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London Expo News - October '08 PDF Print E-mail
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Licensing
Monday, 27 October 2008 04:28
London ExpoLots of news from this weekend's London Expo, which you can read below the cut. Blu-ray, Slayers and Gundam, oh my...

I wasn't able to make it to Expo this time around, so mostly thanks to Fudce on the AoD Forums for this news, with a few other tidbits gathered from elsewhere.

ADV Films
"We ain't dead yet!" was the main message from ADV, although for the time being at least they'll be concentrating on box set releases until the situation with new and former Sojitz titles becomes clearer. There are boxes currently in the pipeline for Angelic Layer, DN Angel, Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade, Mahoromatic, Get Backers (as 2 half-season sets) and Area 88.

Beez Entertainment
Beez were fairly quiet this year, with their rep Andrew Partridge making his usual comment that there was plenty in the pipeline that he couldn't talk about. He was able to announce the first season of Gundam 00, though. Gurran Lagann is also on the way, hopefully mirroring the US double-volume release style, while Sword of the Stranger will be getting both DVD and Blu-ray releases next year. They're also looking into a Gundam Wing box set, using the new HD masters that to date have not been used outside Japan.

Manga Entertainment
On the live-action side, Manga have Blood: the Last Vampire, which is being pitched as "a super violent Buffy the Vampire Slayer set in Japan". Hmmm. On the anime side, there's plenty to look forward to - Ichigo 100% and Honey and Clover are both slated for 2009, although this depends on them both getting their US releases as planned. They'll also be releasing Blue Dragon (based on the XBox 360 game of the same name), while Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (sneaky licence announcement, there) will be getting the Blu-ray treatment. On the downside, their license for Akira has recently expired, and while they hope to renew it there are currently issues with that. On the matter of the FUNimation titles they've announced, they've confirmed that this isn't a distribution deal as at first though, but rather a licensing deal that currently doesn't go beyond the titles they've confirmed. In addition to the dates already announced for some of them, it was confirmed that the first volume of Claymore will arrive in January 2009, and unusually for Manga these days will be released as single volumes in the same style as the US release. They've also confirmed that their license for Naruto now covers the full series (220 episodes), and Naruto: Shippunden, which should get underway next summer. As if we haven't seen enough Naruto already. Finally, they have Afro Samurai: Resurrection. Of interest to those who have no problems with downloading their anime, there are plans to release at least some titles through the UK iTunes and XBox Live video stores.

MVM Entertainment
Cutey Honey is set to be their first live-action release, with the movie currently slated for release sometime during 2009. On the Slayers front, it was confirmed that they have all 4 currently-available TV shows (Slayers, NEXT, TRY and Revolution) - although I note that a 5th series, Evolution-R, was announced in Japan over the weekend. The older shows will be released as 4 single volumes per series, with no details yet on how Revolution will be handled. They've also been dealing with GONZO again, and have picked up Solty Rei, Desert Punk and Romeo X Juliet, while from Media Blasters they have Samurai Deeper Kyo. There was also mention of Blade of the Immortal, a samurai action show that so far as I can tell has yet to be announced in the US, so that's one worth keeping an eye on.

Revelation Films
Revelation are still mostly in hiatus mode, although they have confirmed that they will be finishing (as singles) all the titles that are currently on hold. As well as the box sets already announced last week, there are sets on the way for BECK and Peach Girl. Following on from the confirmation of that nature of Manga's deal with FUNimation, Revelation pointed out that they're not a licensor as such - instead, they act on behalf of FUNimation parent company Navarre, with Navarre making the decisions regarding titles, release patterns etc. So now you know who to blame.


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