Tag Archives: anime expo

Some Thoughts Regarding AM2

 

Spent only one day in the fan favorite Anaheim Convention Center for this year’s bold anime industry-splinter-act-cum experiment in the form of AM2, which felt like more than enough for me. Which isn’t to say that this unprecedented free-for all anime fan event is lacking in anything that most local cons contain. But rather that it is something more akin to a well-intentioned experiment in real-time. With the concern for not only the anime industry as an entire, but for Japan in general, the impetus behind the AM2 convention was something of a means to help local Japanese media and vendors to find additional, affordable means to sell their wares within a current climate- while perhaps starting something that could itself become a fan staple in the future.

Upon arriving, and noticing that a veteran’s memorial gathering was sharing the space which was in itself sparse of people, and in many ways not unlike Anime Expo…at 7am….in 1999…

While it was nice to see that the day’s events ranged from some diverse guests performing at the Matsuri Stage located in the back of the Exhibit Hall (in which I was able to catch Midnight Shinigami, as well as Miyuki Greta Dance – there was little shortage of interesting acts playing as I was exploring), the scant amounts of activities and/or events that tend to draw a con veteran in me left a feeling that perhaps if I kept walking in circles, something would capture interest. Which unfortunately wasn’t in my favor all things considered.

Which again, is by no means a mark against the convention. It was clear that many in attendance were having a great time socializing. The thing for me is that having worked these events before, there is simply little at events of this scale for me to do except to relax, say hello to friends at booths, support them where I can. It’s not unlike the late 80s-early 90s when mall culture had become such the ingrained part of the American experience, that it became less an exercise in convenient shopping and fun, and more a place where meetings happen. Without ideas beyond the Ani-Maid cafe, various cosplay events, another visual kei act few know about, conventions eventually succumb to splintered niche farms- which ultimately is a big yawn for me.

A colleague & friend remarked to me that they themselves felt a little too old for anime conventions. A curious statement since, in my mind, anime conventions have since the early days mutated into something barely resembling the fan-centric, artist inspired celebrations they had been before. Many of the core elements; Q & A sessions with notable talent, including character designers, animators, and directors has made way for something of a masquerade playground mentality, which many modern cons have co-opted in order to stay relevant. Which leads me to my ultimate disappointment with shows like AM2; they are shows catering to this new market, while lacking the focus necessary to keep the die-hards coming back for anything more than a social gathering. And while it’s coherent that an event like this only offers a price for premium content, and free admission to others, it also pays to truly make the premium content something worth the price. in many ways, this feels more like an experiment based on looking at how value is perceived on the internet.

And seeing as how this is an event in the fleshy-real, the turnout I witnessed is telling that real life is far from the internet when dealing with price-point.

What results, is something closer to that of those free samplers that come with the purchase of body product, be it hair or skin care. Just enough for an application. More highlights reel than main feature. Almost tempted to say that it has a charm that early cons had well over a decade ago; but again, sans the nerdy stigma of having a guest of the caliber of a Noboru Ishiguro, or a Mari Iijima. Do I feel that even J-culture fans, strapped for cash deserve a place to express their love of the mediums they love so dear-YES. But I also feel like shows like AM2 have a better role to play than merely a competing force. This is a community that deserves a sense of all-inclusiveness, and to have it on the same weekend as the established giant is not the best way to do this.

I appreciate what is being attempted here, but to schedule this up against the also-financially challenged AX, the enjoyment to out-of-wallet ratio is quite clear. Should it ever return for another year, one can only hope to see it take place weeks after AX as a sort of industry-centric “encore” presentation. In the end, I know where I actually had fun despite the burning hole in my pants.

May’N Live Concert at Anime Expo 2010–Video Excerpt

May’N in Concert (Excerpt) – Anime Expo 2010 from Anime Diet on Vimeo.

May’N did a concert at Anime Expo 2010 this year, along with Megumi Nakajima and special guest Yoko Kanno. Here’s a ten minute excerpt from the beginning of the concert, with just May’N. She sings “Universal Bunny” and “May’N Space” here!

See our exclusive interview with May’N, as well as a full written review of the concert too!

Danny Choo Interview – AX 2010 Press Junket

Danny Choo Interview – AX 2010 Press Junket from Anime Diet on Vimeo.

The legendary anime blogger and Storm Trooper cosplayer Danny Choo talks to Anime Diet about figures, life, and blogging–as well as something he may be doing something with his famous father…He has some great words of advice for anime bloggers at the end too!

Interview with a beautiful Cosplayer (coser)

(Editor’s note: thanks to Apurikotto Waffle, I know now the character’s Clare from Magna Carta 2. See pic below)

Hi all! I did some random interviews and a couple of planned interviews. This one was random. I was walking by MangaGamer’s booth when I spotted this beautiful gal. So on impulse, I interviewed her. I should’ve asked her to spell her name for me. I think I heard: “Evin Fong.” She was in the AX 2010 Masquerade/cosplay competition. In any case, enjoy this little gem of guerilla interview from Ray!

Interview with Coser Evin from Ray Hu on Vimeo.

Trigun – Badlands Rumble – English premiere at AX (First Impressions)

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This year at AX brought many things, including some exciting guests, shows, and the first ever English subtitled screening of the new Trigun movie! It was introduced by Japanese producer Shigeru Kitayama and brought to AX by Funimation.

The story brings all of the well known characters from the Trigun anime to the big screen. As I sit here in my luckily obtained front row seat, I am blown away by scenes of Vash’s trademark shinanagens with the accompanying crew of Milly, Meryl and Nick Wolfwood in what is appropriately called a badlands rumble.

The story takes place somewhere in the middle of the original anime’s story. It introduces a new villain to the screen by the name of Gasback and a new female bounty hunter named Amelia as Vash’s love interest (whose humorously unique allergy creates terrific comic material).

Fans throughout the showing erupted in laughter, cheers and then sat in contemplative silence as the story carried them through Trigun’s familiar comedic tropes, over the top action scenes and brief moody dramatic moments.

The screen was filled with guns blazing, explosions erupting during action filled shootouts, chases ensued and rioteously funny comedic moments played on the stage of the badlands with abundance.

When it was all said and done it was not a complex movie, but it was to be expected. It was, however, a delightfully fun romp though the desert wasteland with some very entertaining old friends.

My only complaint was that the sound in the auditorium was piercingly loud. So much so that I had a headache at the end. However, in all fairness it was a headache not unlike one you have following an overly enjoyable night of drinking.

Tsundere Banana 03102010 – Got Ass?

Show notes:

Losers of the week:

Funimation putting out censored DVDs for Vampire Bund – they’re afraid of their corporate asses get hauled in jail. But in any event, a light loser rating from me because I can understand the cause of making money.

College Students protesting about cutting in funding: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-5445-Politics-in-Education-Examiner~y2010m3d4-Students-passionately-protest-cuts-in-education-funding?cid=sharing_twitter:5445

Some women in New Jersey got caulk injection in the butt for rear enhancement

Winners of the Week:

Anime Expo – invited key people such as Nabeshin and Asakawa Yuu – they’re making inroads but with a corporate guy running everything, I’m giving it a light winner rating.

Funimation – streaming Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (AKA Baka and Test — Summon the Beasts) – great choice.

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach – fun and great for chilling, even chilling in the green room, which I’ve never been!

Warning: crass caulk jokes and bad accents


Anime Diet Radio Episode 39 – Losing Weight and Losing Cred

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Apparently, for this 39th episode of Anime Diet Radio, we have a lot of stories about otakus themselves: otakus losing weight, pulling stunts with stars, and getting ruder by the minute! Because we all love to make fools of ourselves, right? But yes, those are the contents of our news items for this episode: the Otaking writing a diet book, an otaku blogger drinking Minorin’s bottle, and a roundtable about whether otaku have gotten less considerate in recent years. Oh, and there’s a story about how some Buddhists in Japan are using moe to draw new converts, a mixing of tradition and, uh, a study of modern visual culture if there was one.

We also have a slightly different mailbag this time–we had only received one comment on the previous episode when this was recorded (yes, this was late–Comic Con got in the way), and so we not only answer that but also some comments from our Indecent Otaku Comedy Hour panel at Anime Expo. Thanks for coming out and seeing us there! For the ones that got away we’ll answer your mail in the next episode.

We’re also proud to note that we are finalists for the Parsec Awards for “best anime podcast”! The Parsec Awards are given for the best speculative fiction (sf/fantasy/horror/etc) podcasts in various categories and is sponsored by the big SF convention in Atlanta, DragonCon. Thanks for listening and supporting us for the 2.5 half years we’ve been on the air and for helping make this one of the best anime podcasts on the net! If we win the big prize, we’ll be sure to thank you all.

Show Order

  • –00:00 – Intro
  • –02:56 – News 1: The Otaking’s Diet Book
  • –11:18 – News 2: Buddhism + moe = Epic Win?
  • –19:34 – News 3: Blogger Steals Minorin’s Water Bottle
  • –29:13 – Mailbag
  • –36:48 – Roundtable: Otaku Devolution?
  • –54:07 – Conclusion

Show Notes

  • –OP: “Super Noisy Nova” by Sphere (OP to Sora no Manimani)
  • –ED: “Kimi no Uta (キミノウタ)” by abingdon boys school (OP to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0)
  • –The original story about the Otaking’s diet book can be found at ANN [http://tinyurl.com/mjatst]. You can buy the book from Amazon here! [http://tinyurl.com/nnm5ln]
  • –Sankaku Complex carries the story about the moeficatin of Buddhism here [http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/07/16/moe-buddhism-draws-otaku-converts/].
  • –The drama about Minori’s water bottle all begins over here [http://www.atalude.net/2009/07/13/daicon-the-minori-ty-report/].
  • –Missed our panel, the Indecent Otaku Comedy Hour? Watch the video in HD here! [http://animediet.net/conventions/indecent-otaku-comedy-hour-official-video]

Anime Expo 2008 Video Diary – Day 3

This day covers both the Shokotan concert, my successful signing with her, and the Masquerade. This year’s Masquerade was unexpectedly short, as many groups apparently dropped out at the last minute. However, both an independent group from Anime Souffle and the neighboring Orange County anime club scored high ranks–OC group actually won! It was quite a night, and I didn’t even come close to using all the footage I have from the Masquerade in this one.

Well, just one more day left to put together, plus a reduced version of the Panel and a performance from AX Idol 2008, Pamela Moss. Stay tuned!

Anime Diet Radio Episode 23 – AX 2008 Live Panel!

UPDATE: All versions of the video are now up. Again, Flash is instantly viewable.

More like Anime Diet Video is what it is! This, officially our 23rd episode, is the video of the panel we held at Anime Expo, Friday, July 4–uncut with all the boring parts intact. :) I will be soon putting up a Youtube-sized highlights reel. But for those of you who want to see everything you missed, here it is!

We had an awesome time together, though it was really difficult and we faced obstacles in coordinating and putting this together on time; there were massive technical difficulties even 5 minutes before the panel started. For one thing, the panel before us refused to leave until 6:45, giving us little time to set up. If you were waiting outside at 7PM for the doors to open–that’s why. We also found out only when we got there that there is no audio feed available from the computer to the speakers; we had to literally put a microphone to my laptop speakers to get Ray audible.

I’ll also be the first to admit that some of my routines didn’t quite work. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare everything, and the Powerpoint didn’t work as well as I had hoped because the show order was shuffled at the last minute. The video above includes the most relevant slides, however, so you can get an idea of what, roughly, the slides were supposed to do.

Enjoy, everyone!

AX 2008 Press Junket Interview: Shokotan

The interview you’ve been waiting for–our press junket interview with Shokotan. It was actually a group interview, as Shokotan started doing junket interviews a bit late and, to fit everyone in, they had to put 2-3 press organizations together. This video only includes our questions; there were also the folks from Japanator, as well as a Japanese press organization that asked questions in untranslated Japanese.

I think we had some rather revealing questions–you’ll find out what kind of man Shokotan likes. :) The reference to the “Private Lesson” video is here. It’s very funny, I think most of you will like it.

Day 1 of the Video Diary is up next.

AX 2008 Press Junket Interview: Akemi Takada

This is our interview with Akemi Takada, the old-school character designer of such 80’s classics like Kimagure Orange Road, Maison Ikkoku, and Urusei Yatsura. She does briefly address why she hasn’t done any more Rumiko Takahashi works since then, and her plans to do some CGI work. This interview was conducted on press junket day, July 2. I was a bit more relaxed in this one. :)