Production I.G. and WIT Studio have created some of the most popular modern anime in the world, and on July 2 they're coming to Anime Expo 2023 to talk about what's coming next - and maybe make a few announcements.
Production I.G. president/CEO George Wada will be joined by his US colleague Maki Terashima-Furuta to talk about the hit Spy X Family series, as well as the long-awaited Uzumaki anime.
Popverse's Tiffany Babb will be reporting live from Anime Expo Production I.G x WIT, giving you a direct play-by-play on all the major announcements and behind-the-scenes information on the company's hit anime - and what could be Production I.G. and WIT Studios's next hit anime.
The Anime Expo Production I.G./WIT Studio Panel at the Los Angeles Convention Center is scheduled to begin Sunday, July 2 at 3pm EST / 12pm PST, so come back then to follow along live for Popverse's coverage of the event, or come back later to re-read everything that we covered.
Maki Terashima-Furuta president of IG USA is introducing the panel, which includes George Wada, president of WIT studio and Production IG.
Terashima-Furuta shares to the audience that there will be no clips of Uzumaki today, but there will be clips at San Diego Comic Con.
As for the project, she says that "it is still moving forward" and that rumors of the project's cancellation are decidedly false.
George Wada thanks the audience for coming today. He jokes that he's become the VP of production for IG USA. He says that deciding on how crazy the panel audience is today, that's how he'll decide what to do with IG USA in the future.
Mentions of Spy X Family are responded to by loud audience response.
Wada relates a story about asking to work at Production IG, and simply being told "yes." He says that those in the crowd who want to work in the industry shouldn't give up hope and should also simply ask for jobs, and maybe it will work out!
Wada worked at IG for a while, and loved it, but he wanted to make a company of his own. Which is where WIT studio came from (and Attack on Titan).
Our third panelist (working on getting you her name), who works at IG, shares that she is a huge fan, just like those in the crowd.
Maki Terashima-Furuta is plugging her new Gucci commercial she did with Miley Cyrus.
We're seeing a list of shows IG has produced and is currently producing including Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Ultraman, and The Concierge, a new animation feature.
A poster of Haikyu!! debuts to very loud applause and excitement. Wada says that "Haikyu is a very difficult animation to produce."
He says stay tuned to the final movie to see the conclusion of the storyline.
Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 The Movie 2's poster debuts to oohs and ahhs. While the movie is debuting in theaters in 2023, we have no information on when the movie will debut in the U.S. or other countries.
We're watching some footage from Psycho-Pass, featuring some pretty dramatic action scenes. Lots of explosions and guns.
This will be the final Psycho-Pass movie. The first film came out in 2012, and the studio has been working on them since then. But this one will be the last one. "Because you guys all supported us, we were able to make it for ten years, and we couldn't be any happier," Wada says.
We've been shown some footage from Tengoku Daimakyo, which is pretty cool. Lots of post-apocalyptic, weird vibes. Lots of people in the audience have seen it already and have shown their appreciation.
We're now being shown some very rock and roll footage of Kaiju No. 8, with a great soundtrack, lots of rain, and yes, a kaiju.
Wada says "We're putting all our energy into this title, Kaiju No. 8. This is actually one of the many titles that I really really wanted to produce since I became the head of Production IG. It's the same producer who's doing Heavenly Delusion, so it's a very content-heavy type of show."
After some guy in the audience yelled "YEAH," Maki Terashima-Furuta has called him up to the stage, for one of the giveaways that she has on the table.
Looks like we've started the giveaway portion of the event. Lots of yelling and cheering. After one fan asks for the Production IG keychain, Terashima-Furuta asks, "Do you want to work for us?" Terashima-Furuta recognizes one of the other fans, who she knows as a cosplayer.
Personally, I have never seen a panel giveaway in such a large hall, and it is quite hilarious.
Back to the panel. On August 5, there will be a big announcement on Kaiji No 8.
Now we're watching some more footage from Ranking of Kings: The Treasure Chest of Courage. The trailer ends on the dialogue, "I'll always be in your corner"
Lots of cheering for Ranking of Kings!
So a Ranking of Kings anime film adapatation has been announced. While they don't have anything to share from the movie, "the staff in Japan have been working really hard to prepare. So stay tuned."
Now it's time for some footage from Spy X Family Code: White. The movie will debut on December 22!
Now a giveaway to Anya and Lloyd cosplayers.
Re-entering the giveaway moment with a gaggle of cosplayers.
This is a nice way to spotlight the really passionate fans in the audience (and rewarding them!)
A young fan dressed as Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service has delivered a drawing to the panel. Very sweet.
Now there's an announcement. Now the online store for IG is opening internationally (not just Japan anymore). There's also a booth at the show in Exhibit hall at 4506.
Wada is saying that to support a studio you should visit its website and buy as much merch as you can. "Spend money."
He mentions that buying pirated merch hurts the studio. But buying from the IG store online can support the studio.
Now for a Q&A segment!
The first question is about Psycho Pass: "What is your most favorite scene in the entire series?" Wada says that his favorite scene is in season 1 episode 11 when Makishima comes down.
Questions about remastering the 1990s Ghost in the Shell game. The response is that the question is good, but there are no plans. The panelists say that it's good to hear fan's input.
As for a favorite project, Ueda says Standalone Complex 2045, Wada was Psycho-Pass.
A fan calls back to earlier in the panel when Wada said he asked for a job, and is now asking if there are open jobs. The answer is that people need to speak and write and read Japanese. "Language is very very important. I think if you're passionate about it, you might want to look into picking up more Japanese."
Chainsaw Man is asking what the panelists listen to (music) while they work.
Wada says he likes to listen to Spy X Family ending theme.
Apparently there will be a movie featuring the FLCL pillows.
Terashima-Furuta says she likes to listen to The Pillows.
A fan who flew in from Denmark is asking if it's possible to make more promotion in Scandinavian countries. He says the movies come to the cinemas ten years after then hit the US.
Terashima-Furuta says that she works with the European distributor, and she will talk to them and make sure the shows that are licensed will get to the fan.
A fan asks Wada how it felt to leave IG to go start WIT to end up leading both. Wada says "I was super surprised myself. But because I had a lot of people at IG that I trusted, now I am very happy to be the new president of Production IG."
A question about whether they considered continuing the story of the Great Pretender after where it ended. The answer is that it's a good question, and there's been a discussion of a sequel. They're "seriously thinking about it."
Now a question about which production was most challenging to produce. Wada responds Attack on Titan, especially considering he was just starting the studio. "I lost a lot of weight."
Question about using AI at the studios. The answer is that IG thinks they may be able to collaborate with AI to proudce anime. "We're being overworked, people are working nonstop. We're getting sick and tired. We feel that by collaborating with AI we may be able to change the working environment for the better. That's definitely a possibility. "
And that's a wrap on our panel. Thanks for following along. Have a great day!