With the Manchester MCM Comic Con currently underway, Anime Limited were of course on-hand to deliver a now-traditional panel packed with news, announcements and more courtesy of company president Andrew Partridge. Our intrepid reported Dan Barnett was there to relay all the news back to UK Anime headquarters!
Starting with license acquisition announcements, it was confirmed that Ouran High School Host Club will be returning to the UK, with a Collector's Edition Blu-ray release currently scheduled for November 2016.
Also acquired is Production I.G.'s forthcoming short film set in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake Pigtails. Plans are to release this thirty minute film as part of a collection of Production I.G. shorts, including Kick-Heart, the studio's Anime Mirai project shorts and Oval x Over, the latter of which has never been released outside of Japan. Some of these shorts will also be screened at Scotland Loves Anime most likely.
Speaking of Scotland Loves Anime, Mr. Partridge is hopeful to screen the Girls und Panzer movie at the event, with the full line-up to be confirmed in August.
In terms of existing announcements, it's been confirmed that pre-orders for the Escaflowne Ultimate Edition will begin a 1PM today - the UK release of both the series and movie in this form will include a 148-page art book (40 pages longer than the US release from Funimation Entertainment) and all three soundtrack CDs from the series to mark the first international release of Yoko Kanno's soundtrack to the show. The Ultimate Edition will retail at £149, with early bird pre-orders priced at just £90 for the first month. This edition will be limited to just 1,000 units.
On the topic of Ultimate Editions, the Fullmetal Alchemist Ultimate Edition was also discussed, with Mr. Partridge noting the difficults of working with Square Enix as a licensor on this project, confirming that the included art book in the Ultimate Edition will be "the biggest we've ever done". 60% of the stock of this Ultimate Edition have been sold already through pre-orders, with Andrew noting that the weak pound has likely caused a spike in international orders for the set.
In news on other existing licenses, efforts are underway to acquire the soundtrack to Death Parade as part of its own Ultimate Edition release, but whether this will be possible is uncertain at present. Mention was also made of Prison School's release - Anime Limited are currently waiting to see what materials are available, but this may be a Funimation Entertainment UK release unless they feel they'll be able to do something special with it.
A question was also raised about resucing old ADV Films licenses - Andrew Partridge noted that these licenses are currently "very complicated" to acquire.