Category Archives: Anime Next

Comissioning at AnimeNEXT

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This topic has probably been brought up before, but as a disclaimer this is something based on my own experience and is not necessarily experience by others. I may have a personal bias since I happen to know both artists who I commission from. The two times that I have specifically asked for commissions are surprisingly done in conjunction with AnimeNEXT which had an artist alley that is position specifically across from the Dealer’s Room at the Garden State Exhibition Center.

Consistently, I have had a love and hate feeling for AnimeNEXT’s Artist Alley…well hate is a pretty strong word, so I should say Love and Tears. Love because I always always love a lot of things that I see in the Artist Alley and Tears because, well the money that goes flying out of my wallet. Personally speaking, what I see at AnimeNEXT is at times not seen at other conventions. I am mostly going on about their availability for origami crafts jewelry. But enough gushing about what I see at AnimeNEXT’s artist alley.

Typically artists at the convention alleys often purchase table space to sell their products to attendees. To earn beyond the cost of purchasing the table space equals to a profit for artists. It is also as I learned a great place to network, and get exposure. A great deal of artists typically has prints, buttons or comics to sell. I also see fashion accessories, plushies or all types of crafts. If the artist is an illustrator, there’s most likely an advertisement on their booth that offers commissions for a fee to be completed during the course of the convention.

How does a person go about commissioning artwork? Well there should be an interest in artwork, and appreciating an artist enough to throw money at them. An artist does a lot of their artwork out of love for the subject and a commission is a transaction that is done one on one with a fan seeking an artist to use their artistic trade to create a custom image. These tips are also done within a very short period of time, if this is typically the first time commissioning a artwork or product.

Tips:

  • Hold onto your wallets, because the goal is to keep within a budget. Yes an artist would probably want you to throw as much money as you can to them.
  • Give a walk around the artist alley once without buying anything. Observe, giggle and yes this may be best done alone or with a small group of friends. There is often not enough space to have a large crowd. Do a couple of walk rounds if you have time.
  • Make mental observations to art styles or mediums used by the artists. Inquire about pricing and commission sizes. What are negotiable is the anime character, (more for one character), position, and tone of the product. Different prices are set between colors, or black and white. You can ask if you would want to have the artist emulate the official art or use their art style to convey that character.
  • Inquire first if the artist knows the character/series you’re talking about, if not then have a reference handy.
  • Settle on price and leave payment.
  • Wait to pick up product.

arale fanart

The two commissions I have complete are actually tapped to by wall, protected in their original plastic coverings. If there is ever room, the option is also in my mind to frame the artwork. Yes this is not original artwork by the creator, but to appreciate a fandom and love in an artistic manner. Commissions are one way to support and have an enjoyable experience. Thanks to Juri and Lily for drawing your versions of Arale for me!

Spotlighting on AnimeNEXT’s 2013 Fashion Segment

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Whenever I think about fashion shows, that song by Right Said Fred for I’m Too Sexy always starts to echo in my mind. The song might be a one hit wonder, but there was definitely a catwalk set up for the fashion show for Mint Neko and Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Both designers are Japanese well known labels and were invited to Anime NEXT as guests. Convention goers were also able to purchase the designer’s goods at the dealer’s room over the weekend.

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Mint Neko’s fashion show was first, followed by BTSSB, and after every fashion show, there was a short Q/A with the audience. Convention attendees were allowed to line up and ask questions. During Mint Neko’s Q&A, it was revealed by the designer that he got into fashion to meet girls, and of course he was currently single and looking for a girlfriend. This pleased many female admirers in the audience. Mint Neko is a designer that uses a neko motif in his trendy urban and mod fashion lines. His style has been worn and modeled by Jun, a member of the Golden Bomber, a Japanese visual kei rock group. His fashion line is produced in limited quantities every season, so it would sell out.

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Baby, The Star Shine Bright walked through their fashion show, while video was shown on the two screens to the far side of the cat walk on both sides. During the Q/A session following, it was vey apparent that Akinori Isobe, the CEO of BTSSB, Masumi Kano and Saki Tachibana, BTSSB designers were all quite soft spoken. If there’s any interest in dressing up in the fashions of sweet lolita style, then anyone not located in Japan or San Francisco can look up Tokyo Rebel to shop. The fashion show that BTSSB did also included two additional Anime Next guests, with participation from Moon Stream.

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Check out Anime Diet’s Flickr to see more additional photos from the fashion show.

AnimeNEXT 2013’s Vertical Industry Panel

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At AnimeNext this year, there were only two industry panels with Aniplex and Vertical. I was able to attend the manga industry panel. This is going to be a summary of what was presented at Anime NEXT. More importantly, there has been no new announcements, so Vertical presents a repeat of what was done at A-Kon.

  • Limit volume, 5 has been released around May. It is a shojo title that should appeal to readers of both genders.
  • GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, volume 9 also released around May. This is the final volume, and brings full circle of the teacher known as GTO, from when he was introduced to the American readers in Tokyopop’s manga to now. Onizuka grows up.
  • Knights of Sidonia, volume 3 was released just in time for June, so convention goers had the opportunity to pick it up early.
  • Flowers of Evil, with the recent anime being aired on Crunchy Roll has been a seller for Vertical. Six volumes were available at Vertical booth during the convention. Ed spoke about the anime has been a positive correlation for manga sales.
  • Gundam: The Origins Part 2. This is a love song that Vertical had thrown their money and effort into translating for overseas fans. This second volume just got released in English. It is a book series that is worth’s its weight in content.
  • Wolfsmund part 1 was available at this convention. It is a series created from a former assistant to Emma and Beserk. It has German on the cover, so reading it out loud is an activity I heard over the weekend.
  • Twin Knights is the sequel to Princess Knight and would be available around July. Vertical mentions as a publisher that they are probably going to be publishing fewer classic titles in the future.
  • Helter Skelter is going to be on sale around August. This is a Josei title that deals with physical beauty and the spiral of a model who changed her entire appearance by plastic surgery.
  • Chi Sweet Home’s success has pushed the series to be extended to about 13 volumes. Vertical is going to be releasing volume 10 by August, with volume 11 being release next year.
  • Summer Wars Part 1 is going to be out by NYCC. This is the manga adaptation of the hit movie adaptation. Vertical is condensing its original Japanese three volume release to a two volume set.
  • Tropic of the Sea is the only manga ever written by the late great Satoshi Kon. A great feature of this book is an essay from Kon, that details his transformation from mangaka to animator.
  • Sickness Unto Death is going to be a two volume manga series modern retelling of the same title from Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. This is expected to be sold later this year around September and November.
  • Pink – Love and Crocodiles by Kyoko Okazaki is a collected manga, that was initially published in magazines and later reprinted into this one volume book. This is a coming of age tale of seeking happiness.
  • Sushi Simplicity is a cookbook that details 60 different recipes on making sushi in about 20 minutes or so. No need for any fancy sushi presses or cutters.
  • A Dog in Water was the only novel that was presented at this panel. It is a crime fiction novel from Kazuhiro Kiuchi who created Be-Bop High School.
  • From the New World volume 1 is going to be on sale around November. This is the manga adaption for the light novel and anime series of Shin Sekai Yori that is currently streaming on Crunchy Roll.
  • I became aware that Vertical is slated to publish more origami books in the future.

Panels at AnimeNEXT 2012

Keeping score at Insane Manga 18+ panel

For me, no matter what sort of conventions that I have been able to attend, I always make time to attend panels. Because for me attending panels often is a matter of wanting to learn topics, and or see what was discussed. Call it the student in me. I often leave the panel with notes and plenty of thoughts on “Oooh these titles I should see!” or “I didn’t know that this was such a title.” or “Why didn’t they discuss this?” and among other thoughts. Each panel that I attended was well attended with people. Now to sum up the panels I was able to head to.

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Recommending in spite of technical difficulties

15 Recommended Manga for Grown Ups

Outside of the Manga Library, there weren’t as much manga programming at AnimeNEXT, so I made the most of it, since I enjoy manga topics. This was hosted by Xan (@spiraken) from Spiraken’s Manga Podcast. It was also unavoidable that there were technical difficulties, so instead of a handy projector, and microphone. Xan had none, so it turned into an informal presentation where he showed his small laptop screen to a packed room. As with other panels of a similar nature Xan made recommendations that would inevitably lead to other titles being thrown in there. Manga in Japan has had long runs, so based on how English publications have been for mangas many of these titles have been incomplete or published in a condensed mis-matched order. What I like about this panel was the mention of “obscure” publishers like Fanfare. However I was also reminded that panels like this is ultimately relying heavily on the panelist’s experience, so this is not the definitive list for adult readers. The following is a long list of what titles were mentioned in Xan’s panel.

Disappearance Diary · Moyashimon tales of agriculture · Battle Angel Alita · Drops of God · MPD Psycho · Monster · Sanctuary · Ooku The Inner Chamber · Detroit Metal City · Great Teacher Onizuka · Black Lagoon · Golgo 13 · Hellsing · Bio Mega · Wounded man · Path of the Assassin · Samurai Executioner · Lone Wolf & Cub · Lady Snowblade · Book of Human Insects · Adolf · Black Jack · Phoenix · Swallowing The Earth · MW · Ode To Kirihito · With The Light · Solanin · Honey & Clover · Genshiken · Ghost In The Shell · Red Eyes (non-English) · Sommeliere (non-English) · Bartender (non-English) · Mail · Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service · Pluto · Homunculus (non-English) · Old Boy · Eagle · Mushishi · Sengoku Basara · Golden Boy (non-English) · You’re Under Arrest · Gokusen (non-English) · Guin Saga · Blade of the Immortal · Lupin III · Kaiji (non-English) · Freesia

Painting of Tanuki with Big Balls

Youkai Nation

This was a panel run by Charles Dunbar (@studyofanime) and is a follow up of his Youkai panel in the previous years. As far as I know Charles is always changing up his panels, and they are always interesting ones showcasing his education, and pretty much throwing his research at the audience. I would never want to encounter the horrors mentioned in Charles’s panels, but watching anime that mention youkai has been a bit of an interest of mine. Not every day that I hear of the Japanese being a superstitious society.

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Evan talking about Adaptations in Anime and Manga

Adaptations in Anime/Manga

This was run by Evan Minto of AniGamers. This panel was about  various source material or spin offs that can occur with adapting it into other media. There are advantages and disadvantages. At this time, the trend for many anime is the usage of light novels as a source material. It is rare to see adaptions in manga to manga, but Kingyo’s Used Book is an example of such a scenario. Adaptations to manga from an existing anime is usually not great. Live action Hollywood adaptation have tanked, and what was coincidental was that over the weekend there was also a roasting viewing of the live action Dragon Ball Z done by Kyle Hebert.

Fanthropology Forum

This was an open room discussion, moderated by Charles Dunbar with participation from Evan Minato and Ink from AniGamers. There were many thoughts about this topic, but one repeated comment is compared with Sci-fic or comic conventions, this (U.S) industry is too young, and it imports another culture products. Many people at this time won’t be having that much spending money, but with time. A possibility in purchasing power?

Style and Subsence 50 years of Anime Openings

This was a panel ran by Charles. As I tweeted, there were audience members that treated this panel as a karaoke experience, due to personal familiarity of the anime and opening song. Another panel that I made it to of this similar nature with Alex Leavitt’s back in Anime Boston 2011. The openings were split into categories of Chronology,  Atmosphere, Character and Narrative, Music and Style, WTF? and Filler Arc. Speaking with Charles afterwards, he mentioned that this was a fluid panel, easily amended and changed. Anime openings has multiple meanings, and under the broad umbrella of anime, what type of openings can fit for you under these defined category?

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Underrated Anime Titles

This panel was not advertised or announced in the programming, so attending this panel was a comfortable crowd. Sensei, The Insatiable Critic with a friend ran this panel. There were technical difficulties at this panel that was unlike what I experience with Xan’s panel. This panel spoke about anime titles that were not as well marketed in the United States, and may have slipped under the radar for people. Heat Guy J and Saint Seiya were among those that were mentioned by the panelists. Toward the end of the panel, people were able to chime in with their thoughts as to what they believed were underrated series.

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The Insane Manga Challenge 18+

This was quite the fun panel for me. Ran by Xan (@spiraken), he tested audience members in terms of manga knowledge. I got the chance to assist in handing out tickets and keeping score. Though by the latter end of the panel, I just got into being an enthusiastic audience member. Due to sexual and adult subject matter, this panel was carded at the door, and there were three rounds, with two overtime rounds. It became pretty 18+ silly toward the end, but overall it was an enjoyable game. Toward the end also Evan and Ink of AniGamers also became contestants, Evan swept the game, but a stumper or a comic point was the adult keywords and numbers that was added/changed every question and answer. Jan-Ken-Pon was also used toward the end as a buzzer option, when two or more people wanted to answer.

Beyond Castles, Forests and Houses: Philosophy in the Works of Hayao Miyazaki

After a couple of years of knowing Charles, and missing this panel for the past couple of conventions. I finally got to wet my feet and experience Charles talking about Hayao Miyazaki. Understanding about Miyazaki’s life and contribution is not new to me, but to watch it presented by a good speaker was great. I was able to be entertained by this video that was shown toward the end of the panel. Combined with music and a matter of re-ordering events in Totoro, it turns this into a thrilling/predator feature.

Thus this ends my panel hopping for AnimeNEXT 2012. Remember to check out a portion of my photos uploaded at AD’s Flickr account.

Capping AnimeNEXT 2012

This last weekend was AnimeNEXT’s 2012 convention. For the second year, I was able to represent at this regional convention with Anime Diet. There still haven’t been an exact number of attendees released, but one thing is certain. AnimeNEXT has risen in attendance. I actually saw friends that I met at Otakon in the past attending ANEXT this year. While I am not sure of reasoning for their travels, AnimeNEXT has become a convention that has been mentioned as a great convention to hang out in. Other similar cons to my knowledge that has similar reputation is AnimeUSA or Katsukon, but what I definitely know AnimeNEXT is AnimeNEXT, so there’s only one con of this nature, and this close to New York, but not in New York. There are bound to be some issues, such as foot traffic, con funk, lack of knowing what panels were what, and no handy mobile con app like last year, but overall, this was a fun weekend.

If there is the expression of all roads leads to Otakon, then all roads leads to AnimeNEXT with a car. Getting to the Garden State Exhibition Center is definitely not car-free friendly, but the convention attempts to accommodate. People can get to New Brunswick easily via the NJ transit, and then travel to the convention center via shuttle, by car service, or via the assistance of friends who have cars. This year I was able to rely on friends who have cars.

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Con Chair with Opening Host, a singing Hikaru

Outside of only getting the opportunity to attend Opening Ceremonies on Friday, it just so happens that I found myself mostly in the Doubletree on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, attending panels, and other times assisting with two photos shoots over at the Somerset on Saturday with my friends. On and off I found myself in the Dealers room, bemoaning the fact that I was late in getting to the Vertical table early on Friday, since they sold out on titles I wanted. AnimeNEXT has become a convention for me where everything happened in the afternoon or the evening hours.

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High School of the Dead cosplayer

For con goers who were attending panels or Main Events or the dealer’s room, there was a lot of line waiting. AnimeNEXT has become a convention dealing with lines, and a great deal of time is spent waiting for things to happen. I am not counting the fact that autographs fans also has line to wait, but that is an experience that is subjective. One of the biggest activities I notice is the presence of cosplayers, so everywhere that the eye can see and around the convention area, people are cosplaying. I didn’t see the Masquerade on Saturday, but I know a friend won two awards from the competition with her friends.

Next years date for 2013 are June 7-9, 2013. Take a look at Flickr to see the photos of what I was able to see and do at this regional convention.

Manga Industry Panel with Vertical Inc. at Anime NEXT

I don’t believe I have ever made it a secret that I am a Vertical Inc. supporter. As a publisher, Vertical is a pretty small imprint, but they publish not just graphic novels, but have gone into other areas such as fiction, cookbooks, puzzle books etc. So as a publisher, Vertical doesn’t make it out to as much conventions. SO it was VERY cool that they were at Anime NEXT this past weekend. Ed Chavez (@vertical_Ed) spoke about what were the future publications properties expected for later this year and early next. So here are my notes.

  • Black Jack is finally back on schedule, going to be finished at 17 volumes within this year or so. The last volume is in consideration of a special cover.
  • Chi’s Sweet Home volume 6 would be out in the fall, but Mr. Chavez definitely made a plug that was dear to me, he spoke about similarity with Aria‘s cat world. In volume 8 which is the current volume from Japan, there is an essay from Mr. Chavez himself of Vertical’s American success story with this pint size cash cat. So with the manga still ongoing, Ms. Konami who is the author of Chi, may or may not put Vertical’s staff in the background in later volumes.
  • Vertical is expanding into Children’s books, they spoke about publication for a children’s book of On the See Saw Bridge about a hare and a fox stuck on the ends of a tilting see saw.
  • The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka is a retelling to Ayako, will be out by August 16.
  • Velveteen & Mandala by Jiro Matsumoto is a dark tale of zombie comedy, between two girls who are in charge of dealing with corpses dropped from a plane. Out around August 23.
  • Drops of God by Tadashi Agi, is an influential title that is being translated. Its interest extend beyond the manga/anime as a draw for the wine/food enthusiasts. Volume 1 would be out by Sept 13. There are currently 28 volumes in Japan, with the story still ongoing.
  • Princess Knight by Osamu Tezuka will be release in a two part-er.  Where they would be re-translated from Kodansha bilingual edition. There is going to be 30 additional pages specifically from Tezuka Productions, so this is going to be a special release from Vertical.
  • No Longer Human by Usamaru Furuya. Street date for volume 1 is Sept 27, volume 2 is Nov 22. Volume 3 is Jan, 2012 and is the current latest version in Japan.
  • GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) This is Mr. Chavez’s own love, since he is an Onizuka fan. Vertical would be finishing the prequel that Tokyopop never finished, so they would be continuing where Tokyopop left off. If sales are great for this, then re-release for the earlier volumes is a given.
  • Twin Spica Volume 12 is last volume and out March 2012.
  • Dorororo volume 4 by Osamu Tezuka is going to be released entirely and repackaged within an omnibus format.
  • Vertical is coming out with one more Sudoku book, and it is with Borders closing that has impacted this publisher only with their puzzle book publications.
  • Enma the Immortal by Fumi Nakamura is a Golden Elephant award winner, that the trade paperback will be out on April 2012. Comic is adapted by Dark Horse.
  • City of Refuge by Kenzo Kitakata’s date keeps on being pushed back. It is a hard boiled detective tale.
  • A Caring Man by Akira Arai is a suspense thriller that also won The Golden Elephant Award. Print copies was avaliable at the convention and will be avaliable in ebook format as well as print retail distribution around July.
  • Cinema Cafeteria by Nami iijima. This is the  next cookbook on film foods recipes.

Chi at Vertical Table

Now I mentioned that Vertical were also at the dealer’s room. Where I spent a good portion of my time and money at, when I was at the convention itself. Take a look at my favorite fictional feline kitteh. So if you purchase enough books, from them they give you a great/cool/very sturdy/seemingly weight proof tote bag. (It was sold out by Saturday.) It is a manga lover must have… perhaps I am exaggerating a bit, but yes I am on my second one, and so far they have survived the amount of weight I put in them.

Lycee Light Club Cosplay

I wish I was able to get a better image of this cosplayer from the Lychee Light Club, but alas I have this. She was pretty surprised that I was able to recognize her, but I definitely counted my luck on finding a manga character cosplay among the sea of anime cosplayers.

I was speaking recently to a friend, and he mentions not being able to find Vertical books at big name bookstores, if that is the case then. You can ask your bookstore to order the book, or go online for it. They are distributed by Random House. Or if you do as I do, find and corner them at conventions. Vertical is to my knowledge at American Library Association, Otakon, San Diego Comic Con, and New York Anime Festival. So I imagine be sure to say hi to Ed, and talk with him!

Fan Panels and LARP-ing at Anime NEXT

As with any convention, there are panels to be experienced and downtime expected. Fan Panels and LARP were all held at the Double Tree Hotel. There was a consistent steady stream of people going in and out of the hotel from the convention center for this 24 hour anime con. I was able to get to panels on Friday and Saturday, so this is a summation of what I was able to go and see.

Prior to the convention, calls for panel submissions is made. Panelist submit topics they feel enthusiastic about, and then if accepted, they are given time slots to present their panels. There may be some panels where the technology didn’t match the panelists exception, but luckily I wasn’t in a room that had an issue. Mainly my issue was size and space. So at the fan panels, since there was a room occupation limit, con staff were at the door to cap how much people were allowed in the room. There were some panels that literally had more people than the size of the room.  *cough* Charles Dunbar panels pack rooms. *cough*

Investigating Detective Anime was done by Kate (@narutakiRT) and Al (@hisuiRT) of Reverse Thieves, who for an hour discussed about detective anime genre and how it is quite popular in Japan, but possibly marketed badly in the United States. This is a developing panel, so I am pretty sure Reverse Thieves would be putting it on again. So they introduced plenty of titles, some of which are licensed and others are not. Titles mention were:

Detective Conan, Kindachi Case Files, Gosick, Sherlock Hound, Monster, Paprika, Denno Coil, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, Death Note, (Higurashi) When They Cry, Patlabor, and Daughter of 20 Faces

Got to say, for how many years Detective Conan/Case Closed has been going on, that it sounds like a regular soap opera. It is very popular with some friends, but somehow the manga doesn’t grab me. I definitely recommend Daughter of 20 Faces, Paprika, Denno Coil, and Ghost in the Shell to see. I myself would want to go and check out Sherlock Hound and Gosick.

Kowai: Ghosts Yokai and Fear in Japan is from Charles Dunbar (@studyofanime). He provides his bibliography here for interested readers. This is one of three spinoff panel from his Dead Like Us: Shinigami, Death Lore and Japanese Media at Anime Boston. He pretty much went on for two hours talking and presenting this panel. So crowds at Anime Next was his guinea pig/test crowd for his new panels. Charles have proved to be a charismatic speaker, and definitely his panels are never to be missed. So far the only panel I have never seen of Charles is his Miyazaki one, of which I would hope to one day see.  

Satoshi Kon Tribute: Truth From Fiction

Evan Minato (@VamptVo) from Ani-Gamers hosted this panel. This was a slight repeat panel for me, since I saw another incarnation of it at Anime Boston, however Evan really handled this panel quite well. I, as well as many anime watchers are generally fans for Kon’s movies, so it was entertaining to see quirks of Kon in his movie. I noticed there was a lot more references to Paranoia Agent in this panel. Kon in life had loved backgrounds so, if you watch his movies, please notice the background since that was how he got started initially. In August later this year, would be one year since his passing.

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Fandom & Criticism: The Art of Active Viewing was a panel collaboration between Ani-Gamers and Reverse Thieves. So on the panel was Al (Reverse Thieves), Poetic Ink (Ani-Gamers), and Evan Minato (Ani-Gamers) and this was a snappy semi-intense discussion on what it is to be a fan and also be a critic. So film critics don’t need to apply, just being a fan and having an opinion can be used.

International Game of Telephone is from Abby and Charles Dunbar. I expected this to be something different. Instead, I was treated to an interesting panel that talks about syncretism, between Japan and United States. Where the flow and exchange of information is as fast as dialing someone’s phone number.  An interesting comparison made is how Firefly from Joss Whedon can be considered an American remake of Outlaw Star. How the internet has made exchanges faster and more fluid, so instead of crying copyright foul, Tezuka would probably have felt honored that his work Kimba, got copied in The Lion King.

So where does LARP at Anime NEXT for me comes in? I actually hung around with Charles between some panels. I ran into him at the most random times at the Double Tree. So waiting for Charles, I found myself at the LARP area. Live action role play, and I have seen this group before at Anime NEXT, they are a lively bunch with pretty rich imagination. The process as I imagine is this, you notify the LARP group prior to the convention for on which character you would like to play, and then at convention, get assigned roles and missions. The time spent LARP-ing is possibly up to the convention goer, and as I spoke with one LARP-er, he mentions how fun it is to get his physical body into performing roles of a character. So if you want to LARP, make sure you know of a character’s personality and story in depth.

Main Events at Anime NEXT, a recap of the large scale events.

Concerts, panels, human chess, fashion show, what could happen at the Main Events Arena. Well pretty much what I just listed before, this was the space allotted for the main events and draws of this weekend convention. Before I say anything more, the photos I placed on a minor delay is live on Flickr.

So on Friday, I was at Main Events for three events, starting with the Opening Ceremonies. It was late. Possibly due to waiting for guests to arrive. Waiting though, treated the people waiting with a repeating slideshow of Anime Next pictures from last year’s convention. So the full cast of invited guests weren’t there, but this is a chance to see the appearance of already arrived guests. The Japanese guests were all present though, so watching for the appearance of Satoru Nakamura, Mix Speakers, etc. weren’t as much of an issue. There was a good amount of American voice actors though, and the only one I was slightly interested in was Tom Wayland, since his appearance at Anime Boston was quite entertaining. He wasn’t here though, so from the image above, you see that Bill Rogers went and impersonated him.

Nakamura Satoru panel

The next panel that I was at was a Production I.G. panel, that had the appearance of animation director Nakamura Satoru and episode director Kakimoto Kodai. Nakamura Satoru spoke about briefly about Higurashi no Eden, but quickly turned it around for the audience to talk. These are notes from what I took on my iPad.

  • So there is going to be more Ghost in the Shell from Production I.G. but as with typical Japanese industry, the animators can’t talk.
  • Nakamura likes the Honey and Clover age feel for Higurashi no Eden.
  • In Ghost in the Shell what was his favorite scene that he has worked with? In the second Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex series, with Motoko’s past.
  • Can he in a nutshell, talk about his work as an animator? When animators know of the scenario, the animators starts to work on what can happen, and from the view of the observer, the camera angel pans out.

Other posts that would be mentioning this panel are: Reverse Thieves, About.com, JLHLS

Mix Speakers Concert

Mix Speakers

I happen to enjoy listening to new music, but yes I have to comment that the acoustics were horrible for this venue. I couldn’t hear anything. Either that or I blame it on the fact that I forgot to bring my earplugs with me for the weekend. Press had photo dibs on the first three songs. Since I was already running to another panel, I had to bid adieu to this visual kei band. They also had interesting concert goods, I spent the entire weekend thinking about getting the keitai strap for this band, since it was quite cute. But on the aspect of believing it would leave an eternal Halloween impression, I had to not get it. The images I have of the concert though are live on flickr.

Sixh Fashion Show

Sixh Fashion Show

Urban fashion is quite popular these days. So on Saturday, this was my first fashion show I made my way to. It was quite entertaining. The fashion goods were quite expensive, though very cute though. I was seriously tempted, since Sixh has a cat theme. So as you can see Vic Mignogna himself was also dolled up to be a model on the runway. More images of the show is at Flickr.

Human Chess

Human Cosplay Chess

Since I missed Cosplay chess at other convention, on Sunday I made myself to Main Events for my last run around. In a cosplay theme of Might vs. Magic, the game was played quite defensively. The game ended to be a draw, but I believe Might’s King got too annoyed, and end up killing the other side.

Check out Anime Diet’s Flickr or even Facebook to see what photos I took for this event.

Summation of Anime NEXT 2011

This past weekend I was at Anime Next around Somerset, New Jersey. They were celebrating their tenth anniversary, so I was happy to represent Anime Diet there. This was not my first time at Anime NEXT, and if I can say anything NEXT was my first convention going experience a couple of years ago. This is a regional convention that attracts people from PA, CT, MA, NY, and other locations as far as even Canada, or other parts of the world.

I was able to keep track of my events and schedule for this via several ways. One was to rely on the Guidebook app, on my Android. This is an app similar to the Conventionist. Another was to rely on a pdf, that I had on my ipad. That for me proved to me more readily accessible. Another was to keep up with the twitter hashtag for #an2011, since this was official Anime Next usage. Another even more different way of accessing events, was to keep abreast of friends at the con, and see what they were up to.

The layout of this convention was pretty simple. Events were held at the Garden State Exhibition Center, and not just one hotel, but several. I wasn’t staying at the Doubletree, which was the con hotel. Main Events, Artist Alley, Dealer’s room, Registration were all at the Exhibition center. Panels, LARP, Tabletop gaming, manga library were held at the Double Tree Hotel. Video gaming was held at the Holiday Inn, and video screenings were held at another building known as the Training Center. Cosplay photo shoots were held all around the convention, and there was a dunking tank for charity. Did I leave anything out?

There was even a shuttle for convention goers to go out for fast food eats, unless you did as I did, which was staying at the hotel area to eat. There was certainly activities aplenty, so I didn’t expect people to get really bored unless they were not really into this type of entertainment. Granted there is bound to be some downtime if you are waiting, but if you have friends with you, then that does let the convention time go by faster.

I am still in the midst of writing for Anime NEXT coverage, so definitely expect some more posts.

Next year’s Anime NEXT for 2012, would be happening on June 8-10, so keep that on your calender if you want to go. Also if you want to check out Anime NEXT’s sister con then that is Manga NEXT which is happening on Oct 29-31, later this year.

Check out Anime Diet’s Flickr or even Facebook to see what photos I took for this event. (On Flickr, I placed events photos, and on Facebook, cosplayer shots.)

Mix Speakers at Anime Next 2011

At a convention, there is an opportunity to explore new music, and Mix Speakers. Hearing from their MySpace page, they music seems J-poppish. But this groups is a visual kei rock group, so my impressions of them will be further cemented this weekend. They are known for their monster and fantasy look, so outside of the concert they’re having tonight, they are also having a photo shoot, of that I am quite curious about.  This is all at Anime NEXT 2011.

So expect more of my thoughts and snippets from my twitter, and the under the hashtag of #an2011.