Anime Expo (AX for short) was this last weekend in Los Angeles. AX is the largest anime convention in North America, with AX already reporting this year’s attendance around 44,000. Generally, the American anime industry converges upon AX for a big show for the public and to make announcements to an already-hyped-up crowd. For those of us not fortunate enough to go out to Los Angeles this past weekend (like me), I have gathered a list of news updates I feel are the most important or interesting things out of AX this year. These aren’t in any particular order, except the first one which is obviously the most important.
1. TRIGUN F#$*ING MOVIE!
I remember a post on ANN back in 2005 about a possible Trigun movie. Now, my hopes and dreams are finally coming true. From the trailer, the movie seems to be mostly just an extended episode of the anime, with not much to do with the whole Vash vs. Knives epic that becomes more central in the Trigun Maximum manga. I’m still pretty hyped over this, as Trigun was one of my favorite anime back on Adult Swim and is still up there as one of my favorite manga I own.
2. Central Park Media’s swan song.
It’s a sad day in what has been a depressing year for Central Park Media, who declared chapter 7 bankruptcy back in April (read my related post). CPM had its own obituary published in the AX program guide. You will be missed, Central Park Media. So long and stay classy.
3. Viz Media jumps One Piece into overdrive.
Viz Media seems to be tired of lagging so far behind the Japanese manga release of the One Piece manga. As such, in 2010, VIZ is going to release five One Piece volumes a month, starting with volume 24 in January until volume 53 in June.
Viz has been releasing One Piece in America since June 2003. It’s taken six years just to get to 22 volumes. Viz is going to more than double that in half a year. Viz has done similar release marathons with Naruto and Bleach, but not quite this much. Good luck to the people at Viz, and here’s hoping they don’t go insane.
4. Eureka 7 galore, thanks to Bandai Entertainment!
Bandai Entertainment’s main news seemed to revolve around Eureka 7. First off, Bandai Entertainment secured the rights to the movie, which will be titled in the States as Eureka Seven – Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers. The movie will also be getting a limited theatrical release in about 500 theaters thanks to NCM Fathom, which earlier this year teamed with Bandai Entertainment to release Sword of the Stranger.
New to Eureka 7? Don’t worry. The second part of the Eureka 7 news is that Anime News Network is now streaming both subbed Eureka 7 and dubbed Eureka 7. If you haven’t seen the series, go watch it subbed or dubbed there for free. Eight episodes are up now. It’s nice romantic series with cool mechs.
5. Digital Distribution got shortened to DigiDistro? Sounds like a Bistro.
Props go to AnimeVice’s Gia for covering an informative discussion panel on the digital distribution of anime. Now, why the heck wasn’t FUNimation there? They should have plenty to see, one way or another.
6. FUNimation to start social networking site shodojo.com.
Why? Really, what’s the point? Now, I never got to use FUNi’s original social network site animeOnline back in 2006, so I don’t know how they would handle such a site. Seems to me that this is based simply around getting people to watch their videos. I don’t know how much social networking will be integrated into it. However, I find it easier to just rely on other sources for social networking and save on your internal resources. We’ll see how it goes though.
No idea what the name means.
7. FUNi licensed Sengoku Basara.
Continuing with FUNi, it has licensed Sengoku Basara, a spring 2009 series based upon the Capcom game of the same name. The series takes place during the warring states era of Japan. It’s a pretty awesome and high-action series, and it’s still fairly new.
8. They showed the first Gurren Lagann movie.
There was a special showing of Gurren Lagann the Movie: Childhood’s End (a.k.a. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gurren-hen). Gia from AnimeVice saw it and raved about it. I’m jealous.
9. ADV not at AX?
For some reason, ADV didn’t host a panel at Anime Expo like most of the rest of the anime industry that had something to say did. And yes, ADV did have something to say. Just before AX, ADV partner Sentai Filmworks (whose name I curse for having nothing to do with sentai) announced a license for Hokuto no Ken Raoh Gaiden: Ten no Haoh, titled here as Legends of the Dark Kings: A Fist of the North Star. the 13-episode series about Kenshiro’s older brother Raoh.
Why did ADV not follow suite of other companies and take the trip to L.A.? Maybe it was too expensive this year, or maybe it’s because both San Diego Comic-Con and Otakon, two other large conventions, are later this month.
Here’s a few picture links I found from ANN, AnimeVice and Japanator.
Anime News Network
- Day 0
- Cosplay Gallery Day 1
- Exhibit Hall & Artist Alley Day 2
- Cosplay Gallery Day 2
- Cosplay Gallery Day 3
- AX 09: Our first round of videogame cosplay
- AX 09: Anime girls hot cosplay
- AX 09: Bonus cosplay; now with hot L action
- AX 09: Delicious day 2 cosplay gallery
- AX 09: Sad cosplay photos will make you cry
- AX 09: Crazy cosplay from day 3 looks like a bad fanfic
Finally, thanks to all those brave men and women out there in anime journalism willing to dedicate their weekends to hitting the grindstone and constantly searching for the latest news at anime conventions all across the world. For as we all know, anime cons are serious business.