All posts by moritheil

One might be forgiven for thinking that Moritheil is a postmodern literary critic who started reviewing video games in 2001, and spent the early 2000s learning at the right hand of con staff and fansubbers. However, those rumors are spurious: Moritheil is actually a distant relative of Genghis Khan who stands poised to conquer the world via the Internet. Follow along at http://twitter.com/moritheil.

Otakon 2009 Video Teaser – Day 0

Notes:

According to an Otakon staffer who declined to name himself, lines will be long today.  Fewer people than expected got their prereg badges on Day 0.

I got a clip of Sonicwhammy and Koushi plugging Anime Press Your Luck, their panel on Saturday.

There is a lot of Bleach cosplay this year, if Day 0 is any indication.

Follow along at http://twitter.com/moritheil for breaking Otakon news.

Otakon schedule

Behold the wanderings of the mysterious moritheil!

Main Events

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's all up to you

11 AM Yutaka Yamamoto

1:30 PM Kikuko Inoue

6:30 PM Dinner at the Inner Harbor Pizza Uno (2 blocks from the con) – you’re all invited to meet me!

7:30 PM  MELL concert

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vampire Knight hug

10AM Funimation Panel

11AM Masao Maruyama

3:30 PM Kanon Wakeshima Concert

Sunday, July 19, 2009

To Be Determined

This is a rough outline; you’ll find out where I was in the missing time when I file my report.  I typically don’t plan out anything at a convention, unless there’s a panel I must be at.

I look forward to meeting you all there!

VAMPS at Otakon 2009

VAMPS, the new project of HYDE and K.A.Z., had previously advertised a show at SONAR the day before Otakon. “Going to Otakon? Come early!” their ads urged. While at the time this struck several Anime Diet staff members as a clever bit of juxtaposition involving a shared demographic, we had yet to truly appreciate the lengths to which VAMPS would go to secure an American fanbase. Now Otakon has released more guest news, and VAMPS is putting in an appearance there as well.

Jim Vowles, Otakon’s head of Guests, Industry, and Press Relations,  commented, “I guess we must have made a good impression on HYDE a few years ago.  We’re delighted and flattered that they changed plans to
meet the fans.” HYDE previously appeared with L’Arc~en~Ciel at Otakon 2004.

As previously announced, Anime Diet will be covering Otakon 2009.  VAMPS will be at Otakon on Friday afternoon, with exact times and locations to be announced when their schedule is finalized.

The Zen of Eureka Seven

Freedom writ large.

Take one gangly kid, one cooldere, and a bunch of heroic rebels who just want to live free. Put them in a dystopian future where an almost-magical element, trapar, generates lift forces and enables them to defy gravity. Mix in mecha, a threat to the world, and an uneasy peace. Serves seven: Eureka Seven.

Continue reading The Zen of Eureka Seven

The Worst Manga Ever

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to participate in the Japanese delinquent world? With its immersive atmosphere, highly decompressed storytelling, and blow-by-blow action, Worst offers readers that experience.

Other manga such as Tenjou Tenge and School Rumble feature older-looking high school students who have the features of young adults rather than teens. Worst takes this a step further: most of its brawling gang bosses appear to be in their twenties or thirties, despite being high schoolers.

They look pretty old.

Continue reading The Worst Manga Ever

Civil Liberties Continue to Crumble

Recently a Filipino ban on hentai manga/anime followed a vaguely worded, proposed UK law that would make all sexualized, simulated depictions of minors illegal (possibly making all fanservice legally problematic.) Now, there have been rumors that all games referring to sexual assault are to be banned in Japan, in the light of campaigns by international watchdog organization Equality Now and other womens’ rights organizations. Obviously, this rumored ban would spell disaster for an already troubled Japanese adult media industry. ANN reports that industry executives have already gone on record to reassure their fans that nothing has been decided yet.

Fanservice.

It is terribly ironic that this censorship occurs even as historic progress is being made in many societies against the repression of women, minorities, and those of various sexual orientations. While prior bans against child pornography cited the harm done to the children appearing in the work, bans against the sexualized appearance of young girls in anime or manga are simply done to uphold a public sense of decency. No actual person is being harmed; rather the harm is presumably done to community standards. This movement in jurisprudence has led to some bizarre outcomes, such as the 14-year-old who was arrested as both sole perpetrator and sole victim of a “sex crime” wherein she photographed herself in a state of undress.  Under US law, she may be forced to register as a sex offender for the remainder of her life.

Continue reading Civil Liberties Continue to Crumble

Anime Diet @ Otakon 2009

In the early days of Anime Diet, our illustrious founder Mike covered every Otakon personally. With a heavy con load this year, it has fallen to newer writers to step up and cover Otakon 2009!

otakonbanner

It may seem a little early to be speaking of this July con, but some folks have been preparing since last August! I leave you with these classic words, “The flag has been planted, and world domination will surely follow! Look forward to our coverage.”

K-Ommerce

K-On’s influence is vast.  Here are some items that K-On! has sold:

Mio gets kickbacks for selling headphones

Headphones (English link)
Cell phones
Bass guitars
Pens
Hot plates

That’s in addition to the actual products associated with the series: CDs, figurines, manga, and of course dakimakura.

Given that overall Japanese retail sales fell 2.9 percent in April, will the boost from popular anime be enough to effect a turnaround?  Prime Minister Taro “Rozen” Aso, criticized as a “manga brain,” thinks so.  His “Japan Cool” campaign, whose stated aim is to leverage the popularity of anime and manga as Japan’s “Soft Power,” continues to be the focus of government efforts under his regime.  Ultimately, time will tell if he’s right.

On Kannagi and Virginity

For those of you who missed it, there was a big to-do at the close of 2008 over the fact that Nagi of Kannagi might not be “pure.”

Not a vampire.

It’s fascinating to me how so much of the international anime community took the Western perspective and applied it as if it ought to be universal.  Sankaku Complex was flooded with hate in the stories it ran. Darkmirage’s popular take on the subject garnered forty comments and not one mentioned how cultural expectations of women are different in Japan vs. in the West. There was not one reference to Yamamoto Nadeshiko, that ideal of self-sacrificing femininity that was inculcated in the Japanese in WWII and whose specter still discourages modern Japanese women from marrying.

Continue reading On Kannagi and Virginity