This weekend saw the arrival of MCM Manchester Comic Con. While Manga Animatsu made their own announcements through social media and various Amazon UK leaks, Anime Limited’s president Andrew Partridge provided a panel for the Saturday event with a couple new announcements and details to share with everyone.
Starting with the new additions to the catalogue, we have Ouran High School Host Club which will once again come back in print for the UK. Manga UK once released this series on DVD but has since gone out of print due to the Funimation deal expiring (same also happened with a couple other titles like Baccano!, Claymore and Eden of the East; all of which Anime Limited have licensed for Blu-ray). Ouran High School Host Club is currently scheduled for release this November as a Collector’s Edition with both the English dub and Japanese audio with English subtitles. You can check out the show for legal streaming over on FunimationNow.
The other new announcements are a bunch of Production I.G. shorts. The main one in particular that was focused the most was the 2015 film Pigtails (Mitsuami no Kamisama), based on the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The film is directed by Itazu Yoshimi who was also Chief Animation Director for Miss Hokusai (another Production I.G. title and Anime Limited license). In addition to Pigtails, Andrew Partridge announced they are planning to release a collection of Production I.G. shorts in one set. These include the Mind Game and Ping Pong director Masaaki Yuasa’s successful kickstarter title Kick Heart, the Anime Mirai shorts (so far it seems to be Tansuwarashi and Wasurenagumo), as well as Oval x Over which has yet to be shown outside Japan. No release date details as of late but Andrew is working on including some of these for Scotland Loves Anime 2016.
In terms of new details on existing Anime Limited products, Andrew Partridge has unveiled the final product for the long-awaited release for The Vision of Escaflowne Ultimate Edition.
The Ultimate Edition will include the complete series and the movie on Blu-ray. The TV series was known to feature extended footage for the earlier episodes but thanks to the support of Justin Sevakis they have created an authoring that will allow fans to watch the series with both broadcast style for the Bandai Entertainment English dub and the original for the Japanese audio and Funimation’s new English dub. That way fans of the old dub and those who want the new footage can experience both without any issues. The on-disc extras share the same as Funimation’s upcoming release with Textless Opening & Endings, Music Videos, Video Game Cutscenes, Club Escaflowne Interviews as well as Trailers, Anime Expo 2000 and a special program for the Escaflowne Movie.
The Ultimate Edition exclusives include a 144 page artbook (compared to Funimation’s 40 page hardcover version), 3 soundtrack CDs from composer Yoko Kanno (who also worked on Cowboy Bebop and Terror in Resonance) and 3 Collector’s Edition style sets with digipacks to hold the discs; one for the TV series, one for the movie and another for the CDs. The suggested retail price will be £149.99 with an early bird deal for £90 until the end of August exclusively over on Shop All the Anime. The release date is currently slated for December 2016. You can pre-order the set over on Shop All the Anime. The TV series is also available to stream for free on Viewster in Japanese with English subtitles.
During the rest of the panel Andrew Partridge discussed about how Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 was quite the effort to work on for its Ultimate Edition release, citing Square Enix being pretty difficult to work with and the fact that 60% of the stock has been sold through pre-orders already (remember this release is 970 units only currently at £149.99 and soon to be higher near its release). Andrew noted that the artbook included with the Ultimate Edition is “the biggest we’ve ever done”.
Andrew also talked about trying to include the soundtrack CD for Death Parade‘s upcoming Ultimate Edition release. He notes that it may or may not happen depending on licensing approvals. And Prison School may end up being given the Funimation UK treatment if there’s no assets to make a collector’s edition release but at the moment they are currently awaiting the materials to see what they can do. And finally they pointed out that ADV titles are pretty difficult to acquire.