Otakon 2014 – a con in review

Otakon returns to the Baltimore Convention Center and Inner Harbor for another crazy fun weekend from August 8-10. Last year was their 20th year celebration and the schedule reflected that with special guests, events and the like. This year was not to be outdone. With the weekend surrounding the premiere of Kill la Kill and Sailor Moon, Aniplex and Viz took over the anime weekend with their voice actors and industry guests. For Kill la Kill, there is Christine Cabanos, Carrie Keranen, Erica Mendez and David Vincent. For Sailor Moon, we have Robbie Daymond and Stephanie Sheh for the new cast and the legendary voice actors of the original series: Linda Ballantyne, Katie Griffin and John Stocker. There is also the famed Dante Basco, Wendee Lee and Tony Oliver amongst others. From Japan we have producer Kashiwada Shinichiro, director Katabuchi Sunao, mangaka Kozaki Yusuke, seiyuu Hayami Saori, game designer Ishii Jiro and animator Matsubara Hidenori…but that doesn’t end there. Otakon staff honoree Masao Maruyama returns to speak about his new projects with MAPPA, as well as producer and musician Yura Hiroaki in attendence. Musical guests are Altima and Yoshiki of X Japan. Otakon is the last stop on Yoshiki’s classical tour and his piano concert will close the weekend. Throw in two sumo wrestlers, Kelly Gneiting and Yama and we have a weekend that we won’t soon forget! It’s chaos central here on in!
Continue reading “Otakon 2014 – a con in review”

Otakon 2014 – Yoshiki in Concert

Baltimore was the final leg of Yoshiki’s classical tour, a rare performance apart from X Japan. The concert opened with the Miracle video showcasing moments from X Japan concerts and clips from his classical tour. Truly, the video is a wonderful intro into the depth, the heart and the man that is Yoshiki. Scenes of high energy drumming with the band juxtaposed against melodies on the piano. At first glance, they may seem different, but truly, the music is connected as the same soul composed both. As Yoshiki mentioned in the press conference, the melodies came first and whether or not the lyrics are there, the meaning behind the piece will flow through. That is what everyone is waiting to experience. Yoshiki’s music in it’s purest form.
Continue reading “Otakon 2014 – Yoshiki in Concert”

Otakon 2014 – Katabuchi Sunao Q&A

The host introduced Katabuchi-san of the fame Mai Mai Miracle which garnered a full English BD/DVD release via support on Kickstarter. (Note, beside the pledges with gifts from wallpapers to collectors editions, there was even a $10,000 prize pledge which included airfare to Japan, 3 days hotel, a day tour of the sites featured in the film with Katabuchi-san and staff. Unfortunately, no one took them up on that special once in a lifetime tour.)

Continue reading “Otakon 2014 – Katabuchi Sunao Q&A”