|On with the show! - Bandai Entertainment's Project unfolds||Fri, 23 May 2008|
On April 16th 2008, Bandai Entertainment started what would turn into a frenzy of regular updates and an ongoing space opera epic, using all but two websites, secret source code messages, and the support of some dedicated anime industry fans. Bandai Entertainment USA's history in five pictures:     
Titled "Nebula Project 2008 - As one era ends, a new one is born", the fictional story has lead to the non-fictional liquidation of Bandai Visual USA, which is to be dissolved into Bandai Entertainment USA by September 2008. Background information and what this means for the two companies can be found here. It is also to be noted that Bandai Visual's Honneamise label is still active in Japan for Blu-ray releases, but it is neither confirmed or denied whether or not the label will be retained for outside of Japan.
The story can be literally viewed by objects placed onto a custom version of Google Maps here. The space opera story places the "Capital Ship" finding an unidentified spaceship ("UIF") and charges its weapons in case of hostile intentions from the "UIF". "Capital Ship" receives several orders from "Main Fleet" (that coincidently is placed exactly over the headquarters of Namco Bandai USA), and at this point in time "Captial Ship" has received "knowledge" from the "UIF", picked up several "life pods" and finally fired an energy beam that it had been charging for days. In real terms, while still unconfirmed, all the information so far can be taken to mean that Bandai Entertainment USA has gained all of Bandai Visual USA's licenses, and furthermore Bandai Entertainment's website placed a total of fifteen countdown timers on its front page, which correlate to the 15 titles Bandai Visual USA had released or planned to release that had never been in the hands of Bandai Entertainment before. (The other titles, such as Yukikaze and Jin-Roh had previously been released by Bandai Entertainment before Bandai Visual re-released them more recently). Convention season in America still has a long time until it's over, and the "Nebula Project" doesn't seem to be over yet. The latest part of the story places the "Captial Ship" charging its "primary cannon" again, so more news is expected through the next few months.
Following on from the already announced licenses and events of last months New York Comic Convention and Kawaii-Kon; Friday's Fanime convention in California yielded a single license that is the "Sword of the Stranger" movie (also known as Stranger -Mukou Hadan-), an original samurai period drama epic from Studio Bones (Cowboy Bebop movie) released late 2007 in Japan. The film we have a theatrical release in America mid-July, and will be followed by a DVD and Blu-ray disc release - that is the second venture into Blu-ray from Bandai Entertainment since it announced the future release of Ghost in the Shell: Innocence on the format.
Speculation is rife on what the future could hold for Bandai Entertainment, be it in the short term and long term. Two images have been found hidden in the Bandai Entertainment website however, which are too ambiguous to take any sort of firm understanding from, although it is probable that Bandai has yet another 'project' in store for us in 2009. [Nice Tortoise] and [Starshine Project 2009]
|Reported by Daniel — Comments: 4|