Japan Expo convention cannot be complete without a panel from the great Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, one of the founders of Gainax. Sadamoto is known for such great animation such as Nadia, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Gunbuster. Sadamoto started off with a short video of his various works, including a Mercedes Benz commericial he was involved with. It has been known from the beginning of the panel that videos and pictures were prohibited during the panel.

 

He revealed that he enjoys working on science fiction genres that takes place in the not too long future. He discussed that while having a creator’s block that he would often try to do something else that would inspire him. His favorite scene in evangelion was the end of the movie where Shinji was choking Asuka because of the music and the serene scene. The hardest character to design the was Mari because he found it difficult to create a character with a more evolved technology; however, the easiest character to design was Gendo.

 

The panel ended with a live drawing of Asuka riding a Cobra car. This is significant because of the fact that Mr. Sadamoto does not like drawing in public; however, at the last minute, he decided to finish a piece for this panel. As a result, this is the first time, according to the Translator, that Mr. Sadamoto has ever drawn in public. In addition, Mr. Sadamoto revealed his second drawing of epic proportions. It is so amazing that you would’ve needed to be there to see it.

 

Posted by calpico on August 26th, 2013 | No Comments

A former member of Hello! Project, gone solo, comes to Japan Expo USA, as a guest of honor.  Besides mixing up Santa Clara, CA as San Francisco, CA (that’s a no-no my friend), You Kikkawa’s performance was a great treat, offering the masses her high fructose, bubbly attitude.   That’s a great treat, especially after walking around/ standing in line at a convention for 6+ hours.  This was the idol’s second time touring in the USA. 

 

At the You Kikkawa panel, she offers up her “current life experiences.”  This includes how she came up with Hello! Project, and going solo.  Then she explains how in Japan, she admits she is not as slim as most other idols, and her struggle to get slim.  She states how she jogs as physical activity, and how she struggles with dieting.  She tries to eat mostly a vegetable diet, but now that she is in the USA she went to the audience for advice on what kinds of places, or food to eat.  She then quipped how she will go back to Japan fatter than how she left. 

 

The whole panel was vapid, and devoid of any substance, which goes to show that You Kikkawa is a private person who does not share much about her private life; mainly sharing just her public caricature.  What I did find from the panel was that she worked the crowd effectively.  She was funny, and played around with the crowd.  For that, I commend her.  She is a true entertainer.  

Posted by Excelion on August 25th, 2013 | No Comments

Phoenix Wright fans get your “objection” fingers ready, as the good people of Japan Expo has not one, but two guests appearing at their convention August 23-25 at the Santa Clara convention.

 

Noriyuki Iwadare is the composer to the beloved Ace Attorney music. He will be holding a live concert as well as signing on Friday and Sunday. He is also known for composing other video game music such as lunar and grandia.

 

Tatsuro Iwamoto is the art director for the Ace Attorney series. He also provides the voice to Miles Edgeworth in the Japanese version of the games. He will also be signing autographs and doing some public drawings during the comvention.

Posted by Riotblade on August 19th, 2013 | No Comments

In anticipation for the 1st impact of Japan Expo, I’ve been wondering, what is the most prevailing aspect of major anime conventions in California?

 

In this edition, we will talk about the lines.

 

AX 2013 saw dedicated anime fans waiting in long lines in order to do just about anything fun. If you want to see a particular panel, expect to wait upwards of an hour prior to the panel in order to grab a seat, and even then you are not guaranteed a seat. This means you would probably have to sacrifice a lot of time away from, say, grabbing autographs, or grabbing more free Hi-Chews.
If you wanted to take part in the Sentai Filmworks sticker collecting scheme, the last sticker you needed involved standing in line for two or more hours to watch a movie. (Hint: the prize is a T-shirt)

 

At Fanime 2013, most of your time is spent in line. And I don’t mean just at the convention, I mean even before you walk on the convention floor. If you pre-regged and thought that would saved you some stress, think again. Early pick up on Thursday saw lines that are 7-8 hours long, stretching over the span of two days. It was an exercise of the many circles of hell, as people waited anxiously outside the Fairmont Hotel for 3 or more hours just to be corralled into a smaller humid room to wait in line for 4 or more hours; then to an even smaller room with a line to pick up your badge. If you thought it would be much better to buy at con on Friday, think again. That line was 7 hours of pure torture, as people are corralled from one ballroom to the next in order to fit the crazy long line within the hotel itself. Obviously a fire hazard. And as you can guess, cutting and other inappropriate line etiquette was rampant as there was not oversight.

 

Is this a rite of passage that every anime con goer has to deal with? Or is this a sign of poor leadership? The one redeeming quality about AX was that getting the badge only took about 2-3 hours, and there were much more people in line… A sign of good leadership? There was much more streamlined and efficient with there badge verification process. And there were more rovers in the line process to ensure a smooth movement in line.

 

For Japan Expo to instantly gain favor among the masses, they must turn the anime Line-con into one that is more pleasant, i.e. make it feel shorter. They have already streamlined the badge process by not offering any badges, and forcing people to print their own badges at home, which could be a good thing or a bad thing (i.e. souvenirs). With better leadership and better organization, the newbie convention can definitely win some fans if they can effectively control lines. Being close to the major Silicon Valley businesses can definitely help technologically.

 

We will give you the Line-con report when Japan Expo draws near.

Posted by Riotblade on August 18th, 2013 | No Comments

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto? In the Bay Area? The legendary Gainax illustrator is coming to the Santa Clara Convention Center for Japan Expo this August. I don’t think Fanime and AX could pull that one off. If you love Evangelion, Japan Expo is just around the corner (August 23-25).

Posted by Riotblade on August 15th, 2013 | No Comments
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