Otakon 2018 – a con in review

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.

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Otakon 2018 – Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans panel

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.
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Otakon 2018 – Distant Worlds concert

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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Anime Expo 2018 – a con in review

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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Anime Expo 2018 – Anisong Friday Concert

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!”

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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 – 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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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 – 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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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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