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.
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! Continue reading