This was an Otakon of big nostalgia announcements.
In the past, Otakon was one of the places were the titles from the last two or three seasons would be announced, but now that almost every title is simulcast, it is becoming more common that U.S. licensors announce their physical release plans along with the streaming news. Now, by the time Otakon rolls around, most of the titles that are not little kids shows and sports series have been scooped up. So that leaves mainly license rescues at this point in time along with a sprinkling of manga news.
And there were some rather big license rescues this year. People had been waiting to see who got which Bandai titles ever since Bandai closed their doors as a U.S. distributor last year. While a lot of their titles are still out of print, some obvious and surprising choices are coming back to the market.
The biggest announcements were not only in the realm of which shows are coming back into print though. There was also one piece of news that shook fandom just a bit!
Shinichiro Watanabe is teaming up with Dai Sato, Keiko Nobumoto, Kimiko Ueno, and studio BONES to make a new sci-fi comedy TV anime. It looks like Sweet JP/Lupin III is about to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before.
After the trailer, we all high-fived and just prepared to give this show all of our money.
FINALLY. Hopefully we will get that Ein short movie that came with the Japanese Blu-Ray, though we aren’t holding our breath for a beautiful release of this. Still, Funimation should feel free to surprise us! This is amazing news either way.
While the Cowboy Bebop Blu-Ray was hardly the only license rescue news, it was definitely the most talked about. But it would be folly to overlook the many other favorites that were grabbed up.
An explosion of mecha titles was present in the license rescues. The Vision of Escaflowne is a classic blend of robots and fantasy with an unforgettable Yoko Kanno soundtrack that should always be in print. Other big names like The Big O and Code Geass made the cut along with unexpected pick-ups like Betterman and Overman King Gainer.
Crest and Banner of the Stars I and II was Alain’s introduction to Lafiel and Ayako Kawasumi and his path to discovering Type-Moon so that series has a special place in his heart. Beyond that personal anecdote, is some powerful and clever space opera. Maybe if the sales are strong they might license the Banner of the Stars III OVA.
It seems that VIZ has been having a Ranma ½ renascence recently. At Anime Expo they said they were re-releasing the manga in two-volume-sized omnibuses. Now they putting out the series on DVD again as well as Blu-Ray and streaming it on Neon Alley. It has been out of the public eye long enough to ride a fairly strong nostalgia wave if done correctly.
Alain was just recently commenting that Ranma ½ seems to be a series with a huge cache in fandom. If an older web comic artist mentions manga influences on their work, 9 times out of 10 Ranma ½ is listed as an inspiration.
Technically this didn’t get announced at Otakon proper but it did happen during Otakon weekend so yeah, whatever, we are putting it on the list.
This is the type of show that has the potential to really show what AnimeSols can do. It is classic and it is seminal. The Rose of Versailles finally made its debut on U.S. DVD this year as well so many fans have the works of Riyoko Ikeda on their minds. As of this writing, Dear Brother has already passed $3000 setting it up to easily reach its $13000 goal.
Okay, it is still being debated even in our own minds about whether this is great or terrible news. And no one is really going to have a definitive answer, despite how much all of us are going to talk about this for years to come, until the far away year of 2017.
It is hard to think about Otakon without the Inner Harbor. The thing that has pushed it in a favorable direction however is the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is twice as big as the Baltimore Convention Center.
More Otakon 2013 posts:
Otakon 2013: Tweets
Otakon 2013: General Impressions
Otakon 2013: Shinichiro Watanabe
Otakon 2013: Artist Alley
All Points Bulletin: Leaving Baltimore, Heading To Las Vegas
Otakon 2013: 10-minutes with Yuzuru Tachikawa and Michihiko Suwa
Otakon 2013: Concerts
Otakon 2013: Guests
Otakon 2013: Shingo Adachi and Tetsuya Kawakami
Otakon 2013: Fan Panels
All Points Bulletin: The Gamification of Otakon
The Speakeasy #044: Baltimore Zoo, Otakon 2013