AnimeNEXT 2013 – a con in review

From June 7-9, AnimeNEXT took over the Garden State Exhibition Center and Doubletree with the usual plethora of guests from fashion, music and Japanime industries. Turning into an AnimeNEXT regular, Satsuki and Tomo returns with Moon Stream with a friday performance. Other musical guests include Asterplace and Chipocrite for the chip aficionados. Isobe Akinori, Founder and CEO of BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT visits with lolita designers, Kano Masumi and Tachibana Saki. Also doing a fashion show, MINT of h.Naoto returns to showcase his MINT NeKO designs. Other Japanese guests include director Yamamoto Sayo and key animator Shimizu Hiroshi as well as illustrator, Usuda Hiro. Stateside guests include voice actors Michelle Knotz, Bill Rogers, Greg Houser, Chris Cason, Greg Ayres and Mike Pollock…as well as the Robotech crew, Kevin McKeever, Steve and Tommy Yune. Among many others. The question is, can we see everything in one weekend? Nope, but it’s chaos central here on in!
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AnimeNEXT 2013 – Yamamoto Sayo and Shimizu Hiroshi Q&A – Saturday

We deduced that the ‘no photo’ rule from the Opening Ceremonies was probably due to Yamamoto-sensei. She requested no photos during the panel. We of course complied though many of us were groaning since Shimizu-san drew throughout the panel while the Q&A was being held. During the intros though, they show on the screens the Japanese wiki entry for Yamamoto-san and even ANN’s info for Shimizu-san.
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AnimeNEXT 2013: Opening Ceremonies

Cosplayer Euphoria takes the stage as a pretty Tsukino Usagi with a basket of scones for a tea party. She highlighted some choice events beginning with the karaoke contest, the weekend-long hall cosplay contest, the masquerade signups and of course, the ever fun cosplay chess on sunday. The Dating Game and the 18+ version which are hilarious with questions and responses by the panelists.
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AnimeNEXT 2013: Moon Stream Concert

Satsuki and the other band members spoke enough English to address the crowds coherently. “Hello, AnimeNEXT!” Satsuki-san was awesome drawing in the audience. Tomo and Poel also engaged the crowd energetically, switching sides throughout the concert. There was a crate in the middle decorated with flowers which Satsuki, Tomo and at times, Poel took turns in standing at the top. The crowd was really hyped up and danced energetically with the music. There were lots of interesting background events even during guitar solos or when Satsuki was singing: Tomo or Poel will go to Takaya on the drums as if to grasp the tempo. While playing together, Poel would mimic strumming the guitar for Tomo as if teaching him (and vice versa.) The most hilarious was Satasuki-san….
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