Tag Archives: nyaf 2009

NYAF Anime Blogger Roundtable

Things were rather hectic at the New York Anime Festival, but bloggers of all stripes made time for an important, self-referential summit.

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NarutakiRT served as MC, while representatives from About.com, Comics Worth Reading, Anime Vice, Anime Almanac, Ani-Gamers, Colony Drop, The Gaming Dungeon, Ogiuemaniax, Reverse Thieves, and Anime wa Bakuhatsu da! held forth. Ed from Vertical also showed up to inject an industry-side perspective.

AKB48 in NYC: Idolmaster Cosplay

Steam rose off the city streets as we partook of a Takoyaki stand a few blocks away from Webster Hall.

“It was a lot like Idolmaster,” fellow anime journalist Omo noted, drawing a parallel to the infamous Japanese game.

“Idolmaster cosplay,” I shot back.

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AKB48, an Akihabara-based idol group, had their US debut at Webster Hall following the New York Anime Festival. While initial enthusiasm for their preview performance was great, the Sunday evening show time coupled with the location – across the city from the convention – thinned the crowd of con attendees considerably. Not to be deterred, AKB48 had cleverly rallied a separate fan base of non-conventiongoers, and a large throng of overwhelmingly middle-aged men clutched email printouts rather than tickets in line.

Continue reading AKB48 in NYC: Idolmaster Cosplay

New York Anime Festival 2009, Day 0: Cake

The Dave and Buster’s was crowded. Black-attired waitstaff in crisp uniforms nodded professionally at me as I entered, pointing me up to the third floor when I inquired about the event hosted there.

The cake-cutting katana. Photography by Linda Yau.

It was hard to miss – a frothing mass of humanity bumped and jostled at the far end of the room, packed in tight. I could not see the object of their focus, but this had to be it. As I made my way across the room, I gradually discerned that there were at least three different types of people here – businessmen in suits with refined drinks, a casually dressed faction, and a surprisingly large number of fashionably-attired teens.

Continue reading New York Anime Festival 2009, Day 0: Cake

Gundam Creator Tomino @ NYAF

Mobile Suit Gundam celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, and creator Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野 由悠季) was the guest of honor at New York Anime Festival.  Anime Diet recorded his keynote address.

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(Edit, 9-30, 10:13 AM: the progress bar and time are now working. Plus, the video is watermarked, for the convenience of all the video thieves out there.)

Tomino was very dignified throughout his appearance at the convention.  In keeping with his professional demeanor, he made a great effort to be polite.  Even when asked directly, he refused to say anything bad about his experiences working with Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム). It has been widely observed that in the early days, Tezuka’s budget was tight and his deadlines were brutal, which many have speculated may have led to a hostile working environment.  During the Q&A session following his speech, Tomino suggested that anime creation in general creates friction, noting, “If working together with others was easy, I would have produced thirty more works like Gundam.”

Tomino signing a sketch of the R78 Gundam. Photography by Eric M Chu.
Tomino signing a sketch of the R78 Gundam. Photography by Eric M Chu.

In person at his autograph signing, Tomino was charming and playful, joking with fans, posing for pictures, and drawing smiley faces alongside his autographs.  However, his patience was tried by a poor translator, who was unable to keep up with him despite stopping him a few times to request clarifications.  A bit of checking revealed that the translator used for Tomino had prior experience in translation, but almost none in live translation.  The translator apparently wanted the honor of handling the keynote address, and Tomino assented, a decision that he later regretted.  At just over nine minutes into his speech, Tomino’s staff issued a statement that “a proper translation will be available later,” causing a strong reaction from the frustrated audience.

To be fair, Tomino’s discussion became very complex.  I was not able to follow it all myself.  Essentially, his rhetoric went along the lines of, “A picture may be beautiful, but that alone does not make cinema.  A story may be excellent, but it alone does not make cinema.  What is it, then, that elevates work to the level of cinema?  It is only through the synthesis of disparate elements from different creators that cinema is produced.”

It was an attempt by one of Japan’s finest creative minds to give a deep discussion of art, and I truly appreciated being in the presence of a genius willing to share a glimpse of how he viewed his work.

Tomino posing.  Photography by Eric M Chu.
Tomino posing for us. Photography by Eric M Chu.

Do A Cencoroll

Cencoroll premiered in America at the 2009 New York Anime Festival. Contributing editor moritheil was on hand to review it.

cencoroll

Picture unbaked dough. Give it eyes and teeth. This is Cenco, title character of Cencoroll. Along with his human handler, he wreaks havoc on the countryside and transforms into a variety of cool things. The details of his transformation, his battle against other blob monsters, and the involvement of a certain schoolgirl are all integral to the plot. At its core, though, Cencoroll is a primal, visual appeal to the audience via transformation and violence.

Its plot is a simple laundry list of typical Japanese story conventions. Monsters let loose in an urban area, and are attacked by largely ineffectual Japanese self-defense forces. Our heroes are opposed by beings of loose moral character.  Innocents are threatened.  A hero goes out of his way to protect a girl despite knowing that it must be a trap. In the end, a combination of cool under pressure and fiery determination win the day, and it is children who manage to avert disaster and restore balance.

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New York Anime Festival 2009 Day 1

NYAF Video, Day 1:

Moritheil‘s liveblog of the New York Anime Festival, Day 0:

  • 11:44 Attention New Yorkers: Moritheil walks among you. #nyaf #
  • 12:19 @misuzulive Wow, how far are you driving to come to #NYAF? (Cars. NYC. Brave soul!) #
  • 12:22 Tonight we dine in . . . Hell’s Kitchen? #nyaf #
  • 12:55 Darnit, people in the hotel lobby are talking about plans to meeet with @animevice and I can’t place them! Who are youuuu #nyaf #
  • 13:40 @s0nified hahaha, where precisely are you? #nyaf right? #
  • 13:41 @hisuiRT I’m sure they were going to! One of them nodded at me and I smiled back but they didn’t say anything. Awkward otaku silence! #
  • 13:42 @narutakiRT I’m a little shaky on the chronology involved. Are you going to the preparty as well, or just the movie? #
  • 13:46 @animemiz Let me know if you’re about :) #
  • 13:47 @omonomono So, we meet again! :P #
  • 13:48 @s0nified This just goes to show – no place is safe! :P #
  • 13:48 Ni-pah, Yaan, Au, Fuwa-Fuwa (#NYAF) digg.com/u1D3It #
  • 13:55 Nobody draw! RT @petertatara: 40,000 officers on the street because of the UN. I’m running an event filled with kids with swords. #nyaf #
  • 13:57 @AA_TheHaisho That’s the spirit! :P #
  • 14:04 @VamptVo Hey, are you in town today? Going to the preparty or anything? Doing dinner? :D #
  • 14:07 @VamptVo Understandable. I’ll see you tomorrow, then, probably :) #
  • 14:21 @narutakiRT I see. I’m going to the party; I’ll see how tired I am after and decide if I can stay awake for the movie :) #
  • 14:33 @omonomono Cool. I’ll look for you when I get there. #
  • 14:49 I’m wearing jeans and a shirt with rainbow afterimages. You can talk to me. Really. #nyaf #
  • 15:05 Guy in a suit just started chatting me up. nothing to do w/anime. I’m too approachable! #
  • 16:08 delicious cake is delicious. #nyaf #
  • 16:13 w/ @omonomono, @animemiz, @kransomwastaken. #
  • 17:37 Rapid search for Yui Makino merch: failed. Trying the dealer room tomorrow. #nyaf #
  • 17:39 Fabled NY bookstores, you have let me down. #

Moritheil‘s liveblog of the New York Anime Festival, Day 1:

  • 05:49 #NYAF weather: 63 F now, 41 F tonight. Can you believe that?! #
  • 05:54 I heard 6 AM. RT @OutOfTimeProd: The #NYAF autograph ticket line for Yoshiyuki Tomino begun at 7am, maybe earlier. Signing is at 7pm. #
  • 06:01 #NYAF #followfriday @princetrunks @ronaldhennessy @petertatara @jlhls @omonomono @debaoki @vamptvo @s0nified @hisuiRT @narutakiRT @PatzPrime #
  • 06:14 Bandai’s PR guy is staying at the same hotel as me. Huh. #nyaf #
  • 08:44 You will know me by my tachikoma shirt! #
  • 08:45 Hanging out w/ @sbrblurb. Come say hi! #
  • 09:02 Number of compliments on my @jlist shirt: 3 #nyaf #
  • 09:04 Cosplayers! Come forth! My camera is ready! #nyaf #
  • 09:22 Just met @Yuricon, who dropped tantalizing hints about the next Yuricon. #
  • 09:25 Note @sbrblurb is wearing a pedobear getup. It’s easy to spot us! #nyaf #
  • 09:56 Had a hilarious conversation with @animealmanac about the finer points of bathroom photography. #nyaf #
  • 09:57 Dealer’s room is setting up. Took video but can’t get in yet. #nyaf #
  • 11:00 Just saw an MTV agent try to recruit some cosplay girls. #nyaf #
  • 11:29 Shook hands with @mpinto prior to his panel. Ganbatte! #nyaf #
  • 11:31 #nyaf @animevice arrived fashionably late – just on time for her own panel. #
  • 11:33 Correction: that fine gentleman is @michaelpinto. Ganbatte! #nyaf #
  • 12:45 Interesting advice from @animevice. Now for Tokyopop. #nyaf #
  • 12:47 @debaoki I’ve heard good things about Chorus. :) #
  • 13:03 @edsizemore whoops, just saw your tweet. I guess you know what I look like now :) #
  • 13:05 OK, why are we at #nyaf looking at clips from SDCC? Is this a metajoke, Tokyopop? #
  • 13:06 www.Tokyopop.com/ramenflavor #nyaf #
  • 13:11 Haha, 1 out of 50 ppl recognized the Joss Wheadon film Tokyopop is adapting to manga. #nyaf #
  • 13:18 Nice catch by @debaoki as to who published what manga. #
  • 13:20 “Not just boobs, MILK coming out of boobs!” Oh, Tokyopop. #nyaf #
  • 13:37 Audience member just called out Tokyopop on declining amounts of Japanese content. #
  • 13:42 Hey neat, I won a shirt. Full disclosure! #
  • 13:44 Tokyopop is now 20% non-Japanese content. #nyaf #
  • 14:17 In the giant blogger katamari ball by Tomino. #nyaf #
  • 14:23 Tomino moved to bigger room; line chaos ensues. #nyaf #
  • 14:25 Tomino has struck a victory pose. The crowd is roaring in approval. #nyaf #
  • 15:19 Tomino conducted himself with great dignity and gave a high-level speech. #nyaf #
  • 17:07 Tomino is the man. Nodded in approval, posed for a photo. #nyaf #
  • 17:09 #nyaf Met the @hinano / @jpmeyer gattai. w/ @vamptvo and 17 other bloggers for Cencoroll. #
  • 17:14 Too many bloggers to list them all. @wildarmsheero rocking the Strike Witches gear. @starcreator w/@wootshirt. #nyaf #
  • 18:46 Cencoroll was very neat. Very condensed. #nyaf #
  • 18:51 @mightyatom That WAS you! I wasn’t sure. #
  • 20:52 @mightyatom I was with a ton of bloggers outside Cencoroll, and I was like – that hair! It’s her! I yelled at you but you didn’t respond :/ #
  • 20:54 @mightyatom Then I thought, “Maybe I just didn’t get a good look; it could have been someone else.” You were moving pretty quickly. #
  • 22:49 #NYAF 2009 Karaoke Showdown! digg.com/u1D8JX #
  • 22:58 @mightyatom Holy crap, you missed Tomino? Well, I have some HD video for you. #

Ni-pah, Yaan, Au, Fuwa-Fuwa (NYAF)

Anime Diet East will be spreading its banner and once again making the sacred pilgrimage to New York for the New York Anime Festival. Oddly enough, the only set items on the schedule are the Del Ray pre-party, the Yui Makino concert, and a certain karaoke gathering for those of exceptionally refined taste and articulation.

Not a recommended way to travel.
Not a recommended way to travel.

Liveblogging will occur via Twitter.  Expect incriminating photos.