Anime Industry News with Manga Entertainment, Kaze UK and MVM Entertainment

Jerome Mazandarani of Manga Entertainment UK, Tony Allen of MVM Entertainment and Kaze UK’s Andrew Partridge

One of the most noticeable things about attending the Anime Industry panel at London’s MCM Expo was how comfortable each of the guests were in each other’s presence. This in itself is testament to the closeness of the industry, yet it is also representative of how well the three attendees know each other.

Having fielded many similar panels in the past, Jerome Mazandarani of Manga Entertainment UK, Tony Allen of MVM Entertainment and Kaze UK‘s Andrew Partridge were very much at home on the stage with one another and before the audience – so much so that rather than feeling like an industry announcement Q&A, there was a sense that this was a more intimate affair, like a gathering of old friends.

First off the bat was Tony Allen with the announcement of the impending release of the Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre OVA this month. For 2013, the first part of Madhouse‘s Needless will debut in January, with the second release following shortly in February, accompanied by the Type-Moon developed thriller, Canaan

The second series of Shana will appear in March, a show that Allen encouraged fans to pre-order to assure the release of the third season. Following Shana was the announcement of Dream Eater Merry, Ga-Rei: Zero. Fan-favourite Bodacious Space Pirates is planned to follow from MVM, much to the playful, jealous lambasting of Mazandarani and Partridge – all in good humour. Kids on the Slope will appear at a later date in 2013,  a series boasting the reunion of director Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bepop, Macross Plus) and composer Yoko Kanno (Turn A Gundam, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).

The line out will be complimented by the inclusion of Samurai Girls, Soap Farm and gynophobic love story/comedy, Mayo Chiki!.

To compliment these releases, MVM will also be expanding their catalogue of live action films with the forthcoming release of Ringu director Hideo Nakata‘s Death Game (known in Japan as The Incite Mill). This release will be accompanied by High Kickers, The Kick and Bangkok Kung-Fu.

Continuing the relationship between Manga Entertainment and Kaze, the first release from Manga was gleefully displayed by Patridge as popular series Tiger and Bunny. This was followed by official commentary on the new Beserk movie, its imminence prefigured by the massive advertising push given on Manga‘s stand in the convention hall. 

Big things are also on the way for fans of Tite Kubo‘s phenomenal epic, Bleach – the fourth movie, and Seasons 10 through to 12 are all incoming for 2013. Alongside this, one of the other big titles announced was Bakuman, another solid favourite amongst fans.

Acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda‘s Wolf Children will also be released next year, along with the hopeful release of a compilation featuring the new film as well as Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Whilst there was some talk of a Hosoda retrospective being a possibility, such talk was not confirmed as an official statement.

Penguin Drum and continuing releases of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan were also earmarked for future release, as was the upcoming Hellsing Ultimate

Blood Sea, a joint feature between CLAMP and Production IG will also see release from Manga Entertainment as will JormungandAria The Scarlet Ammo and computer game adaptation, Persona 4.

During the Q&A session, the panel was questioned regarding the release of Blu-Rays and the relationship with Australian companies, with Allen of MVM revealing that while stand alone movies often garnered more financial rewards, they were somewhat troublesome to work out deals for.

Brief discussion was made about services such as Netflix and other streaming sites facilitating a possible broadening of the catalogues of all companies involved, however there is still hesitation regarding less mainstream live action series’ such as those of the tokusatsu genre, like Toei‘s Kamen Rider. The notion of ‘simulcasting’ was also of high import regarding further niche releases and a possible way forward in introducing shows with a smaller fanbase to a wider audience with less financial risk.

With much of the discussion focusing on the nostalgia of previous releases and the ambitions of each company with their future releases, it was clear that all three guests were very much involved in the industry due to their love of the material they promoted.

Rounding off the discussion, Mazandarani revealed that Manga Entertainment would be releasing popular, card game-based adaptation Redakai to a broader market than many previous titles have enjoyed.

As such, the industry looks poised for a hopeful new revival by reaching out to new fans. Without a doubt, 2013 is going to be an important year for those who have recently discovered Japanese animation.

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