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Anime Expo 2012, Day 2: Circling the drain

Anime Expo 2012 - Day 2Note: the same grammar/typo/accuracy disclaimer from yesterday’s update also applies here. Didn’t take any notes, so my only reference is a log of my liveblog, which can be somewhat hard to follow at times (even for me, and I wrote the darn thing).

Attending an anime con usually involves a certain level of Con Drama™. Fortunately I’ve been able to avoid this bit of unpleasantness. That is, until today. Unfortunately, today we had Drama™ and we had it in spades. I won’t go into the (disgusting) details, but in brief, today’s flavor of Drama™ involved missing bath towels, and a broken toilet, and resolving it to our satisfaction basically flushed the rest of our day down the drain (heh, there’s a metaphor for you!).

We did catch a few industry panels. At the NIS America panel they reviewed some of their more recent releases, including Ano Hana (available now as a complete series), Kimi ni Todoke (volume 3 – last volume of the series – coming in July), Bunny Drop (aka Usagi Drop, coming in August), and Enma (can’t read the full title, coming sometime in (looks like) September). They talked a bit about what their motivations are when looking for new titles to acquire (story-driven series, and comedy), and explaining that their deeper appreciation of the material, combined with the quality of the releases, gives you a reason to buy their physical media. As an example they trotted out their various art books, each of which is custom-designed around the particular franchise they belong to (example, Occult Academy, being an anime set in a school, has an art book style reminiscent of a yearbook). Finally they got into some new announcements, including Natsumi’s Book of Friends (aka Natsumi Yujincho), coming this fall as a single pack with the first 2 seasons. During the Q&A period, the subject of Wagnaria! (aka Working!) came up; NIS’s response is that a release of season 2 is “pretty much likely” but they had no more specific announcement. It also came to light that NIS America is aware of both Mawaru Penguindrum and Nichijou being licensed for US distribution, but they couldn’t say who nabbed them. Conspiracy theorist @hisuiRT suspects they’re holding off on making that announcement until Otakon, where a Mawaru Penguindrm GoH will be in attendance. Sounds plausible to me!

The next — and last — industry panel we caught was FUNimation’s. While setting up the projector, someone made a big goof and put the presenter’s laptop’s desktop up on screen, where we could see all sorts of interesting files intended for display at future cons (I saw Otakon, there were probably others too). Unfortunately this was quickly whisked away, and I wasn’t quick enough with the shutter button to capture it; perhaps someone else did, but I have yet to see this being crowed about on the Twitters. What they did show at first was mostly a rehashing of yesterday’s “sneak peek.” They talked about their current simulcasts (Kingdom, Toriko, Eureka 7 AO, Sankarea, Jourmungand, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko, One Piece and Is this a Zombie? Season 2). They announced that streaming subscribers can now stream to their mobile devices in HD, and that apps for the iPad and Android were coming soon, perhaps later in July or August (they are currently in beta). Also apps for Roku boxes and Samsung smart TVs and Blu-ray players too. And subscribers will be able to access all of their content on all of their devices. They are well aware of the pain and suffering caused by the Verizon FUNimation Channel debacle; they have renegotiated on-demand access to the FUNimation channel, and are working hard on getting linear access back. They also announced that more deals would be coming later this fall. (Cox Cable? Pretty please, with sugar on top?) The FUNimation channel is also going to start showing some live action flicks. Finally, more anime will be coming to other online venues, including Netflix, Hulu, Xbox Live and PSN. They even show some anime on Facebook (be sure and “like” them there) as well as YouTube. Oh, and they also have a Tumblr.

After a few more rehashings (last volume of Hetalia coming), we finally got to some new stuff, starting with Fractale (Nessa figurine with purchase), more One Piece (Season 4 part 1 drops August 7, Collection 7 drops August 14; they also have new episodes of One Piece 101, a sort of “intro to One Piece” on the FUNimation website every week), Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, SAVE editions of El Cazador de la Bruja, Collection 1-2 of FMA Brotherhood, Girls Bravo, Goemon, and Sacred Blacksmith, as well as SAVE editions of Freeing and Kaleido Star coming in August. And, in the “old license rescues” department, in addition to yesterday’s announcement of Ergo Proxy and Texhnolyze, we also learned that FUNimation has nabbed Armitage — all three movies (presumably OVA + Poly Matrix + Dual Matrix), as well as Tenchi Muyo! (which ones? Universe? OVAs? Didn’t catch that.)

Finally they got around to some new announcements, starting with Michiko to Hatchin (at least that’s what I assume; all my live blog notes say is “Michiko what now?”), followed by Ikki Tousen Great Guardians and Xtreme Xecutor; Highschool DxD; Eureka Seven AO; Aria the Scarlet Ammo; Blood-C: The Last Dark; and Appleseed XIII. Lastly, new simulcasts coming soon (this July?) include Binbougani Ga and Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero.

And that’s it. We were going to try and get you some coverage of the Yuki Kajiura/FictionJunction concert, but apparently video wasn’t permitted. So we were going to try and get some pictures, but that didn’t work out either. Tickets were extremely scarce, but thanks to some no-shows we were actually able to get some (thanks again to intrepid cohost @msgeek93. But we couldn’t make it there, thanks to the clusterfrack that is the X Games. Yes, what I feared might take place did: with the extra crowds, barricades, and security checkpoints of the X Games, it became IMPOSSIBLE to get between the LACC and LA Live. It really seems to me that the City of Los Angeles gas preferential treatment to the X Games. They made NO effort to make any sort of reasonable access between the LACC and surrounding areas. At one point, we had to walk through a completely UNLIT corridor (can you say mugging opportunity? I knew you could!), fraught with sudden steps and bumps. Totally Inaccessible to anyone with a disability. (Matter of fact, at one point I tripped and damn near broke my neck) And when asked if said person with disability could cut through the X Games area, we were rudely and in no uncertain terms told to hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no mo’ no mo’ no mo’ no mo’. Totally unprofessional, and perhaps even illegal (there is this little law called the Americans with Disabilities Act). The practical upshot of all this is that it delayed us and we completely missed what, by all accounts, turned out to be an epic concert. Thank you, Kawada Hotel. Thank you, broken toilet. Thank you, X Games staff. Thank you, City of Los Angeles.

But (trying to get back to my usual “glass half full” mindset) it was still an enjoyable day. We got to see some interesting panels and learn about some cool releases, both current and future. We got to see some awesome cosplay (and get pictures of it). And we got to hang out with some cool people. And, ultimately, that’s what anime cons are all about.

Tomorrow is looking fairly light in terms of panels I’m interested in, so it’ll probably be a mostly “wander around and see/do whatever looks/seems cool” type of day, including more costly photos and hitting up the dealer’s room and artist’s alley. But wait, there’s the LiSA concert, which (if the fates(*) allow) I’ll try and cover. And there’s Masquerade too, which is always enjoyable. But AX 2012 is beginning to wind down, and I’m already beginning to feel the pangs of advance con withdrawal syndrome. Time for one last hurrah.

(*) I seriously didn’t realize I was making that pun. Yesrly.

2 comments to Anime Expo 2012, Day 2: Circling the drain

  • I think I know what “detour” you had to take to get from LA Live to LACC. It’s the one where you had to go through two parking lots, right?

    On one had, it’s good to know now if I’m staying at the JW that I have a pretty quick access next time XGames isn’t in town. Then again, the layout they had set up was HORRIBLE any way you look at it. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they had not set up the bleachers that were stacked near the entrance closest to LA Live. At least then it would be manageable to walk around the block.

    I enjoyed the concerts. They were incredibly fun. However, the hall itself felt like a big school gymnasium with the flat surface, and, what irked me the most, they never turned off the lights on the side of the venue. For the Kajiura concerts I almost like I had to wear a hat to block out the spotlight. The smart fans were the ones who sneaked up to the open seats up front. It would have to be a brilliant concert for me to pay anything more than $10 to sit in there again.

  • […] we ended up having to settle for one of the last available hotels, and our experience there, well, it wasn’t pretty. This year I vowed to not repeat that mistake, and therefore when I heard that Anime Expo hotel […]

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