Chaired by Manga UK’s community liaison Jeremy Graves, acquisitions and marketing manager Jerome Mazandarani and product manager Andrew Hewson, the first announcement of the panel was that Dragonball GT will be released in two sets in 2014. The first set will be released in January with the second set following soon after in March. This was swiftly followed by a trailer and announcement for Naruto Shippuden Movie 4: The Lost Tower, due in February 2014 as both a DVD and DVD/Blu-ray set.
After uniting the audience in a rousing cheer of “WE LOVE MANGA UK!!”, the next announcement was the cyberpunk series Psycho-Pass, released in two sets on DVD and Blu-ray with a currently projected release date of spring 2014. For the next announcement the audience was asked two questions- who likes live action movies and who likes wearing their underpants on the outside? This was the lead in to the reveal that H-K: Forbidden Superhero’s live action movie has been licensed. The film will debut at film festivals including next month’s Leeds Film Festival. The film is due for DVD and Blu-ray July 2014, with selected nationwide screenings May-June. Jerome pointed out that despite looking perverted from the trailer, the very scientific scale of My Little Pony as 1 and Legend of the Overfiend as 10 nets H-K a score of 7.
The final surprise reveal received elated cheers from all in the audience- Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo will be released March 2014 containing both the English dub and subtitled original Japanese version. There are also plans for boxset options with the previous two Rebuild films.
With the announcements out of the way the floor was opened to audience questions. Asked about the recent Steins;Gate movie, plans are afoot. Regarding the process behind what series Manga UK chooses to license, we were told it comes down to a combination of factors which include what licensors in America and Australia are picking up, what’s building up buzz in Japan and which simulcasts UK fans are consistently watching. Additionally sometimes the choice comes down to a series the Manga team have a personal fondness for and want to give a push to.
Questioned about releasing more FUNimation titles such as We Without Wings, Jerome responded that that particular series is tricky as FUNimation own the second season while Kadokawa own the first. In general they’d like to pick up more stuff but only have a limited amount of resources to pick up series each year. The same held true for the following question about license rescuing Haruhi Suzumiya season one, previously released by the now closed beez Entertainment. They’d like to release it at some point but right now their slate for 2014 is quite full.
Asked why they were releasing GT before the original Dragonball, the response was that it was for various reasons the easiest to get from Toei at this point and as a sequel to their recently completed release of Dragonball Z made sense to release next. However we were assured they definitely have their eyes on both the original series and the various specials and movies. With regards to the most recent special (Battle of Gods), that relies first on an announcement from another licensor which should be coming soon/next year.
Interest was also mentioned for releasing High School DxD and the Madoka Magica movies in the UK. That last title led to a request for cheers/hand raises from Madoka fans which received a favourable response. The audience was then asked how many were fans of Attack on Titan. The response was deafening. We were reminded that Manga UK would be releasing the series next year and that it was the focus of the next panel of the day, centred on Wit Studio.
Strap your 3D Maneuver Gear on. The new Titans of animation are coming.
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