One of the major announcements at the Top Cow panel at Wizard World Chicago was the licensing of Witchblade to the Japanese studio Gonzo Digimation (Blue Submarine #6, Last Exile, Burst Angel) for the production of a 26-episode anime TV series. Matt Hawkins of Top Cow told ICv2 that Gonzo would drop the character of Sara Pezzini, the heroine of the American comics and TV series, in favor of a Japanese policewoman, who comes into possession of the mystical blade.
Hawkins told ICv2: 'What they wanted from us, was a creative document that would lay out the boundaries of what they could and couldn't do with the character. So we actually spent three months drafting this 8-page document saying what they could and couldn't do. It (the anime series) will probably be racier than what we have done with the character. I am not sure whether they are looking at a PG-13 or a more mature viewer rating, but it's something that will probably have a little more limited distribution in the U.S. because of that.'
Hawkins told ICv2 that, although Top Cow has a lot of items in the media hopper, 'Of all the things that are going on in various media with our properties, the Witchblade anime is probably the thing I am most excited about, because I know it's going to happen. A million TV and film deals come and go, but these guys are already meeting with directors and getting things underway already...They have a deal with Kodansha, who will bring out a manga series based on the anime in a coordinated launch, probably late next year. The great thing about the stuff they do with the manga is -- we will be able to publish it here in the same way that we did that deal with Semic (the French Publisher) where what they published with our characters, we published over here.'