Present for the “Super Secret VIZ Media Anime Project” were Marketing Director Candice Ulyoan and Vice President Brian Ige. Some information was leaked a couple days ago in regards to what the project was, but the purpose of this panel was to finally reveal what VIZ had under its sleeve.
That particular project is known as Neon Alley, a 24-hour anime programming channel.
Hit the break for the detailed tidbits.
The reason behind the project was a way for VIZ to fill a gap in the market where anime was being underserved—that is, English dubbed, uncut anime. Venues such as Toonami or Adult Swim through cable and satellite never provided the access to anime in its original form due to heavy editing for broadcast.
For the time being, access to the channel will be solely through an unnamed game console. However, when CEO of Anime News Network, Christopher Macdonald made an appearance to the panel, a slip of the tongue strongly suggests that Neon Alley is coming to the PS3, but no immediate confirmation was given.
Anime News Network will provide the bulk of the lineup, but also revealed were partnerships with Aniplex and Tai Seng. Aniplex will be granting access to the dubbed version of Blue Exorcist among others, and Tai Seng is giving us old school, live-action kung fu films in its original dubbing.
The subscription rate will be $6.99 with limited advertising and is currently available only to US and Canada.
Be on the lookout for more coverage of Anime Expo 2012!