Geneon Entertainment USA

From Home Video


In 1980, Pioneer formed its own American distribution arm, Pioneer Video, who specializes in Laserdiscs, and initially released music titles under the Pioneer Artists name. In an effort to get into the American business, Pioneer LDC established a subsidiary in an effort to consolidate the Pioneer Video and Pioneer Audio units in December 1985 under the name Laserdisc Corporation of America, who maintains the Pioneer Artists label, which was initially based near New Jersey, following the introduction of a combined CD/laserdisc player.

In 1988, it moved LaserDisc's headquarters from the original New Jersey office to Long Beach, California, where Pioneer's American headquarters were based at that time. Also that year, the company started out the Pioneer Special Interests label to release educational and informational laserdisc product that can be used either at classrooms or at home. Also, the label shifted away from just music to release movies, and secured deals with Paramount Home Entertainment, RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video and Live Entertainment, among others, to compete with Image Entertainment.

In 1989, to reflect its change of its parent company to Pioneer LDC, its North American division was renamed to Pioneer LDCA. A year later the company acquired a 10% stake in the movie studio Carolco Pictures. Later that year, the company bought out its rights to movies produced by Carolco. In 1991, the company expanded, by launching a line for movies, Pioneer Special Editions, which was devoted to rereleasing classic movies on Laserdisc under license from various studios.

In 1993, Pioneer LDCA, in an effort to boost stronger LaserDisc sales, launched two new labels Pioneer Classics, and Pioneer Animation, the former was devoted to releasing titles with classical music, such as Othello, and the latter will release anime with Japanese and English soundtracks and closed-captioned titles, with Tenchi Muyo! being one of the first anime titles released under the label. Its North American division was later renamed again to Pioneer Entertainment in 1995, in an effort to expand to VHS, karaoke, audio and eventually DVD rights. Pioneer soon shifted away to focus on its anime business at the start of the early 2000s.

On July 21, 2003, after Pioneer LDC was acquired by Japanese advertising and marketing company firm Dentsu and renamed to Geneon, Pioneer Entertainment, was renamed to Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.. After the acquisition, the company set up the Geneon/Pioneer Signature Series line to reissue the catalog titles, the Pioneer name was dropped from the branding.

Viz Media (then known as Viz Video) made a deal with Geneon (then known as Pioneer) to release Viz's properties to DVD, such as Ranma ½ before Viz began producing their own DVDs. Pioneer also worked with Bandai Entertainment before they started to produce their own DVDs.

On November 11, 2004, they signed a deal with Toei Animation to distribute some of their titles into the North American market. Launching titles included Air Master, Interlude, and Slam Dunk. However, on September 18, 2006, the deal ended and all of the released titles went out of print. In 2006, they were named "Best Anime Company" by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. On March 5, 2007, they became the exclusive North American distributor for Bandai Visual USA.

Four months later, on August 29, 2007, Geneon and ADV Films a strategic alliance deal where ADV would take over the distribution, marketing, and sales of their properties in the United States, starting October 1, 2007 with Geneon in turn laid off their entire marketing and sales team in preparation for the deal. According to the announcement, they would continue to acquire, license, and produce English subs and dubs of anime for release in North America. However, the deal was canceled in September before it was implemented, with neither company giving details as to why beyond stating they were "unable to reach a mutual agreement".

On September 26, 2007, they announced that they would close distribution operations, with titles solicited through November 5 shipped. Titles that were in mid-release or licensed but unreleased were left in limbo. The Bandai Visual USA titles that were being distributed by Geneon were not affected by this closure, though some were delayed while Bandai Visual found a new distributor. Another North American anime company, Funimation, began negotiating with them to distribute some of the company's licensed titles. In July 2008, a formal arrangement was announced and Funimation acquired the rights to "manufacture, sell, and distribute" various Geneon anime and live-action titles.




















Catalog number Title Country of origin Original year Length Version MPAA rating Film format Tape count Tape break placement (if applicable) Color Released Format Note(s)
PEAV-001 The Pandora Project USA 1998 90 min TBD NR Academy 1 N/A Color 1998 VHS