This weekend sees the summer's big UK convention take place in the form of Amecon, and as usual the event also brought with it an anime industry panel with some interesting announcements to make.
Heading up the panel was Andrew Partridge of Kaze UK and Anime on Demand, who wasted little time in lifting the lid on a couple of major UK acquisitions.
First out of the hat from Kaze was Mawaru Penguindrum (aka Spinning Penguindrum), director Kunihiko Ikuhara's surreal and abstract tale of fate as it entwines itself into the lives of a group of characters, all of which face their own circumstances coloured by a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system that has affected them all. There's no further news on the exact release strategy for this twenty-four episode series from 2011 at this point in time, but we'll keep you posted if we learn more on this series which is still yet to have a North American licensing deal officially announced.
Also confirmed at the panel is that Code Geass will be returning the UK, having had its availability disrupted by the demise of Beez Entertainment - what's more, this re-release via Kaze will take place on both DVD and Blu-Ray, allowing UK fans to enjoy both seasons of the show in High Definition for the first time.
Moving forward, Kaze will be looking to pick up UK release rights for new licenses wherever possible alongside French rights for series, which could mean even more UK releases from the company in the future if this comes to pass.
Aside from these major announcements, it was also confirmed that Persona 4: The Animation will be released in DVD and Blu-Ray "combo" packs, while discussing the abject failure of Gundam Unicorn to attract viewers via Sony's PlayStation Network streaming of the series.
Anime on Demand was also naturally a topic of conversation, with Andrew Partridge assuring those present that the service is most certainly not dead, but that an NDA which has been in place over the past year is preventing any news about the next step for this UK streaming service from surfacing. Andrew hopes that an announcement about Anime on Demand will be forthcoming over the next few months, so for now continue to watch this space!
Other topics included crowd-funding web site Kickstarter, with Andrew noting that permission from Japanese rights holders is still required before you could even set up a campaign, and the performance of Beez Entertainment's subtitle-only DVD release of Durarara, which Mr. Partridge commented performed to around the same level as many of Manga Entertainment's "mid-tier" titles in terms of sales.
So, are you excited by the prospect of Mawaru Penguindrum hitting the UK, or perhaps of a Code Geass Blu-Ray release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!