Anime News Network spoke with Eric Cherry, the former CEO of Siren Visual, at Supanova Melbourne this past weekend, regarding his new company, "Hannabee." Although Hannabee's Supanova booth featured only non-anime titles Red vs. Blue and The Guild, Cherry made it clear that Hannabee would focus on Japanese anime, "Hanabee is a new Australian licensing company focusing on Japanese anime and other pop-culture related programs like Red Vs Blue and The Guild."
When asked specifically if Hannabee was an "anime company," Cherry replied, "Definitely! After being involved in licensing some really interesting stuff while at Siren including Dennou Coil, Kaiba and The Tatami Galaxy it became obvious that there's a really rewarding challenge in trying to make the anime market down under a more interesting one. I like some of the innovative ways companies like NIS America and Aniplex of America are navigating through the USA market, and Hanabee aims to expand on that down here. "
Hannabee has not yet announced any anime licenses, however Cherry made it clear that titles would be forthcoming.
Regarding Red Vs. Blue and The Guild, both of which were previously distributed by Siren, Cherry explained, "The Red Vs. Blue license was one that I held outright, so when I quit I brought it over to Hanabee. Same goes for The Guild."
Well...looks like Eric and Leon have parted ways. I hope this doesn't cause problems for local licensing. Leon still seems to have the clout to pick up good titles (Shiki and Thermae Romae being the latest ones after Aria a bit ago) and will probably focus on noitaminA, some old school titles and some quirky new ones and the odd bit off moe. Eric...will he did say he liked how Aniplex and NIS operate. As long as that doesn't involve Aniplex's price models...this could be good.
In the meantime, Madman's latest licenses are Mayo Chiki, LOL Heroes, Star Drvier, Oreimo, Aquarion EVOL and the Berserk film trilogy.... Yeah, one would think Hanabee would do better than Madman at least...