Otakon 2013: Industry Panels Part 2

Rounding out the news from Otakon!

FUNimation and Viz were not the only companies with some big announcements at the show. While they generated a lot of excitement with upcoming shows and re-releases of older shows, Aniplex and Sentai Filmworks were not without announcements of their own.

Aniplex announced their streaming service and made a strong push for it – powered by HULU, they are taking the dive into the market that the industry has finally began to embrace and encourage with shows including Servant x Service, Silver Spoon, and Monogatari Series 2.

FUNimation, Aniplex, Crunchyroll, and Daisuki were all present and pushing their streaming services, and it should be expected that this is the way fans will get their anime fresh and on release date for the next several years to come.

But that wasn’t all Animplex had up its sleeve – the wildly popular Sword Art Online was being pushed very hard at the show, and the two character designers for the show, Shingo Adachi and Tetsuya Kawakami were both present the entire weekend, hosting panels and signing autographs or pieces of SAO merchandise. They even did original illustrations as part of a giveaway.

Aniplex had a healthy amount of announcements as well – following the release of the first two Madoka Magica movies, they will be releasing the third one as well in the future, as well as Fate/Zero. Kill la Kill was a title that stood out from the rest of their catalogue and seems like it might be an interesting one to pick up – it is streaming now if you are interested in checking out. The most cryptic announcement that ended the panel with Animplex was that on December 31st, 2013 – something called Sword Art Online – Extra Edition will be announced in Japan. At this point it’s mostly speculation on what this could be, but with the news that a new season is incoming, there is a good chance it’s somehow linked to this. Guess we’ll wait until New Year’s Eve to find out!

Finally, rounding out the industry coverage we got at Otakon 2013 was Sentai Filmworks, who had arguably the weakest individual showing of any of the companies present in their panel. It was the most dressed down, but they also avoided a number of questions from the audience with shrugs and confused looks (rather or not it was the case, it was not handled very professionally) and David Williams, formerly of ADV Films, said “I can neither confirm nor deny” more times than it was funny or worth his time to say it. Supposedly their new marketing director was hired off of Craigslist – which is either a poorly timed joke that wasn’t funny at all or speaks volumes about the way Sentai runs their business these days.

However, they did have some announcements that got people excited – the simulcasts that they have picked up for release domestically include Sundays without God, Dog and Scissors, Watamote, and Rozen Maiden. They also announced several shows being released here in the coming months such as Humanity has Declined, AKB0048, and the High School of the Dead – Drifters of the Dead OAV, which they had on exclusive early release at the show. Several are recent simulcasts, but the best were in the same realm as FUNimation and Viz’s license rescues – Godanar, and Gatchaman Complete Collection on blu-ray. Gatchaman specifically was one of the most exciting announcements of the show for me, as I was fan of that show when I was a kid and am very excited and looking forward to a 1080p release of the original show here in America.

And that rounds out the major announcements from our coverage of Otakon 2013 – we hope you guys enjoyed these announcements, and are looking forward to a great Fall and Winter of anime releases here in the US!

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Otakon 2013: Industry Panels Part 2