IGPX - whatever else it may be, it looks damn good

The huge amount of new releases in 2006 and the speed in which series are released by Beez suggests that there will be a host of new titles on the way.  However, at the moment nothing new has been announced.  'At present we have continuations of series we started in 2006 such as Eureka Seven, Fantastic Children, Gundam Seed Destiny, IGPX and My-Hime lined up, with the final instalment of Yukikaze also lined up there too!' says Andrew, who continues 'We have a couple of surprises on the cards too but I can’t say about those until we’ve signed contracts…'

Yukikaze - better than Top Gun!

From a fan point of view this is more than a little frustrating, but unfortunately this is the way licensing often works.  Until contracts are signed, gagging orders are usually in place to prevent the parties involved publicising the negotiations.  In the meantime though we have the continuation of a host of great series to enjoy, and no doubt fans will be really looking forward to the remaining seven volumes of Gundam Seed Destiny and the rest of Eureka Seven and My-Hime in particular.  However, it is worth noting that at the rate Beez normally puts out series then it is very likely that many existing ones will be wrapped up by mid-2007, and that leaves a big gap in their schedule.

It goes without saying that Beez will have a host of titles in the pipeline once again, and news of them is likely to start sneaking out over the coming months.  We would speculate that more of Bandai's excellent 'Honneamise' label Limited Collectors Edition releases will make their way to the UK, following the recent Patlabor the Movie and forthcoming Patlabor the Movie 2 sets.  The Honneamise label is a special imprint by Bandai in the US that aims to be the anime equivalent of the extras-packed and highly collectable Criterion Collection DVDs.  In the US the most recent anime lined up to get the Honneamise treatment is Hideaki Anno's acclaimed 1988 debut Gunbuster, and considering the name of the label it is very likely that Gainax's groundbreaking debut The Wings of Honneamise will also appear at some point.  At the moment it is unknown whether these will make it to the UK, but with the UK rights for Gunbuster (previously held by now defunct label Kiseki) lapsing years ago we wouldn't be surprised to see it released by someone next year...

Other than that though it is very hard to see where Beez will look next.  There could be more Gundam to come, at the moment there are huge chunks of the franchise unavailable here, including the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, plus countless follow ups and spin-offs.  We would be surprised to see older series come out as they generally don't fare well in the UK market, more likely are some of the many films or mini-series.  We wouldn't be surprised to see Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO at some point.  Other possibilities for a UK release include the latest chapter in the increasingly epic .hack:// franchise, .hack://ROOTS, and Banner of the Stars.

Will .hack://ROOTS get a UK release?

To be honest it's anyone's guess, and the above is pure speculation on our part.  However, you can guarantee more boxsets - a Yukikaze one is already pencilled in for March, and we wouldn't be surprised to see ones for s-CRY-ed or Wolf's Rain either.  However, there will definitely be a lot more to come.  'Aims for 2007 are to expand further and make sure we’re definitely a name to stay!' confirms Andrew emphatically.  It's great to see all the anime companies this optimistic for next year, and it's clear that whatever happens, it looks like 2007 will be a good year for anime fans!