Alexis Tipton Headshot 001 - 20160320The small cat girl with a gigantic presence makes her entrance!

Earlier today, Funimation announced that Alexis Tipton (Rosario + Vampire, Haganai, Space Dandy) will play the role of Merle in the company’s updated Vision of Escaflowne dub.

Last week, the company revealed that Caitlin Glass (Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, Attack on Titan) and Aaron Dismuke (Blood Blockade Battlefront, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Fullmetal Alchemist) will play the lead roles of Hitomi and Van, respectively. Sonny Strait (Ouran High School Host Club, Fullmetal Alchemist) was tapped to direct the adaptation.

In addition to the dub news, Funimation clarified the differences between the various Kickstarter editions of the set. The company stated that the standard editions of Standard Editions 1 and 2 will not receive an art box, and that the special package shipping with Standard Edition part 1 is exclusive to the Kickstarter. If the $250,000 goal is achieved, the box will receive a foil embossing.

Vision of Escaflowne Merle Visual 001 - 20160320In regards to the Collector’s Edition, Funimation stated that the Kickstarter edition box will feature different art from the Standard release, with art that’s different from the retail edition. The Kickstarter version of this set will receive foil embossing even if the stretch goal is not reached.

Funimation’s Kickstarter to re-dub Vision of Escaflowne officially launched on February 27. In an interview with Anime News Network’s Zac Bertschy, Funimation brand manager Jennifer Fu explained the need for a new dub on the series:

So basically there was the original dub that came out and it’s based on SD materials that, as you’re aware, the director’s cut, the HD Japanese version that was released on Bluray more recently, has scenes that were not in the original materials that the original English dub was based on. So because of that it’s not possible for us to put the subtitled HD material which is what we’ve just received from Japan, on the same disc as the original dub, because otherwise it doesn’t line up correctly and there are some points where the dub just won’t have any dialogue or anything in it and it’d just be kind of strange.

Funimation noted that the $150,000 goal wouldn’t cover the full cost of a new English adaptation.

The campaign reached its goal on March 1, and passed its first stretch goal of $200,000 on March 10. As of press time, the campaign stands at $211,175 donated across 1,400 backers, leading to an average contribution of $150.84 per backer.

Three stretch goals are currently in play:

  • $200,000: Behind the Scenes featurettes and interviews (Funded)
  • $250,000: Upgraded box art, and art book added to Kickstarter Edition copies
  • $500,000: Backers-only Escaflowne party at a major US anime convention, with director Kazuki Akane in attendance as a guest.

Bandai Entertainment originally released The Vision of Escaflowne in 2000. Funimation announced that they acquired the domestic rights to the series in 2013, as well as several other Bandai Entertainment titles that include Outlaw Star and My-HiME.

Source: Kickstarter