Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


The Anthem of the Heart: The Egg and I

February 1, 2016

hisui_icon_4040 I think I have officially proved that I am an anime fan. I could point to 8 and half years of running a blog, 6 years of podcasting, or dozen of panels run at conventions as some sort of poof of dedication to the hobby. I think they all pale in comparison to braving a blizzard that dumped over 2 feet of snow on NYC just to see The Anthem of the Heart. That alone should allow me pass by any gatekeepers without a second thought.

(Truth be told gatekeepers almost always have their opinion formed before they talk to you but I like to believe beautiful lies.)

I do mention that in advance that if you are a strong proponent of the theory of effort justification and its effect on a viewer’s experience that it might be a factor in this review. My journey was not flying to Japan to see a movie premiere but it was a fairly long hike over quite a bit of snow through a very stressed transit system. I don’t think it prejudiced it me in favor of the film but it was quite a trial to see the movie and an equal undertaking to get home. When you have to climb over walls of ice that are as tall as you are, dig out trapped taxis, and stand in subway stops with snowdrifts in them you are going place some weight to the work you placed into your odyssey. Keep that in mind as you read this.

A good question might be what sort of movie would motivate me to do my best Robert Edwin Peary impersonation? The Anthem of the Heart has a fairly strong pedigree. Much of the staff of the movie including Tatsuyuki Nagai, Jin Aketagawa, Masayoshi Tanaka, Kazuko Nakajima, and Mari Okada also worked on AnoHana. While hardly a perfect work (as evidenced by its vocal detractors) I thought that AnoHana was extremely entertaining and rather touching anime so I was looking forward to seeing what this team could do with the tighter storytelling space of a movie.

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New York Comic Con 2015: Anime and Manga

October 22, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 The saddest parts of Japanese guests in America is when a skilled director, animator, or artist sits in front of a half filled room of mostly press, podcasters, and bloggers despite the fact that their extensive resumes that would wow most of the attendees if they were aware of who they could be listening to. That is no longer an absolute given as some conventions like AnimeNEXT have figured out how to sell certain high-profile guests in a way that can fill a medium and even larger sized panel room. But all of that paled in comparison to the crowd that showed up to see Masashi Kishimoto.

The mere fact that Mr. Kishimoto was able to fill a hall that seats about 3,000 people is proof positive that he is one of the handful of guests who could draw such a crowd. It showed two things very clearly. The first is that Naruto is still really popular in America. The second is that New York Comic Con is the sort of event that can draw a manga guest that prominent despite not being an anime convention.

But the anime and manga content did not end with just Mr. Kishimoto. There was actually a good deal things to do related to Japanese entertainment all weekend.

narutaki_icon_4040 A few years ago, it seemed like anime and manga being part of New York Comic Con was slowly evaporating. But now, it has its own place both on the guest roster and the show floor.

The amazing talent that VIZ is consistently bringing over to interact with English-speaking fans is beyond impressive at this point. It is anybody’s guess what they’ll do next! Read the rest of this entry ?


Crime Scene Investigations #011: New York Comic Con 2015

October 19, 2015

This is a bonus segment of the Speakeasy Podcast we like to call Crime Scene Investigations. These are random bonus podcasts that we record about various events. There is no regular schedule for these. We will put them up as quickly as we can when the opportunity for one occurs. 

We had a spectacular year at New York Comic Con. Listen to us recount our epic 4-day journey as we saw Masashi Kishimoto, Felicia Day, the crew of the Firefly, and more!

Crime Scene Investigations #011:
New York Comic Con 2015


New York Comic Con 2015: General Impressions

October 16, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 The transition into and out of New York Comic Con is always a jarring experience. The contrast between your normal life of work and/or school and being at a convention is the difference between night and day. It breaks your routine in fantastic and disruptive ways every time. In many ways it is like a gorgeous succubus (or incubus) that lures you in with a pleasurable otherworldly experience and then it drops you back in the ordinary world feeling with a surreal satisfaction, drained of all life, and possibly with some sort of infernal sickness.

The fact that the convention has become a four-day affair makes New York Comic Con both an epic vacation and an endurance run at the same time. You feel simultaneously refreshed as fan even if you need a relaxing vacation for your mind and body at the same time. A single day con feels like a little walk in the park for a little change of pace, a weekend convention is a full marathon, but a 4 day convention is doing the Ironman Triathlon while wearing a weighted training suit. It is an experience only for the hardcore and the masochistic.

I can’t even imagine the fierceness needed for day 5 hard battle like San Diego Comic-Con. But I am sure it is coming. It is just a mater of time.

Until then we shall recount our time at New York Comic Con.

narutaki_icon_4040 This year at New York Comic Con I did a few things differently. First, I attended my first Main Stage event (two in fact) which meant braving the crowds in order to secure a wristband which guaranteed entry. Second, I concentrated more effort on meeting creators and getting autographs. And third, I tried to stay away from the show floor to an extent. All of those things worked out great in a way I wasn’t expecting. These things, plus great comrades in arms, ended up creating an unforgettable four days.

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