AnimeNEXT 2011: a con in review

AnimeNEXT had its 10th year anniversary on June 10 to 12 at the Garden State Exhibition Center. AnimeNEXT which started in 2002 had a steady growth in attendance from about 1000 attendees to over 8000 in 2010. It has also been the first con to have a manga library held on the grounds for the period of the weekend. Many people had high expectations for the 10th Anniversary con and were thusly rewarded with a plethora of Japanese guests. Famed animator for Ghost in the Shell and recent hit, Higashi no Eden, Satoru Nakamura-san was in attendance. Besides Harajuku model and singer, Kimura Yu, the bands, Mix Speaker’s Inc. and Uzuhi also appeared in concert. On the fashion and culture side, Sakurai Takamasa-san and Kanon came to speak about cosplay and Gothic Lolita as well as Sixh, who are blazing the way to mix music and fashion. There was a score of US voice actors which included Trina Nishimua, Robert Axelrod and a fan favorite, Greg Ayres. To match the guest list, the panels were wide and varied giving people an opportunity to listen, speak and participate in activities and topics.

A smaller convention then most, but with the size comes the air of familiarity for friends and staff alike, the opportunity to see everything without being overwhelmed, and perhaps meet and greet guests without waiting 3 hours in line…except of course, unless you’re waiting for Vic Mignogna.

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AnimeNEXT 2011: Vic Mignogna’s Q&A

The panel was well underway when I entered the room. As expected, Vic was surrounded by the usual throng of fangirls. Throng? No, more like his own private army…or harem. Harem of mostly underage, screaming, hormonal females. Its pure chaos really…but it’s also fun. Vic Mignogna knows how to cater to the fans and he knows what we want. At the same time, he holds his integrity in the public eye. It’s his sensitivity and honesty that beholds the fans. It also helps that he saids the cutest things.

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AnimeNEXT 2011: Mix Speaker’s Inc

A collective group of geniuses in creative expressionism : Mix Speaker’s, Inc. The band began their activities in 2007. They go by a company name of Mix Speaker’s, Inc. and their activities move forward with stories associated with music, original pieces, scenarios, illustration, movies, and merchandise production crafted by the members themselves. Their 1st story was a company ran by monsters, and their 2nd story screened a piece based on a mysterious outer space trip as it’s theme. Currently their 3rd story has been creating a world centered around a traveling carnival and theme park called “Mix Land.” Along with their musical composition fully using twin vocals are components of theater and dance, this brings together a unique band who’s not limited to borders. Their stage is filled with high quality and perfection of entertainment. Regardless of inside or outside of the country, Mix Speaker’s, Inc. will pull those who had sight of them into their world immediately.
~AnimeNEXT guest info

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AnimeNEXT 2011: Sixh Q&A

The fashion line Sixh. unites visual-kei artistry with the imagery of popular host and hostess clubs. A new theme, ghost-kei, was created by combining the words “gothic” and “host” into “ghost”. MINT launched the line with the New Japan Mode Collection featuring its relaxed character, “MINT Neko”, and Sixh. flourished from there. Sixh.’s unique musical presentation crosses the Western standard of “rock” with the fashions of ghost-kei.
Without a doubt, Sixh.’s cool, carefree ideas are not restricted by ordinary rules of fashion or society. h. NAOTO’s fashion line and band Sixh. are constantly adapting and merging with ever-evolving Japanese counterculture. At its heart, Sixh. is the sixth sense beyond the five! ~AnimeNEXT guest info

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AnimeNEXT 2011: Kanon and Sakurai Q&A

Sakurai Takamasa-san sat up front welcoming people into the room which brought some laughter from the crowds. “Good morning…cosplayer.” After everyone was seated, Sakurai-san started with talking about the Cosplay Burlesque which they saw yesterday. “No matter which cosplay it was, they’re always stripping.” Then he turned the time over to us. “Today, you’re the main cast. We’re just the players so you guys keep on asking the questions.” What a wonderful transition into questions!

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AnimeNEXT 2011: Production IG Panel

Last year when the series and movies for Higashi no Eden were just licensed by Funimation, Kamiyama Kenji-san was the guest at AnimeNext. This year, we were able to meet Kakimoto Koudai-san who did the storyboard for the latter half of the series and the animation director, Nakamura Satoru-san for the series and movies. Again, no transcription is forthcoming since the audio recording was pretty bad.

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Cosplay photography panels at AM2 convention July 3, 2011

Hey, cosplay fans, mark your calendars: Tom Good and I will be doing panels from 10-12 on Sunday, July 3, 2011 at the AM2 Convention at the Anaheim Convention Center.

July 3, 2011
10-11 AM
AM2 Convention
Anaheim Convention Center
Room 207 D


Creative Cosplay Photography
July 3, 2011, 11AM – 12PM
AM2 Convention
Anaheim Convention Center
Room 207 D

And it’s FREE ADMISSION all three days of the convention.

VIZ Manga App for iPhone and iPod Touch

I’ve previously written about how much I like the VIZ Manga App for iPad. VIZ recently added support for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Once you have purchased the content on one device, you can download it on the other one without having to pay twice. This is a great feature that makes digital manga even more convenient. Though the reading experience is much better on the iPad because of the large screen size, at times I don’t have my iPad with me, and I appreciate being able to read the same manga on my iPhone.

The app is free, and there are some free sample manga chapters to download for it, so it’s worth trying.