Texas Big On Anime

Once known simply as a cow-town with no place to get a decent breakfast, Fort Worth is becoming a hot bed of the Japanese ani pop art-form of Anime.

Execs at Funimation Productions announced yesterday the eighth feature-length installment of its highly successful Dragonball franchise. The series stars Goku, a New Age-type of Superman who hides behind the nerdy exterior of a meek businessman until he’s called upon to save the universe from a slew of evildoers.

Company execs predict that this latest installment in the series, Broly: The Legendary Super Sriyan, will sell more than 1 million combined VHS and DVD units by November and continue on throughout the holiday season.

Funimation’s Dragonball Z series–the highest-rated show in Cartoon Network’s Tsunami daily children’s programming block–also has been extremely successful at the retail level. Various titles have consistently performed well in sales of both VHS and DVD during the first six months of the year, according to Nielsen VideoScan research, that show that six of the top 10 best-selling titles are Dragonball Z episodic titles and that Dragonball Z fare holds nine of the top 10 best-selling VHS titles during the same frame. “I’m amazed that we were able to reach the No. 1-No. 2 slots on Nielsen’s VHS Complete sales chart for the week ending July 20,” says Tony Vandeveerdonk, the company’s director of sales for home video. “It’s all been due to word-of-mouth and the Internet.”