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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

AX 2010: Geneon Universal Entertainment Panel

By Chris Beveridge [Source:] July 02, 2010

Back in February 2009, Geneon Entertainment Japan merged formally with Universal Pictures Japan and became Geneon Universal Entertainment. Long time anime fans will remember when Pioneer Entertainment, a subsidiary of Pioneer who made laserdisc players a huge thing in Japan many years ago, changed their named to Geneon after being acquired by Dentsu. Over the years, the Geneon USA branch brought out a lot of quirky and intriguing titles but titles that had a hard time crossing over to larger sales and eventually the company folded. Since then, many of their titles have been picked over and grabbed by other companies who are now distributing them. This year has Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan making an appearance at Anime Expo to talk about…. ?

The company’s panel started off with a look at the shows that the company owns in Japan such as Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Hellsing, Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, To Aru Kagakuno Railgun and Highschool of the Dead. The panelists are promoting the Black Lagoon OVA, which starts in Japan in July, pretty well with the t-shirts for it on while handling the panel. The OVA series looks to be getting quite a strong backing in Japan with five episodes averaging 25-29 minutes each that are based on the El Baile de la Muerte segment of the manga by Rei Hiroe. Madhouse is animating it under the direction of Sunao Katabuchi with the theme song by Mell.

The panel ran through openings, closings and promos for the shows and then added in a bit of discussion about the US distribution of the titles.

When talking about Black Lagoon, Hellsing and Railgun, the panelists said (paraphrased), “by these.. we're not sure... but we think they will be distributed by FUNimation”

With high school of the dead, “it will be announced somewhere, sometime during this event.”

The Q&A phase made up the last quarter of the panel with some select questions and answers below:

Q: Geneon USA was formerly closed, does this mean you are back?
A: From now on Geneon itself, will be participating in distributing with like FUNimation and stuff, so they are back

Q: Are any of the series you are releasing going to be dubbed into english
A: For the dubs, we will discuss those with funimation but we do want to.

Q: Funimation titles only or all titles for dubs?
A: need to discuss that

Q: How do you deal with works that deal with manga series that are still going on? Do you decide to do an ending?
A: With ongoing manga series, we usually talk with the original artists and decide if we want an anime only ending or do a to be continued sort of deal.

Q: Geneon interested in online distribution and simulcasts
A: It's possible, we're still discussing it.

Q: Any hints for the Highschool of the dead announce?
A: The distributor will official announce it themselves... if we announce it, we'll get scolded at.

Q: DVD and Blu-ray for the releases?
A: Currently not decide, but we are making it in blu-ray quality so it's applicable but it is up to the distributor.

Q: Is Funimation going to be your exclusive distributor or is there possiblity you will set up shop again to bring in more product under your own title?
A: We do have a very mutual relationship with FUNimation but we don't want to just limit it to them so we are going to open up to other distributors

Thanks as always go out to Bayoab who has liveblogged the panel, which you can find here with additional questions and commentary.

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