Katsucon 2017 – Aniplex of America

Marketing specialist, Allen welcomed the fans to the panel. He noted that it was the first time at Katsucon. He praised the cosplayers “The things that your characters get to do, climb rocks, get into gazebo, these are things in LA that you would NEVER get to do. It’s a hazard.” His energy was met with laughter.

He started with a video reel of the latest and most popular from the company with cheers for the favorite series. I was most suprised to see a clip of Doukyusei which made me smile.

He first plugged the Aniplex Live Show with Caum and Jo, a bi-weekly videocast which introduces new releases, news and host contests.

Current streaming news! The PV for Ao no Exorcist was shown. A second season which was 6 years in the making. Currently streaming on fridays Crunchyroll and Daisuke on fridays. Allen mentioned about how fantastic the animation is for a weekly tv series as well as highlighted a few seiyuu including Fukuyama Jun.

The PV for March Comes in like a Lion was next to the cheers. Streaming on Saturdays, it’s a continuation from the winter anime season. He polled the fans for the current reception of the series and noted how emotional it was. A series about a boy who wants to be a shogi player but has family issues. A recommendation to introduce non-anime fans to anime.

For fans of mobile games, the next PV of Fate Grand Order: First Order was shown. A one episode special of the series. Allen spoke about the game itself and gauged if the fans actually played the Japanese. “I don’t because I can’t read the Japanese.” He remarked about liking the characters though. The one hour special introduces the grand order universe.

Another mobile game anime, Granblue Fantasy, though only two episodes was currently streaming, he noted that the rest of the series will be released in April. He noted that the series reminded fans of the games of Final Fantasy.

The panel turned to what is currently released at retailers. He first started with Sword Art Online 2 series in both BD and DVD. They named some of the arcs including the Gun Gale the very emotional Mother’s Rosario. He polled the fans for their favorite arc and characters. He hightlighted the collector’s edition of the the music soundtrack which includes the SAO concert on 4 CDs, 1 BD. The tracks include 131 scores including unpublished pieces from the entire series, SAO, SAO II and extra edition. The exclusive deluxe digipack illustrated by the original character designer, abec.

Allen started asking for waifu shoutouts to Monogatari series. He noted that it’s a very dense series to follow. He noted that the collection includes all the OPs and EDs without onscreen text. “All your waifus are there.” The booklets include extensive writeups for each characters. The series is in a two part set.

The PV for Utamonogatari was next from the Monogatari series. The collection includes the soundtrack. The booklet include character info and sketches. Allen polled the audience if they seen the films when they had the limited release in theaters for part 1 and 2. There were a few hands. The limited edition theme song compliation album. On the 2 cds and 1 BD disc include the textless OPs and EDs (except for the Onimonogatari. The CDs include all the OPs and EDs from Bakemonogatari to Monogatari with cover art by Akio Watanabe.

The next trailer was the English PV for Erased which was shown with applause from the audience. Allen noted that the series is predominantly story with mystery, something to recommend to non-anime watchers. A series with no fat, only 12 episodes. He remarked about how difficult it was to watch streaming and needing to wait for the next episode. “What is going to happen next?” In two part collection releases, it includes a manga from the original mangaka and soundtrack. He highlighted the English cast including Cherami Leah and Michelle Ruff.

After polling the audience about the speed of the panel, he continued with the English PV for Your Lie in April. For fans of music and friendship, I’m sure the audience felt the tugs in their chest when they heard the music. I must say, I really like the English voices for the series. And the writing for the trailer is very good. Definitely looking forward to watching this series again in English. The trailer was met with tons of applause and cheers. “Not going to lie, I watched this again recently and started crying in the second episode.” *audience laughs* “It’s getting harder and harder to watch that show.” Part 1 and 2 of the series is available. Each of the boxsets come with soundtracks. Allen noted that the animators actually had concert pianists and violinists come in so that they can observe how they play.

For something totally different, the English PV of Asterisk War was next. Volume 1 and 2 is available with postcards and booklets. The series is available in limited and standard edition.

With the intro as “Tokyo as a background”, the English PV of Drrr!!! x2 was shown. The English voice cast return in this character driven continuation of the show. Allen adds that the plot goes “in 20,000 places” but it all somehow comes together at the end. As a personal note, the second season in it’s 3 parts pulls together all the threads of the first season, introduces more threads and bring it to a satisfactory close. An additional spoilerly note, Shizuo and Izaya avoid each other for all 3 seasons to only meet in the last few episodes. Yet they are very present in each other’s lives throughout. The current release is the third arc part 5 and 6 plus an OVA in the BD release.

The English PV of the supernatural Charlotte anime was next. A mix of student council school antics, magic powers, pretty girls and aloof guy comes with applause. “X-men with issues.” was a good summary. Volume 1 and 2 is available with interviews and blooper reels.

The English trailer for God Eater was met with applause. More Fate series. Each Each release comes with a creator’s reel which includes a talk with the music team. Available now from Japan. “Great Easter gift.” The limited edition comes with the soundtrack, a piece of the film and stickers. “Gotta collect them all!”

The Japanese PV for Persona 3 was shown along with the announcement of Persona 3 collector’s and standard editions (Japanese imports.) The 4 movies are available now. The Persona 5: The Day Breakers collectors edition is available. An import of the Japanese version with subtitles includes the drama cd and program with interviews with the creative staff (include voice actors.) Package designed by Shigenori Soejima.

The Japanese PV for Doukyusei made me smile. It is beautifully simple and sweet, just like the feel for the movie. The limited edition release of the movie is beautiful with postcards, light colors for the discs and I have to mention that seiyuu Kamiya Hiroshi makes an awesome seme on his first step towards true love. (Saw it in theaters and can’t help but gush over it. ^_^) Allen mentioned that he wasn’t a BL fan but noted that the film was really well done.

Coming soon news! Volume 3 of Asterisk War is going to be released soon along with volume in standard and limited edition.

The Japanese trailer for Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale was shown making us excited for the US theater release of the movie. The PV is exciting, action packed with the latest music release for the movie. The audience cheered for the trailer. 3/6/17 is the US release date of the movie soundtrack.

In response to the fans, the Japanese PV for Kizumonogatari part 3 was shown. The tickets are going to be released on 2/21/17 for the movie theater showings on 4/7/17.

The floor opened for a short Q&A:

    Q: Is Aniplex of America affected by the news of no BD releases of Avex properties outside of Japan?
    A: That is something that we need to talk to licensing about.

    Q: Any more news on more Monogatari series?
    A: I really don’t know. We have to see.

    Q: Is there going to be re-release for a Read or Die boxset?
    A: I asked about it myself since I want a copy myself. Hopefully.

    Q: Anything new about Aldonoah Zero?
    A: I would love to see more hit shows, but I don’t have any news.

A quick raffle was held with prizes which include the Sword Art Online wall scroll, Kill La Kill set, Madoka Magica card game mat, Saikano set, Gurren Lagann, Madoka figure, items signed by the art creators and more. Got to love the Aniplex prizes, they always get some awesome things.