Anime Expo 2016: Bandai Namco panels breakdown

Anime Expo 2016 was a very busy time for fans of Bandai Namco Entertainment games. Various games were playable before release, such as Tekken 7, which had a huge presence in the Gaming Hall. Along with Tekken 7, playable demos of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (which was not playable at E3), Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, and Tales of Berseria.

Bandai Namco Entertainment also held multiple panels at Anime Expo 2016, including panels for the Tales Of series, God Eater series, and one panel for all of their upcoming JRPG titles.

Below you will find a short breakdown of each panel:

Tales Of Panel

The main focus of this panel revolved around the Tales of Zestiria the X anime series, showing the first episode before release on Daisuki.net. Tales of Berseria producer Yasuhiro Fukaya was one of the special guests for the panel and provided some incite into Tales of Berseria and Tales of Link. There were no major announcements revealed at the panel, only more details about Tales of Berseria and its release in North America some time after it debuts in Japan.

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FLOW, a popular Japanese rock band, also made a short appearance at the panel. FLOW recorded the opening themes for both Tales of Zestiria the X and Tales of Berseria; “Kaze no Uta (Wind’s Song)” and “Burn”, respectively.

God Eater Panel

Much like the Tales Of Panel, there was no new information to announce. The 13th episode of the God Eater anime series was shown after a small discussion focused on God Eater Resurrection and God Eater 2: Rage Burst, which included gameplay demonstrations for both games. Aniplex of America was also at the panel to inform fans they will be releasing the anime series with an English dub later this year. Daisuki.net also hinted at a possible new God Eater anime series.

JRPG Panel

This panel focused on three upcoming Bandai Namco titles: Tales of Berseria, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, and God Eater games. Yasuhiro Fukaya opened the discussion with Tales of Berseria, and showed a few characters’ Hi-Ougi, or Mystic Arts, including Rokurou, Magilou, and Eizen.

For Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, a new character, Genesis the Black Swordsman, was unveiled. It was not revealed if Genesis would be a good or bad character, teasing that players would find out in the game. SAO:HR will feature 300 available characters from which to select, including characters from the anime series, previous games, and NPCs that can be recruited. The game will also feature a 16-player raid boss battle mode.

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Since¬†SAO:HR Collector’s Edition¬†had already been announced earlier at AX2016, attendees could catch a glimpse of figures for Asuna and Kirito at the Bandai Namco booth.

Bandai Namco revealed God Eater 2: Rage Burst would include bonus costumes for Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, Tales of Zestiria, Tokyo Ghoul, and Assassination Classroom in North American Day One Editions of the game, some which will not be released in Japan (at least for now).

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After the panel, I had a chance to talk with Tales of Berseria producer, Yasuhiro Fukaya. I asked him about his thoughts on the rise in popularity of the Tales Of series in the West, and if there was any discussion about holding a Tales Of festival in North America some time in the future. Yasuhiro Fukaya explained a festival has been talked about before but currently, there are no plans for a Tales Of festival in the West.

I also inquired if there might be any plans to release the Tales Of Festival DVD/Blu-rays for Western audiences because many fans imported them since they cannot attend. He responded with there are no plans to release them right now, but he is aware of what the fans want.

If you are interested in seeing a North American release of the Festival DVD/Blu-rays, be sure to contact Bandai Namco Entertainment and let your voice be heard. As a Tales Of fan, I would be more than happy to see either one come to the States.

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.