Posts Tagged ‘convention’
Bandai announced something HUGE today! Like really really HUGE! Bandai has K-ON! The Kyoto Animation moe bait series that everyone has been talking about since it premiered last year is now going to be distributed by Bandai!! There aren’t any details regarding a release date but it was promised to have both a DVD and Blu ray release and I’ve officially begun my patient wait for them to be released!
So in the meantime, let us all share in this brief moment of glory together.
As July gets closer and closer, I’ve had to come to grips with the reality of probably not being able to afford a trip to Anime Expo again this year. Sure I’ll be missing Nabeshin, the creators of Eden of the East and Yuu Asakawa but I’ll live. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself until I saw yesterdays press releases.
Yet again, Anime Expo continues to tease me from afar with the announcements of the world premiere of Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail Episode 1 (two weeks before it premieres in Japan) and manga artist Rei Hiroe. The new OVA series is a spinoff of the previous TV series which will center on one seriously scary looking maid named Roberta. For those of you who are lucky enough to be attending this year, be sure to check this out for a very bloody good time!
Anime Expo takes place July 1-4th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Press releases below the cut
I knew about ACEN this weekend. I also knew that Funimation was going to be there and had a few plans for those who were attending. What I didn’t realize was that this was the weekend for Funimation to unload an entire bag of tricks! At their panel today, Funimation announced five new titles, three new dub casts, a license rescue and a partridge in a pear tree… alright, I made that last part up but the rest of it is right on.
Starting with the new licenses, it was announced today that Funimation has acquired: Rideback, Heaven’s Lost Property (Japanese title: Sora no Otoshimono), Chrome Shelled Regios, both seasons of Rosario + Vampire and Chaos;Head. All of which are set to be released in 2011 except Chrome Shelled Regios which is set to hit DVD later this year.
In the rescue department, it was also announced that Funimation will be releasing Gun x Sword which originally got a Geneon release back in 2006-2007 before they took their ball and went home.
If that wasn’t enough for you, also announced today were the English dub casts and release dates for three additional series: Eden of the East, Corpse Princess (Japanese title: Shikabane Hime) and Casshern Sins which are all listed below:
Eden of the East – Complete series to be released September 28th 2010
ADR Director – Mike McFarlane
Akira Takizawa - Jason Liebrecht
Saki Morimi - Leah Clark
Juiz - Stephanie Young
Kuroha Diana Shiratori - Christine Auten
Daiju Mononobe - John Gremillion
Micchon – Stephanie Sheh
Haruo Kasuga – John Burgmeier
Sis – Lydia Mackay
Kazuomi Hirasawa - J. Michael Tatum
Satoshi Osugi – Michael Sinterniklaas
Panties – Newton Pittman
Casshern Sins – Set 1 to be released August 2010
ADR Director – Jason Grundy
Braiking Boss – Paul Slavens
Casshern – Eric Vale
Luna – Trina Nishimura
Lyuze – Brina Palencia
Leda – Shelly Calene-Black
Ohji – Jerry Russell
Ringo – Monica Rial
Dio – Jerry Jewell
Dune – Jason Douglas
Corpse Princess – Parts I and II will be released September 14th 2010
ADR Directors – R. Bruce Elliot, Terri Doty and J. Michael Tatum
Keisei Tagami – J. Michael Tatum
Makina Hoshimura – Luci Christian
Ouri Kagami – Aaron Dismuke
Rika Aragami – Cynthia Cranz
Saki Amase – Monica Rial
Takamasa Sōgi – Joel McDonald
Itsuki Yamagami – Cherami Leigh
For the most part there is a little bit of everything for fans to get excited about. Course, there are also a few things to not be excited about (seriously, Heaven’s Lost Property and Rideback? Gag) but we’re going to focus on the positive here. September is shaping up to be a good month for anime viewing and I can’t wait to finally sit down and see all of Eden of the East after losing track of it when it first aired. I plan on breaking down these releases in a bit more detail in the near future for those who aren’t familiar with all of these titles but what’s sticking out at you as exciting right off the bat?
Full press releases below the cut
Whew, it’s been a couple of days now since getting back from Seattle and yet here I am about to start talking about more conventions in Seattle. I always knew that there were people who built models with legos all the way up into their adulthood and you have to admire the ones who are able to stick with it and create some pretty damn impressive works. What I didn’t realize however is that there are still entire conventions dedicated to this and one will be taking place in Seattle later this year.
Taking on the theme ‘Big in Japan’, this year’s BrickCon held in Seattle will be featuring models and displays from lego builders which are influenced from Japanese history and pop culture (which includes anime). It’s still very early but one builder, Iain Heath, has already started to display some of his designs which will include some interesting My Neighbor Totoro displays.
If you happen to be in Seattle around the beginning of October and want to see some anime lego designs, make sure to hit the Seattle Center.
<Image via Iain Heath, thanks to Isaac Alexander for the tip>
Sorry it took so long everyone but I’ve finally posted my photos from this year’s event. Included below are the best photos for cosplayers and panels which includes the Gothic Lolita Fashion Show and Cosplay Chess. If you see one of your photos and would like to be credited, feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here and I’ll update the photo accordingly.
Follow me below the jump for all the photos!
If last year could be summed by attendees as ‘Girugamesh!’ than 2010 will be known as the year a big thing was done badly. Initially things were running smoothly, pre-reg was a snap and parking was a breeze, but it only took hours for the disorganization of this year’s event to become evident, especially from the perspective of press.
The main event of the weekend was the Friday night premiere of Trigun: Badlands Rumble. While checking in to get my press badge, I learned that the official press materials for the entire weekend wouldn’t be available until the next morning… after the convention had already started and that press was not going to be given any priority seating for the premiere. Oh yeah, this was going to be a fun little weekend.
Before I even arrived in Seattle this year, I knew that my schedule was going to be very odd due to a complete lack of panels in the afternoon that interested me. I attempted to attend some cosplay panels with a friend but found that most of the panelists were all saying the same few things over and over with little originality between them. When panels of interest to me were scheduled though, they were often grouped together so tightly that a slow day could instantly become a race.
The first example of this occurred on Friday night when my schedule really began. It started with the Funimation Sneak Peek panel where Funimation rep Lance shared trailers and slipped some news in about the new Initial D releases coming out later this year. I’d love to tell you how this one ended but unfortunately myself and all the other press had to leave early in order to try and find a place in line for Trigun since we were all also informed at various times that we were going to be forced to check our bags at the door. Luckily we were all finally able to get a place in the priority line to cover the movie (but seriously, it took a lot more work than it should have) though had we known what we were about to watch we might not have been in such a hurry.
Right before entering the room, hastily written notes on the room sign informed attendees that the movie was going to be shown in its original Japanese with NO subtitles which pleased no one. After having our bags checked and the audience seated, the con chair stood in front of the crowd to get us pumped with encouraging words: The movie was going to be shown with NO subtitles, in standard definition, 2 channel audio and the media player of choice was going to be VLC Player. Wow, way to blow us away there. Then we were told that the Q&A would be before the movie (again, much to the dismay of the audience and press) and lasted for about 20 minutes. This was a big thing done badly.
The saving graces for day 1 were the annual crossplay panels hosted by Kurt, Carlos and other members of the SakuraCon crossplay community and the guest panels held that night. In case you’re wondering, they were all scheduled in a packed segment of time against each other. In the evening voice actor Chris Patton spoke to a packed room in his ‘Chris Patton Shares Too Much’ panel. If you’ve never attended one of these 18+ panel, the concept is simple: Chris Patton, one of the more open members of the voice acting community, answers ANY question asked by the audience. There is a reason why this panel was marked 18+ but a good time was had by all in the room. I just wish that this panel hadn’t been going against the similarly themed ‘Ask Me Anything’ panel because I’m sure that anyone who attended one might’ve also been interested in attending the other.
Attendance in general at this convention seemed to be down this year. Between the easy parking job (seriously, have you ever tried to find parking in Seattle?) and the much easier time it took to get around the convention center in general, it seemed visibly obvious that there weren’t nearly as many in attendance this year as the previous but I was never able to get any solid numbers regarding this year’s attendance.
Day 2 in Seattle started much the same way the first did; with very little to do for myself until the late afternoon. Luckily, not everyone ran into this problem as audiences seemed receptive to the guests as Satoshi Nishimura and Noizi Ito speaking to crowded rooms about their crafts. Finally in the afternoon, Funimation held their panel and announced that they would be releasing Spice and Wolf II, the Eden of the East movies and rescue Chobits from Geneon. After that though, I was left with literally hours to kill and realized what the biggest issue of the weekend for the convention: little to no industry presence.
Over the entire weekend, only a handful of industry information panels were held: two from Funimation, one from Dark Horse and one from NIS America. Other than a Media Blasters booth set up in the exhibition hall and a table set up by Viz Pictures (which was only staffed for a couple of hours), there was no representation present and it only took a quick scan on my Twitter account to see that everyone else had packed their bags for Boston instead.
Just like the day before, the things that saved the night for many attendees were annual panels and convention favorites such as Anime That Scarred Me For Life. A fun panel moderated by KumoriCon Con Chair Beau Gentry, this is an annual panel for fans to get up on stage and share with the audience those series which have scarred, warped or otherwise seriously screwed with their heads. Unfortunately while everyone who attended the panel last year were glad to see the panel moved into a room much more accommodating to the numbers, it would have been nice if more people had gotten to see the panel. Thanks to another visit from the disorganization fairy and confusion amongst the staffers regarding curfew, many people were turned away at the door for failing to have an 18+ stamp for a panel which was rated appropriate for teenagers while on a personal note, I was left annoyed that this particular panel had been scheduled against the Shibari panel. Grr!
As with most conventions, Sunday is the when crowds thin the fastest leaving only the Gothic Lolita fashion show and unscripted Cosplay Chess to keep attendees entertained until the closing ceremonies. Both programs played to packed crowds and left fans happy in the end though Cosplay Chess did quickly degenerate into an odd game with rules that no one understood and a participant who refused to keep himself off the board. I won’t mention this cosplayer by name but if you were there you know who he is and if that person happens to be reading this, you’re an ass.
Every spring, I look forward to one event in particular and that is returning to Seattle to attend my hometown con. Sadly between staffers who were rude to both press and guests (I overheard one special guest mentioning rude convention staff), poor panel selection, almost no industry presence and a poorly presented main event I’m left wondering if perhaps next year I should be looking for another convention to start my season off with. I’d really like to return but I have to admit that instead of already adding the dates of next year’s con to my calendar I’ve been busier trying to find out if it’s cold in Boston this time of year.
Breakin It Down
Most Popular Cosplays: Vocaloids and Higurashi Angel Mort waitress cosplay
Painful Lesson Re-Learned: Restaurants in Seattle close way too frickin early!
Mental Lapse of the Weekend: Almost saying ‘abstinence’ instead of ‘absence’ during my interview with Satoshi Nishimura.
Edited 5/10: Normally when I put up a post, that’s the end of it and I don’t touch it again. In this instance, I’ve felt a need to return to this article and elaborate on something. While most of the points in this article are valid and what I still believe, the attitude with which they were delivered isn’t. I had a poor attitude that weekend and this had an effect on my writing afterwards. While a lot of things will change over the next year, my plans for April are quite likely to involve this convention and I hope to see you all there.
Hello again from an oddly not very rainy Seattle! SakuraCon is getting a bit busier today so hopefully that means there’s going to be a great audience present for whatever Funimation has in store for us today. If you have a question that you want answered in the next hour, you can leave me a comment either here or on Twitter and I’ll do my best to get it asked during the Q&A portion. Only a few more minutes to go….
EDITED to insert a cut, follow below for coverage…
So, you’re probably wondering why there wasn’t a Trigun: Badlands Rumble live blog posted in the last couple of hours despite the fact that one was advertised earlier this week on the official preview. That would be because I wasn’t allowed. Not before but since I’ve arrived at SakuraCon, slow trickles of information made them way down to various members of the press. The first hammer to strike down upon us was the complete banishment of any kind of electronic equipment inside the theater hall. With the movie premiering three weeks before it premieres in Japan, this wasn’t a huge shock and everyone in the press pool seemed to be mostly understanding (though also understandably annoyed).
But then there was confusion amongst the various staff members; was there priority seating? Would the Q&A be taking place at the end of the screening? Would press be allowed to grab their materials in time to cover the Q&A? Did the movie have any sort of English subtitles? It seemed that no matter who you asked, there was a different answer to be had and no one was even sure that the information they had was entirely accurate.
Finally the event started and all the answers were given at once: yes, press was given priority seating (eventually), the Q&A would be held at the beginning of the screening but no one could cover it with phones or laptops and the movie was being shown in its original Japanese with no subtitles.
The Q&A portion of the event was kept short with only 4-5 questions from the audience being asked in total. Unfortunately I was one of poor schmucks who forgot to bring a pad and paper with him to the event so I’ll do my best to relay the information:
Director Nishimura was introduced first and informed everyone that the events of the movie were being told as though they could have happened during the original TV series and introduces two new characters. One is a gruff thief who wants to steal everything and another is a young girl named Amelia who hides a secret behind the grumpy exterior she attempts to show everyone else in the world. What is that secret? You’ll have to watch the movie for yourself to figure that one out.
When asked later why the story was taking place as though it could have happened during the TV series as opposed to the events which closed it out; Nishimura answered that they wanted to reunite the characters and bring back everyone that the fans already loved such as Wolfwood.
While there were two other questions regarding the artwork for the series, the biggest question came at the end (almost as though it was on cue). Closing out the segment, one fan asked if there was already any work being done on bringing the movie to the US and giving it a full English dub. Without missing a beat, Nishimura answered that the movie is in active negotiations for a US license and dub. Naturally there were no specific company names mentioned but Nishimura did say that the odds of the movie getting licensed was an almost certainty. Gee, wonder which company could possibly be in talks to get this one?
Movie General Impressions: As mentioned previously, the movie premiered this weekend with absolutely no English subtitles leaving those of us who speak limited Japanese (or worse, none at all) feeling our way around to find the story. I did do my best to stick it out but after awhile felt that there was no way that even if I watched the entire movie, it would be disrespectful and unprofessional to try and write a review of a movie that I didn’t understand.
I did, however, stick around for the first 15 minutes in order to get the best general impression that I could. From what I saw, the spirit of Trigun and more importantly, Vash the Stampede, is alive and well with the latest movie. The very first scene of the movie takes place in a small town where a bank is being robbed by the new villain only for things to go terribly wrong once Vash makes his first appearance of the movie. Before long, years have passed and Vash is still being blamed for the amazing bank robbery that could have been.
In this first scene, Trigun: Badlands Rumble manages to revive the slapstick action that made the first series so much fun to watch for fans. Large guns, unlimited bullets flying unlimited directions, missiles being shot remotely off of escape donkeys… even without the aid of English subtitles fans in the room were having absolutely no issues getting involved and laughing along. Before the end of the weekend, I would love to sit in on one of the repeat screenings but for now, this is going to have to do.
Keep tuning in over the weekend; tomorrow is the Funimation industry panel and I’m hoping to get as many cosplay photos up as I can!
Oh yeah Seattle, can you feel it? Once a year and for one weekend, I get to return to my home turf and do nothing but revel in complete otaku geekery. SakuraCon has got some great programming lined up this year including the world premiere of the new Trigun movie and some interesting guests including Haruhi Suzumiya character designer Noizi Ito. For dub fans the lineup is packed with Luci Christian, Brina Palencia, Chris Patton, Todd Haberkorn and more. Though they also have a few glaring scheduling flaws; who the hell thought it would be a good idea to hold the shibari panel at the same time as the ‘Ask Me Anything’ panel?!? Grr!
Regardless, I’m going to be running around this convention covering as much as I possibly can and wanted to fill you in on everything coming up over the next three days:
4pm: Funimation Sneak Peek: While not normally a place to scoop a lot of news, look for me to speak up around this time on Twitter if anything of note is announced. Last year, the equipment malfunctioned in this panel and the impromptu Q&A session gleamed some interesting insights from Adam Sheehan (though he will be in Boston this year).
5pm: Trigun World Premiere: Naturally I’m not going to live blog the movie. Following the movie however, a Q&A session will be held with director Satoshi Nishimura and character designer Takahiro Yoshimatsu which I will liveblog (the interesting bits at least).
2pm: Funimation Industry Panel: Always a hot bed of information, will Funimation save a license announcement or two for Seattle or will it all be announced in Boston?
So technically I do not have any one on one interviews lined up at the moment but I will be attempting to get some time with Brina Palencia, Chris Patton, Satoshi Nishimura and others. If you have any questions for the guests or industry reps in particular, leave them in a comment here and I will do my best to track down an answer for you.
Yeah, so not actually telling you what it is here. While planning out my weekend though, I discovered that my Saturday is actually unexpectedly mostly free. Look for something special to come out of this next week after I get back to Oregon.
Are any of you going to be attending SakuraCon this year? If you happen to see me, feel free to say hi! It’s pretty hard to miss me, as my friends from back home used to say ‘just look for the L.B. shaped blur.’
See you in Seattle!
This has already been a good week for guest roll outs; Anime Expo has already announced Shinichiro Watanabe with Anime Detour doing the same shortly after. Yesterday SakuraCon jumped back into the forefront announcing a brand new event and two special guests to go along with it: At this year’s event, Seattle will be hosting the world premiere of the new Trigun movie, Badlands Rumble. The movie will be screened for audiences a full three weeks before the April 24 premiere in Japan.
In addition to the world premiere (which I most certainly intend to be at… unless the con does something depressing like schedule an industry panel at the same time) they will also be hosting Satoshi Nishimura (Director of the movie and Trigun TV series as well as Hajime no Ippo [Fighting Spirit]) and Takahiro Yoshimatsu (series and movie character designer as well as Desert Punk, Ninja Scroll, Slayers and more).
I’ll admit it, I have a special place in my heart for SakuraCon since it’s my hometown con and when they make announcements like this, it just kind of gets ya right there… by there I mean wallet as it empties rapidly to pay for another weekend trip back to Washington.
Full press release below the cut