This past weekend, over 31,000 manga and anime fans descended on the Baltimore Convention Center for Otakon, one of the largest fan-oriented anime cons in the country, to meet editors and voice actors, watch premieres of new anime, and get the latest news on new licenses.
Aniplex of America representatives showed some clips from Durarara!!, which is currently running on Adult Swim, and announced that they have licensed Oreimo, which will be released on DVD as a single box set. They also announced that Star Driver Kagayaki no Takuto will begin streaming on Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Crackle with English subtitles on August 17 and confirmed that Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which was announced last month, will be dubbed into English. (A subtitled version of the anime premiered at the show, in a panel that also included a Q&A with producer Atsuhiro Iwakami.) While they have no plans to license the original Rurouni Kenshin TV series, the Aniplex reps did say they are negotiating to license the newer Rurouni Kenshin anime.
The Funimation panel focused on properties that have already been announced, including Shin-Chan, Spice & Wolf, and Sgt. Frog, but there was one new announcement: Heaven’s Lost Property the Movie: The Angeloid of Clockwork, and the reps hinted that more new titles were on the way. And something new: Funimation hopes to have apps for the iPhone and Android by the end of the year. (Image of Heaven’s Lost Property poster grabbed from Anime Maki.)
Bandai Entertainment announced two manga and two anime licenses at its panel: the Nichij? (My Ordinary Life) and Gosick anime and the Nichij? and Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya (Code Geass: Renya of the Darkness) manga. Gosick is based on the light novels, which were released by Tokyopop several years ago.
Manga publishers Vertical and Viz both had panels at the con, but both focused on upcoming releases and there were no new announcements. The Viz panel had some interesting commentary on digital manga and possible future licenses, with rep Amy Mar not entirely discounting the possibility that Viz could pick up some Tokyopop licenses now that the latter has shut down its publishing division. Mar also revealed that Viz is considering digital releases of older series that are out of print, if the digital manga initiative proves successful.
Anime News Network has comprehensive coverage of Otakon, including screenings and Q&A panels; head down there if you want to know more.
(Anime images grabbed from Anime Maki, which has great coverage of the highlights of the show.)