Tag Archives: convention

AWA 2014: Junichi Suwabe Fan Panel Digest

Junichi Suwabe, the voice of Dandy from Space Dandy, was in Atlanta this weekend for Anime Weekend Atlanta. His panel was lively and entertaining, and he did many voices and said many funny lines. Sadly, no photography or video was allowed for press.

Anime USA 2011: Outgrowing the Hyatt (Part 3 of 3)

The third and final part of Sh1zuka‘s Anime USA 2011 report. This one focuses on the growing pains of the burgeoning convention, which will move to a new location at the Marriott Wardman Park this year.

AnimeUSA 2011 was held from November 17 – 20, 2011 at the Hyatt Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. This hotel has been used years prior to hold Katsucon and Otakon. Katsucon’s hotel, the Gaylord at National Harbor, is visible across the river from AnimeUSA’s hotel, and many of the AnimeUSA staff also staff Katsucon.

It’s interesting that AnimeUSA will also move away from the Hyatt Crystal City. Next year, AnimeUSA will be moving to the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, a larger venue that should solve many of AnimeUSA’s current problems. As an attendee of AnimeUSA since 2009, I feel that AnimeUSA has finally outgrown the Hyatt this year, so the venue change is a welcome one.

At 8:30 PM on Friday, the convention is still buzzing with activity.

Layout Changes: A Mixed Bag

AnimeUSA’s layout changed significantly this year, moving the Video Game Room and Convention Operations to the upper floors, and moving the Art Show to the B1 level. A fourth track for panels was added at the bottom floor, in a large, stadium-like room.

Placed in the middle of the Artist Alley, the Art Show garnered much more attention than last year, where it was located in a corner on the bottom floor. I feel like the new location of the Art Show is a major improvement. Unfortunately, I could not get any pictures of the new location as photography was (rightfully) prohibited.

AnimeUSA 2011 Hotel Map. The floors 3rd, 2nd (top row), B1, B2 (bottom row).

However, some of the other layout changes were questionable. I managed to completely miss the fourth panel room during the convention, as it was located in a corner at the bottom of the convention. Also, the Video Game room was moved from its location on the B1 floor to the 3rd floor and placed next to a Workshop track. I heard complaints that noise from the game room bled over to the workshop room, making it difficult to hear the panelists unless you were in the front row.

Due to having only one entrance/exit, the AnimeUSA Video Game Room could not be held in the same location as it was in 2010 because of fire safety concerns. As the convention guide was printed to show the Game Room in its previous location, it seems like the change was made last-minute due to an order from the fire marshal at the convention. As a result, the Board Game Library was cut from programming this year.

Dealer’s Room: Crowded and hot!

I have always found AnimeUSA’s dealer’s room organization to be quite good; going back this year, I found the usual booths near their usual locations. Hen Da Ne sells doujinshi (fanmade manga) and Japanese video games; Anime Sekai sells your typical figures and artbooks, etc. I also noticed a new vendor selling Asian snacks, Anime Snack Time, with a snazzy booth. I look forward to seeing them at other conventions that allow food sales.

Need yaoi?

AnimeUSA allocates space at the center of its Dealer’s Room to allow anime conventions to advertise, but surprisingly, AnimeUSA’s own Dealer’s Room table has been moved from the convention island to just outside the Dealer’s Room along the Artist Alley. I spent a little bit of time wandering through the Dealer’s Room this year, and it was very crowded and hard to move through at peak times. This is the first year that I’ve actually felt like the Dealer’s Room was very hot, and comments from both attendees and dealers agreed with this.

I really felt like AnimeUSA has outgrown its dealer’s room this year. Thankfully, the Dealer’s Room is open late and the traffic clears up then, but hopefully, the new venue that AnimeUSA is moving to will solve all of these issues.

It’s crowded in here!

Programming: Almost Too Popular

AnimeUSA offers six tracks of programming with 90-minute (or multiples thereof) timeslots for panels and workshops. The unusually long panel length of 90 minutes makes it easier to organize the schedule at the cost of programming density, as fewer panels require multiple timeslots.

“One of the goals of AnimeUSA’s programming staff is to make each attendee have to choose between many interesting things all happening at once.” –from one of AnimeUSA’s programming staff

Unfortunately, five of the six programming tracks were located far away from the rest of the convention, on the 3rd floor. Even so, lines still formed before popular panels, creating major traffic issues along the narrow 3rd floor hallway–tabletop gaming tables along the hallway reduced the width to as little as five feet wide. The small panel/workshop rooms, with a capacity for about fifty people, rapidly filled up for many panels, and staff had to limit the number of people inside the room.

The panel rooms could only fifty people.

Sound pollution has been a recurring issue for AnimeUSA’s panels. This year, non-18+ panels were finally allowed to close the room doors, solving sound pollution issues from the outside hallway. However, the wall between the panel rooms is still just a thin wall, and it was not difficult to hear the next room’s laughter drown out the voice of the panelist of the panel you are in. This was particularly tragic for the Workshop 2 track this year, which competed against the noisy video game room next door. People in the back could barely hear the panelists, even with a mic and a sound system.

See you in 2012!

AnimeUSA’s main issue this year, outgrowing the Hyatt Crystal City, is going to be solved next year by its move to the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. With four times the convention space of the Hyatt Crystal City, AnimeUSA is going to be able to finally significantly grow in size, something that it deserves for putting together a very fun convention and addressing issues each year. I look forward to attending AnimeUSA 2012!

Washington Marriot Wardman Park lobby. Photo credit: Marriott.com

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.

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.

Anime Boston 2011: Recapping a Convention Experience

This is the hotel that connected to the convention center

Has it been nearly a week already? Since I said good bye to Boston? Well it was last weekend I made it to Boston, on my first solo Anime Diet press coverage for my first Anime Boston. Anime Boston seems to have a very robust number this year in terms of attendance in a final count of 19,136 people.

It was quite convenient to stay at the Sheraton, as pictured above, since the hotel connected directly to the Hynes Convention Center, where the convention was. (3 floors of it) There was also a very convenient food court. So this year armed with my Droid. I used The Conventionist as a schedule tracker, my iPad to take notes. I was pretty set. There was also the convention’s own Con Chowdah which is a blog of the convention. Also with Twitter and #animeboston, there was plenty of chatting.  Oh did I mention that one of the best things was how free and wi-fi friendly the Hynes was? Very convenient!

Unofficial news that are going around is that next year it is going to probably be even more epic around this time of the year. PAX East is going to be held the same weekend as Anime Boston, and FYI, PAX East is a gaming convention that has really huge numbers and gamers going for it. But that’s all next year for the East Coast and possibly West Coast people to think about.

So a recap to the posts I have done in regards to Anime Boston. There is also going to be some explanations to what photos I included on the Flickr page.

Music Monday: Putting the Focus on Music Acts at Anime Boston
Mari Iijima 2011’s Anime Boston Concert Set List
Anime Boston Fan Panals and just Recapping them….

Flickr Images
Cosplayers I saw.
Anime Boston Opening Ceremonies
Fan Panels
Taiko Drumming Workshop
Mari Iijima Concert
Giragamesh Concert

(My lens gave me more trouble than I thought it would, so apologies on not providing enough images.)

NYAF 2010: Spotlight on Chihara Minori Transcript

Minorin posing. Photograph by Eric M. Chu.

If anyone seems quite out of the loop, Minori Chihara, referred to as Minorin by fans, was the featured guest at New York Anime Festival 2010. Fans should know she is a Japanese pop singer as well as a voice actress. She is well known for her portrayal of Yuki Nagato in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Let me just say one thing. A speaker podium was in the way, so there was absolutely no view of her from where I was sitting with @starcreator. I couldn’t even see her facial expressions.  Also there was a policy of no video recording, and no photograph taking until the last ten minutes of the panel.

So while this transcript is not quite like her voice, and based on typing down what her interpreter said, hopefully fans who missed out on this experience would not mind and love her more for it. I also took the liberty of editing, for cohesion.

Hello everyone! Nice to meet you!

Everyone may or may not know this, but this is the very first time Ms. Chihara is in New York, so we’re going to ask her what her impressions are of the city so far?

I arrived yesterday evening, and at first I didn’t feel like this was New York. Was I even in New York? But then I saw all the streets, and nice views, then I finally realized that I am in the city. The view is amazing, so I am really happy to be here.

Has she tried any of the foods or cuisines in the city?

Last night we went to an Italian Restaurant. There’s a really good olive oil there. I ate a lot of bread dipped in olive oil, so that’s what I ate last night. Great bread there too as well. The bread that they served in the airplane was also really good as well. This morning (Friday) I ate a lot of bread as well.

This is not Chihara’s first United States convention, but definitely her first East Coast one; she has previously appeared at Anime Expo. Still how do the cons compare, whether in America or Japan?

This is my second time in the United States, and that was three years ago. I have been to other non-Japan location for events: Los Angeles, Taiwan, and Malaysia and right now New York.

When I do a singing concert in Japan, I see the audience match in dancing, or same color penlights, and it seems so united. So that may be a difference.

When I sing outside of Japan, everyone has different reactions. Cheering styles are different, and it feels very free, so that makes me feel free as well.

[From this part, I am definitely noting how different Western and Asian society is, and Chihara was remarking on it. Japan is definitely a very united in terms of group activities.]

Since [NYAF] is screening The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and her character Yuki Nagato is quite central to the movie, what was Chihara’s impressions or experience with the character, and how the movie was different from the television series?

When I was acting as Yuki for an entire series, there were no expressions or emotions, so that is why I tried so hard to be monotone. This time in the movie, Yuki is a normal girl and this persona is maybe what Yuki wanted to be, so that’s why I tried to find out what Yuki feels like, if  Yuki was a normal girl. There is a great heart that was born inside of her, and as a normal girl—that’s what I wanted to be.

Explain what she feels when she does the voice of Yuki. How does she achieve that monotone, or get into the character?

[There] was a lot of pressure on how I felt, while I was acting this character. So when I was playing Yuki, she is such a popular character, and an ultimate super girl. There are so many difficult Japanese words in my character’s dialogue, and I can’t stutter or slow down and I have to say them real fast. So fitting the pace of her mouth movement was really hard and challenging to work with. It was hard to breathe sometimes.  [Probably to practice and memorize] So I have the script with me all the time, not just when I was home or on the train.

Does she then find herself not forgetting Yuki, that the character is  always with her then?

You’re right, and I always found Yuki at my side.

Can Chihara talk about the song for the movie: her process of making the song, title, and impressions.

The theme for the movie is “Yasashii Boukyaku” [優しい忘却] and the producer for Suzumiya said that with the disappearance of Haruhi, Yuki will be the key/main person. So the producer gave us the initial idea or inspiration for this song. When I got the song, I felt overwhelmed and it made me cry. This song doesn’t even need to have lyrics, just the music already overwhelmed me and that’s what I felt.

Was this then a difficult song to perform because of your emotion?

You are right. So when I recorded this song, which was right after the movie shoot. I could actually hold onto the sentimental feelings of Yuki from the movie, and how I stayed in character even when I was recording the song. I was happy with how the song came out, and afterward I couldn’t even stand. I was so drained as I sat on the floor.

Then I can imagine that fans can’t hardly wait until Chihara performs the song at the concert then.

I am looking forward to singing it for you all.

Before we move onto the fan questions, since New York is well known for music, I am curious if she has any American singers or rock bands that she listens to?

Britney Spears, Aerosmith.[I believe she also said Bon Jovi.]

Fan gift to Minorin!
Collective Fan gift to Minorin. Photograph by Eric M. Chu

The questions after this came from fans.

What was her favorite anime character role and why?

Ahhh the T-shirt is of Yuki… [said Chihara indicating the fan’s shirt] Every character I play, and of course I love every character, but if you insist for me to say who is my favorite – then I would have to say it is Yuki. The reason is because the Yuki character gave me a lot of great opportunities.

As a voice actress, it is hard to get spots, and I also love to sing, but opportunities are few, so this role gave me opportunities. Now I can release albums and expand on the music part of my career. It is a good turning point in my career, so that’s why it is so important in my life.

Already lots of Asian groups are touring the United States, so then are you going to tour the States, because you’re just so awesome. I will purchase your CD’s.

Wow, I am happy. Thank you! Yes that will be pretty awesome to have a concert and tour. That will be pretty great. I will try to keep it up with that. I will try to find an opportunity to come back.

What is it like to work with the cast of Haruhi?

Everyone had a great character, and it was quite exciting to work with this cast. It was great leaning, and opportunity. Especially with Tomokazu Sugita [Kyon]. He had a lot of talents, so I really looked up to him.

A fan then started to talk with Chihara in Japanese. Of course the moderator needed to ask for a question.Chihara complimented the fan on his Japanese. This question is in regards to a role Chihara did in Occult Academy, where it changed drastically from the beginning to the end. So how was her feeling in the transition?

This is the first time, that I did such a role. So it was a very cute and sweet character, yet evil. Is it even okay to talk about the ending of the show? [Fans called out no!] Okay to talk about the character without the ending, I was very surprised to get a villain character, so that’s not spoiling the character. I had a great time with the character.

What was your favorite line to read as Yuki?

The end of it, when the whole world changed…. some people never watched the movie, so are you guys going to watch the movie? I’ll tell you later then.

What other foods in New York do you like to eat, and how is your work as a voice actress?

New York seems to have a lot of great foods, different types of cuisines. Can you recommend anything?

Fans started to shout out foods to eat. “Pizza,” and “cheesecake” were suggestions that Chihara exclaimed about. So she said she definitely wouldn’t mind tasting cheesecake.

My voice acting job is not too busy. I can do it at my own pace, but acting is quite different and not so easy. I have to understand how a character acts and feels. I go on site, and ask questions to experience and understand or learn more. Once the director asks, when I am ready then I try to do it.

Your vocal version of “Haru Haru Yukai” is sung very different, than your normal voice, very pleasant and emotional.  What was your inspiration to sing it like that?

I still remember the recording day, because all the other characters sang, we tried Yuki’s character a lot in tune (with recording). I have to say Yuki doesn’t match, but we talked a lot with the producer, and decided to keep the song.  The song’s feeling is stronger. Let’s keep the song’s flow than focus on thethe character’s voice.

I want to ask about her fan club, its Japanese only right now, but is there a chance for it to be open to international fans?

It’s a management issue, so (interpreter) needs to talk with the management.

For Haruhi episode 6, she sang “Paradise Lost.”  Was that her choice to sing in that particular episode?

Staff decision. The producer asked and I did it.

There are parts in the Haruhi series that were really funny. Was it hard for you to stay in the deadpan serious voice in those scenes?

Difficult, very difficult! Other cast members play around, and have fun in those parts. But to stay in character, I had keep my emotion in check. It was quite frustrating.

How do you practice or practice your voice training, is it difficult?

I have been voice training since my youth. So I still practice every week. Even now I am still taking lessons.

Are there any new anime, or characters that she is working on?

Now there is Yumeiro Pâtissière. My character’s name is Maize. So this week, my character is being aired in Japan. So I was recording at home. When I am in New York, that is when my character is being introduced.

This was the only Minori Chihara panel that I was able to attend. I found online that Chihara Minori has already placed on her blog that she is back in Japan already. This news is courtesy of hashihime’s blog.

Before and After – Dealer’s Merch.

Normally the agenda of some convention attendee’s are to probably hit the dealer’s room. So then, what makes a dealer’s wares stand out from the rest of the stores in the room? I was able to go to the dealer’s room, before the room opened on Friday. So, this is the Before shot of one of the dealer’s shop at Otakon 2010.

Fast forward two days later, after a fire drill.. and on Sunday, I came back to the same dealer, to take an after shot.

After - Dealer's Room Stock on Sunday

Yes – a majority of the stock is cleared.. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the entire shop from my angle – and crowds.. but most likely a good haul for this dealer.

Fire Alarm Evacuates Otakon…convention war story potential.

A fire alarm prompts the evacuation of the entire Baltimore Convention Center, into the muggy heat that was outside. So an estimated 30,000  people walked out of the center. Attendees waited for close to an hour to enter back into the premises.

Otakon Press was quick in dispelling rumors that this incident was not as serious as what rumors were circulating around, like a kitchen fire as I believed. I spoke with Otakon Press and got this quote from Alyce Wilson, “Information given is that it was a false alarm.”

Everything about this evacuation, was done pretty smoothly. The impact of this evacuation was not as big as anyone would think. Why am I even reporting about this, when I wasn’t at the scene, to showcase Jon’s images that’s what. I got some images from height of the evacuation. There are more images, that still needs to be sorted through. So for a convention as this, one can see the scale of how much people were at the scene.

Panels were delayer/restarted and the dealer room hours were extended. On Sunday, I went and spoke with some dealers, and they did mention that some potential business was probably lost, but if the customer was a serious buyer, then they stopped by.  After the convention center opened up again, there was a slight surge in business for dealers before attendees realized that the hours were slightly extended.

Did I jump around a bit? For this article, probably – but as far as convention memories, this is probably going to be in the minds of convention attendees. Something should always happen at a convention other than the scheduled convention event, so for random Otakon 2010 moments, this is a story to be remembered.

There are some more images on Anime Diet’s Flickr.

An Outsider’s Introduction to Ikkicon – Part 2


This is the second part of guest correspondent Quell‘s account of going to an Ikkicon cosplay photo shoot. See part 1 here.

Fellow cosplayers also include the BLU spy, a short, stocky girl with a fake RED engineer mask; the BLU engineer, a soft-spoken burly man in his 20s and the RED engineer, a ranine old woman; the BLU sniper, a large, jolly woman from Australia, and the BLU Medic, a sweet, somewhat ageless lady from New Jersey with a very well-made costume. This was her first cosplay, and all of the cosplays were very well done. Continue reading An Outsider’s Introduction to Ikkicon – Part 2

PMX 2009 Twitter Digest – Day 2 (Saturday)

See day 1’s digest here. The Nabeshin videos will take just a little longer to edit. ;)

I am standing across the hall from Nabeshin. The fan panel is supposed to start soon but Uchusentai is overtime.
–posted at 06:00:30

In his Afro glory: Nabeshin. http://yfrog.com/9edv8j
–posted at 06:13:55

Nabeshins next project: an Anime about a character named Nabeshin who takes over the world.
–posted at 06:15:18

They picked him to direct Wallflower because he is number one in sex appeal and in humor.
–posted at 06:24:28

Nabeshin panel over. What a laugh riot. Definitely the funniest person I’ve seen so far that works in Anime.
–posted at 07:07:05

I was struck by how few people were in the panel though. The room was packed for Uchusentai but barely half full for Nabeshin.
–posted at 07:14:53

Now waiting in line for his autograph. Which also isn’t too long. http://yfrog.com/2p34yfnj
–posted at 07:19:02

Jeremy and Nabeshin and zombies! http://yfrog.com/04d6pxj
–posted at 08:10:26

We have an interview with Uchusentai in an hour. Nabeshin tomorrow!
–posted at 10:25:51

Just wrapped up a cool interview with Uchusentai (our correspondent Lisa doing the interview). She will cover the Cosfest but I’m done 4 now
–posted at 11:59:44

I’ve got an hours worth of Nabeshin one liners and comedy to edit tonight!
–posted at 12:00:58

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.