Chinese Mythology as you've never seen it before in Saiyuki Reload

The loss of FUNimation's undoubtedly strong titles would be a blow for anyone, but MVM have grown well beyond the point where it could threaten their future.  In fact the loss frees up space in their schedule, and they are wasting no time to fill it.  'We've got some very exciting stuff lined up for 2007 that will be announced gradually through the year' states Tony.  'Essentially we have acquired 10 new very strong series plus at least 2 stand alone projects.  AND negotiations continue for even more!'

He's not just putting a brave face on it either.  MVM's new licenses are very strong, and some of the titles they have lined up for 2007 carry that all important recognition factor.  'First quarter line up will include Saiyuki Reload, Gun Sword and Ah! My Goddess TV.'  says Tony,  'Plus the missing Tenchi Movie 2 and some more great priced box sets.'.  The fantasy epic Saiyuki Reload and romantic comedy Ah! My Goddess are instantly recognisable to most fans

The gang's all here in Tenchi the Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness

on the back of popular manga releases from Tokyopop and Dark Horse respectively.  The Ah! My Goddess TV series in particular is a highly anticipated release as it sticks far closer to the source manga than the previous short series and film, both of which are already available from MVM.  The other big release currently lined up is the creepy gothic horror Le Portrait de Petite Cossette, a critically acclaimed 3 episode series which is due in February.  These five titles alone make a very strong start to the year, but what is interesting is that there are seven more unannounced series to come.  It's anyone's guess as to what they'll be, but it's going to be fun finding out!

However, like all the UK anime companies, new stuff isn't all they have.  Budget box sets - once exceptionally rare in the UK - are now regular releases here, and MVM have a far few of their own lined up.  Titles such as the romantic sci-fi comedy Chobits, stunning fantasy Haibane Renmei and the action-packed Ranma 1/2 movies are being reissued in box set form, and more will no doubt come as the year progresses.  Nothing's confirmed yet as to which of their other titles will get the box set treatment, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Love Hina or Trigun sets before the year is out.  Some of MVM's older series probably passed a lot of fans by, and we'd really like to see an box set re-release for the eight-volume Trigun, it's just too good a series to fall by the wayside.

It's great to see MVM releasing strong franchises like the action-packed Gun Sword and Saiyuki Reload, but it's also good to see that they are still willing to push the boat out with unusual titles like Le Portrait de Petite Cossette.  We like to see that they will mix challenging titles in with the sure-fire hits, especially considering their admission at the MCM London Expo that they passed up the opportunity to license the excellent (but damn weird) FLCL.  Despite losing FUNimation they haven't changed the policies that have made them so popular, and the quality of their announcements so far is like a statement of intent.  The announced titles are pretty new,

Gun-toting children abound in Gun Sword (well, one anyway...)

Ah! My Goddess may be an older franchise but the anime series came out in Japan barely over a year and a half ago.  In fact the only title in their lineup that can be considered to be old is Tenchi Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness, which came out in Japan in 1997.  Like all the UK anime companies, MVM are looking to the cutting edge, and the titles they have announced will most likely have attracted the interest of their rivals during the licensing process.

When we asked Tony his aims for 2007 he was quick to respond.  'To continue to expand the anime genre for the good of the UK industry as a whole' he replied, '(and) to bring fans the exciting series they want and deserve.'  From their announcements so far they have done just that, combining big name releases with intriguing new titles and putting out budget versions of their old titles.  The way MVM is run and the way it has reached where it has is unique in the UK market, and signs are good that they will stay for some time to come!