Representatives of Geneon Universal, formerly Geneon Entertainment, made an appearance at Anime Expo Friday morning to announce some of its latest titles, include a new season of Hellsing and the movie Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail and zombie series Highschool of the Dead.
Hellsing, the beloved vampire hunter series, is back with new episodes. The setting is London in 1999 for the beginning of a day-long battle. This time around, acclaimed studio Madhouse handles animation duties and, if the trailer is any indication, Hellsing Ultimate V-VII is going to look amazing.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is a feature-legnth anime based on the Fate/Stay Night video game. A twenty-six episode anime series was previously released and has gained a following in the United States.
Meanwhile, Geneon is preparing to unleash Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail. The five-episode OVA (original video animation, i.e. a direct-to-DVD release) is a continuation of the popular anime, beginning with Episode 25, which will screen twice at AX this weekend.
During the question and answer portion of the panel, one fan asked producer Mitsutoshi Ogura if Geneon will go on to producer the Heaven's Feel arc of the game. Through a translator, Ogura answered that it took two years for the animation team to complete Unlimited Blade Works, but once they have a chance to rest, they will likely begin work on Heaven's Feel. However, he indicated that the follow-up story might not be a film.
As anime viewers may well know, Geneon closed its U.S. distribution service several years ago. Eventually, Funimation picked up on some of the titles that had gone out-of-print due to this closure. Geneon staffers indicated that Funimation would likely be handling distribution for Hellsing, Black Lagoon and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, a new series about a group of teenage girls with psychic powers.
The title that generated the most fan response, though, was Highschool of the Dead, based on Daisuku Sato's manga about zombies and high school students. The twelve-episode series is also animated by Madhouse.
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Geneon did not announce the U.S. distributor for the series, stating that the distribution company will be announcing it sometime during the convention. One fan asked Ogura if Geneon was now working exclusively with Funimation, to which the producer stated that they weren't limiting themselves to solely working with the Texas-based company.
Another Geneon title mentioned during the panel wasHakuoki, based on the samurai team Shinsen Gumi. Geneon also announced that several of its music artists, including singer Mell (who plays AX on Friday) are now available on iTunes in the U.S. Still more will be added to the online retailer in the coming months.
Update: Geneon did not announce U.S. distribution plans for Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works or Hakuoki
For updates from Anime Expo as they happen, follow @lizohanesian and @ShannonCottrell on Twitter.