russia respectively, did a particularly notable job at keeping their accents throughout each word they spoke.

The dub track is purposely vulgar and offensive. There is a clear reason here why the rating for this show is 18+. The characters curse frequently, and the dub adds in small humorous digs throughout each episode. One character refers to Germany as ‘Hasselhoff’. Germany makes a remark about Jews and Catholics, and America comments on Italy not being able to drive. France comments on the sexual tension between America and Britain. And the first words out of Southern Italy’s mouth is something that most definitely cannot be reproduced here. Bevins later noted that during the recording process, there was a lot of ad libbing, and said he would just say more and more offensive things until the director asked him to rein it in. It is clear the entire staff had a fun time with the series, both creating the English script and recording it. But if a watcher of this show is not careful, they may find themselves too offended from the vulgarity and the offensive jokes to continue. Hetalia clearly caters to a certain demographic. But for that demographic, the dub will be exactly what they’re looking for. This was evident from the almost-constant screams from the audience throughout all 10 episodes. The audience even chimed in to sing the ending theme song (in Japanese) for each episode.

After the premiere there were seven cast members on hand for a Q&A session:

Jerry Jewell - Russia
Clarine Harp - China
Christopher Bevins - Japan
Todd Haberkorn - Italy
Patrick Seitz - Germany
J. Michael Tatum - France
Scott Freeman - Britain

But before the Q&A got underway, there was a special video message played from Eric Vale, the voice of America and Canada. Vale, surrounded by American flags and other stars-and-stripes paraphernalia, explained, in an America-like fashion, why he couldn’t make it to Otakon (he just had other things to do) while stuffing his face with a cheeseburger and fries. He even took a phone call in the middle of the video and ignored the audience completely.

After this video message, each voice actor introduced themselves and their character, and some actors spoke part of their introductions in character, to the delight of the audience. This was something many of the panelists seemed pleased to do throughout the Q&A. Each panelist expressed how overwhelmed and impressed they were by the fan’s reaction to Hetalia, and thanked the fans for their support. With that, the Q&A got underway, albeit cut a little short due to time constraints from the evacuation earlier.

[details=Q&A]
When asked if the cast enjoyed history, Haberkorn and Tatum both remembered being history nerds in school, while the rest of the cast commented that their last history classes were quite a while ago. When asked if the cast had a hard time getting rid of their accents after recording sessions, they all agreed they did. Haberkorn mentioned that his DeLorean is voice-activated, and because the accent stuck he was unable to get into his car after recording sessions. It was also revealed that none of the cast knew about the series ahead of getting the parts. Each cast member then revealed a little bit about their first reactions to their parts and the series. Harp was afraid that her mother (who is Asian) would be offended by her playing China, but as it turns out she wasn’t offended, she actually thinks it’s hilarious. The cast was not put off by how offensive the show is, and noted that they think the jokes are very funny. And par for the course, there were also few questions for certain cast members to have them say lines in their accents, which resulted in near-deafening screams from the audience.

When asked why Funimation chose to use Britain instead of England, Ingram noted that it was a request from the Japanese production staff. Ingram also revealed that there will be special feature on the first season DVD set that includes cultural and historical notes. Ingram noted the first season DVD set will be available on September 14 and the second season DVD set will be available on October 12. The panel concluded with a trailer for the second season of the series.[/details]