AnimeNYC 2017 – a con in mini review

AnimeNYC hits Jacob Javits for the first time November 17 to 19. The convention center is no stranger to anime cons, the last time New York Anime Fest being there in 2011. Helmed by Crunchyroll, the event was even bigger then NYAF with participating studios including Pony Canyon, Funimation, Viz, NYAV Post and more. An industry con with a heart in the fandom with a plethora of guests from directors, producers, voice actors, cosplayers and singers. Anime Diva night kicked off the weekend on friday with classic singers, masquerade on Saturday and the highlight of sunday, two movie premieres, Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower along with the sold out Fullmetal Alchemist live action movie. Hit the link for photos and fun….
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Otakon 2017 – cosplay pics


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Otakon 2017 – T.M.Revolution Q&A panel

The panel had a no photo policy which I felt was more of a Anisong management restriction rather then one from the T.M.Revolution management. I say that since the past panels with Nishikawa-san’s appearances, photos were always allowed as noted from my previous coverage of the artist. However, I do respect their decision and didn’t inquire further. The panel opened with the chants of “TMR! TMR! TMR!” as the man of the hour, Nishikawa Takanori-san came on stage. The panel opened immediately to questions by the fans.
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Otakon 2017 – Official Gundam Panel by Sunrise

The Sunrise host Yamashira greeted the audience and introduced Producer and managing director Hideyuki Tomioka. Hideyuki worked on Mobile Suit Gundam Origins, Gundam X as well as Inuyasha, Steamboy amongst others.
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AnimeNEXT 2017 – a con in review

For their second year at Atlantic City, Anime Next pulled out all the stops and invited the production staff of the hit Fall 2016 series, Yuri!!! On Ice. However, that is not all of the extensive guests from Japan. Already a staple of ANEXT, Studio Trigger’s Wakabayashi Hiromi-san and Koyama Shigeto-san returns with animators Handa Shuhei-san and Yoshinari Yo-san. Staff of ReLIFE makes an appearance with seiyuu Ueda Reina-san and there are more news from VOCALOID. Stateside guests include voice actors, Ellyn Stern, John Swasey, Lex lang including cultural speaker Charles Dunbar and comedian Uncle Yo. More from the weekend of cosplay, fandoms and fun under the cut!
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AnimeNEXT 2017 – Yuri!!! on Ice with MAPPA panel (sunday)

Thankfully, the panel started on time and the host began with the same introduction as the day before. Yuri!!! on Ice is a 2016 anime about male figure skating created by Kubo Mitsuro-sensei and director Yamamoto Sayo. He jumped right into the intros of the guests from left to right of the stage with producer Ogawa Takahiro in charge of the animation schedule, prop designer Ito Noriko (designer for the cellphone covers as well as Yuuri and the triplet’s explanations,) color designer Hirose Izumi, animation director and many of the skating scenes Tatenaka Junpei.
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AnimeNEXT 2017 – Oblivion Dust concert gallery and setlist

It was nice of the staff to provide ear plugs for us. It was fun concert though I was more concentrated on the photos rather than the music for once. After the 4 songs, I left the front of the room with the other press. It was a rocking concert though
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AnimeNEXT 2017 – Yuri!!! on Ice Q&A with MAPPA (saturday)

The panel started really late, 25 minutes in actually. The fans screamed when the guests came onto the stage. From left to right, Producer Ogawa Takahiro, ice skating animator Tatenaka Junpei, prop designer and lead animation supervisor Ito Noriko and color designer Hirose Izumi. As they sat, Ito-san placed the Makkachin tissue box in the middle. I’m sure Makkachin will be present at all YOI events. He is very much a part of the staff.
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Book Reveiw: “Indigo”, a mosaic novel

Indigo, a mosaic novel
By Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James A. Moore, and Mark Morris.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 2017
ISBN 978-1-250-07678-6
Book supplied by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is the second book I’ve read that was written by a committee. The first one was “Naked Came The Stranger”, back in 1969, written by Penelope Ashe, which was a pseudonym for a group of twenty-four journalists led by Newsday columnist Mike McGrady. He wanted to write a book that was both deliberately terrible and contained a lot of sex, to illustrate the point that popular American literary culture had become mindlessly vulgar. McGrady was convinced that any book could succeed if enough sex was thrown in. He was right; the book became a bestseller. After the hoax was revealed, it sold even more copies. This proves that you can never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, according to H.L. Mencken, renowned author and cynic.
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Katsucon 2017 – a con in review

The Gaylord Resort and Convention Center becomes a center of cosplay and fandoms as fans gather at Katsucon. This year, it wasn’t on Valentine’s Day but the weekend afterwards, February 17 to 19. The weather was beautiful, warm so cosplayers flooded the grounds with their latest outfits, photoshooting and posing. A celebration of series and music with masquerade, craftsmanship and panels. My focus of the weekend was on the cosplays as usual and the con didn’t disappoint.
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Katsucon 2017 – Aniplex of America

Marketing specialist, Allen welcomed the fans to the panel. He noted that it was the first time at Katsucon. He praised the cosplayers “The things that your characters get to do, climb rocks, get into gazebo, these are things in LA that you would NEVER get to do. It’s a hazard.” His energy was met with laughter.
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Katsucon 2017 – Model Exposition

Amazed, I’m always in awe by the level of detail and attention placed on the clothing in movies. The scene passes quickly and the characters are the main focus, usually not their clothing. But to see it up close, note the type of material and attention to the lines and colors is a great opportunity for those interested in sewing and fashion. Or simply cosplay.
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Katsucon 2017 – Masquerade

The highlight of the weekend has to be the masquerade and it was the performances themselves were amazing. The level of creativity is always high at this convention and this year was no different. Some highlights of the acts are shown below.
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Otakon 2016 – Makino Yui Concert

Makino Yui-san stepped onstage and opened with the light and cheerful melody of ‘Modokashii Sekai no Uede’ which brought on the cheers of the crowd. She then greeted the audience in English with a loud voice. “Thank you! Hi, everyone! Hi, Balitmore! I’m happy to see all of you!” The audience was definitely excited as they cheered back. Yui-san then switched to Japanese.

    Yui: Hello, everyone. I’m Makino Yui. Thank you very much. Is it okay to speak in Japanese? That’s amazing! Do you understand Japanese? Thank you so much! I love you all! Thank you!

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Book review: Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove

I’d like to publish the following guest review by my favorite collaborator, Pet Leopard, as a warning of things to come after the nomination of Donald Trump on January 20th. God help America.

“Joe Steele” by Harry Turtledove
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: 12/01/2015
ISBN-13: 9780451472199
Book supplied by Reviewer

Guest Review by Pet Leopard

Well, according to a popular old saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same. Harry Turtledove’s thought provoking masterpiece, “Joe Steele”, is a testament to the truth of that line of reasoning.

As a child of the early 1960’s, I have lived through both Kennedy assassinations, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Gulf War, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and a horrible decade-long period of warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although Mr. Turtledove references an alternate history that’s set well before the earliest of those events had taken place, there are many parallels that resonate very closely.
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Book review: “Do You Want to Know a Secret? The Autobiography of Billy J. Kramer

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET? THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BILLY J. KRAMER
BY: BILLY J. KRAMER with Alyn Shipton
PUBLISHED BY: Equinox Publishing 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78179 361 9
Review copy sent by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

The British Invasion didn’t just bring The Beatles to our shore. It also brought a great many young British bands eager to follow in their footsteps. Some went on to become big stars, like The Rolling Stones and The Who. Some were one hit wonders who just came and went. But one enduring presence was a lad who befriended the Fab Four when they were all just aspiring young musicians in Liverpool. His name was, and is, Billy J. Kramer.
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Photos from Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con

(I think that’s the name of it.)

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Otakon 2016 – a con in review

Otakon’s last weekend at Baltimore was filled with a plethora of guests with varied talents. From Japan, we have industry guests, from PA Works CEO Horikawa Kenji, Producer Kikuchi Nobuhiro and art director Higashiji Kazuki, illustrator Fukagawa Kasumi of the Idolish Seven fame and director Akane Kazuki from Sunrise amongst others. Popular seiyuu Yamamoto Kazutomi and Makino Yui share their experiences and musical talent. Other musical guests include ALL-OFF, Michi and Yoshiki making a rare appearance via webcam. Stateside guests include Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Aaron Dismuke, Caitlin Glass, Lauren Landa and way, way more. Culture guests include priestess and model Kanawa Kuniko, Men at Arms and these are just the tip of the list. With the number of guests and events, we can’t hit everything. However, the weekend has created memories which the city will not soon forget.
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