It is the time of the year when the Otakon staff asks if there are any guests that their attendees would love to see. Who they can get, who they want to get, and who people want to see are three very different circles on the Venn diagram that don’t necessarily have a huge overlap. But all we care about is who we want to see. Surely American voice actors make up a huge number of the requests but we’re more interested in the Japanese creators. While they are not always a big draw, Otakon has been dedicated to bring them over. These are the top choices we’d like to see the most. Maybe someone will listen and maybe even make one of these little dreams come true.
While Tatsuya Nagamine does not have the most extensive resume I thought his work on HeartCatch PreCure! was an innovative and standout addition to the PreCure franchise. I would love to see how the project came together and what it was like to work on such a unique magical girl show.
I adore Yazawa’s style and stories. Her beautiful art combined with fashion and music in NANA is unforgetable. Yazawa has taken a sabbatical due to illness from her manga. I’d like to think the NANA manga will continue soon and this would kick it off.
I know it is almost impossible to get manga-ka but I would love to be able to talk to Miki Yoshikawa. She has an amazing comedic timing and the ability to write for a shonen audience while retaining a wonderful shojo sensibility. I would also love for Yankee-kun to Megane-chan to get more exposure in the U.S. It might be impossible to get her due to her recently starting a new manga title but it never hurts to ask.
A director who will be forever remembered for Cowboy Bebop, and to a lesser extent Samurai Champloo but one who also debuts a new series this year. Sakamichi no Apollon premiering this spring looks quite promising and reunites Watanabe with Yoko Kanno. He can come to talk about his past successes and show off this new work.
I just love Kenjiro Hata. With the first Hayate movie just coming on Blu-ray in Japan, a third season of the Hayate anime on its way, and some secret project in the works I would love to pick his brain. I think he would make a wonderful guest if for nothing else he seems to be a straight shooter about the realities of being a manga-ka in this own work. That alone might make him a great guest.
I’m always interested in musical guests who have their hands in a lot of anime and not just one opening. Kajiura along with the group she formed Kalafina would be a great eclectic ensemble to have come. Kajiura worked on the currently popular Madoka Magica and Kalafina performed the ending song for the series as well.
I tried to choose creators who had not been to the U.S. in the past but I made an exception with Ikuhara. While Ikuhara has made several U.S. anime convention appearances his recent return to directing makes him a wonderful choice for a return visit to talk about Mawaru-Penguindrum. Theoretically he would also be coming because someone picked up the Penguindrum license. But there is so much in that show I would love to be able to ask him about the intricate layers its story and characters.
Founding member of Gainax and long-time character design, Sadamoto has worked on everything from Evangelion to Summer Wars, and is the manga-ka for the recently concluded Evagelion manga. He may have some free time! He also did the character designs for Mamoru Hosod’a newest film.
We have to beat Sakura-Con. They got Gen Urobuchi for 2012. The only way to defeat them in the East Coast/West Coast convention arms race is to get the ultimate Type-Moon related guests. It is totally for the pride and honor of everyone on this side of the country and no other reason I suggest this. Can we let them win? I don’t think so. Also with Fate/Zero streaming in the U.S., Carnival Phantasm looking to be picked up, Mahōtsukai no Yoru theoretically being released, Red Dragon looking to become a multimedia franchise it would a good time for them to make a first U.S. appearance.
Hosoda’s films are getting more and more attention. Titles like A Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars will not soon be forgotten and he even has things like Digimon and One Piece under his belt. With a new film coming out in Japan this summer, it is a perfect time for Hosoda to visit Otakon and like last year’s guest Makoto Shinkai, he can show his new work as well!