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Cons

Japanator goes to AniMaine 2015: Day 1

Nov 18 // Soul Tsukino
[embed]34499:5181:0[/embed] This year's convention guests featured returning faces and a couple of new guests as well. Voice actor Greg Ayres returned once again, as he has every year since the beginning. Voice Actress and director Terri Doty returned as well with her husband audio engineer Stephan Hoff who was joining the con for the first time. Voice actress Monica Rial attended the con for the first time and returning favorites fan parody producer Scott Melzer and ADV Films founder David Williams were there as well. These guests, along with the staff and fan run panels made for a jam packed weekend with something for everyone. The first day of the con started for me early Friday morning. It's an annual tradition now for me and Tomopop writer Jeremy Emerje Crocker to attend the event as we've been to all four previous cons and this year was no different. It's an hour trip for us, coming down from near the capital of Maine, Augusta. We stopped at a local Asian market, The Veranda, before getting to the hotel. The convention space itself isn't very big, with everything being contained in one hallway. The space is rearranged every year to maximize things and the AniMaine group does a good job with it. We got in at around 2:30 in the afternoon where registration was open but none of the events had started yet. We both had preregistered, but there wasn't any kind of line at that point so we both strode right in and got through the process in only a few minutes. After walking around for a bit to figure out what was where this year, we headed to the upstairs panel room, Canopy, for the opening ceremonies. This not only serves as the official welcome to the convention but also as the official legal start of the  AniMaine Inc. (the legal name of the group putting the con together)  fall meeting. We got some words from the staff and some of the guests, and we were off and running! First up on my schedule was Script Adapting with Monica Rial. For those unaware. Monica is in just about EVERYTHING. Here is her IMDB to see what I mean. I have never met her before, but I can say I am glad I did. She is a wonderful little ball of energy and a very friendly person. She spoke about the process of writing for English translation on anime and voicing scripts. She is a very good story teller and with her experience in the industry, she has many stories to tell. When that concluded Jeremy and I got our stuff and checked into our room before checking out the dealer's room and the artist alley. They aren't very big compared to the bigger city cons, but they both had things to offer. The dealer's room featured a vendor selling snacks and manga, the con table for buying the T-shirts, a booth for the local anime./gaming store Weekend Anime and Games, and a booth from Bread of Life selling baked goods (Their cinnamon rolls were amazing). The artist alley featured 5 different artists offering up fan art, handmade crafts and jewelry, and some handmade plushies as well. Next up on my journey was something of an AniMaine staple in "I'm Not Gonna Lie", a game show style event where two teams of three (2 guests and a staff member) take turns trying to guess if the statement one of them reads is truth or a lie. Colin headed up the team of Monica Rial and Greg Ayres against the team headed up by Arthur and his team of  Terri Doty and Stephen Hoff. It's an entertaining way to see the guests and founder interact with each other and see how good they are at lying to each other. Colin's team won the event 3 to 2. The convention shifts a bit as after 7:00 pm the kid's passes expire and the "AniMaine after dark" panels begin. First up is Greg Ayres: Raw and Uncensored. This is where Greg tells us the more adult and fun stories from his conventions past and experiences. A lot of fun stories were told at this con, and out of respect to him I am not going to repeat any of them here :-) The night finished off in the downstairs Underground room with Scott Melzer's Hentai Game show. This is a newer panel for him and one he's not done at AniMaine. It can best described as being a mix of fun games with the people in the room and viewing adult parody videos. Cards were passed out to everyone and at any time we could read from the card to respond to anything and receive candy if it got a laugh. There was balloon popping, question and answers, coming up with your own hentai movie title and artist drawings as well. I participated in the naming of a hentai but didn't win. Still fun, though. With the events officially closing at midnight, Jeremy went up to the room and I went to the bar. Since I don't drink alcohol at all, I have a tradition of getting a pineapple juice on the rocks. I hung out there with Greg and a few of the staff members, along with a cool bartender until about 1 AM before heading off to the room and trying to get some sleep. Writer's Note: I would be remised if I didn't mention the events in France that went on during the day that the events I'm covering took place. Most of us at the con were not made aware of what happened until after the Friday events were over, even into the next morning. It was a reprehensible attack on the country and its people. I can only speak for myself, but here's hoping those that took part in the attacks are quickly brought to justice. Writer's Note: I would be remised if I didn't mention the events in France that went on during the day that the events I'm covering took place. Most of us at the con were not made aware of what happened until after the Friday events were over, even into the next morning. It was a reprehensible attack on the country and its people. I can only speak for myself, but here's hoping those that took part in the attacks are quickly brought to justice.   Hello and welcome to Japanator's wrap up report of the 2015 AniMaine anime convention from South Portland Maine. I am Soul Tsukino and I will be your guide on this journey.   AniMaine is a small con that takes place every November at the Best Western Merry Manor Inn. It was a convention founded in 2011  by Colin Harvie (Con Chair), Chris Perry (chief of staff), and Arthur Babinsky (who was the guest relations staff member this year). The con was founded on the ideals of anti-bootlegging and piracy in the anime fandom and after 5 conventions it's still a core value of the convention. It typically draws between 200 and 300 people, but it is a shining example of the camaraderie you get from a smaller con with a regular staff from year to year.   This year's convention guests featured returning faces and a couple of new guests as well. Voice actor Greg Ayres returned once again, as he has every year since the beginning. Voice Actress and director Terri Doty returned as well with her husband audio engineer Stephan Hoff who was joining the con for the first time. Voice actress Monica Rial attended the con for the first time and returning favorites fan parody producer Scott Melzer and ADV founder David Williams were there as well. These guests, along with the staff and fan run panels made for a jam packed weekend with something for everyone.   The first day of the con started for me early Friday morning. It's an annual tradition now for me and Tomopop writer Jeremy Emerje Crocker to attend the event as we've been to all four previous cons and this year was no different. It's an hour trip for us, coming down from near the capital of Maine, Augusta. We stopped at a local Asian market, The Veranda, before getting to the hotel. The convention space itself isn't very big, with everything being contained in one hallway. The space is rearranged every year to maximize things and the AniMaine group does a good job with it. We got in at around 2:30 in the afternoon where registration was open but none of the events had started yet. We both had preregistered, but there wasn't any kind of line at that point so we both strode right in and got through the process in only a few minutes.   After walking around for a bit to figure out what was where this year, we headed to the upstairs panel room, Canopy, for the opening ceremonies. This not only serves as the official welcome to the convention, but also as the official legal start of the  AniMaine Inc. (the legal name of the group putting the con together)  fall meeting. We got some words from the staff and some of the guests, and we were off and running!   First up on my schedule was Script Adapting with Monica Rial. For those unaware. Monica is in just about EVERYTHING. Here is her IMDB to see what I mean. I have never met her before but I can say I am glad I did. She is a wonderful little ball of energy and a very friendly person. She spoke about the process of writing for English translation on anime and voicing scripts. She is a very good story teller and with her experience in the industry, she has many stories to tell. When that concluded Jeremy and I got our stuff and checked into our room before checking out the dealer's room and the artist alley. They aren't very big compared to the bigger city cons, but they both had things to offer. The dealer's room featured a vendor selling snacks and manga, the con table for buying the T-shirts, a booth for the local anime./gaming store Weekend Anime and Games, and a booth from Bread of Life selling bakes goods (Their cinnamon roles were amazing). The artist alley featured 5 different artists offering up fan art, hand made crafts and jewelry, and some hand made plushies as well.   Next up on my journey was something of a AniMaine staple in "I'm Not Gonna Lie", a game show style event where two teams of three (2 guests and a staff member) take turns trying to guess if the statement one of them reads is truth or a lie. Colin headed up the team of Monica Rial and Greg Ayres against the team headed up by Arthur and his team of  Terri Doty and Stephen Hoff. It's an entertaining way to see the guests and founder interact with each other and see how good they are at lying to each other. Colin's team won the event 3 to 2.   The convention shifts a bit as after 7:00 pm the kid's passes expire and the "AniMaine after dark" panels begin. First up is Greg Ayres: Raw and Uncensored. This is where Greg tells us the more adult and fun stories from his conventions past and experiences. A lot of fun stories were told at this con, and out of respect to him I am not going to repeat any of them here :-)   The night finished off in the downstairs Underground room with Scott Melzer's Hentai Game show. This is a newer panel for him and one he's not done at AniMaine. It can best described as being a mix of fun games with the people in the room and viewing adult parody videos. Cards were passed out to everyone and at any time we could read from the card to respond to anything and receive candy if it got a laugh. There was balloon popping, question and answers, coming up with your own hentai movie title and artist drawings as well. I participated in naming of a hentai, but didn't win. Still fun though.   With the events officially closing at midnight, Jeremy went up to the room and I went to the bar. Since I don't drink alcohol at all, I have a tradition of getting a pineapple juice on the rocks. I hung out there with Greg and a few of the staff members, along with a cool bartender until about 1am before heading off to the room and trying to get some sleep. /ul/34499-/12-noscale.jpg [embed]34499:5180:0[/embed]
AniMaine photo
A look at the small con in Maine
Hello and welcome to Japanator's wrap-up report of the 2015 AniMaine anime convention from South Portland Maine. I am Soul Tsukino and I will be your guide on this journey. AniMaine is a small con that takes place e...

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[embed]32952:4100:0[/embed] [Special thanks to Dr. N]
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Anime Next '14: Studio Trigger

Jun 16 // Jeff Chuang
1. During the [Kill la Kill] panel, you showed many different designs for Ryuuko from different designers. What was the process that took you to the final designs? Hiromi Wakabayshi (Wakabayashi): Before Ryuuko's design was 100% finalized, we had to begin the animation production for the first episode because we didn't have enough time. It was a scheduling issue. As the animators were drawing the first episode they were also refining the design as they went. The reason why it took forever it was because the character designer Sushio was a hardcore animator, we wanted the design to look comfortable in the style that he animates. 2. Why was Little Witch Academia crowdfunded through Kickstarter? What was the reaction from people in the studio? [Trigger PR and interpreter] Tatsuru Tatemoto: Kickstarter was my side of things. We uploaded Little Witch Academia episode 1 on Youtube and had about 800,000 views. About 60-70% of the viewers were Japanese but most comments on the video were in English. Many of the comments were about being unable to give us money or asking us to try Kickstarter or crowdfunding. I looked it up and asked my boss if we can try Kickstarter. He is an easy-going guy and agreed to try it out. That was why we started doing it. Wakabayashi: We were surprised at the amount of support and funds we received on Kickstarter. We were expecting to reach the goal in 30 days but we reached it in 4-5 hours. We were shocked. 3. Can you tell us about Ninja Slayer's staff? Wakabayashi: We can't announce the creative staff yet, but it will be from our studio. 4. Trigger's animation is a blend of 3D animation and 2D animation. Which do you prefer? Wakabayashi: We don't have a preference. If you watch our previous works like Panty & Stocking, we don't use 3D like a CG cut. We use 3D like an individual animator. There are scenes where 3D works better, such as scenes when camera angles switch vigorously. It's hard to do those scenes in analog animation. Since we treat the 3D portion like an animator I guess we prefer 2D animation. 5. What's different between Gainax and Trigger? Wakabayashi: We were all part of Gainax previously. It's just the Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking team went independent. As a result we still have the Gainax ideals within our studio as well. 6. The way Kill la Kill ended, was that something the team decided on towards the end after working on the show? Wakabayashi: We have our ending from the beginning. We didn't have an alternate ending in mind. We were pretty solid with the happy kind of a feeling, a high school girl graduating out of her uniform was the idea we had from since the beginning. 7. Why did you guys go independent from Gainax? Shigeto Koyama (Koyama): I'm technically not part of Trigger. I believe Trigger wanted to do everything by themselves. When we were doing Gurren Lagann at Gainax we were still considered as young animators. The Imaishi team felt like they should take responsibility for their own works so they went independent. 8. Who are some of the other animators that influenced you or mentored you? Koyama: I started out in Gainax so those animators. Particularly there's strong influence from Kazuya Tusurmaki, who is now working on the new Eva movies. And also Yoshiyuki Sadamoto in terms of design. Wakabayashi: I'm not a designer by default but for being able to tell good design, I was influenced by Koyama, Atsushi Nishigori and Hiroyuki Imaishi. 9. What was your thought process about creating powerful female characters? Studio Trigger has a lot of these. Wakabayashi: All the creative staff are masochists. We like to be dominated. (Everyone laughs.) Koyama: Director Imaishi loves strong women. Yeah, we are attracted to strong females and we think they are cool. 10. What are some new productions you are looking forward to? Wakabayashi: I can't say what it is, but I'm looking forward to Imaishi's next big project we're working on. And another big project from another director I can't name. Sorry I can't say what they are. Our next TV series is from a light novel and it's the first time for us doing an adaptation. It's called Inou-Battle. I personally also look forward to that. 11. You mentioned previously that many of the characters in Kill la Kill are designed inspired by toys. Are Ryuuko and Satsuki designed based on toys? And which ones? Wakabayashi: I don't think either of them are based on a toy, but the Elite Four and DTR are influenced by toys... Koyama: Mikisugi? Not really. But Gamagori and Tsumugu are definitely inspired by muscle-bound-type toys. We took ideas from Marvel toys, with bulky back and arms, like the Marvel Legends series of toys. 12. For Ninja Slayers, do you plan to keep the mythology of the authors in the adaptation? Wakabayashi: I personally think we should put them in the front lines. Maybe they are shy, I don't know! 13. How did you come up with the assembly sequence in Captain Earth starting with the rocket launch? Koyama: It was screenwriter Yoji Enokido's idea. In Japan, there are many different genres of robot anime. Recently there hasn't been a lot of "gattai" robots shows, so we decided to make something like that. Enokido explained that realistically with today's technology, it's hard to shuttle out a heavy object to outer space, so why not have the big parts already in space and combine them in space? That was the idea. We have a split between Earth's surface and things in space. We try to make things realistic on earth, but once we go into space we make it more fantastic. 14. How do you come up with the ideas for your anime? Wakabayashi: I believe everyone comes up with the ideas, we gather them and put it together. It's also case by case and it's up to the project. The director usually is in charge, and people like us would add to the ideas director came up with. We can try to make it more marketable and professional, refined. Also we need to see if the idea can be completed through the end of the production. Koyama: I work with a lot of different studios. Trigger is distinct from other studios and people like us would stir up ideas and dick around in the meeting to get people to come up with different ideas. 15. Can you talk about the symbolism in works like Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill? Is there an Amateresu reference in Kill la Kill? How about the fascism? Wakabayashi: In Kill la Kill, we didn't intend an Amateresu reference. But yes there is some fascism themes, reference to Germany, etc. For Gurren Lagann, it's more about Imaishi and Nakashima who grew up with the stuff, the old robot and shounen stories. For Nakashima, he is not just a script writer, but he worked as a shounen manga editor in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He's been working on shounen manga all his life and there are a lot of shounen manga references in his works. [And that's a wrap! Special thanks to interpreter Tatsuru Tatemoto and Anime Next. Also thanks to Ani-Gamers, Anime Next and Kingdom Heart World Podcast for the questions!]
Studio Trigger photo
With Hiromi Wakabayashi & Koyama Shigeto
At Anime Next 2014, the "Creative Officer" and "Creative Director" of Kill la Kill, Shigeto Koyama and Hiromi Wakabayashi, respectively, did some show-and-tell for the crowd. Their Saturday panel on Kill la Kill was not ...

Macross photo
Macross

MacrossWorld Con returns this Fall


I gotta make my way to out this!
Jun 11
// Hiroko Yamamura
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Jun 09 // Jeff Chuang
Cosplay photo
The Pool is open for business
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