AnimeNEXT 2012: Opening Ceremonies

Opening ceremonies began with a bang as cosplayer, Euphoria as Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth opened with a ‘Rhythm Emotion’ by Two-Mix. She really got the crowd going with her beautiful voice. She first introduced the Con Chair, Bob Rustay who came up and shared a few words of wisdom: drink lots of water, walk to the right and bathe.

Than Euphoria introduced the Japanese guests, beginning with Berryz Kobo.

    Saki: *in English* Thank you for having us! *in Japanese* I’m Saki. I’m very happy to see you. Let’s enjoy this time together!
    Momoko: I’m Tsugunaga Momoko. I’m here today to share my cuteness with you. Let’s enjoy this time together!
    Chinami: I’m Chinami. Thank you to AnimeNEXT for having us. We only have a short time, but I hope to have a good time with you.
    Maasa: *in English* Hello, I’m Maasa Sudo. *in Japanese* I love anime so I want to express my love for anime with you.
    Miyabi: Hello, I’m Miyabi, but everyone calls me Miya. Please call me Miya!
    Yurina: *in English* Hello, my name is Yurina Kumai. Let’s enjoy!
    Risako: *in English* Hello, my name is Risako Sugaya. We have a concert after this. Please come to the concert! Thank you!

GRAMM designer, Z8 from h.NAOTO came on stage with Berryz Kobo.

    Z8: *in English* Hello, everyone. I’m Z8 from GRAMM. *in Japanese* Tomorrow, I will be having a fashion show on this stage at 2pm. So please come and enjoy the show.

The intros were followed a short description of the highlights of the weekend including sunday’s cosplay chess, the dating game, the anime karaoke contest as well as the masquerade. Than more guests were introduced. Visual kei artist, Satsuki from the currently disbanded band, RENTRER EN SOI came on stage.

    Satsuki: *in English* Hello, everyone! I’m Satsuki. I’m a visual kei vocalist. I’m so happy to be here at AnimeNEXT. *audience cheers* This is my second time at AnimeNEXT. Maybe you remember? I came in 2008 with my band, RENTRER EN SOI. Today I have a panel and tomorrow. I also have a booth in the artist alley. I’m looking forward to meeting you. I’m waiting for you so please come!

Euphoria also spoke about the guest, Fukuoka Toshihiro-san, the editor of Weekly Ascii and director/producer of the MIKUNOPOLIS 2011 concert in Los Angeles. Other guests were webcomic creators of ‘All New Issues’ Dani O’Brian and Bill Ellis and DJ Chipocrite. More English speaking guests were introduced to which Euphoria asked a silly question and they answered in kind.

    Leah Clark: Hey! How’s it going. This is my third time at AnimeNEXT. They say the third time’s the charm so I have expectations from all of you. Right after this, we have a voice acting something surprise for you. We’ll make it up as we go along, it’ll be great. And by ‘we’, I mean Kara.
    Euphoria: Would you rather be the hero or the villan and why?
    Leah: What kind of situation is it? Would I rather be the hero or the villan? *thinks* Well, for you, I rather be the hero. For Vic Mignogna, I rather be the villan. *audience laughs*
    Euphoria: What is your favorite book?
    Leah: My favorite book? I feel like I’m a pageant, stressing for the right answer. My favorite book is ‘She’s Come Undone’. You should check it out!

    Kara Edwards: Hi! This is my first AnimeNEXT! I’m super excited to come out. If you follow twitter, me and Leah had quite the adventure getting here…about 24 hours worth of travel from Texas. I think I’m in New Jersey? We have a panel right after opening ceremonies. We have a few tricks up our sleeves so it’ll be awesome. I hope we get the chance to meet you while we’re here!
    Euphoria: What is the first object that comes to your mind?
    Kara: Well, now I’m just staring at your contacts!
    Euphoria: Now that object is your weapon during the zombie apocalypse! How do you feel about my contacts being your weapon during the apocalypse?
    Kara: I must be the biggest walking dead fan on the planet. So when you said ‘zombie’, I’m already thinking ‘which one am I going to date?’ *audience laughs*
    Euphoria: Will my contacts have any super powers like eye beams?
    Kara: Maybe rainbow lasers?
    Euphoria: What is your favorite pizza topping?
    Kara: I like vegetables. How about more cheese? *audience cheers*

    Kyle Hebert: I drink Red Bull when I’m tired! I didn’t have 24 hours ordeal at the airport, but I didn’t have much sleep. I’m so happy to be back with you guys. There are so many panels going on. Not to take away from the ladies with tricks up their sleeves, if perhaps you’re interested in watching the skewering of the live action ‘Dragon Ball’ movie, you can check it out. Q&A, signings, ‘Tekken x Street Fighter’. Thank you so much for bringing me back!
    Euphoria: If you could have any career in the world, what would it be and why?
    Kyle: A job…*cockneyed voice* ‘I wanna be a voice actor!’ Seriously, I wanted to be a musician. I have it in the back my brain that one day I can gather all the voice actors who play instruments on a stage to have a big jam band. You know Johnny Yong Bosch has Eyeshine, Mike McFarland with the guitar, alot of guitar and keyboards and have a monster jam band and just play whatever. *audience cheers*
    Euphoria: Who is your favorite author?
    Kyle: Neil Gaiman. He didn’t authored ‘books’, but ‘Sandman’, the graphic novel is my favorite.

    Michelle Knotz: I can’t even count how many times I’ve been here so, thank you again for having me back! Please come to the panels. I have an autograph signing, a workshop. There is only one autograph signing so if you can’t make it on sunday, you should come to the workshop tonight. Later tonight, we have ‘TekkenxStreet Fighter’ panel with Kyle. We’re going to talk about the game. And Japanese storytelling! We’re going to have voice actors read little stories to you so it’ll be fun.
    Euphoria: Congratulations! You just won a country! Its provinces are divided into 8 slices and the name of the country is Pizza Party Zone. You can’t change it’s name, but will you take the country, Pizza Party Zone?
    Michelle: Well, that’s a cool name. The only thing I have to say to that is…PASTAAAAAAAA!
    Euphoria: If you could have any animal as a pet…any mythical creature from anime, what would it be?
    Michelle: That is easy, Pikachu. Or maybe Piplup. Pikachu because it is more recognizable.
    Euphoria: So you would prefer a pet that is recognizable?
    Michelle: Wouldn’t it be cool? It shoots electricity out of it’s tail!

Kevin McKeever from Robotech marketing was introduced and he talked about the panels that he will be hosting. Than came his questions….

    Euphoria: You woke up one morning and found yourself in your favorite film. Which film would it be and what role will you play?
    Kevin: ‘Aliens’ by James Cameron and I would play ?
    Euphoria: Which of the following classes would you be and why? Warriror, knight, mage, wizard, archer, priest or assassin?
    Kevin: Assassin.
    Euphoria: Like Ezio from Assassin’s Creed?
    Kevin: *blank look*
    Audience member: Just say yes!
    Kevin: I’ll just say yes.
    Euphoria: So now you’re an assassin in ‘Aliens’! Thank you for joining us!