Otakon 2010: Madhouse Panel

The Madhouse panel was already well underway when I entered the room. Although the panel info spoke of there being both Maruyama-san and Koujina-san as panelists, only Maruyama-san sat at the front. Trailers and clips from the latest Madhouse projects were shown including Highschool of the Dead, Rainbow – Nisha Rokubo no Shichinin, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail and of course the long awaited movie, Trigun: Badlands Rumble. (Funimation is hoping for theater-wide release of Trigun.) One of the most unique new projects was Tibetan Dog which is based off of a Chinese novel by Yang Zhijun. The character designer is none other than Monster creator, Urasawa Naoki with director Koujima Masayuki (who was also director on the Monster animation.) Maruyama-san mentioned that he traveled to Tibet for research. The story is simply about a boy growing up being a mix of Chinese and Tibetan…but nothing by Madhouse is truly simple.

The Marvel anime projects were introduced, most notably Iron Man which will begin airing in this Fall anime season (starting in October.) Apart from that, the anime that I’m most interested in is Redline: a fast paced trailer which was mindblowing with tons of lights and action…and Maruyama-san warned viewers of repeat viewing of the film. ‘Bring eyedrops’ seem to be the rule of thumb. The plot? You can’t really pinpoint it but it seems to be Speed Racer on overdrive with fireworks and sparkles. Tons of sparkles. Maruyama-san noted that the animation is hand drawned…and I’m curious to confirm if it means it’s all handdrawn cel animation rather than coloring in the computer. Six years in the making.

There was an additional title viewed onscreen under upcoming projects…though it was blacked out with the words ‘censored’…to the laughter of the audience.

Q&A followed. Of course, questions were asked about the marvel series (Ironman, Wolverine) and Maruyama-san commented that Marvel seemed to have given lots of freedom with these series. The Supernatural anime will be made up of the first two seasons of the tv series, backstories of the characters and original stories just for the anime.

Upon inquiring about the ‘censored’ title, turns out it isn’t as perverted as the rest of the audience had thought. It’s only a tentative project, tentively titled as ‘Ninja Ten Battles’ with a guy in drag fighting ninjas with a sword. Maruyama-san jokes that if he announces anything more though, it would have made. (Seems like the Trigun movie was made in such a way: announced at a previous Otakon that it’s possibly being made-even before discussing with the company-and so it had to be made. Yay for the power of Otakon!)

Someone inquired about more Vampire Hunter D anime. It seems that previously, the question for anime was put on pause since the creator was thinking of the possibility of a live action. Since there is no live action to speak of, Maruyama-san hopes to propose the option for an anime once more. Depending on the response for the Trigun movie, more content for this anime is also a possibility as is Kaiji.