As some of you know, I was at Anime Boston yesterday. I spoke to some representatives and took a few notes.
At their industry panel, Adam Sheehan was there. During his whole presentation, he got to One Piece. Right now they are working on episodes 144 - 205 for CN. They want to release DVDs later this year or early next year. As to if they will be starting with episodes 1-13, it depends IF they have time before they want to start releasing these sets. That means get episodes 144-205 and then having time to work on 1-13. They are working hard, so let's wish them the best. They also plan on releasing 2-3 sets a year at the moment. Names are also to be as close to Viz as possible. He said that Toei was working with Viz, and that there is nothing that can really be done due to legal reasons and requests by Toei. Also, it has to be Zolo because they aren't allowed to use Zoro. There. No more whining about Zolo. There will be uncut DVDs, so the Wanted posters will stay Zoro. He also talked about how their will be a different version for Cartoon Network. About airing earlier episodes, it depends on how the series does when they air their version. Their will also be major news about the future of OP at Anime Expo.
Then was Q and A. I asked about the dub openings, and the answer is simple, they don't know at the moment. I'm pretty sure this is on the bottom of the list for them to worry about due to how much they need to get done. As for original names for the subs, again, TBA. For the widescreen and if FUNi will put episodes out in widescreen when they should be, it depends on what Toei gives them. Adam didn't seem to know that One Piece does switch to widescreen eventually.
I also asked questions at the booth. For the Wii game, they aren't working on any games. So that August rumor is probably not true. As for if FUNi will bring extras from the R2 DVDs to the U.S. ones depends on if it costs more, and basically rests on what Toei wants. Specials and movies being released depend on how the series does. As for the OVA, Adam said it depends on how the series does again. When I mentioned that a different company did it, he added that it will depend if Toei allows it or not.
So, most of these things depend on Toei. FUNi is doing what they can, end of story. Quit your bitching. Be glad you are getting uncut DVDs. Yes correct names would be nice, but it doesn't change the character.
I did print out some things I was given and handed it to a representative named Natasha. She said she will pass it along.
I also talked to Mike McFarland and guess what, last week he was only pretending he didn't know because he didn't know it was announced yet. So, smart people, I owe you a cookie.
They are all nice people, and I thanked them oh so much for getting One Piece. Mike mentioned how they knew and were just waiting until they could say something. I urge you to support them. This is the best we are going to get. If you still have to complain, please do it off the forums. This community doesn't need to be filled with stupid ignorant brats.
They want it to be the best. With the restrictions placed, they are going to do the best they can. End of story.