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TZ at SakuraCon: Bandai Hypes 2005 Releases

Bandai outlined its big 2005 releases, including DICE, Please Twins, Hoop Days, Scrapped Princess, Avenger, PLANETES, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Eureka 7, at SakuraCon last week.

Bandai representatives said that the company plans to make Eureka 7 a general, show-centric franchise similar to .hack. The series is scheduled for a fifty-episode run and won’t be released in North America until well after its first DVD hits in Japan.

Planetes, coming in June, will not get a limited edition release, but the standard version of each volume will come with two discs. The first, double-sided disc will include episodes while the second disc will include bonus material, including original content for the US release, such as interviews with the Johnson Space Center’s debris monitoring division. It will be a six-volume release.

In Ghost in the Shell news, the company says that the Ghost in the Shell: 2 Music Anthology DVD with CD OST will get a June release; Ghost in the Shell OST #2 will follow in June. The Ghost in the Shell game will not get a PC port, but Bandai is looking at making a new Ghost in the Shell on an as-yet unconfirmed platform.

Hoop Days (originally Dear Boys) will be dubbed by Ocean Studios and Avenger will be dubbed by Elastic Studios. The former will get a June release; the latter an August date. And the company said that that every limited edition volume of Scrapped Princess will include a statue or figure.

Mars Daybreak will come out in July. Representatives would give no details on the limited edition of the first volume other than that heavy metal will be involved.

Regarding other titles, Bandai said that Cowboy Bebop Remix will get a late fall date. The release will feature commentary and interviews with the US and Japanese VA casts and the Japanese staff. It will also feature on-air promotional material and trailers, including the Adult Swim promotional advertisements. But representatives also said that a Cowboy Bebop FPS game is probably not happening.

Gundam SEED: Destiny will start production soon and will possibly even be released later this year. In the interim, Bandai will release the Gundam SEED movies and rerelease 0080, 0083 and 08th MS Team in collector’s editions. In its new broadcast time slot Gundam SEED is outperforming its earlier run on Toonami, representatives said, and its sales have been great.

Bandai plans to release Infinite Ryvius and Silent Mobius in box sets, but it no longer has the rights to Clamp School Detectives, and the Silent Mobius movies are in licensing limbo.

In corporate news, representatives said that Bandai is setting up Canadian distribution with big retailers like Future Shop, and they hope to have everything in place within the next few months. The company is also exploring making videos for the PSP and is looking into video game options associated with that platform as well.

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