Editor’s Note: As mentioned in Crunchyroll’s article, we’re keeping the commentary on this piece a bit shorter, as the basic flow and nature of industry events tend to be fairly similar across the board.
With Berserk firmly under their belts, Crunchyroll proved to be the player to beat. With the cavernous Hall E booked and a line that circled the floor of the Hynes, Funimation had the potential to really hammer home a huge impact.
But, with a week to go before Funimation’s big simulcast lineup reveal and the events at AnimeJapan 2016 providing the goods on the newest of new hotness, those solely looking for the next big thing would leave with a sense of disappointment.
Those who weren’t, though, would find a polished, well-presented experience with enough flash to keep things fun for the hour. Tara McKinney, Funimation’s Conventions Manager, took to the stage to kick everything off. After the usual Social media and website promotions, McKinney kicked off a short teaser for FunimationNow, the company’s rebranded digital platform.
As this was airing, I couldn’t help but notice the loud, mid-’90s styling of the company’s ads, which are peppered with bright colors and a cheerfully loud overall tone. It’s charming, really.
Once the ad ended, McKinney took a moment to talk up the company’s digital offerings, before shifting to the streaming apps. She took a moment to discuss the mobile apps, as well as streaming apps on the Kindle and Roku, as well as Sony’s PlayStation 3 & 4 and the XBox family. Amid the discussion, she did note that an app was in the works for an “as of yet unannounced” gaming console.
The conversation quickly moved over to simulcasts, which she led off with a short trailer. The conversation moved from subtitled simulcasts, to broadcasts dubs, and finally the Dubbletalk block before shifting the topic to other services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Toonami. They used a Dimension W dub trailer as a bookend for the segment, which was met with cheers through the audience.
With the services out of the way, it was time to bring on the products! One after another, newly available titles appeared on the slideshow, received their marketing blurb, and were seen out by a short teaser. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Tokyo Ghoul, Buddy Complex, C3, and others were given a few moments to shine in the spotlight.
In the middle of the news, though, McKinney shifted to Kickstarter, notably the ongoing Vision of Escaflowne Kickstarter. She expressed her excitement over the project, then noted that they have a bunch of Kickstarter projects in the works.
Interesting term, but again, we’ll leave the inference to you, readers.
After this brief pause, the showcase of titles continued, with Evangelion 3.33, then Free! Eternal Summer, and Lord Marksman & Vanadis. A highlight of the segment came about with No-Rin, a series that ensures viewers won’t look at vegetables the same way… ever again.
From Psycho-Pass 2, to Date A Live 2, and a re-release of Eden of the East, the releases pushed forward, each taking center stage for a moment before being sent off with a teaser trailer.
The presentation finished up with a brief overview of the upcoming June releases, from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time to Yurikuma Arashi.
While it didn’t have the “wow” factor of Berserk, the event was entertaining enough, with McKinney really holding the event together with a fantastic energy and a genuine enthusiasm that could be felt through the crowd.