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AnimeNEXT 2015: Panels

June 26, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 It is easy to forget how much work goes into doing five panels is. It not only eats up your time before the convention but it also chews through a good deal of time at the event itself. I did feel like I went to fewer panels than usual mostly because I spent so much time in front of the audience and not a part of it. I still attended quite a few panels all three days so I hope this posts works as well as a bit of panel feedback. If your reading this I encourage you to give feedback on any or all panels you attend in the convention forums. Most of the time attendees only talk about the panels they either love with all their heart or hate with the passion of a thousand suns. A broad range of commentary helps both the panelists and the convention in equal measure as long as your comments are thoughtful and constructive.

narutaki_icon_4040 Fan panels have become the heart of anime conventions. AnimeNEXT has been most inviting to us to become part of that community of presenters.

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #024 – Gilgamesh Gets Disarmed

June 25, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 Lies, lies, I can’t believe a word you say.

So I was wrong. I thought I could get this post out in time. Then life hit me square in the jaw. My apologies to my small, but dedicated, audience. Hopefully despite all the work on my plate I will be able to at least finish the epilogue episode in a proper fashion. We shall see. Only time will tell.

This is probably the most slavish I have seen the series be to the visual novel. Before this point I feel like Takahiro Miura went out of his way to stay true to the spirit of the visual novel while doing a good deal of work to bring out a bit of this own style where animation would let him express himself and add to the original narrative. You see that from all of the Ufotable staff to varying degrees. This was the first time I repeatedly saw very deliberate attempts to recreate iconic shots from the visual novel with as much fidelity as possible. It is not that Ufotable never tried that. The moment when Saber and Shiro first meet is almost always reproduced as closely as possible in any version to the Fate story (even when it is for comedic effect.) It is clear that they really wanted to capture the feel of the ending as closely as possible. At several points I felt like I was reading the visual novel again. It is not to say that nothing is modified or interpreted for anime. The final battle inside Unlimited Blade Works has a motion and dynamism that is only conveyed by the text in the original. It is just the first time the anime felt like it wanted to be as reverent as possible.

There are arguments about how good an idea this is with a decent amount of validity on both sides. Overall it seems they went with the most conservative option. I can’t really blame them for that. Considering how much flack I have seen the anime get for what it has changed or interpreted playing the ending fairly close to original did little to decrease those comments but it also did not aggravate them. Considering how much of a lasting impact the end of series has as opposed to the middle this decision will probably set a lot of the legacy of the series like it or not.

I’m personally curious to see how this all plays out when people look back on the series. Will it be remembered for what it added, what it removed, and/or what it changed and what sort of legacy will that be?
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AnimeNEXT 2015: FLOW Concert

June 24, 2015

narutaki_icon_4040 The FLOW concert was a major reason I was excited for AnimeNEXT this year. Of course, I’ve come to expect some amazing musical guests from this con for years now.

Best known for their poppy rock dual vocals on series like Eureka Seven, FLOW has had a long career in and outside anime. Their catalog includes Naruto and Code Geass among others.

The energy of the crowd was great; thanks in no small part I’d say to the concert being standing room only except in the very back. Despite that, the fans seemed much better behaved than last year (no drunken moshing).

Even standing way out as I was, I had a decent view of the band and the two big screens filled in the rest. I also remembered my earplugs this year which made the entire set much more comfortable.

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AnimeNEXT 2015: Artist Alley

June 23, 2015

narutaki_icon_4040 AnimeNEXT’s Artist Alley was practically bursting at the seams over the weekend. I’ve never seen it so busy! Plus, there were even a few more artists in the dealer’s room.

The alley had also somewhat morphed into half craft fair. Printed sticky notes, handmade clothing, glass ornaments, handwritten scrolls, pottery, hand-knit dolls, hair clips, dioramas, candles, body spray, and the list goes on. But by far the most popular new item seemed to be washi tape, printed rolls of tape with cute graphic patterns of different characters. (I didn’t actually buy any of this mysterious tape, but perhaps that will change at Otakon.)

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