by Sam W., staff writer, Inside AX – Anime Expo
Bryan Ige (VP of Animation at VIZ Media) joined us to talk about the new program brought to you by VIZ.
This is my live report from the panel. I write and report as it happens and deliver the content to you, straight from Inside AX!
The “secret” is out…at least by the time of this posting. But essentially they announced it two days ago. Not too much of a secret. But what exactly is it? Well, I’m about to find out.
Neon Alley is their new service: a 24 hour programmed channel for anime.
It will be going straight through to your television set from a “major game console”.
Their intention is to bring the content straight from Japan, uncut, dubbed. Available in HD.
It will also provide “behind the scenes” and news coverage. Their partners will not be exclusive to VIZ Media.
It seems the majority of this deal and the content is still being hashed out “behind the scenes”.
Neon Alley will cost around $6.99 a month.
Chris McDonald of Anime News Network comes out. He announces that ANN will be providing ancillary content, Top 10′s, and con coverage.
Neon Alley will also have forums and feedback areas hosted by ANN.
Aniplex announced Blue Exorcist as an uncut, dubbed addition to Neon Alley. They are announcing the voice cast later in the panel.
Zetman, Tiger and Bunny, Blue Exorcist, InuYasha: The Final Act, Death Note, and Berserk: Egg of the King are among the titles announced for the new channel.
Bryan announced that Hong Kong martial arts films will also be a part of the distribution deals.
Bryan also stressed that this is a multi-company and brand initiative. They will be releasing products and DVD’s from the shows broadcast as well.
While it seems that some of the smaller details are still being worked out concerning the content and the method of distribution, this is an interesting program that might help the longevity of anime in broadcast.
The most intriguing part of Neon Alley to me is the idea of adding new shows through a multi-studio partnership. Viz is starting a business that supports not only their properties but others as well. Doing the Neon Alley through consoles also seems positive, as they aren’t (at least for now) going to rely on typical broadcast systems for distribution.
Look for more up to date panel info at Inside AX!