Tuesday, March 20, 2007

'Freedom' - First Anime to Arrive on HD DVD in North America

Bandai Visual (US) and its parent company based in Japan, Bandai Visual Co. Ltd, have jointly announced the HD DVD release of Freedom - Vol 1 on June 26.

Freedom, which is the first HD DVD product from Bandai Visual, will be released in North America by Bandai Visual USA through their distributor Geneon Entertainment (USA). The product will also be available in Japan at .ANIME (www.dot-anime.com), an integrated online anime portal operated by Anime Channel Co., Ltd.

Freedom Vol 1 will be released on the HD DVD/DVD Twin Format disc, that is a single-sided disc containing both the SD and HD versions of the main feature, and can be played back on both DVD and HD DVD players. No flipping required. The title is encoded using VC-1 (with the latest improvements to achieve higher visual quality for Japanese anime on HD DVD). Japanese audio is provided with English subtitles. Extras include a special prologue to the series and trailers from the Freedom Previsited DVD. It will also include HDi network function which will offer new ways to enjoy the product. It will be priced at $39.99 in North America and around 5,040 Yen (inclusive of relevant taxes) in Japan. Pre-orders for this HD DVD title will be accepted starting March 22, for the Japanese market.

Freedom is a science fiction anime series whose use in Nissin instant noodle TV ads created much attention in Japan. The drama unfolds on the moon’s surface in the city of Eden, the last human settlement, and focuses on a youth whose actions threaten to shake the freedom and peace of Eden. The scale of the story and the dynamic action have earned the series high marks.

Press release in English (here) and Japanese (here)

Check out the flash videos (here) to watch the visual demo of this HD DVD title at the CES earlier this year.

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