FUNimation has had quite the busy day before Otakon even fully got rolling. In the hours leading up to the opening of the convention center and in the time before their panel at 6:00 PM ET, they covered a lot of things. They introduced Branded Prepaid Cards so fans who don't have credit cards can buy anime online, a place where more and more of it is becoming the only place to buy. They then introduced the cast lists for upcoming dubs for the series Black Butler, Oh Edo Rocket and Phantom. And after that they started talking about their planned beta and new community video social network site to replace what they currently use.
And then if that wasn't enough, they slid out a license rescue in the form of Girls Bravo by placing the first couple of episodes online at YouTube to check out, thereby adding another Geneon license to their stable of rescues.
The panel for Otakon was handled by Adam Sheehan, who has moved over to the social media side of the company, and new convention events coordinator Joshua Morris, who has had himself a good introduction to anime conventions this summer.
When discussion came up about the social media site for videos and the like, Adam commented that they scrapped the plans for the Shodojo.com domain they talked about in the past since the branding for FUNimation.com is strong and people are already going there. Also mentioned was that before the end of the year they will have an elite membership subscription plan as part of the website. This level of membership, something that every site of this nature does to varying degrees, will offer early access to English dubs, will be advertisement free and have exclusive forums and additional content.
The panel then went heavily into new announcements for streaming and home video material:
Strike Witches Season 2 which will have streaming episodes coming soon and they will be streaming it a week after it airs while the DVDs will come in 2011.
FUNimation Entertainment has been tapped for the online simulcast of the 13 episode World War II adventure anime “Strike Witches 2”. Through an agreement with Kadokawa Pictures, Inc. fans can catch new episodes, in addition to already aired episodes of the series through the FUNimation video portal at www.funimation.com/video.
In addition to the simulcast, FUNimation has been awarded home entertainment, digital, broadcast and merchandise rights for the series.
Directed by Kazuhiro Takamura (“Strike Witches”, “Cardcaptor Sakura”), animation for “Strike Witches 2” is done by studio AIC (“Shuffle”, “Heaven’s Lost Property”). The anime continues the adventures of the Strike Witches, the group of young woman fighting to liberate war torn Europe from deadly aliens. With jet pack boots and supernatural powers, it is up to them to take on the powerful Neuroi before they take over the earth and enslave humanity.
FUNimation Entertainment previously released the first series, “Strike Witches”, on DVD in North America earlier this year and will release “Strike Witches 2” on DVD in 2011.
Blessing of the Campanella will have streaming episodes coming soon and will be coming in 2011
FUNimation Entertainment, the leading distributor of Japanese animation in North America, announced today it will partner with Marvelous Entertainment for the online simulcast of the “Blessing of the Campanella” exclusively in the United States.
FUNimation has also acquired home entertainment, digital, broadcast and merchandise rights for the 12 episode fantasy anime series.
Known as “Shukufuku no Campanella” in its native Japan, “Blessing of the Campanella” is based on the popular Japanese visual novel of the same name. The series takes place in the magical city of Ert’Aria. As the residents prepare for a harvest festival, a young technician named Leicester Maycraft witnesses the crash of a mysterious shooting star. Upon further investigation, Leicester is surprised to find a young woman at the site of the crash. Now the young man must figure out who this mysterious girl is, and why she keeps calling him Father.
Animation for the series is done by studio AIC (“Strike Witches 2”, “Heaven’s Lost Property”). The series features as Nobuhiko Okamoto (“Air Gear”, “Sacred Blacksmith”) as Leicester Maycraft and is directed by Shinji Uchiro.
Okamisan (aka Ookami-san no shichinin no nakamatachi) will be streaming episodes coming soon and will be coming in 2011
The FUNimation.com video portal will also soon be the online simulcast home for the fairy-tale-ish parody, “Okamisan”, exclusively in the U.S. on behalf of Media Factory, Inc.
FUNimation Entertainment’s rights also include home entertainment, digital, broadcast and merchandise for the 13 episode series with plans to release the title on DVD in 2011.
Known as “�kami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tach” in its native Japan, the series is animated by Japanese animation studio J.C Staff and directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki (“Love Hina”, “The Familiar of Zero”). The show features an all star cast including veteran voice actress Shizuka Itou (“xxxHOLiC”, “Blassreiter”) and actress Kanae Itou (“Queen’s Blade”, “Tetsuwan Birdy Decode”).
Based on the light novels released by ASCII in Japan, the anime follows tomboy Ookami Ryouko and her spunky best friend, Akai Ringo. Both work for a special club at their high school that specializes in solving students’ problems, no matter how dangerous. The anime is well known for parodying famous children’s stories including Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood.
Hetalia World Series (Seasons 3 and 4) will have streaming episodes coming soon and will be released on DVD in 2011.
Hetalia Movie, Paint It, White will be coming in 2011.
FUNimation Entertainment, the leading distributor of Japanese anime in North America, announced today it has reached an agreement with Japanese production studio Media Factory, Inc. for the online simulcast and home entertainment release of the comedy series “Hetalia World Series” in the United States.
Starting in August, FUNimation Entertainment will premiere the newest episode of “Hetalia World Series” shortly after its initial digital download premiere in Japan. The anime will be available with its original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles through FUNimation.com and FUNimation streaming partners. A date and time for its U.S. debut will be coming soon.
"Hetalia World Series” continues the off-beat tradition of its predecessor, “Axis Powers Hetalia”, following Italy, Germany, and now joined more prominently by Prussia on their escapades re-interpreting the past. Colorful, cute, and crass; this is world history as you have never seen it before.
Created by Hidekaz Himaruya, Hetalia World Series reunites the voice cast “Axis Powers Hetalia”. The anime stars Daisuke Namikawa, as Italy, Hiroki Yasumoto voicing Germany, and new addition Atsushi Kousaka as Prussia. The series is produced by Studio Deen (“Fruits Basket”, “Vampire Knight”).
FUNimation has also acquired to first animated feature-length adaptation of the series “Axis Powers Hetalia.” The film is called HETALIA AXIS POWERS: PAINT IT, WHITE and is the first appearance of the character Iceland. The nations must ward off aliens and save mankind as we know it from extinction and the draining of color throughout the world.
FUNimation will release the movie on DVD in 2011.
Summer Wars will be coming in 2011 (site)
FUNimation Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, theatrical, broadcast and merchandise rights to the animated sci-fi action film SUMMER WARS from NTV.
Released in August 2009 in Japan by Warner Brothers, SUMMER WARS is produced by Madhouse and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. SUMMER WARS is the second full-length film that Hosoda has made as a freelance director. The first, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, an animated movie in which the teenage heroine discovers that she can travel to the past, received rave reviews from critics and audiences worldwide.
SUMMER WARS reunites many who worked on that film, including scriptwriter Satoko Okudera and character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
The SUMMER WARS story begins with Kenji, a timid math prodigy who seems better suited for virtual worlds than his more intimidating high school. When class cutie Natsuki asks Kenji to accompany her on a family trip to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday, he instantly agrees, not realizing she intends to present him to her family as her fiance - a ruse that forces Kenji, who hides behind an avatar online, to role-play in the real world as well.
The plot thickens after Kenji solves a math riddle that inadvertently brings a worldwide social networking site to its knees and throws the real world into confusion. Suddenly, this large family in rural Japan must work together to stave off a world crisis.
SUMMER WARS has screened at film festivals worldwide, including the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival, and the New York International Children’s Festival and was nominated for an award at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Hosoda’s previous offering, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, won the Special Distinction for Feature Films in 2007.
SUMMER WARS also won the prize for Best Animated Film at the 33rd Japanese Academy Awards earlier this year and made an impressive $18.3 million at the Japanese box office.
FUNimation Entertainment will release the film theatrically in 2010 and on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011.
Evangelion 2.22 Movie will be coming in 2011. They're going to try for a theatrical release on this one as well.
FUNimation Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital and merchandise rights to the animated sci-fi action film EVANGELION: 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE from NTV.
EVANGELION: 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE is the second of four films by Hideaki Anno and Studio Khara based on the 1990’s Gainax “Neon Genesis Evangelion” anime series, a long-running anime about teenagers defending the world from machines and mass destruction.
The film is produced by Toshimichi Otsuki and directed by Hideaki Anno, Masayuki, and Kazuya Tsurumaki from the screenplay written by Anno. The mechanical designer is Ikuto Yamashita.
The setting is Tokyo 3, an outpost in a future world devastated by the "Second Impact." Attacked by shape-shifting mecha-behemoths known as “Angels”, what's left of Earth is defended by giant "Eva" robots piloted by high school students. Selected for duty by NERV, a top-secret military organization, the children are linked to their Evas by a design feature that channels the spirits of deceased family members into the machine's circuitry. The lead pilot is Shinji (voiced by Ogata), the troubled son of emotionally distant NERV scientist Gendou Ikari. Rebelling against his predestined path, Shinji is brought back into the fold by teacher-mother figure Misato Katsuragi (Mitsuishi) and fellow pilot Rei (Hayashibara).
EVANGELION: 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE. opened as the #1 film at Japan the week of its debut in October 2009.
FUNimation Entertainment will release the film on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011.