The panelists were Anime Producer Hiraoka Mitsu, Localization Director Eugene Chen and Marketing Ryan Phillips. Even though it was an anime panel, they were able to announce one video game title-which is not Halo as the panelist said jokingly-Mugen Souls. The trailer was narrated by a girl in a sweet high voice. It grew on you quite a bit…annoying as it was. Mugen Souls will be released on 10/17/12. The LE release will include a hardcover artbook, OST, collector’s box, bath set (which includes a sponge and hand towel,) and adorably, a Petite Nendroid set. Truly NIS releases are no joke in their boxsets. *applauds*
Since it’s an anime panel, the fans were asked to keep their questions anime related. They quickly added that the highly anticipated Black Rock Shooter game is still being worked on. Yay! ^_^ No news on The Witch and the Hundred Knights since there are some issues in Japan. We’re still waiting on that too….
They show a dither video of the releases the company has done in their 2.5 years reign as an anime company. With series like Kimi ni Todoke, House of Five Leaves, Occult Academy, Arakawa Under the Bridge and others, NIS has really showcased themselves as a company that doesn’t limit themselves to a particular genre or style. Their releases are definitely extraordinary.
Besides a releasing company, NIS America has their own online store so fans can purchase from them directly. For certain titles, they would also include a bonus item that can be received if bought directly from them and coupled with free shipping, it’s something to keep in mind.
Phillips highlight some of their events and contests on Facebook for series like Cavestory 3-D and Occult Academy. Of course, announcements will be placed on the Facebook page and Twitter as well. Phillips also release news items on the ‘Prinny Bomb Newsletter’ which is sent out via e-mail periodically. (About 1-3 a week. Is that considered spam? ^_^) Interestingly, any items that are originally out of print may be dug up and placed on the store site. Of course, their availability will be announced via the newsletter for the fastest fan to purchase.
Chen announced some of the products that they have currently. The trailer was shown for anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day which is a BD and dvd set of 11 episodes, including clean ending, Japanese CMs and trailers and a 36 page artbook. It’s an emotionally charged series about a girl who comes back from the dead to bring her friends together. Chen warns the fans that stock is currently low (though a few more will come out at the end of October.)
The Bunny Drop trailer was beautifully sweet. A heartwarming series about an unmarried man who adopts his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter, a young girl. A surprising duo as they learned to live together as a family and never be without each other. *happy sigh* Another 11 episode series plus 4 extra episodes in a BD and dvd set with clean openings and endings with a 28 page artbook.
With the warning of the sexual humor content involved with the next trailer, Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up was shown. Nagai Go-sensei of Cutey Honey fame did a remake of his own series, Dororon Enma-kun from the 1970′s. Over the top humor, sexual innuendos and obscure references from the 70′s, the 12 episode series on BD and dvd with clean opening and ending as well as a 36 page artbook. Oh, and a cucumber stress ball with a funny face on it. XD Yes, cucumber.
Recent release! I’m biased, but my fav trailer was the next one with Natsume’s Book of Friends. Chen: Discretion advis-no this one is okay. *audience laughed* A sweet story about a young boy who can see spirits and receives a book of spirit contracts from his late grandmother. And a fat cat. lol 26 episodes on 4 dvd discs with clean openings and endings with a 32 page artbook. The set includes season 1 and 2 with NIS America expecting to release season 3 and 4.
Viewer discretion advised…for a different reason then Enma. ^^; The highly anticipated series, Umineko: When they Cry trailer was shown. Vol 1 and 2 will be released at the same time in December 2012 in a BD set. There is a total of 26 episodes, clean opening and endings and artbooks. While Higurashi was considered a horror, Umineko is a suspense thriller/mystery with a mixture of fantasy and reality.
Producer Hiraoka introduced NIS America as a company. Although they don’t release dubs, there truly is alot of attention and detail placed on their releases. Their artbooks reflect the series. Each one presents details that grant viewers new appreciation and understanding. Hiraoka-san notes that fans can look at the artbook before or after watching the series. They make sure that no spoilers appear in the artbooks.
For the selection process, NIS America has a mission statement of ‘Anti-Fanservice’. They hope to differentiate themselves from other companies. Interesting to note, that some of the background pictures chosen for their slides are of highly endowed females. “It’s my own personal preference.” *audience laughs* NIS America license series that are story-driven, comedic, but not necessarily series that have both elements.
Chen went into the localization and the subtitling approaches to a series. They broke the down to subtitling categories of Westernization, Literal Approach and translation of meanings. To illustrate, each of them were shown via video clips. It was interesting to see them utilize these approaches in writing the scripts for the series, even if the explanation was difficult to follow. I give props to them for attempting to explain it to us on a sunday afternoon. ^^;
Something we don’t see very often are the steps that the company takes in localizing a series. For NIS America we have the company:
- 1. Read original works (comic or novel or game)
2. Watch the anime (w/script that voice actors use)
3. Translator translates text
4. Editor edits text
5. Company-wide screening process
6. One more proofread
Time for the new announcement! NIS America will be releasing Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl, 13 episodes on BD and dvd, clean opening and endings, Japanese CMs, 36 page artbook and will be released in January 2013.
They raffled off a few prices. Prizes include 4 House of Five Leaves posters from Japan, Toradora standard edition vol. 1, Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 for PS3, Mugen Souls nendroids, Natsume’s Book of Friends premium edition and Ano Hana goods from Japan: a beach ball, beach wrap and a blanket.
- Q: Any news about Disgea 5 game?
A: We don’t have any news at this pan.
Q: You licensed House of Five Leaves even as Funimation has the streaming rights. Any chance you’ll be licensing Tatami Galaxy or other series like that [from another company]?
Hiraoka: We always have the possibility, but we haven’t decided on that particular title yet. We’re always searching for any possible series. It doesn’t matter which company has the streaming rights.
Q: I’m part of an anime club. Where do you get permission to screen anime?
Ryan: You can ask request directly through me. If you need the official screeners from us or if you have your own copies, I can just give you the paperwork to sign.
Q: Are majority of your titles on Crunchyroll?
A: We don’t have a contract with Crunchyroll. If it is on Crunchyroll, than it just happens to be on Crunchyroll. If we like a title, we’ll pick it up regardless if it is on Crunchyroll or not.
Q: Are you considering having a title you’ve released before as a dub? For example: Enma which is already sold out, would you consider a re-release by adding a dub to it?
Hiraoka: It is very difficult. We have to check on what we’ve we sold. We have to sell 5 times as much for a dubbed version. So far, there is not title that convinced us for a dub version.
Q: Since much of the jokes in Katanagatari are historical based, what were you problems you faced while localizing it?
A: The person who localized it is not here today, so we couldn’t tell you the nuts and bolts of what he ran into. From what we saw when we reviewed it as a company-wide process, everyone worked very well. I wouldn’t say he glossed over anything. The way he did it was that he did it at face value and everything is explained in the glossary in the artbook. If you watch it, everything makes sense completely. If you want more information of the significance and the history, its in the glossary.