As the weather warms up so does the anime convention season. This year I’m starting off the convention circuit with AnimeNEXT. Since this is their second year in Atlantic City I am very curious to see how they are going to settle in. Last year went rather smoothly but whenever a convention moves it takes a year or two for them to settle in and get the feel of the new location. It will be interesting to see tweaks and new additions will be made by the staff now that they have their first year under their belt.
This year’s guest lineup is solid. Last year Rei Hiroe was the closest thing to a rock-star guest. This year I feel the Japanese guests are a little more low-key but the selection is very nice.
The group that is surely going to get most people excited is the Yuri!!! on Ice staff. Yuri!!! on Ice was one of the highest profile shows last year and was both a critical and popular hit. It is a show about ice skating that is actually referenced and loved by professional figure skaters around the world. It would be like NBA players taking about Kuroko’s Basketball all the time. Sadly they did not get Sayo Yamamoto this year but AnimeNEXT has had her as a guest in the past. I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces. Most of the staff who are guests worked on the nitty-gritty of the animation. Since the fluidity of the ice skating was one of the big appeals of the show it will be fun to pick their brains about that.
The other show that is getting a spotlight is ReLIFE. While it was not the juggernaut that Yuri!!! on Ice was ReLIFE also got a good deal of acclaim. They have a key animator, the character designer, and Reina Ueda who voiced An Onoya on the show. I would like to ask them a little about the black company aspect of the show. While it would be a bit awkward to bring up the fact that the animation industry in Japan is not THAT far off from being a black company industry I’m sure they will have a lot of that about that topic.
For the last several years Studio Trigger has sent several representatives to AnimeNEXT. Being a rather open and energetic studio they are almost always a highlight of the convention. With the Little Witch Academia TV show not only being on air but soon coming to Netflix I’m sure they will have a lot to say this year. I look forward to seeing what surprises they bring with them. I’m hoping that the next chapter in the continuing adventures of Vince Averello is in the cards for us this year.
As always I would like to mention that Charles Dunbar, Viga, Mike Toole, and Katriel Paige will all be professional fan guests. They are all friends of the blog and give some of the best panels around. If you see they are doing something on the schedule it is always worth your time to check them out because it is impossible to attend one of their panels and not learn something.
Last but not least I want to mention that I myself am doing a panel. After putting it on the shelf for a year Kate and I are bringing back New Anime for Older Fans. It will have 100% new shows not presented in previous years and has a very slightly tweaked format. If you need some viewing advice for the last few seasons I will be back this year to help you out.
Since Kate will not be attending this year feel free to come and say hello to me so I am not as lonely. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my write-up of this year’s AnimeNEXT!
I have panels! Attend them if you can!
Friday 11:45 PM – New Anime For Older Fans in Panel 304
My tentative schedule for cool people:
11:00 AM – Gattai! Giant Robots of Yesteryear
12:00 PM – Insane Manga Challenge: Super Fun Edition!
02:00 PM – Makoto Shinkai’s Equations of
03:30 PM – How Anime Is Made w/ Studio
05:30 PM – Studio TRIGGER
06:30 PM – The Idols of Anime with Viga
07:30 PM – The Art of Stock Footage
09:00 PM – Let’s Dive! The History of Cyberpunk Anime
10:30 PM – Umineko: Magic and Trauma (18+)
with Katriel Page
11:45 PM – New Anime for Older Fans
11:30 AM – ReLIFE Screening wi th TMS
12: 45 PM – Li ttle Wi tch Academia wi th TRIGGER
02:00 PM – Sports, Robots, and Romance: The
Works of Tadao Nagahama
03:00 PM – Falling Down the Byston Well
04:30 PM – Fast Times in Anime High wi th Viga
06:00 PM – Yuri on Ice Q&A with MAPPA
09:00 PM – Anime Ki l led the Manga Star
10:00 PM – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure POWER
10:45 AM – Live Drawing with TMS
11:30 AM – Yuri on Ice Animation with MAPPA
12:30 PM – Capcom Live Concert
02:00 PM – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight
Them with Charles Dunbar