The second year of Otakon in Washington, DC was a weekend filled with fun surprises. There were guests of all media from culture with the Shinto Priestess Kanawa Kuniko to Man-at-Arms, cosplayers Serena Dejesus to production with Square Enix Producer Kimura Yasutaka and Studio Trigger President Otsuka Masahiko. Highlighted guests were Conductors Arnie and Eric Roth for the Distant Worlds orchestra with the esteemed composer Uematsu Nobuo and a treat for us all: Cheritz developer, Sujin Ri with the Korean voice actors from the popular, Mystic Messenger mobile game. There was alot to take in, alot to reminiscence, creating a weekend we will not soon forget.
Despite the press meet starting at 5:15pm, the guests stated that they will stay the full hour for us which is really awesome of them. The first opened with the guests introducing themselves. From left to right, Soojin San (Saeran, Unknown, Ray), Young Sun Kim (707), Producer Sujin Ri, Ho San Yi (V) and Kyuhyuk Shim (Yoosung).
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The host opened the panel with a call to cosplayers to join the staff for photos at the end of the panel. They also plugged the boxsets available at the booth. The limited edition is available online which includes the Barbatos gunpla. After introducing the guests, they asked them to talk about how long they have been in the industry.
Continue reading “Otakon 2018 – Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans panel”
Before Uematsu came out the staff instructed the audience to sing out the Victory fanfare when Uematsu comes out. We really tried, but it was so scattered since we didn’t get the cue. Either way, the energy, love and joy at being able to hear from Uematsu was felt from the fans.
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Since Distant Worlds started in 2007, I’ve been to all their concerts in the New York area. And every concert has been a wonderful experience of music, animation and story. A celebration with fans of music and game. But for Otakon to host the concert was a rare treat for attendees. And it was even rarer for me to be able to take photos to memorialize the evening after only savoring with my eyes and ears for so long.
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TITLE: FIERCE: The History of Leopard Print
BY: Jo Weldon
PUBLISHED BY: Harper Design, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPubishers
Review copy provided by author
Review by Ida Vega-Landow
This book is dedicated to “the BIG Cats, the people they INSPIRE, and the people who work to preserve their lives and HABITATS.” But it’s intended for all you wild things out there who love to wear leopard print. It’s a historic study of the vivid, spotted fur of a beautiful beast whose strength and independent nature inspired women, who are usually the downtrodden, powerless members of society, to be strong and fearless too.
Being a livelong lover of leopard print myself, I have worn it in every way possible. My favorite loafers and sneakers are leopard print; so is a well-worn pair of high heels, along with one of my mock turtleneck tops, a short-sleeved blouse and a pair of stretch pants. Of course I have a leopard print nightgown, and a sleepshirt, as well as pajamas. I also have a leopard print bra, for which I have yet to find matching undies. I laugh to scorn the conventional notion that women over fifty shouldn’t wear leopard print. I’ve worn it more often since I turned fifty. I use it as an accessory, to set off my favorite clothes. I don’t think I’d have the nerve to wear head to toe leopard print, though certain celebrities, from Peg Bundy of “Married With Children” to Pat Benatar, who regularly performed in a leotard or catsuit, are not shy about doing so.
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Anime Expo kicked off the summer with the biggest Japanime bash of the US. Every year they get illustrious guests from Japan from creators, producers and seiyuu as well as famed musical guests. There was a ton of things going on including Deku’s seiyuu Yamashita Daiki with the My Hero Academia movie as well as seiyuu Yuki Kaji with the premiere of Attack on Titans season 3. For music lovers, there is the 3 days of Anisong with Cinderella Girls live, May’n and the famed composer, Yuki Kajiura. Couldn’t see everything and this is only a glimpse into the weekend…
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The concert opened up with May’n singing Chase the World to the screams of the fans. The upbeat tempo started the crowd dancing. May’n had her own crew of backup dancers along with the band. She greeted the fans in English. “Are you ready to make some noise? Come on, Los Angeles!” *fans cheer* It was awesome to see May’n feed off the energy of the fans. “There are so many people! I have alwys wanted to meet you guys. Tonight, let’s make a big memory. Let me hear your voice!”
TITLE: FOOLS AND MORTALS
BY: Bernard Cornwell
PUBLISHED BY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2017
Review copy purchased by reviewer
Review by Ida Vega-Landow
I was pleasantly surprised to find this book as one of my selections in the Doubleday Book Club. I was also surprised to find that I knew the author from one of his previous works. Bernard Cornwell is the creator of the Saxon Tales, which served as the basis for “The Last Kingdom”, a TV show I was fond of about the dawn of the British Empire, when the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes were still fighting over England.
The story is about William Shakespeare’s younger brother, Richard. He is an actor, or player as they called it back then, in his brother’s company at The Theatre, a forerunner of the Globe. (In real life, the Bard of Avon was the third of eight siblings, so it’s possible he might have had a brother who was as talented an actor as he was a writer.) You’d think that being related to the head of the company, who’s also its scriptwriter, young Richard would be one of the stars. But alas,‘tis not so.
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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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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.
Continue reading “Otakon 2017 – T.M.Revolution Q&A panel”
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.
Continue reading “Otakon 2017 – Official Gundam Panel by Sunrise”
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!
Continue reading “AnimeNEXT 2017 – a con in review”
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.
Continue reading “AnimeNEXT 2017 – Yuri!!! on Ice with MAPPA panel (sunday)”
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
Continue reading “AnimeNEXT 2017 – Oblivion Dust concert gallery and setlist”
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.
Continue reading “AnimeNEXT 2017 – Yuri!!! on Ice Q&A with MAPPA (saturday)”
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
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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