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[size=20]Otakon 2010: Rainbow with Hiroshi Koujina Q&A[/size]
by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Aug 1st 2010

Rainbow - Nisha Rokubo no Shichinin director Hiroshi Koujina and Line Producer Atsushi Mita hosted a sparsely-populated screening of the first episode and a Q&A panel on Saturday afternoon. Madhouse foreign relations and production staff member Yoshihiro Watanabe translated for Koujina and Mita. Madhouse founder Masao Maruyama was also in attendance, although he fell asleep halfway through the Q&A, to the amusement of both the panelists and the audience.

First the panelists presented a screening of the first episode of Rainbow. Rainbow follows six young men who are on a bus on their way to prison. From the very first scene, where one of the prisoners on the bus picks up a doll a young girl has dropped and she cries and eventually throws the doll at him in disgrace, the dramatic tone of the show is clearly evident. The six boys arrive at the prison, only to be given a horrible welcoming treatment by the resident perverted doctor. The six boys then are thrown into a cell with Anchan, a man who has obviously been incarcerated for a while. As the story of the first episode progresses, it’s clear the only moments of happiness in this series will be on the focus of the seven prisoners as they try to survive the harsh treatment ahead of them. The first episode had good animation quality and the color palette fit the dark, dramatic tone, but the background music felt like it was trying too hard at times to be dramatic. The series shows definite promise, if it can continue to keep a good balance between the dramatic storyline and the silver lining of the budding friendships of the characters.

Koujina and the rest of the cast and staff of the series were introduced via Powerpoint presentation before Koujina spoke about the manga upon which the anime series was based, which he was particularly impressed by. He noted that the manga was heavily violent but that the television station gave them a lot of leeway to adapt the manga properly.

[details=The panel was then opened up to Q&A.]
The first question was about the inspiration for such a sad story. Koujina said he wanted to peel down the idea of being human and get at the core of what it is to be a human, and how humans communicate with one another. He’s not sure when Funimation will release the series on DVD, but it’s still airing in Japan and in the U.S. so he hopes U.S. fans will watch the show.

Another fan asked why the show is called Rainbow when it’s such a sad story. Koujina laughed, and then responded that he got asked that a lot from Japanese fans as well; that they don’t want to watch such a harsh and sad series, but Koujina believes that when you’re happy you may forget things. In harsh times, there is something that comes to the surface and he wanted to show what that was. Koujina acknowledged that the series isn’t for everyone, but promised that there are scenes that you would not be able to turn your eyes away from.

At this point Madhouse’s Masao Maruyama joined the panel and noted that George Abe, the original creator of the manga, called the series that, and that the effect of an actual Rainbow is something that you only see after the rain, so the story is not about the harshness of life but about what you see ahead of it: hope.

Another fan mentioned that Koujina comes from an animation background, and asked if he still gets involved in the animation for shows he directs. Koujina first explained that his goal wasn’t just to be a director, but to just be involved in animation in general, so if there is a demand for him to be an animator, he will take on the job, but right now the demand for directors is high. But as a director, Koujina said doesn’t have time to do any animation work on the shows he directs, and said he has a great team, so he entrusts the animation work to them.

The next question asked if the impressive voice cast was a reflection of how confident Koujina is in Rainbow. Koujina replied that he acknowledges that the talented cast has contributed to the success of Rainbow, and he believes the cast and the quality of the animation are in balance.

Another fan asked about the original graphic content in the manga and adapting it to animation, and Koujina replied that there did have to be some scenes that had to be adapted to fit the broadcast code, but Koujina took on the project knowing that what he wanted to convey could be conveyed while obeying those rules.

When asked about the personalities of the characters, Koujina said that when he took the original manga and adapted it to animation, he read the original manga, thought about how each of the characters were constructed, and re-adapted them to animation. In this way he was able to keep the essence of the characters, while also being able to make them unique in animation.

Another fan asked if it was hard to pitch the plot to TV companies, considering the show has minors who smoke and drink. Koujina replied that the TV station and the production staff believed as a team that by taking out blood, violence, drinking or smoking, they wouldn’t be able to convey the story properly. Koujina said he was very lucky the TV station understood that.

The next attendee asked how Koujina feels he has developed as a director since he directed Grenadier. Koujina replied that finally, with Rainbow, he was able to get a hold of what being a director means to him, and that it is a very difficult job. He says he still has a lot to learn as a director, and a lot to learn specifically from Maruyama.

When asked if they were surprised by how fast Rainbow got licensed in the U.S., Mita said he was surprised because the series takes place in Japan in the 1960s, but he is happy people are able to feel the friendship theme in the anime. Koujina added that making something that sells a lot, and making something that is interesting, are two different things. He said he wants to make something that grabs hold of people’s minds, and he directed Rainbow in that way.

The last question from the audience was why Koujina decided to use coldrain’s We’re Not Alone as the opening theme song and Galneryus’ “A Far-Off Distance” as the ending theme song. Koujina answered that George Abe is a huge fan of heavy metal and wanted to use heavy metal music. Also, Koujina said because the show takes place in 1960s Japan, he didn’t want to block out younger audiences, and so he used music that would appeal to that audience.[/details]


[size=20]Bandai Ent. Adds Bakumatsu Era: Code Geass* Manga[/size]
Aug 1, 2010
be sure to read the update before getting excited
Manga re-imagining of Code Geass characters in historical Japan

Robert Napton, marketing director of the North American anime and manga distributor Bandai Entertainment, has announced after Otakon on Sunday evening that his company licensed Goro Taniguchi and Tomomasa Takuma’s “Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya” (“Code Geass: Jet-Black Renya” or “Code Geass: Renya of the Blackness”) manga series.

Napton announced the license at “Baltiport 2010” — the tongue-in-cheek nickname for the gathering of Otakon industry attendees who have been delayed at the Baltimore Airport for about four hours.

Update: Napton corrected himself and said that Bandai Entertainment has “Gun Zi (Ganjii)'s A Record of the Strange Tales of the Bakumatsu Era: Code Geass” (“Bakumatsu Ibun-roku Code Geass - Hangyaku no Lelouch”), not “Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya”. This alternate telling re-imagines the characters of the “Code Geass” anime as historical players during Japan’s Bakumatsu era. The manga ran in Kadokawa Shoten’s Kerokero Ace magazine in 2008, and one compiled book volume was published.


Otakon 2012


Oh yeah, Sentai Filmworks panel on Sunday!

The programming, in general, this year is (as expected) significantly worse than last year. Bandai was a big player, and it doesn’t look like AoA is stepping up, and Funimation seems to be “dialing it down” compared to previous years. That said, Otakon 2012 will officially go down as being more awesome than it has any right to be as it showcases ADV’s return to form by hosting its first industry panel there in years.

Hmmm, with little in the way of interesting late night programming it looks like I’ll actually get some sleep during this year’s Otakon. A first.


What will they announce at tomorrow’s panel?

Sword Art Online?
Mawaru Penguindrum?
Ladies VS. Butlers?
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko?
Maybe another girl/mecha show…Sky Girls

Or an R1 release of a previously CR-only title…
Skip Beat
Natsu no Arashi!

We’ll find out tomorrow…


Whatever it is, I’ll be on hand to bear witness to the momentous occasion, the first Sentai/adv panel at Otakon in years. Will anyone else from here be there?

I suppose I should thank AnimeExpo for, according to the staff at the Sentai booth, and I quote “not having room” for Sentai in its schedule.

Frustratingly, the selection of Sentai and adv shows at the booth is almost the same as what is available on rightstuf. Both are missing disc 2 of Gilgamesh, both lack any more of milk chan than vols one and two. Oddly they have The Skull Man dvd @ 30 bucks when just a few months ago it was 5 on rightstuf.

That said, they have a MUCH better selection than Funimation does. Funimation is slacking off on the booth front. Sentai has early releases like World God Only Knows (I havent yet seen number 6 there) while funi has no early releases that I’ve seen, and it has only a small selection.

I can’t believe they’re premiering steins gate without selling the blurays. They’re blue balling us, for lack of a classier term :wink:


Well after Funi’s recent announcements, Sentai’s can only go up…?


I hope so, I was disappointed in Funimation’s lame announcements at this otakon.

They were borrrrrrrrring; I didn’t expect them to be good, but they weren’t even the gleeful evil announcements that funi has used before, like the infamous otakon 2010 revelation that they were instrumental in killing One Manga, and that they pissed on its grave.

Sentai could announce anything and it would be more exciting. Shoot, the freebies at their booth were more exciting.

I thought it was odd that they got Akira. Akira is like the black spot for anime companies in the USA…


Sentai Panel text form

Sentai Panel video


I’m not sure that I want to see the video as, especially if it’s the one recorded by the Fandom Post guy in the front row, there’s a decent chance that I’m in it. That’d be weird.


I was actually happy with FUNimation for once because they announced Fairy Tail season 2 and the movie. That was probably their best panel in a bit (others were disappointing, especially Otakon 2011).

Yeah, Otakon was awesome again. I live near Otakon, so I’m pretty close to the convention and other cons in the Baltimore/DC area.


I still remember the 2010 panel when Funimation told the fans that they were proud of their part in killing OneManga. I thought I was going to get to see a riot :wink:

[quote]Sentai Panel video

Nice of you to post the video.

Sadly the video confirms my fears. When the dude in the front row who was the mouthpiece for The Fandom Post was moving his iPad around, I thought I avoided getting caught on virtual film. I did not. Brutal.


[quote=“celestial_being” post=125581]I still remember the 2010 panel when Funimation told the fans that they were proud of their part in killing OneManga. I thought I was going to get to see a riot :wink:

[quote]Sentai Panel video

Nice of you to post the video.

Sadly the video confirms my fears. When the dude in the front row who was the mouthpiece for The Fandom Post was moving his iPad around, I thought I avoided getting caught on virtual film. I did not. Brutal.[/quote]

I was at the Madoka Magica panel where they intentionally took pictures of the audience, and I still managed to somehow elude the cameras :stuck_out_tongue:


I was at that panel too. The only pictures I saw from the event were some blurry ones posted by Aniplex that were taken when the crowd did NOT have the kyuubei masks on. Fail.

Luckily I sat out of camera range for that one. I think I wore my kyuubei mask for almost the whole panel. TBH the only thing that interested me in the whole panel was the dub outtake bit. Everything else was the same boring tripe we get in Japanese video commentaries, only with English actors. I remember being pretty darn tired too, so my standards were higher lol.

The panel even ended early, which was pretty lame IMO.

I wore my mask so no one would see my face gruesomely spasm whenever the American actors pronounced “magica” as a slow, drawn-out and Engrish “MAH-gi-KAH”. Weeaboos on stage :unsure: :ohmy:


###Funimation Titles Announced at Otakon

###Sentai Filmworks Titles Announced at Otakon
Aug 10, 2013


^ Funimation licensed:

Cowboy Bebop
Outlaw Star
Escaflowne: The Movie
The Vision of Escaflowne
My-Otome 0~S.ifr~
My-Otome Zwei
Tales of the Abyss
Witch Hunter Robin
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
Angel Links
Crest of the Stars
Banner of the Stars
Banner of the Stars II
Passage of the Stars - Birth


I have most of funimation ones that were rescued. So if blu ray pick at a con or I have money at a store. They did mention cowboy bebop getting blu ray so I that one I do that for. Unlike others will I probably pick up most of sentai rescues since I only have complete The Big O season 1, s-CRY-ed, Infinite Ryvius, Kurokami The Animation.


Hopefully, Funi doesn’t take 3+ years to release their haul to us, and then when they do it’s not up to snuf (soft video (for those that got a JP remaster), locked subs, etc.

Well, it’s only like I’m really interested in one, maybe two titles, so…


Hopefully they’ll dub Tales of the Abyss. They bothered to dub the other Tales of that they have so there’s cause to hope IMO.

Angel Links should not be rescued. I can understand wanting to keep it alive to mock it and to have a reminder of how NOT to make a seqeul/spin-off series but as long as it lives it can still hurt us. Let it die :wink:

I wonder if they’ll redub Witch Hunter Robin. The dub has a huge “irony factor” for Crispin Freeman but I’d prefer a better one myself.

Why didn’t Sentai announce this stuff at their panel? They said that they were out of announcements! Throwing this out at their panel could (key word) have lessened the blow that they’re doing sub-only blurays now and that those sub-only blurays won’t even have fancier packaging to (try to) compensate.

Sentai gave us all the bad news and left Sunrise to give us the good news. What was that?



  1. Of course they’ll dub it. They haven’t released a sub-only title yet, and don’t see them doing so…ever. (my opinion)

  2. Never seen it, so don’t know if it’s truly bad as you say.

  3. Redub…nope. Have they ever redubed a licensed tv series…or movie. Plus there’s the nostalgia factor.

  4. Not everyone cares for fancy packaging like we used to. Just swag that takes up space, space one can use to add more anime…novels, movies, video games, etc…

  5. Maybe licensor agreement/requirements, a chance for Sunrise to shine…who knows?

  6. Socks are the Devil’s handiwork… :evil: