— my DETECTIVE story!! (@narutakiRT) July 26, 2015
What happened to young man who could get 2 hours of sleep a night at conventions? #Otakon2015
— The Detective Maid (@hisuiRT) July 25, 2015
(note: No Type-Moon Weekly News Round Up or All Points Bulletin this week)
Rejoice! It is Otakon time once again!
This year’s guests include a number of staff from GARO the Animation, Masao Maruyama, Yuichiro Hayashi, Yasuaki Iwase, Toru Kubo, and Romi Park. Other exciting guests include Shinji Takamatsu (director of Brave Police J-Decker, Gundam Wing, Gundam X, Daily Lives of High School Boys), Seiji Kishi (director of Hamatora, Persona 3 and 4 anime, Game of Laplace), Toshiyuki Toyonaga (voice actor of Mikado Ryugamine in the DURARARA!!, Flit in Gundam AGE, Mahiro in Blast of Tempest), and Ei Aoki (director of Fate/Zero, Aldnoah.Zero).
With all those guests plus fan panels and other activities, Otakon promises (as always) to be a delightfully exhausting weekend.
We got panels, be sure to attend!
Sat. 7:00PM – I Hate Sports: A Sports Anime Panel
Sat. 9:30PM – New Anime for Older Fans
Our tentative schedule for the convention:
09:00 AM – The Nose Goes!!!: A FKMT Panel
10:00 AM – Shinji Takamatsu autograph session
10:15 AM – 70s Anime Funtime! panel
11:30 AM – MAPPA w/ Maruyama panel
12:45 PM – Kuro Fashion: African-American Influence in Animation and Japan panel
12:45 PM – I Love the 90s: Anime Edition panel
03:15 PM – Durarara!! Guest panel
04:30 PM – Shinji Takamatsu Q&A panel
04:30 PM – Garo: The Animation Official Panel
07:00 PM – The 3/11 Earthquake and Manga panel
08:15 PM – Feminism and Lesbian Representation in Yurikuma Arashi panel
08:45 PM – Skin Deep: A Historical Look at Diversity in Anime & Beyond panel
09:30 PM – Macross: The Walking Shadow panel
11:45 PM – Terror in Resonance: A Cultural Analysis panel
09:00 AM – Fansite Bootcamp panel
10:15 AM – Awesome Women in Anime; 2.0. panel
11:30 AM – Seiji Kishi Q&A panel
12:00 PM – Maid Cafe Show
12:45 PM – The World Outside the Walls: Militarism and the Individual in Anime panel
02:00 PM – Aldnoah.Zero Guest panel
02:00 PM – Otakon is Alive with the Sounds of Anime panel
03:15 PM – Romi Park Q&A panel
03:15 PM – Sekai Project industry panel
05:45 PM – Shirobako and the Real Anime Industry panel
05:45 PM – Behind the Stand: Jojo’s Bizarre Discography panel
08:15 PM – The Wanderer’s History: The History Behind Rurouni Kenshin panel
08:15 PM – Bits of Victory – A Game Design Panel
10:30 PM – Anime Luminaries of Questionable Merit panel
11:45 PM – Twinfinite’s Shame-free Intro to Adult Visual Novels panel
09:00 AM – The Ikuhara Trio: Analyzing Themes in Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum, and Yurikuma Arashi panel
10:15 AM – Art of Animation Featuring GARO panel
10:15 AM – Great Ugly Manga panel
12:00 PM – Breaking down the membership fee panel
12:45 PM – Discotek Media industry panel
I was pleased to see the variety returning to Otakon’s Artist Alley this year in terms of style, series displayed, and even the wares themselves. The up and coming items seem to be zipper pouches (which started showing up a couple of years ago but which now have exploded), lanyards, and, surprisingly, scarves. Despite these new crafts, I kept to my usual collections if only to stop myself from going into a frenzy of buying. How long I will hold out, especially with regards to lanyards, will remain to be seen.
As with the AnimeNEXT alley this year, there didn’t seem to be one or two titles that took over every booth. Certainly, Attack on Titan was quite popular, but with no new anime recently it seems to have kept it from overtaking everything else, at least in regard to what artists were making fan creations of. I was pleased to see a lot of the recent sports titles: Haikyu!!, Yowamushi Pedal, and Free! being represented, too.
It is a lot of fun for me to go to an artist alley with a new series to collect things from, for Otakon this year that was JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. There was no way I was passing up a Joseph Joestar button proclaiming “Holy Shit!” and the Joseph and Caesar postcard was from the same talented artist Doro. The Joseph and Caesar button is by Tayla. I loved the stylization in both of these, it is clear who the characters are but they still bright and fun on their own.
It is time to talk about naming Japanese Guest panels again. Otakon 2014 was a clear lesson in how to name Japanese guest panels. If you just look at the attendance for each panel it shows you everything you need to know. There were a bunch of Japanese guest panels that were filled to the brim and a bunch that were only half filled. Yusuke Kozaki and anything else to do with Under the Dog were rooms where it was hard to find a seat. Masao Maruyama and Hidenori Matsubara on the other hand did not have the same crowds. It is easy to assume that maybe it is because Yusuke Kozaki is from the video game industry that people might be more interested in him but I’m not sure that is the case. When Kate asked people who were selling Fire Emblem Awakening fan art in artist alley if they were excited to see Yusuke Kozaki most of them did not know who he was or more importantly that he was the character designer for the game. So if artist did not know that then J. Random Otaku is probably not going to know either. Everyone, except for the most hardcore fans who look into such things, have no idea who Yusuke Kozaki is.
He drew a crowd was because he was in a panel called Drawing with Kozaki. It says that Yusuke Kozaki is an artist and that he is going to be doing a live drawing. People are sold. If it was called Kozaki draws Fire Emblem Awakening it might have been even able to fill one of the biggest panels rooms and even have to turn people away. Attendees did not really know what Under the Dog was but they saw pictures of it on banners enough to know it was an anime they were unaware of with girls and guns. And they showed up to see what that was about. People know show names but not creator names. People like activities and not lectures.
I am sure you could have gotten more people to see Masao Maruyama and Hidenori Matsubara if you played up Terror in Resonance or Rebuild of Evangelion for each artist respectively. I look these things up because I have a blog and do con reports that last three weeks. That is not the average con attendee. It is easy to assume that people don’t attend these panels because they don’t care about the guests. I think the truth of the matter is they would be more interested. You just have to sell them correctly.
I am curious to see how many Japanese guests panels will do this in the future and even more importantly much it will change things.