Last weekend was home to not one, but two anime conventions across the country, including Baka-Con and Anime Central. Both cons seemed to be very successful, judging from fan reaction, although Baka-Con's quarters were a little cramped, as attendance more than doubled this year. (They are planning to move to a larger location next year.
The commercial companies were at both locations, talking to fans and announcing their plans for the future. The absent Central Park Media previously announced several new titles at I-Con, "Photon" being among them, as well as "Maze", "Shamanic Princess" and "Virgin Fleet" (all of which are licensed for DVD release). Media Blasters (AnimeWorks) mentioned that they plan to have DVD releases in early 2000, and AnimeOnDVD.com reports that they also criticized others for releasing titles on DVD that didn't deserve it.
ADV Films reported that they will be releasing Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 in August/September, as well as Martian Successor Nadesico and Nadia of the Mysterious Seas later this year. Both are slated for eventual DVD release, but no date has been set for that format. Sources close to AnimeonDVD.com provide reports as to their other plans, which include evenutal DVD re-release of their entire catalog, but for now only one-shot releases will be produced. (No TV shows will be re-released on DVD until they streamline the process of transferring the soundtracks to Dolby AC-3 5.1 format.) They are reportedly non-committal about other titles, waiting to see how well catalog titles "Slayers - The Movie", "Sakura Wars" and "Legend of Crystania" do in the market. Other new aquisitions announced include "Sakura Diaries," "AD Police" TV series (which they are co-producing), "Princess Nine", "Generator Gawl", the second and third "Slayers" movies as well as the second OAV series, "The Samurai", and Katsuhiro Otomo's latest film "Spriggan", which may see a theatrical release.
AnimeVillage.com reportedly told one convention-goer that they are 80% complete in their negotiations with their parent company to release titles on DVD, and Nobu Yamamoto, Director of Sales and Marketing for Anime Village, was feeling positive that "Anime Village would release DVDs by the end of the year". AnimeVillage also mentioned that dubbed versions of Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star are in the works.
In other convention happenings, Baka-con attendees were asked to submit ideas for a new name for the convention, with the winner getting free admission next year. Among the Baka-con guests were ADV voice actors Tristan MacAvery, Stan Sakai, and Tiffany Grant.
Anime Central, meanwhile, welcomed guests Ken'ichi Sonoda, designer for the original Bubblegum Crisis OAV series (and who made his dislike for AIC well-known for not giving him credit for designing the suits in the new TV series) and Yuji Moriyama, creator of the Project A-Ko series (who did confirm the fact that it started out as an episode of the spoogy Cream Lemon OAV series).