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Anime Expo - Geneon Producers Panel

By Jason Yeh     July 06, 2006

Hosts:

  • Kevin Chu - Fate Stay Night, Kannazuki no Miko, Strawberry Marshmallow, Kamichu!

  • Satoshi Fujii - Ergo Proxy, Heat Guy J, Gatekeepers, Hellsing TV & OAV, Amazing Nurse Nanako

  • Terry Ho - Tokyo Underground, Anime Music line-up

  • Sawako Furuya - Paradise Kiss, Koi Kaze, Last Exile, Saiyuki

  • Hiroe Tsukamoto - Tenchi Muyo, Phantom Quest Corp, Pretty Sammy, X TV, Akira, Appleseed


This panel was much more open and laid back than a typical industry panel. The various Geneon producers decided to solicit feedback on the company's dvds from anime fans by running a separate panel. They started by introducing themselves and the various titles they have worked on. After that, the panel went straight into Q&A. This panel reminded me a lot of the Geneon Music one during AX 2003.


Here are some of the questions and answers I found more interesting.


One of the first questions asked was directed at Kevin Chu in regards to why Geneon chose New Generation Pictures for the English dubbing on Kamichu! Kevin answered that the same Japanese studio that animated Kamichu! also produced ROD TV, which was also dubbed by New Generation Pictures. Satoshi also mentioned that the Japan studio specifically asked for Kevin and New Generation Pictures to work on the Kamichu! R1 dvd release.


Another person asked if there's a possibility of a Lupin box set coming out, and one of the Geneon producers answered that it's in the planning stages.


One audience member inquired about Geneon releasing all of a series at once in box set format. Kevin pointed out that usually this is not feasible for new shows since they want to release an anime as soon as possible after licensing it, often simultaneously as the show is being released on R2 dvd in Japan.


Another interesting question was that someone asked if Geneon might run a music concert at AX 2007 in Long Beach. Geneon is looking into it since there is an arena at the Long Beach Convention Center.


One person asked about Geneon USA's relationship with Rondo Robe and if USA receives any preferential treatment over other R1 anime companies. Either Sawako Furuya or Hiroe Tsukamoto answered, "yes", and stated that Rondo Robe asks Geneon USA first before approaching other R1 companies with a title.


Another audience member asked if Geneon ever displayed unlicensed shows at AX to see fan reaction and determine whether or not an anime was worth bringing over to the R1 market. One of the producers mentioned that some of the Japanese companies do that at AX. Geneon producers often determine what to license based upon word of mouth, e-mail, and general on-line feedback. Satoshi pointed out that Kevin reads the AOD and ANN forums on a regular basis.


Someone pointed out that Zipang seems like a harder sell and asked what Geneon's general strategy for selling the show is. One of the Geneon producers sitting in the audience replied that the company's goal is to release a quality show. He also pointed out that Geneon's license list is fairly diverse. As an example, he mentioned Fighting Spirit and how no one touched the anime before Geneon brought it over and that it's a great show. They basically want to bring out something for everyone.


The last question I made note of was someone asked if Geneon would release thinpak box sets. I recall Satoshi and/or Kevin pointed out that they have released quite a number of thinpak box sets (i.e. Stellvia and Last Exile). They also added that they decide on thinpaks on a case by case basis. One of the female producers asked the audience if they want more thinpak box sets, and the response was a loud "yes" by many people. She also asked about super jewel cases and the audience responded similarly.

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