Katsucon 2015 – Funimation Panel

It looked like more of the same as the day before with several repeats in videos. There were some different promo vids though and there were of course the new announcements which were always interesting. ^_^

Funimation’s Convention Manager, Tara McKinney and the Fan Engagement Coordinator, Timothy Johnson hosted the panel. Tara first pimped the Free! wall at the booth with half naked swimming boys. “You can almost make out with the wall!” To check out the latest news in Funimation, there is the Funimation blog, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram (con and cosplay pics,) Pintrest (with anime food recipes!) and of course Facebook. Besides everywhere on the net, Funimation is airing on Toonami every saturday including Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Space Dandy, Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist and the re-air of Deadman’s Wonderland. For streaming, there is Netflix, itunes, Googleplay store and Hulu. For Funimation.com subscribers, there are exclusive releases including the upcoming English dub release of Tokyo Ravens and Unbreakable Machine Doll. Along with upcoming releases, fans can watch simulcasts on the site. Tara noted that this season has a record release of 17 simulcasts which is the most Funi has per cour. Highlighted simulcasts that fans should be checking out include Tokyo Ghoul second season, Death Parade, Shonen Hollywood and others. Of course, series like One Piece is still airing. A bumper with the latest in simulcasts were shown.

Tara spoke about broadcast dubs which allow subscribers to hear the English dub 4-5 weeks after release in Japan. In the previous season, they did a broadcast dub release of Psycho Pass season 2. This season, there are 10 different series that will be getting dub releases including, Assassination Classroom, Death Parade and Tokyo Ghoul season 2. Subscribers have over 200,000 minutes of exclusive videos. They released a tier system for All-Access members include sub-only videos and dub-only videos. All-Access members can also watch videos on the go, on the PS3 app with the PS4 app pending release in later 2015. Of course, Tara noted that the content is uncut and uncensored “Because who would want to watch Highschool of the Dead censored?” *audience laughs* There are Funimation.com only items released including anime t-shirts. The latest include a Tokyo Ghoul t-shirt that when you pull the shirt over your face, you’re wearing a mask.

Time for a review of releases! Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods is out with signed dvd wrap if you buy 3 DBZ items at the booth. The trailer of the movie was shown, definitely more subdued than the screaming fight version of yesterday’s clip. To continue with the shonen releases, Fairy Tail collection 3 was released recently which continues from what is currently out on Netflix. A trailer was shown that highlighted the dvd arc. One Piece part 11 for BD/DVD is out with a short trailer.

For those who are fans of the game, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate retells the story of game 1. They were able to reunite the cast from the game to dub the anime which is a rarity due. The director is Kizaki Fuminori which is the director for Afro Samurai and Basilisk. The trailer for the movie is pretty…I love the music. The animation is clean, the humor is snarky, reminiscent of Afro Samurai.

Ghost of the Shell Arise Borders 1 and 2. Initially, the only release that was available was the LE import from Japan but now we have dub. (The imported version included a film strip. Copies are still available.) The feel of the trailer is a wonderful continuation from the original series. Got to love that cyberpunk style that never got old.

Live action Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist which tells the backstory of Akuma. There is a special gift with this purchase including an Akuma dvd wrap autographed by the director, Joey Ansah who is also the actor for Akuma. Originlly only available on the youtube channel, Machinima, the BD/DVD release include 12 additional minutes of footage. For those that are wary and uncertain about the movie, it began as a Capcom approved Kickstarter project that was able to receive private funding. Created by fans for fans who are dedicated to the story, the choreography, language is as authentic as it can be. There was a one day showing on 1/1/15 at IFC Center in NY.

Another rarity: Funimation worked with Bioware to produce an original film for Dragon Age. Dawn of the Seeker tells Cassandra’s backstory. Due to Funimation’s input and love for Cassandra, Bioware included more of her story in the new game. The trailer include clips from the people in Bioware on the creation side. I always enjoy those kinds of clips since I’m sure the creators are fans of the series as well. To join in the celebration over a movie release of the game is definitely an awesome thing. To flesh out the backstory, the world, the characters is what the fans and creators all want.

Back to anime! Cowboy Bebop is out in BD/DVD. The Christmas releases included special LE styles depending on where fans ordered the set. Funimation.com version had a big record as a cover with artcards. The Amazon version had two artbooks included, one in color and the other in black and white. Got to love those LEs….hard as they are to come by. The trailer hits all the nostalgia notes in our hearts complete with Tank! and music box BGM along with Spike being his witty self. There are 3 hours of extra features including table reads and interviews.

Ben-To BD/DVD with food fighting trailer over discounted boxes of yumminess. Definitely not for the faint of heart, the fights are serious business. An extra feature include Funi staff having their own ‘food fight’ in the office. That, I’m quite curious about. lol

BD/DVD Unbreakable Machine Doll will be released in 3 weeks. The trailer promised to be awesome…but not rated R as they show during the Funi Peep show the night before. The LE release include an artbook and if you buy it at the con, there will be an alternate BD/DVD wrap which is more fanservice-y.

Space Dandy is up for preorder and the trailer is almost a reminder of an action movie that was out last summer…. (Guardians of the Galaxy….most likely. It’s all about that tape.) Like Cowboy Bebop, there will be different versions. The Funimation.com version will include the BD/DVD set, boobies stickers, boobies trucker hat along with a calendar featuring the boobies ladies. The Amazon Aloha crew version include the BD/DVD set, trucker hat, sticker, replica belt buckle and a necklace. A regular dvd version is also available for preorder.

A review of the Nobunagun cast that was announced at the recent Ohayocon, Jad Saxton is Sio, Kent Willims as Nobunaga, Jason Liebrecht as Jack, Christopher Bevins as Gandhi (and director) and Caitlin Glass as Newton. The dub trailer premiere was shown that looked to be quite interesting.

Time for Q&A.

    Q: More Lupin III movies?
    A: No news, no info on new movies. The last release from the franchise was The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.

    Q: News on Evangelion Rebuild 3.0 movie release?
    A: Funimation is working with the Evangelion creator. It’s such a passion project for them so they put alot of attention into the subtitling track. Working with the original creators, the staff hope to make it as perfect as possible before release. The plan is some time in 2015.

    Q: Any plans for the Funimation app to be on Xbox One or will it have Chromecast support?
    A: No plans for Chromecast support yet. They’re working on PS4 support. Watch the blog since we’re working on new apps all the time.

    Q: Any news on the .hack releases?
    A: There are delays since we’re waiting on materials. Currently, .hack/Sign is at the booth with pending releases for the other .hack series.

    Q: Crunchyroll currently started streaming Case Closed. Any news on home video rights?
    A: We still have seasons 1-5 available at the booth as well as the movies. We don’t have any information on future season licenses.

    Q: Where is Funimation and are there any career opportunities?
    A: Funimation is located in Dallas, TX and there are definitely career opportunities. We offer internships as well in different departments. If you are attending college and need credit for that course, you can apply by sending your resume to interns@funimation.com. You definitely need to find a place to stay when you’re out there. I [Tara] started out as an intern in Marketing department.

    I was a Merchandising and Retailing major so I started in the Marketing department, got alot of different kinds of experiences and ended up with a full time job when I graduated. On the Funimation.com site, there is an About Us link with a link to jobs under that with our current listings.
    There is an art department, packaging design that works on the material so if you have that kind of experience, you can apply for that. You would have a portfolio along with the process.

    Q: Any news on Season 2 of Is This is Zombie?
    A: No news yet for Season 2. Season 1 is available as Anime Classics BD/DVD. There is only a Season 2 LE dvd release currently available that is a pink sparkly box.

    Q: Any news on Gonna Be the Twin-Tail! releases?
    A: There are only streaming releases currently.