Tag Archives: anime next 2011

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.

animenext sat (7 of 60)

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.