London Expo October 2010 - Anime Panel Announcements Print
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Saturday, 30 October 2010 11:10

London ExpoLondon Expo is having their anime industry panel this morning - it's still underway as I type - and there's some interesting news coming out of it, mostly from Manga UK but also from other departments. We'll take it company by company.

Manga UK confirmed yesterday's Haruhi tweets, with clarification that the Haruhi-chan shorts will be subtitled-only. They've also picked up K-On!'s first season (DVD, hopeful for Blu-ray) and Birdy the Mighty: Decode, with a number of other FUNimation titles in the pipeline to be announced shortly. They've added the second Naruto: Shippuden movie and confirmed their Hetalia license is for the first two seasons. They're in "constructive talks" with Toei for Dragonball and One Piece, but these shows are major commitments and there's nothing to confirm yet.

MVM Entertainment have licensed Tower of Druaga, to be released as a single set (so I assume that's the first season only), as well as extending their licenses to a number of other shows including Trigun and Samurai Champloo. They have been buying Blu-ray rights for their recent acquisitions, but there are no plans as yet for them to get into the Blu-ray market.

Beez have picked up House of Five Leaves and Tatami Galaxy, with other new titles in the pipeline that they're not able to announce yet. The Blu-ray release of Gundam Unicorn is on hold due to "internal discussions over pricing", although it's on track for a release via PlayStation Network and XBox Live, apparently next week. Interestingly, their Head of Acquisitions Andrew Partridge, who seems to single-handedly run their UK operation, is leaving the company on Monday to work for French distributor Kaze - more on them in a moment - which does have some people worried that Beez will scale back in the UK. We'll see - I hope not.

Kaze are a French company who were recently bought up by Viz Media - up to now they've had no presence in the UK, but wearing his new Kaze hat Andrew Partridge confirmed that the company was looking to expand into the UK, both online and "offline" (I presume that means physical releases) as well as in merchandise. No firm announcements yet, but they'll hopefully have something to announce on the streaming front at the next London Expo (May 2011).

And that's it from the anime industry panel. I'll update this post if any other news sneaks out over the weekend. Credit due to the folks live-tweeting the panel (check for the #MCMExpo hashtag on Twitter), as I wasn't able to get there myself.

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