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Mecha Master Yutaka Izubuchi Comes to Anime Expo

Bandai Visual USA Inc. will be highlighting its presence at the 15th annual Anime Expo being held July 1-4, 2006, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, with a rare U.S. appearance of legendary anime mecha designer Yutaka Izubuchi. Bandai Visual USA will also be showcasing the anime masterpiece PATLABOR 2 THE MOVIE limited edition DVD that will be released by Bandai Visual USA and Image Ent. on July 11.

PATLABOR 2 was directed by acclaimed director Mamoru Oshii (PATLABOR THE MOVIE, GHOST IN THE SHELL, AVALON), written by Kazunori Ito (.HACK//SIGN, AVALON), with music by Kenji Kawai (GHOST IN THE SHELL, AVALON, RINGU) and mechanical design by Izubuchi.

This is going to be my second time to attend the Anime Expo and I am looking forward to seeing the enthusiastic American anime fans in Anaheim, said Izubuchi.

Mr. Izubuchi is arguably the leading artist among anime creators in Japan and his creation has won him many fans across the globe, said Tatsunori Konno, president/ceo of Bandai Visual USA. As one of the great originators of the anime, he designed Mechas for the PATLABOR series, which is the first title that Bandai Visual USA has launched under the Honneamise label. It gives Bandai Visual USA great pleasure to introduce Mr. Izubuchi to the 15th annual Anime Expo.

The DVD will be released in both a single disc edition ($29.99) and a limited collectors edition ($89.99). The limited collectors edition is numbered with a limited run of only 10,000 units. The cover art was illustrated especially for the DVD release by Yutaka Izubuchi.

Bandai Visual USA will be exhibiting throughout the show at booth #111. In addition, Bandai Visual USA will be featured in the following Anime Expo events:

* Anime Explosion (July 1, 6:30-7:30 pm, Live Program Room 3): Konno participates in and industry roundtable.* Focus Panel (July 2, 1:00-2:00 pm, Live Programming Room 1): Izubuchi discusses his work and answers questions.* Industry Panel (July 2, 4:00-4:50 pm, Live Programming Room 2): Bandai Visual USA vp Takenari Maeda and Izubuchi discuss the PATLABOR movies. Bandai Visual USA will raffle-off PATLABOR items signed by Izubuchi and also introduce future Bandai Visual USA titles to be distributed in the U.S. and Canada.* Autograph Sessions (dates and times to be announced): Yutaka Izubuchi meets attendees and signs autographs.* PATLABOR 2 THE MOVIE screening will take place July 2, at 7:30-9:45 pm in Video Room 1.

Located in Anaheim, California, Anime Expo, the North Americas largest anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the industry to conduct business. More information can be found at www.anime-expo.org.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to popularize and educate the American public about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property Anime Expo. More information can be found at www.spja.org.

Bandai Visual USA Inc. was established in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Visual Co. Ltd. with a mission to facilitate stronger, more active involvement in positioning, marketing and distribution of Bandai Visual programs in North America. From its base in Torrance, California, Bandai Visual USA seeks to form new alliances and reinforce existing ties in an effort to strengthen Bandai Visuals international presence as a producer and content provider in the ever expanding and diversified specialty programs market. Bandai Visual USA titles are released on DVD under its Honneamise label, named after the 1987 animation film that Bandai Visual first produced. More information is available at www.bandaivisual.us.

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Rick DeMott
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