On Friday afternoon, Spider and I had the chance to sit in on the Aniplex Panel. Once again, Aniplex had their Japanese US Marketing team presenting the panel. Since I have attended an Aniplex panel before in the past, this didn’t come as much of a surprise. In my opinion, it gives the audience the feel of coming straight from the studio, and not from a typical US marketing team. There was a good turnout in attendance, and Aniplex did a fair job at interacting with them. Besides the color technical fail they had with the projector, everything went well.
First, Aniplex made a few announcements that I think are a positive for the US Anime Industry. They have lauched a US website (http://aniplexus.com/) and their own YouTube Channel. The YouTube channel allows you to catch Episodes and Trailers of all the titles listed. As always, Aniplex did not have much in the new titles department, but the ones they did mention did not disappoint the fans at all. They announced the second Gurren Lagann Movie, “The Lights in the Sky are Stars,” and that they are also the studio behind the movie “Welcome to the Space Show.” They ended the list with Durarara.
Aniplex was very excited about Gurren Lagann ~The Lights in the sky are Stars~, which still has the same US voice casting. I have watched the series once through and enjoyed it, but I have not had a chance to watch the movies. The trailer that they showed seemed interesting. Although, it does seem like they are trying to ride the hype wave that Gurren Lagann has generated – which is all good, but I hope they do not lose focus on their other titles.
The next title they discussed was “Welcome to the Space Show.” I’ll be honest, it didn’t really strike my fancy when I was reading about it through the Otakon Press Blogs. After hearing a bit more about the story concept and seeing an extended trailer, I am interested in seeing it. I believe this is Aniplex’s attempt to take a swing at the Miyazaki/Disney turf. It is about a group of small children that get carried off to different places around the universe. In order for them to return home, they need to work together through various situation where life lessons are learned.
Now, please pardon while Spider and I get our ear drums repaired after the screaming fan girls from the announcement of Aniplex’s title Durarara. I have not seen this series but judging by the reaction, this has the same following audience as Hetalia. Aniplex made the English voice cast announcement that they went with Bang-Zoom Entertainment. Celty will be voiced by Kari Wahlgren, Mikado will be voiced by Darrel Guilbeau, and Crispin Freeman will be voicing Shizuo (the one name that caused our ears to bleed).
On the conclusion of the panel, they mentioned that they are starting to get into the Blu-Ray releases. The one title that they confirmed, and that I was super excited for, was R.O.D. the OVA and TV series that is going to be released in one package around this holiday season. Unfortunately there isn’t an official street date yet.
Aniplex always seems to pull out some really great titles and we will look forward to their future projects.