[Kawaii Kon 2011] Surprise! “Kobato” is licensed!

May 1st, 2011

New anime license acquisitions are often released on the grandest stages, the ones that offer the greatest exposure and can generate quite a bit of buzz via the Internet soon afterward. Around 8:20 p.m. on a Saturday night here in Honolulu — 11:20 p.m. Pacific, 2:20 a.m. Sunday Eastern — strikes me as great for us here (on the cusp of breaking news, yay!), but a tad unusual when put into perspective of the greater U.S.

Yet that’s what happened at the Sentai Filmworks panel tonight, when, during a roundup of upcoming series the publisher is releasing in the United States, ADR director and Sentai representative David Williams slipped in the following:

… and a new title that we haven’t talked about yet will be coming out in August: Kobato. It’s a CLAMP project, and we will be releasing that in August, so watch for that one. … It’s a fun, nice little CLAMP title.

A few scattered “yaaays!” in the crowd greeted the news. Seriously, I think my recording captured one or two young women saying “yaaay.”

So why make the announcement at Kawaii Kon? Williams and convention director/founder Stan Dahlin are close friends — it was Williams’ suggestion that Dahlin start an anime convention in Hawaii to which Kawaii Kon owes its existence — so it doesn’t surprise me that Williams would offer a special, exclusive treat for the local fans to digest first. I didn’t stay very long at the panel, what with the concert by local group Alt/Air going on at the same time that I also wanted to cover (and that’s where a good chunk of con attendees were, too … I think there were around 20-30 people at the Sentai panel). No word on how many volumes it’ll take to complete the 24-episode series or whether it’ll be a sub-only or sub/dub release. But I’d expect that Sentai will be releasing more information about it after the rest of the mainland U.S. stirs and a proper press release is drafted.

And now, back to my Kawaii Kon picture-sorting and con-report-writing, already in progress. (There are more than 600 pictures and videos to sort through. This could take a while.)

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