FUNimation's Industry Panels are usually a source of either entertainment or information depending on what your attitude is towards the company. It comes as no surprise that the company strives to make their panels must attend affairs and this one was no exception. In the interest of getting to the point, I'm just going to give you all of the key info from the panel in handy bullet point form.
New Titles and Info.
- Lupin the Third The Woman Called Fujiko Mine now slated for Summer 2013, no exact date but expected in July with many of the original Lupin English cast members and some new actors confirmed
- Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail OVA slated for later this Summer, the English dub will premiere during Anime Central in May with the English dub cast from Black Lagoon reprising their roles for the OVA series
- Sankarea, the romantic zombie comedy is now expected in Fall 2013
- Haganai Season 1 is slated for later this year, though the only release format confirmed so far is DVD, with no word on Blu-Ray
- Future Diary is now slated for Summer 2013 with a forthcoming cast announcement
- Fairy Tail Season 2 now slated for July, the movie is slated for Winter 2013
- One Piece Season 5 eps 264-336 are now slated for late Summer 2013, with the Strong World film slated for Winter 2013
- The biggest announcement of the panel, the Psycho-Pass dub is currently slated for Spring 2014 in DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack with more information coming during the year
- There is also a special announcement due when FUNimation hits 1 million "Likes" on Facebook page, currently 50K away from milestone
Generally FUNimation takes a free form approach to Q/A sessions and confirmed further details during this part of the panel
- On A Certain Magical Index Season 2 being licensed, the title is still under negotiations On a license for Ah! My Goddess Season 3, all of it is on hiatus due to contractual issues
- On the recent DBZ Battle Of The Gods film, "All Dragon Ball Z movies must be optioned to Fox first then they have to turn it down, and it hasn't been even optioned yet in the US", with speculation that it will take up to 2 years for a US release if it happens
- On why some titles are DVD only, Contractual issues are at fault and the company decides to release it on DVD instead of waiting for Blu-Ray rights, with the effort made to make sure every show is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray
- On why some Bluray releases are released in DVD cases, the company wants to stop doing that and is making an effort to release everything in Blu-Ray spec packaging and the decisions are reliant on the design department and contractual arrangements along with which retailers decide to stock titles
- On Bandai shutting down and the possibility of picking up the titles that are in limbo? "I mentioned contract hell earlier... sometimes they have series they weren't able to put out, they still exist in the world of legalese, right now there is not any information on the titles they had announced [before shutting down active operations] but i wouldn't be surprised if those were released by anyone in the US but I know that currently we don't have anything" [in regards to Bandai's last slate of titles, which included Gosick and Nichijou]
- More Panty and Stocking? A: "I'd love it, but up to japan" [Note: The staff responsible for Panty and Stocking left Gainax to form Studio Trigger due to the under performance of the title in Japan. It is currently very unlikely that a second season of Panty & Stocking will be made, at least by Gainax. The director of the series has also stated that Studio Trigger would not undertake a second season of the series]
- On the possibility of a Shiki complete series box this year: "Not heard any mutterings of a complete set, but i wouldn't be surprised if it were something we were to do in the future."
Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of AnimeNews.biz, PhoneNews.com and an occasional columnist for Ani.me. He can also be found musing on his obsession with Nico Robin at @AnimeNewsdotbiz.