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NYCC 2012: Aniplex of America Panel Report

Bryce Papenbrook at New York Comic Con 2012 Aniplex USA Panel

The Aniplex panel at New York Comic Con 2012 was hosted by E.J. Rivera, who gave a quick rundown of Aniplex’s recent and upcoming offerings. Blue Exorcist is available in full on DVD now in a subtitled version only, though a dubbed version is exclusively available on VIZ Media’s Neon Alley streaming channel. Bryce Papenbrook, who plays Rin Okamoto in the dubbed version, quickly jumped up on stage for the Neon Alley announcement, and did line readings from Blue Exorcist and Durarara! for panel attendees.

In addition. Rivera noted that Madoka Magica is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, and in a limited edition set that contains both media formats, an original soundtrack, a 24-page booklet for each volume, and several other extras in a collector’s box. Fate/Zero season 1 is available now, and season 2 is available on Blu-ray as well as via streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu (as are most of Aniplex’s properties). In response to a later audience question, Rivera noted that bonus features from Japanese video releases aren’t necessarily part of the licensing deal for the US, so what is available on the US DVD releases is all they could get, and that they would investigate a DVD release of season 2 after the season 1 Blu-rays sell out. An Oreimeio complete series set is available now, and Baccano! is also available in a complete series set on Blu-ray disc.

Coming on October 30, 2012, is a Durarara! limited edition lunchbox set, packaging the entire series on 5 Blu-ray discs (24 episodes plus 2 OVAs), along with bonus features and a poster all in a tin lunchbox package. The Garden of Sinners will be getting a limited edition DVD release on November 20, with all 8 movies on 8 DVDs plus deluxe booklets and postcards in a chipboard box. Bakemonogatari will be getting a limited edition Blu-ray release on November 20 as well, with 15 episodes spread over 6 discs, dual-subtitle streams (dialog and on-screen text or on-screen text only), with character audio commentary (subtitled) and a deluxe booklet. The series’ second season is also streaming now on Crunchyroll and Hulu with new episodes appearing every Friday.

Newer announcements from Aniplex include a limited theatrical release of the Madoka Magica movies coming to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and New York City near the end of October (New York was slated for a run from October 20-22; apologies to everyone else living outside New York but I couldn’t read the sign on the screen; you can get dates at the Aniplex USA’s Madoka Magica website). He had no information to share about licensing the third Madoka Magica movie. Rivera also announced the license of Sword Art Online, with new episodes premiering every Saturday on Crunchyroll and Hulu; a video release is coming “soon.” Blast of Tempest is another streaming release, with new episodes premiering on Satudays on Crunchyroll. Finally, the newest Aniplex series just premiered on Wednesday: Magi, which is a simulcast with Japan available on Hulu and Crunchyroll. Rivera described it as something like “Aladdin in anime form, with more dark magic and more awesome.” Details are available at the Magi website (magi-usa.com).

Rivera then opened the panel up to Q&A from the audience:

  • There are no plans at the moment for a Blu-ray release of The Garden of Sinners, and he mentioned that the lack of a soundtrack was all part of the negotiations for the rights in the US.
  • While Idol Master was produced by Aniplex Japan, there is no news on whether Aniplex USA will be bringing it to North America yet.
  • The best way for fans to let Aniplex USA know what they want released is to post on Aniplex’s Facebook page, or to send in the comment cards included with each home video release, since “we do read all of those.”

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