The con chair, Mr. Eric Torgersen gave the first speech with the usual welcome and noted that AnimeNEXT will be moving to Atlantic City next year. Than he brought on a rep who introduced the convention center noted the size of the site. Mr. Torgersen thanked the attendees for being so patient and reminded everyone of the cautionary rules of staying out of the sun and keeping hydrated. (Besides the water in the panel rooms and hallways, I heard they were also giving out water on the lines as well. That’s awesome! Don’t want any fainting attendees.)
AnimeNEXT VA veterans, Bill Rogers and Michelle Knotz returned to the stage, the latter filling the room with her peppy energy. Bill highlighted his voice acting workshop held throughout the weekend while Michelle plugged her panel, ‘Pokemon Nintendo 3DS Party’ which will include singing and random fun.
Voice actresses Brittany Lauda came on stage next to talk about ‘Voice Acting in College’ and ‘Words from a Casting Director’ followed by Kira Buckland who will be hosting ‘Getting Into Voice Acting’ as well as appropriately, ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Fan panel’.
Fan favorite, Todd Haberkorn came from LA to join us for the weekend. Besides plugging his panels, ‘Show and Tell with Todd’ and ‘Voice Actors vs. Words’, he reminded everyone to bathe and have fun together.
Voice actor Tyson Rhinehart shares his excitement at being here…and surprised everyone by announcing his joy that ‘I was just told that Todd Haberkorn is going to have my babies. Oh yeah!’. Yes, excitement indeed! The panels for the weekend include ‘Kicking it with Tyson’ and ‘ADR Scriptwriting’.
Industry Neil Nadelman stepped on stage with his extensive knowledge on the localization of series and his work in video games and translations. His panels of the weekend include ‘Urashiman’ and ‘Totally Lame Anime’.
Expert of anime throughout the years, Mike Toole came on to share his panels of the weekend, ‘Dubs That Time Forgot’ and ‘Anime Gets Sloppy’, followed by 50% Dangerous with designers Vedetta Marie and ScatterDOTFashion who will be hosting fashion and cosplay related panels, ‘The Next Anime Top Model’, ‘Cosplay for everyone’ amongst others.
Comics creator and artist, Jason Robinson shares about the US side of the creation spectrum with his art workshop and plug his shirts.
To a long list of credits, Trigger Studios came onstage to the cheers of the crowd.
- Wakabayashi: Hello, everyone! We came to AnimeNEXT last year. This year, we got more people and came back. Thank you for having us!
Wakabayashi-san plugged the Trigger which will show a special unaired clip of Inferno Cop for the fans which definitely received approval from the audience.
A highlight of the panel was that h.Naoto himself introducing himself:
- Naoto: *in English* Hello, I am Yoshiki.
Translator: From X Japan!
The joke was met with laughter. He introduced himself properly and plugged tomorrow’s fashion show.
International animator Suzuki Aya came on stage to speak about her experience abroad in ‘Inside the Artist’s Studio’ and ‘Women in Anime’.
Saving the best for last, FLOW came onstage.
- Hayashi Keigo: *in English* Hello, AnimeNEXT! We are very happy to be here!
In English, he spoke about tonight’s concert and hoped to see everyone there. Uncle Yo closed by greeting first time attendees and making us all pinky swear that we’ll have fun and keep hydrated and clean. Truly, the thursday and friday of the con was the hottest ever in comparison with other years. Drinking water was the goal of everyone at the con.