Anime Expo 2008 has brought a number of announcements, but one of the most significant came from Bandai on Friday afternoon. While most in the United States were firing up the grill, officials from the company were confirming that the Gundam series would be returning to television.
In April, at the New York Comic-Con, Bandai announced that it had secured the license for the latest Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Today it confirmed that in addition to the usual DVD releases the series would hit the airwaves on the Sci Fi channel.
The first season, which consists of 25 episodes, will premiere on Sci Fi on November 17, 2008. Two chapters will air each week for a 13 week run. No specifics on DVD releases were mentioned during the panel, but a vague timetable of early 2009 was mentioned.
Other Gundam hype at the panel came from the Gundam Seed Destiny series. Bandai officials mentioned that the first television movie had already hit store shelves and that the second would be coming soon. Much of the panel was used to promote series that were either already released to some extent or were right around the corner.
What about older Gundam episodes? The panelists mentioned that a committee in Japan determines the availability of the various iterations of Gundam. Bandai looks into their options and negotiates accordingly. When asked about post-00 series, the group said any information was "Classified!"
For now fans can check out Sci Fi this Fall when 00 hits the airwaves, and then stores nationwide early next year when the DVDs are released.