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Manga Entertainment MCM London Comic Con May 2016 license round-up

Manga Entertainment MCM London Comic Con May 2016 license round-up

Written by A. H. on 28 May 2016

The second day of MCM London Comic Con has brought us more licenses that we can shake a stick at (and not just because we didn't bring a stick) - let's start out however with Manga Entertainment and offshoot Animatsu Entertainment, who had plenty to announce as Jerome Mazandarani, Andrew Hewson and Fraser Overington took to the stage for their hour-long panel.

Let's dig into those announcements first:

Soul Eater NOT

Trinity Seven

- HaNaYaMaTa, giving us a trio of licenses acquired directly from TV Tokyo

- Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions: Heart Throb!

- Punchline!

- Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto

- Digimon - both Seasons 1 and 2 of this classic series have been acquired. The assets available to Manga Entertainment aren't yet confirmed, but Jerome Mazandarani believes it's likely to be the TV edit of the series.

- Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals, which will be released across two half-series DVD box sets of 26 episodes - the first instalment will be released this autumn, with the second half due in early 2017.

- Chinese live-action/CG hybrid movie Monster Hunt

Death Note will be coming to Blu-ray in the UK later this year

Manga Entertainment also hinted that there are lots more announcements to come over the next few weeks that haven't yet been finalised - needless to say we'll be keeping an eye out for those in the near future.

This slew of licenses was followed by a Q&A session which features some choice words (and language) from Jerome Mazandarani - Funimation's UK streaming service was lambasted for throwing money at the UK market, with Mazandarani suggesting that "it's pretty sh*tty. I hope they run out of money". Similarly, he greeted the entry of Funimation into the UK home video market by saying "It's great for you guys" (i.e. UK customers), but answering a subsequent question as to whether it will affect Manga Entertainment by stating "Yeah, probably. It's horrible that US companies are coming in and gobbling up the UK market".

Another topic for discussion was the rise of the Collector's Edition, with Mazandarani suggesting it isn't a strategy he particularly likes - more specifically, he bemoaned the fact that licensors often won't give distributors enough materials to make a good Collector's release viable and that licensors were looking to Collector's Edition strategies as a way to enforce the Japanese release model upon western territories; a practice he dismissed as "bullsh*t".

Mazandarani also characterised the current output of anime studios as too heavily focused on the existing audience, which as a result is over-reliant on ecchi shows and high school-centric series.

More positively, a question regarding a UK release of Bleach on Blu-ray suggested that Manga Entertainment are looking closely into Viz Media's US plans for the series in HD before deciding on its viability for the UK. Hunter x Hunter is also a title they have at least looked into - they noted that it's shown positive viewing figures and engagement numbers when streaming on Crunchyroll, but on a more cautionary bent also mentioned that other series like Gintama and Yowamushi Pedal have shown similarly positive streaming figures but not done well on home video.

So there you have it - perhaps the most combustible anime distributor panel we've covered in many years here at UK Anime, but with much to consider and discuss and lots of licenses to salivate over too. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

A. H.

Author: A. H.

A. hasn't written a profile yet. That's ruddy mysterious...

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