Bandai Entertainment made two major announcements at this weekend's New York Anime Festival -- the acquisition of the anime feature film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and the airing of the Code Geass anime series, the acquisition of which Bandai announced earlier this year, on Adult Swim.
Based on Tsutsui Yasutaka's novel, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who along with screenwriter Satoko Okuderu decided to make the film an extension of the novel rather than an adaptation of it. Animated by Madhouse, this modestly budgeted science fiction slice-of-life romance has deservedly won numerous animation awards at festivals around the world. Bandai plans to give The Girl Who Leapt Through Time a limited theatrical release before putting it out on DVD. Because their pricing is so much more in line with American theatrical movie releases, anime features have continued to do well in the North American DVD market even though anime TV releases continue to struggle.
Code Geass, which has recently been renewed for a second season in Japan, is a 50-episode TV anime produced by Sunrise that features the same writer and director (Ichiro Okouchi and Goro Taniguchi) responsible for the wonderful Planetes anime series as well as character designs by Clamp (the first time the manga supergroup has designed the characters for an anime series that was not based on their work). Adult Swim remains the top venue for anime on American TV -- the latest example of its power being the growing popularity of Viz Media's Death Note in the wake of the late October debut of that series on Adult Swim.
Bandai has licensed a wide range of Code Geass items including three different manga series, a 'light' novel, and a number of merchandise items.