BREAKING NEWS: Geneon Calls it Quits

RIP Geneon 🙁

As seen on and Anime News Network, Geneon is pulling out of the North American Market. They will cease sales and distribution on Friday. Even we are surprised by the short notice of this, and are even more worried that these properties will still be managed by Geneon but there is no mention of a distributor. We really hope they find one soon! It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months as fans scramble to find Geneon releases.

This is still saddening news though as Geneon was one of the friendliest companies in the North American markets. Their representatives at anime cons were always willing to speak to fans and always welcomed to hear comments. And they have a special place in the hearts of Sailor Moon fans for helping to bring S, SS, and the Movies to the English speaking world. Over the years they had many hit titles such as Akira, Serial Experiments Lain, Appleseed, Tenchi Muyo, Sailor Moon, and many more. Even though their presence will not be as great as it used to be, we wish them the best of success in this new venture.

For Those of You Who Missed It…

You can catch Phil Donahue’s very informative appearance on CBC’s The Hour last night here. He didn’t talk about the other people he worked with, but nevertheless you get to see a few scenes and some insight on the film. We will keep you posted once we actually hear of a release date!

When American Bands Appear on Japanese Television #5!

And here comes the first of two bursts of entertainment from the other side of the pond to give you a bit of a laugh after last week’s Earth-shattering news. Firstly, too all our readers, thank you for commenting on our videos on Veoh. Unfortunately, we have been dealing with a spammer who has broken through Veoh’s blocking controls, and spammed over 100 of our videos up until this morning. Veoh’s interface is also broken and not letting us remove some of these spam comments, so we made the executive decision to disable comments on all of the videos that we have uploaded up until now. In a week or so we’re going to try again to see if their system is working and if the problem has been fixed. We will keep you posted. Any videos being posted today and tomorrow though, will be free for commenting (unless we see spam). Also don’t go asking us the name of a movie when we post the name of the movie trailer in the video title (yes, there were a couple of those), and don’t ask us when you’re going to see full uploads of movies, we just post commercials, not whole movies.

Which brings us back to the topic at hand – in Japan there is a variety show, SMAP X SMAP that stars the popular J-pop group SMAP. They do a variety of segments on the show featuring celebrities, cooking, and sketch comedy… and it actually isn’t as bad as you think it would be! Last Saturday’s show featured one of my favorite bands, the Black Eyed Peas. Here are three segments for you all to enjoy! They aren’t spaced out like some of the other stars we have posted here, and we kinda wish we had a few more clips of them on Japanese television. Side note: these guys are absolutely amazing live, and if you ever get the chance to see them I highly suggest you do!

Here come the Peas talking to SMAP before their show – is absolutely hilarious!

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Here comes performing his latest hit I Got it From My Mama:

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And finally, the Peas get together with SMAP and sing one of the best performances of Where is the Love? that we have ever seen!

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Quick VA (and related) Update

Hey everyone, in the next couple days we will be uploading a lot of commercials and a new edition of when American Bands Appear on Japanese Television, and you will not be disappointed with the latter! I think this is our best find yet! Hopefully it will get you over a lot of sorrows over the sad news with Geneon. A lot of fans are wondering what is going to happen to the anime classics Geneon has rights over such as Serial Experiments Lain, Akira, Tenchi, Trigun, and other hot hits. We’re still going to keep an eye on the situation in the hopes that we hear of a distributor soon.

In the meantime, there are a few quick sightings that we need to let you all know about!

We mourn with all you Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Mars #2, Sailor Venus #2) fans! Her character, Courtney, was voted off the island in the animated reality cartoon, Total Drama Island. Fans can check out a couple of clips of Courtney and Duncan here and here. We thought she would have lasted a bit longer. Now we are rooting for Gwen!

The recent Barbie movies have a connection to anime. The voice actors recorded for the film in Canada, and have featured actors such as Kelly Sheridan (Hitomi from Escaflowne) as Barbie, and others like Kirby Morrow (Van from Escaflowne, Miroku from InuYasha), and Cathy Weseluck (Kagome’s Mother from InuYasha, and who could forget the elusive Cybersix?). Well, now these terrible movies have a connection to Sailor Moon. Currently on a store shelf almost everywhere is Barbie as the Island Princess. Unfortunately I had to sit through this movie last weekend watching it with a few young’uns. I’m going to spare you all from any plot details, it’s pretty much a cross between Cinderella and childhood amnesia. But unless you are okay with listening to someone break into a song every few minutes, believing that a person can understand every language of each animal, or watching some profusely lifeless and plastic computer animation, avoid this film at all costs. Susan Roman (Sailor Jupiter) plays the elephant Tika, and though her acting in this is commendable, this movie is not. If you still don’t believe us, here’s a trailer.

And, here comes an article from our VA Vault from Setpember of 2000, all about Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1)! You’ll get to find out where she got her start, and at the end makes mention of her hit short film from sometime later, Remembrance.

Actor of many languages, maker of many films

Stephanie Morgenstern, a former Montrealer now living in Toronto, says she was thrilled to land a substantial supporting role as a French-speaking Norwegian in Maelstrom, Denis Villeneuve’s parable of love, death, guilt and atonement that takes its cue from a talking fish.

“French filmmakers seem to be much less dominated by the American model,” she said, “in style and subject matter and in the way that they direct. I think they’re much more expressive of themselves.”

And they’re not afraid to take risks. Villeneuve “has fabulated this huge Norwegian presence in Montreal,” Morgenstern said. This includes, among other things, a sauna scene in which two women are overheard speaking Norwegian. “I think he wanted to soak the whole film in this mythic, Norwegian, Viking, operatic grandeur.”

Morgenstern’s character is the comic-relief foil and trusty friend who tries to raise the hapless heroine out of a severe depression. Her performance is seamless, as usual. “I think my ambiguous accent is beginning to pay off.”

As further proof of her versatility, she also appeared in an English-language film at Montreal’s World Film Festival that ended Monday night — a 15-minute short called Passengers, directed by Francine Zuckerman. It’s a poignant piece about a lesbian (Morgenstern) who attends her father’s funeral, full of regret that she never came out to him.

In Maelstrom, playing a grad student worried about a thesis wasn’t that difficult, Morgenstern said. She’s been there, done that.

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, she was raised in Montreal and studied at McGill University. She moved to Toronto 10 years ago to study social and political thought at York University. Her master’s thesis was on “Epistemic autonomy of mass-media audiences.”

She got her start in theatre with Clare Shapiro’s Creations Etc., doing original bilingual shows with other teenagers. This led to a stint in French television on a children’s program. At McGill, she appeared in theatre productions. At Montreal’s Centaur Theatre, she was seen in Quiet in the Land, Vassa, and, in 1993, Look Back in Anger.

By then she was already commuting from Toronto, where she now lives with her husband, actor Mark Ellis.

Although she’s been active in Toronto theatre, in both English and French, and made her Stratford debut as Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1993, she’s currently seeking her challenges elsewhere. “I made a choice about four years ago,” she says, “to take a break from theatre.”

In addition to acting in films such as The Sweet Hereafter (1997) and Oh! Revoir Julie (1998), she has taken to making them herself, with a little help from brother Mark Morgenstern. They began with a short titled Curtain or Rideau, a backstage theatre romp shot at the National Theatre School a few years ago. After being shown at Montreal’s World Film Festival, it was picked up by 25 other festivals worldwide and was nominated for a 1996 Genie Award.

Their next was Shooter, about the paparazzi. It won an award at a festival in Houston. She and her husband are now working on a film about Second World War espionage and the role of Canadian spies.

Breaking News: ADV And Geneon Merger Over?

Readers, there is an update at the bottom of this post.

To The Anonymous Poster: We would love to hear more about this, but we don’t really think that the comments are the best way for you to let us know exactly what is going on. We have an email address listed at the bottom of the page, but here it is in case you don’t want to go looking: (remove the NOSPAMPLZTHX). We promise to keep you anonymous – and won’t publish anything that you would rather us not post.

Hey Moonies: we are treating this current Breaking News Story as Rumor. Two weeks ago we brought to your attention late breaking news of a proposed merger between ADV and Geneon, two anime distributors who once held licenses for Sailor Moon. This morning, an anonymous poster to that article notified us that the deal was on hold. And just a few hours ago, ANN also broke the news. This sad news comes after the other disheartening news that as we (and others) predicted, Geneon laid off many employees, especially those in sales. Also of note is that an Editor of ANN has admitted that their source was also anonymous. We’re not sure if our sources are the same , but we’re still unsure whether to call this news legit or not. We also thought something was up when one of our members last week spotted some Geneon titles in a store going for a little cheaper than they usually do.

It’s also way too early to speculate what this could mean for Sailor Moon. Geneon’s North American distribution is up in the air at this moment. We really don’t want to see Geneon pull out of the North American Market – especially like this. Especially when articles like this one come out and say that many of the Japanese companies are setting up shop in North America just to manage their releases of anime.

We apologize to fans for not reporting this earlier. All of our staff members are busy during the day with school and/or work so by the time we find out about these things it’s late evening. But by those hours half of us are so insane that we have just enough energy to create graphics like the one above ;).

EDIT: (Posted @ 8:55 AM Friday, September 21st, 2007) This news is no longer a rumor. Dentsu (Geneon’s Parent Company in Japan) released a statement confirming the news here, and ADV released a statement through ANN here. Dentsu states that Geneon has withdrawn from the deal, but they do not give any reason (neither does ADV). Dentsu goes on to say that some other companies, including trading giant Sojitz and the Development Bank of Japan, are going to be making investments in ADV through the Japan Contents Investment Business Limited Partnership, a special partnership that promotes the export of Japanese Animation Content. As of October 1st, Geneon will be involved only in managing their works. Their distribution is still up in the air, and now we’re a little worried – who is going to release their series? We’ll be hunting down our favorite Geneon titles in case we may never see them again.