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SakuraCon2006 – FUNimation: YuYu Hakusho Price Cuts And Some Syndication Details

by on March 30, 2006

FUNimation’s panel was scheduled against Geneon’s, so I didn’t catch all of it. However, thanks to the handy press packet from Lance Heiskell, all the big talking points should be here, as well as a few extra bits gleaned from talking to Lance at the FUNimation booth:

  • Yu Yu Hakusho will be getting 14-episode sets somewhat in the vein of the Tenchi GXP two-disc and Kiddy Grade two-disc releases. Estimated MSRP is $34.99.
  • Dragonball Z will “soon be more affordable” but no further information could be given at this time. (Something to watch for at future cons.)
  • Kodocha’s next starter set includes volumes 7 and 8 in addition to a Babbit figure.
  • FUNimation’s theatrical program, FUNimation Films, will be screening four episodes of Basilisk starting April 4th, and four episodes of Trinity Blood starting May 5th. The FullMetal Alchemist movie will be included in this program and is currently scheduled for a fall release.
  • SpeedGrapher might not get its Duran Duran “Girls on Film” opening theme, though it’s not a money issue nor an issue with Gonzo. EMI, the US rights holder for the song, has not been getting back to FUNimation on licensing the song. Should EMI not get back to FUNimation before the discs have to be finalized and replicated (probably around July), an instrumental will be used and there will be an announcement of this change by FUNimation. However, the company will continue to pursue the song for television broadcast.
  • There has been television interest in Basilisk and SpeedGrapher, but no further information was available at this point.
  • FUNimation is actively looking at getting more content available through online services such as CinemaNow, but they really want to clarify what “Internet rights” means with the Japanese licensors first before pursuing anything beyond the 8-minute previews available via IFilm.
  • FUNimation’s upcoming syndicated block will actually have two different blocks, one TVPG and the other TV14. The FUNimation block that will be airing on ColoursTV will feature content from both of the syndicated blocks. The void that will occur in many markets once UPN and WB combine will be one of the main targets for this block. AX is going to have something particularly noteworthy in relation to the syndicated block as well.
  • FUNimation is still pushing Kidsmark (now part of Lions Gate) for the first 13 episodes of Dragonball and the Curse of the Blood Rubies movie but has heard nothing back from them.
  • FUNimation will be actively involved in the overall promotion and push behind Afro Samurai.
  • Watch out this Tuesday for a press release in relation to FUNimation. We would have gotten this news at SakuraCon, but Navarre felt that a proper PR would be better. (Tuesday Note: This announcement turned out to be the acquisition of the Japanese live-action film Shinobi, which is the live-action version FUNimation’s upcoming Basilisk.)

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