The Funimation industry panel was to Friday’s “online” panel as Gurren Lagann is to Melody of Oblivion: part of the latter was the same stuff as the former, but got more attention. Justin Rojas ran the panel, which opened with a plug for their Funimation Show — short videos where fun is had, fans are interviewed, and truths about the very fabric of space-time are revealed. Adam Sheehan came up and presented their streaming line-up, highlighting that High School DxD is available in uncut form — so rest easy, plot fans! Rojas and Sheehan briefly shifted the topic toward FUNimation’s “anime everywhere” strategy. They listed all of the devices and social media platforms involved before moving on to announcements and new releases.
- Mamoru Hosoda’s “Wolf Children” has a tendency to sell out at conventions. When stopping by their booth later, I found out that Summer Wars, also directed by Hosoda, was Anime Boston’s hot seller, with only 3 copies left at the time.
- Premium editions out for Kamisama Kiss and Psycho Pass. Kami-kiss being the first, they mentioned the strong possibility for more premium releases, including Funimation store exclusives such as the limited Attack on Titan set currently available for preorder.
- In presenting the Ikki Tousen “Extreme Executor Edition,” they emphasized the sheer amount of plot the show has to offer. “You can see the ‘plot’ on the screen right now. So much ‘plot’….”
- The new Dragon Ball Z set does not have the Ocean dub. The only set that has this is the recently released Rock The Dragon Edition.
- Black Lagoon is now on the air, in Toonami’s 2am time slot. The first episode aired over that night, on March 23rd. Contrary to popular fears, the show saw little censorship, other than that f’n *bleep*.
- They nabbed video rights to Ben-To — a show involving death matches over free food, and A Certain Scientific Railgun S.
- The second season of Space Dandy arrives in July 2014.
- Cast listings for the Attack on Titan and Red Data Girl dubs, the first of which omitted (until the premiere that night) Bryce Papenbrook as Eren.
I found the emphasis on premium and limited edition video releases interesting, for a couple of reasons. One could argue that Funimation wants to take a piece of the action that Aniplex seems to be enjoying. In a broader sense, I see it as a sign of a recovering US anime market. For the last several years we’ve had this odd dichotomy of a buyer’s market, where cheap anime goods are the only ones that get bought, and exorbitantly priced anime from the bubble days that had somehow evaded rescue. The rise of limited releases suggests that US anime sellers are comfortable once again with both offering more and asking for more from a select group of fans.