Date: 2005 December 08 11:13
Posted by Jeremy
Bandai announces new DVD label Honneamise, to distribute anime in North America.
At a press conference in Beverly Hills this December, Bandai Visual USA, the new American subsidiary of Bandai Visual, announced that they have entered into a partnership with DVD distributor Image Entertainment to launch a new DVD distribution label. Called Honneamise, after the groundbreaking 1987 anime film from Gainax and Bandai Visual "Wings of Honneamise", this new label will release and distribute DVDs of Bandai Visual films to the North American market. A new logo for the label, sort of resembling a multi-colored flower-shape, was also unveiled at the conference.
Image Entertainment is best known for their distribution of the Criterion Collection laserdiscs. The template used for the Criterion discs will be used as a guide for Honneamise’s releases, which will include both standard edition disc-only releases and limited special editions that are packed with bonus material.
Only two titles have been officially announced for release by the new label. The first will be Patlabor: The Movie, scheduled for an April 25, 2006 release, while the second will be Patlabor 2: The Movie, which will follow in the summer. Both films will be released in both the standard and special editions. The special editions will include, according to the press release issued, "exclusive packaging illustrations by Yutaka Izubuchi, remastered 5.1 audio channel, a new English-dubbed audio track, a ‘making-of’ documentary, Japanese trailers and TV commercials, the complete 300-page storyboard book drawn by [director] Mamoru Oshii with an English translation, and a second book that includes past interviews, articles, artwork and drawings."
While no other release announcements have been made at this time, Image Entertainment also announced that they will be working in a number of ways with Bandai Visual USA. This includes a possible release of Bandai Visual’s live actions films, and perhaps even co-productions in both live action and animated formats. And while it has been rumored that Bandai Visual USA will release Wings of Honneamise, previously released in North America by Manga Entertainment, through the new label, there is no word from either companies involved as to whether or not this statement is true.