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Otakon Matsuri photo
Otakon Matsuri

Mass Destruction: Two Persona singers are performing at Otakon Matsuri

Otakon: Dancing all Day
May 06
// Salvador GRodiles
I'm not gonna lie. When Atlus showed off their newest trailer for Persona 5, my excitement levels have gone up to a new height. While we're still on the topic of Persona, Otakon is getting Lotus Juice (Persona 3's battle them...
Otakon 2015 photo
Otakon 2015

Otakon 2015 is upon us!

East Coast's biggest anime bash
Jul 24
// Jeff Chuang
Otakon 2015 is upon us! East Coast's largest anime con will roll out in full force tomorrow and throughout the weekend. As if it's easing its way into a 4-day event, Otakon's Matsuri even starred Back-On to perform some songs to get things going early. 
Hayamin QA photo
Hayamin QA

Otakon '14: Saori Hayami interview

Quick Q&A with a prolific seiyuu
Aug 24
// Jeff Chuang
At Otakon 2014 Japanator was fortunate enough to grab a few minutes with one of the most prolific voice actresses in otaku anime and games of the past several years. Saori Hayami appeared at the con on behalf of Aniplex and h...

Otakon '14: Cosplay

Aug 13 // Jeff Chuang
[embed]32952:4100:0[/embed] [Special thanks to Dr. N]
Otakon '14 Cosplay photo
Loving it live
Otakon 2014 flew by last weekend, in usual form, cramming way more content than what one can expect within a simple weekend. The cosplayers are out and baffling the crowd. The local baseball program even talked about it, and ...

Otakon '14 photo
Otakon '14

Otakon 2014 charms Baltimore this weekend

Yoshiki, ALTIMA, Katabuchi, CIA, Hayami, Sailor Mooooooon
Aug 07
// Jeff Chuang
The biggest East Coast anime con, Otakon, happens this weekend. It'll be, for once, not deathly hot and humid in the Baltimore Inner Harbor, perhaps, but the weather wasn't ever going to stop anyone. As per usual a lot of gue...
Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Aw snap, Viz is hosting a Sailor Moon event at Otakon

In the name of the moon, Sailor Moon Day returns
Aug 05
// Salvador GRodiles
Yikes! I almost forgot that Otakon's happening this weekend. Anyway, if you're planning to attend the con, Viz is having another Sailor Moon Day event, which happens to be almost similar to the one from Anime Expo '14. This t...
Cons photo

Anime Expo, Otakon continue to dominate biggest cons

2013 sees Anime Matsuri in the top 10
Jan 09
// Brad Rice
Now that 2013 is over and done with, we can take a look at how all the cons stacked up last year. AnimeCons has all the numbers that each event self-reported, and that's the best metric we have to go on. Some of the cons are ...

Otakon '13: An Interview with Oreimo's creators

Aug 17 // Jeff Chuang
The interview took place roughly two hours before the Oreimo OVA screening at Otakon. Present at the interview was the light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi, novel editor Kazuma Miki, and anime director Hiroyuki Kanbe. We were joined with also Aniplex's Mr. Goto and Ms. Tsukamoto. The Q&A began after exchanging pleasantries-- Japanator: How do you feel about screening the finale to Oreimo at Otakon even before the Japanese audience? Fushimi: I'm happy that lots of people are watching it. I'm looking forward to it as well, because now I can see the final episodes on the big screen. I have not seen the anime's ending yet, so this will be my first time. J: How do you hope people will react to the ending of the anime? F: I would be really happy if people can just enjoy the episodes. I would like to have fun watching everyone else having fun watching it. J: From Oreimo anime's website, there is a lot of English-translated text, to go with the "From Chiba to the World" campaign. Whose idea was it to have such an international campaign? Miki: It's the idea from Mr. Takashi Yuma of Aniplex's. He is in charge of the PR and marketing for the show. He is a dangerous man. J: How is he dangerous? M: He spends a lot of money. *laugh* J: Have you listened to the Oreimo web radio? If you did, how do you feel about the oversea fan letters? F: I didn't listen to the radio, but I am delighted to read and hear about the oversea fan messages. M: I see the fan mail for the radio come in from dozens of countries all over the world. The letters say how they love Oreimo and we're very happy about that. We're surprised even with the help of the internet, that people are able to catch the show and follow what is happening. Kanbe: I occasionally listen to the radio! J: Which countries do you think has the loudest fans and the most fans? F: Regarding the novels, Taiwan has the loudest. Then China is second. K: Maybe someone from Aniplex can tell us how the anime is doing. Tsukamoto: For the anime, American fans are probably the loudest. J: When the ending of the novel was published, there were some fan murmuring about the ending. How do you feel about it? F: First I'm surprised that you know about this! We did get a lot of feedback and I'm happy about the feedback regardless what they are. Because it is the last volume, I want to slowly savor the fan responses one by one. J: Kirino's relationship with her brother--is this something that is inspired by something you know or something you came up completely? F: That is something I came up completely from scratch. J: How about the characters themselves? F: It's not really based on any real people. J: Kuroneko or Kirino? F: If I answer this question I will probably get some threatening letters! *Everyone laughs* M: Kirino for me. K: Kuroneko for me. F: Maybe I really like everyone? They are characters that I made and gave birth to, so I love them all. J: Between Kyousuke and the girls around him, is there a particular girl that you enjoyed writing the most? F: It has to be Ayase and Kirino. J: Why are these two the most interesting? F: I don't really know the reason myself. It's just that when I started to write, the readers react strongly to them and I end up enjoy writing about them more. J: I have a question about the title of the work. First, who came up with the title? And second, there are a lot of light novels with similar structure for the name as OreImo [Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai], so why are these novel names so long? F: I came up with the title of the show with editor Miki.  M: And yeah, you are right, light novel names are really long! How do you know about them? J: There's all these anime adopted from light novels with these long names! M: Ah that is true. It's kind of like a fad. It's just how this age of light novels are. In the previous age, the names were simple. The long names are just for the current round of books. Sooner or later it will change to something else. J: How is the process of working on the anime for the script of the show? K: Every week there is a script meeting. Mr. Kurata [series writer] will present the concept of how the novel will be translated into the anime. We will work with Fushimi-san to determine the result. J: How was this changed in season 2 compared to season 1? How was editing the novel story to fit into the length of the second series? F: The biggest difference between season 1 and 2 was that the novel wasn't completed by season 2's planning.  M: We waited until Fushimi-san was done before we can go ahead with the anime. J: Why was the anime for seasons 1 and 2 both extended into the OVA episodes? K: Well, TV anime is usually one or two cours, so if it fits then it works, if not we will have to come up with another way. We originally wanted to fit in to one season irrespective to the original story but it didn't work that well. Aniplex then suggested to make more episodes so we can do a better job matching the story. The same happened with season 2. J: Of all the various marketing and promo events for Oreimo, which ones do you like the most? F: Otakon would be the one I'm hoping to like the most! K: I would hope for Otakon as well, since it hasn't been done before that the US gets something before the Japanese. Also I like Oreimo Festival, which is an event where the voice actors talk about the show. M: For me, it's the monorail promotion. The entire monorail train has a full wrapping for Oreimo characters. I was surprised that the Oreimo themes continued inside the rail cars. J: Is there anything you can tell us about new works? F: We are working on a new project. Mr. Miki and I were on this 13-hour flight from hell to here and we were working on it on the way. K: I have a few projects planned right now. I'm also going to work on other anime as an animation director. J: And to wrap it up, any final words for your oversea fans? F: Thank you for watching or reading Oreimo to the end. I would be happy if everyone has at least one favorite heroine, may it be Kirino or Kuroneko or anyone else. I hope you will remember them. K: I hope for those who has not watched the show yet, they will check it out! M: Originally, the project in Japan was just between me, Fushimi-san and Kanzaki-san [Light Novel Illustrator]. It was originally made for young Japanese people so we never expected it to be this big in America. We are glad to be able to share the same feelings about Oreimo with you! J: Thank you very much! [Special thanks to Otakon's George Endo for interpreting and Aniplex's Tsukamoto-san for facilitating!]  
Oreimo Premiere photo
Team OreImo under the spotlight
To get you ready for the world simulcast of the Oreimo OVAs on Saturday, Japanator chatted up the Oreimo guests at Otakon 2013--light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi, his editor Kazuma Miki, and the director of the anime se...

Otakon '13: Yoko Kanno and PIANO ME

Aug 15 // Jeff Chuang
I'm going to just talk about it from my abused, biased point of view as a Kanno fan over the years. Just a little intro, I started tracking this chick from Macross Plus, but that wasn't until 1998 or about (given the large time lag it takes for things to make it across the pond back in the '90s). By then she's already gotten Escaflowne out there, and Cowboy Bebop was just a couple years away, let alone the stuff before Macross Plus from both games and anime. I was fortunate (and motivated enough) to attend her biggest show in 2009, Cho-jiku Tanabata Supersonic. It was at the Saitama Super Arena, which held about 18,000 or 16,000 people, I don't remember exactly (the hall has configurable sized seating). Yoko Kanno didn't really do concerts, so that was a huge deal--not to mention it combines, for the first (and probably final) time, many of her collaborators in the '00s, such as the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Seatbelts. And given various issues this was an one-time only live that will probably never hit DVD or Blu-ray. Now, what is Piano Me? From Otakon 20's Sunday concert page: Otakon's Sunday Concert features the world premiere performance of Yoko Kanno's presentation new project, "PIANO ME", at Otakon. For this concert, the simple intimacy of one performer with one instrument will be enhanced by experimental live visuals that respond to her performance. Our Sunday show with Yoko Kanno is aiming for a different vibe, reminding us that beauty and wonder can come from the power of something as simple as timeless music performed live on a single piano. It's a statement that no matter how big and crazy Otakon can feel, we can still create those special, intimate moments where an amazing artist can connect directly with fans and make magic happen. Compared to Tanabata Supersonic, Piano Me is going to the same place but using a different instrument. It's like walking down Broadway with a marching band or by your lonesome self. You still get to Harold Square from Time Square, but the feeling is about the same? This is given that Tanabata Supersonic can still be intimate, even if I was in a room with like 18,000 people, inside the Saitama Super Arena. Having just ~2000 in the audience might help a bit. I think there is still a lot to be said about Piano Me, however. It was about 40 minutes, and it featured a lot more than just a woman and a piano--there's about a whole short movie's worth of visual effects going on, plus accompanying synthesized audio and pre-recorded backing tracks. What's weird is that I think you will have to be a real Kanno freak to get a complete tracklist down. She played both medleys and full songs, and it's tough to pick out what the medleys were consisted of,  because it's all jammed in there good. Thankfully Otakon was able to obtain an "official" set list, so you can check that at the end of this article. [embed]29396:2735:0[/embed] The promo video for PIANO ME gives you the idea what it's like--reinvented piano arrangements of Kanno classics played seamlessly into each other. Other than a handful of songs, it's just sets of medleys. There weren't many breaks. Kanno took a break right after Gravity so she can put on the pant...legs... of the piano, setting up the grand piano as a projector screen. Yes, it wore leggings. Kanno's mannerism during the show was noteworthy. Well, cute doesn't begin to cut it. Here we have this girlish-behaving but "man she's just like Ed" kind of a woman on stage, who hops to the piano and kicked off her shoes to begin the show. It really endeared the fans just that much more so seeing her out there. Actually, the producer came on stage first to welcome Kanno, and gave an explanation of how Piano Me would work. Rather than tell you what he said, here's a quote from the Otakon guest relations guy for backstory: When we met with Kannos' team in March, they showed us test footage of the projection technology and we talked about options -- but at that time they had misunderstood the scale of Hall D. We straightened that out and they continued to work on the show that way.  Their *ORIGINAL* proposal (end of 2012) was a full orchestral performance with a symphony -- something that I would love to do one day, maybe, but something well out of our budget and honestly, it's been done. Their second proposal was this new experimental a/v interactive show they had been playing with. It would showcase Kanno at her best (just her and a piano), but had a playful and interactive aspect that made it perfect for the vibe we were going for.  Thus we became the premiere for PIANO ME Back to the show: so the set begins with Tank--or wait, there was some kind of standing ovation to get the show on the road. She hops to her piano, shoes, etc. Now, Tank. The song is well known but in that energetic frenzy, the piece melts into the next after another round of applause (standing ovation #2...well I lost track after like 5 of these, but almost all of them were). The second and third pieces were definitely medleys, as with the fourth which seamlessly ends with Gravity (which is probably the sixth piece, or the end of the 3rd piece, however you want to count it). So yes, then she hopped around the grand piano to pull up the legs. The piano was just a black grand. Maybe a Yamaha.  At any rate, after Gravity, she went to each of the 4 legs of the piano and pulled up these white, foam-looking fabric and buttoned them to the undersides of the piano. The piano itself is covered with the same material. In addition of pulling up the pant legs she opened up the lid--it's hilarious because it doesn't seem like she could, so the producer guy came out to help her. It was moe. It's right around then I noticed the additional pedals by the piano pedals. There were 6 or 8 of them. The modified piano with its raised lid became a projector screen. It was as if there are just 2 different projectors, one is angled in a way so that the visual looks "flat" when projected on the slanted surface of the open lid, and a second projector covered the vertically flat part of the piano's body beneath that. The background of the stage is also lit and colored. For what it's worth, Kanno's outfit--short black pantaloons with a tux-like one-piece top in white, and cat ears (see trailer video)--served also as a reflector at times. There's this white pipe coming out of the piano bench (also wrapped in the same material as the piano) which I assume is some kind of cable that's covered. The white parts of the stage served as the screen for various pieces. The last song before the two encores, Power of the Light, had this full-blast starfield and the stage was all colorful and what not, except for the shadows from Kanno's form. It looked more amazing on the screens projecting the concert stage than how it looked in person on stage, which is kind of unusual but unavoidable given the angle of how everything has to be. Did I mention we sang along to Gravity? When I heard the intro chords my back shivered and knew immediately. It's that kind of a feeling. We were told to sing along when we know the song, which also meant we all tried to sing The Real Folk Blues to mild success. There were enough people who remember the song up towards the front so I can follow along. Alternatively, we read her lips. It's kind of funny when she took that ever slight pause at the chorus's opening so everyone can go real loud, at the same time, sing "THE REAL FOLK BLUES."  The first song that made use of the projector setup naturally came right after Gravity, and it's some Escaflowne melody. The projector showed a couple yellow balls in the form of the moon that turns into a chick (hiyoko). You know how it goes. This is kind of a small-time running joke from Kanno and only her super nerds would get it. I'm not even sure if it's funny or what. Well, anyway, it's a little skit to the music, much like a couple of the songs from Tanabata Supersonic. After the chicken act, there was a track from Ghost in the Shell where the lower part of the piano displayed some EKG graph-like lines that moved to the music. She sang along to Monochrome with some synth backed voices. It's a very chill piece. The next songs all kind of blend together for me. The piano slash projector screen rained hearts, balls, and all kinds of magic, each to the sound of the piano. I did notice that some non-Kanno stuff creeped in there, like a cover of Someday My Prince Will Come. At some point it turned into The Real Folk Blues. Which you know from above. After that little song, Kanno said something to the extent that this is the last song--well, that's darn short if it was! Thankfully it wasn't. The next piece is a full video project where we see the journey of this plastic bag played to Wo Qui Non Coin, complete with vocals. Actually it's kind of funny because of the precise light control, during the two vocals song we see only the piano lit, and it was dark everywhere else on stage. The video occupied the full piano-screen, and it was some blurry live action footage featuring an abandoned plastic bag. From there, Kanno busts out Power of the Light and it is right around then my jaw actually drops for real. The Brain Powered piece is just one of my favorites from her, although this version of the song feels both familiar and strange, with its modified bridge part. As referenced above, there are these star-like lights on stage, full blast. When that was done she ran off. The audience did the "encore" call like a classical music concert with ceaseless clapping. Kanno returns...only to play the big surprise hit of the afternoon: The Star Spangled Banner. The audience stood and saluted America in this strange and surreal moment. Of course, we sang along to that one. Clapping, ovations, calls, bows and waves, she plopped down for an encore of Tank (just like the first one but even faster). And that was it! Set list (we were told to not number the set list--probably to avoid confusion): Tank!Nomad SoulKatarinaInnocent GreenResonance of the earthGravity  ~Baltimore special medley FaneliaMonochromeApollon BlueRakuenPower of the Light -encore1-Someday My Prince Will ComeThe Real Folk BluesWo Qui Non Coin - encore2-Star Spangled Banner - encore3-Tank! (reprise) To wrap it up, here's a quote from Yoko Kanno about the show   Japanese Version: 「私をステージの上で一人にしないでくれてありがとう。一緒に音楽できてうれしかった。待っていてくれた方、この機会をくださった方、piano meを通じて出会えたすべての皆さんに感謝します。」 English translation: Thank you for not leaving me by myself on the stage. I was very happy we could make music together. To the people who were waiting for me, to the people who gave me this opportunity, to everyone I met through "piano me", Thank you! - YOKO KANNO Big thanks to Otakon Press for making this article much easier to write! Lastly, Piano Me is taking song requests and they can be contacted through twitter. You can read about it on their website. It's not sure what the plan is for Piano Me, but it does look like more shows are possible in the future.
Yoko Kanno photo
A unforgettable wedding of otaku and music
Otakon 2013 wrapped up with a big bang--a concert from Yoko Kanno, a home coming of sorts as she visited Otakon over a decade ago for the first time. In order to get into the concert, over the weekend the attendees had to lin...

Chiaki Ishikawa photo
Chiaki Ishikawa

Otakon '13: Chiaki Ishikawa concert

Uninstalling your unburnables
Aug 15
// Jeff Chuang
Chiaki Ishikawa, best known as the partner of anime theme song composer and producer Yuki Kajiura in See-Saw, performed a short set to open for Yoko Kanno's experimental piano concert at Otakon 2013. Japantor was there to bri...
Otakon Sights photo
Otakon Sights

Otakon '13: Cosplay part 2, and others

Witches And Museums
Aug 14
// Jeff Chuang
Otakon 2013, or Otakon 20, featured a room full of past Otakon wares, such as the badge selections and con t-shirts of years past, all the way up from Otakon 1 in 1994. For long-time goers it's a tunnel back in time. For new ...
Funimation photo

Otakon 13': Funimation announcements

See you space cowboy
Aug 12
// Josh Totman
Funimation and Sunrise announced a slew of new acquisitions at Otakon. As you heard earlier today, the big announcement was Cowboy Bebop coming next year. The other announcements are as followed: Outlaw Star  Escaflowne:...
Cowboy Bebop photo
Cowboy Bebop

Streaming GET: Cowboy Bebop comes to Daisuki

Stream You Space Cowboy
Aug 12
// Josh Tolentino
Just in case you needed even more Cowboy Bebop news to brighten your day, you won't have to wait until the Blu-rays come out to get your fix of Spike and the gang. At Otakon this weekend announced that t...
Sentai photo

Otakon 13': Sentai announcements

Classic shows coming back
Aug 12
// Josh Totman
It's kind of odd that you get the announcements for US releases from the actual licencee. Sunrise announced that Sentai Filmworks has licenced the following titles: Sacred Seven The Big O The Big O II Argento Soma Betterman s...
Watanabe's new show photo
Watanabe's new show

Otakon '13: Shinichiro Watanabe unveils his new series

Winter 2014 is going to rock!
Aug 10
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: Jeff's recording of the Space Dandy trailer has been added to the post.] I knew that it was a great sign when Shinichiro Watanabe decided to appear at Otakon, and what perfect way to do so by revealing his newest pr...
Aniplex gets KILL la KILL photo
Aniplex gets KILL la KILL

Otakon '13: Aniplex licenses KILL la KILL

TRIGGER's new show is hitting North America!
Aug 10
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: Aniplex's Press Release on their  KILL la KILL license has been added.] Well, it looks like Imaishi's upcoming title is in a bit of a predicament here, folks. During this year's Otakon, Aniplex USA has reve...

Otakon '13: Cosplay

Aug 10 // Jeff Chuang
Otakon Cosplay photo
Otakon Red Operation
Otakon 2013 is underway and it's a big deal. The local hotels and restaurants is decked out with Otakon-themed menu items, pins, and doing their best to make Otakon 20th one of the best experiences in my memory of past Otakon...

Otakon Lineup photo
Otakon Lineup

Otakon 2013 lineup and last minute details

My convention can't be this loaded
Aug 08
// Jeff Chuang
August 9th through 11th mark the 20th Otakon, one of the longest-running anime cons in the USA. The lineup this year has been teased thoroughly throughout the past year as the rather talkative staff of Otakon tries to make th...
Otakon's new screenings  photo
Otakon's new screenings

Huzzah! Otakon to screen Eva 3.0 and live-action RuroKen

I wish I was going.
Jul 24
// Salvador GRodiles
I was just getting over my depression of not getting to see Yoko Kanno and Shinichiro Watanabe at Otakon 20, and now you hit me with this new chain of events! Not only will you get to see Evangelion 3.0 and the live-action Ru...
Shinichiro Watanabe  photo
Shinichiro Watanabe

Rejoice! Shinichiro Watanabe is attending Otakon 2013

See you at Otakon, cowboy.
Jun 26
// Salvador GRodiles
Why must you torture me, Otakon?! Oh wait, I promised that I was going to control myself this time around. At this rate, it's becoming harder for me to restrain myself, since Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champlo...
Yoko Kanno at Otakon 2013 photo
Yoko Kanno at Otakon 2013

Rejoice! Yoko Kanno to bless Otakon 2013 with her music

Yoko Kanno's having a concert there!
May 15
// Salvador GRodiles
Every time I hear about an announcement related to a major con, I begin to think that the gods of fate are planning to bring despair upon me. But mark my words, I will find a way to break this curse, so that I can travel to ...

Otakon announces Otakon Vegas in 2014

Feb 21 // Brad Rice
Baltimore, MD (February 20, 2013) – Otakorp, Inc is proud to announce a brand new event byfans, for fans – Otakon Vegas! Otakon Vegas will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort andCasino in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 3­- 5. Otakon Vegas Convention Chair Victor Albisharat says that, “Otakon Vegas is a new event that willallow us to further our mission. We're nearing the capacity of our home in Baltimore; the next logicalstep would be to expand. As well, we wanted to create a smaller and more intimate setting where we can try out new things. With that in mind, we're working on some exciting new events andformats that might not lend itself to our larger event in Baltimore.” Hotel room reservations are now available and event registration will open in the next few months. For more information, keep an eye on our facebook page at go to our website at ABOUT OTAKON VEGAS AND OTAKORP, INC.: Otakon Vegas is the first annual celebration ofJapanese and East Asian popular culture presented by Otakorp in Las Vegas, Nevada. OtakonVegas celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture. OtakonVegas is a ticket based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania­based 501(c)3educational non­profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarilythrough its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all­volunteer, unpaid staff – weare run by fans, for fans.For more information about Otakorp, Inc., see more information and the latest news on Otakon Vegas 2014, see  
Con lands in Sin City photo
Con lands at Planet Hollywood from January 3-5
Well, if this isn't an interesting bit of news: Otakon has announced that they're launching a second con in Las Vegas starting in 2014. Set to take place at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on January 3-5, Otakon is lik...

Otakon '12: Gen Urobuchi interview

Aug 07 // Jeff Chuang
Japanator: First, can you tell us a bit about your Nitroplus works? Urobuchi: Before I started working in anime there were works like Phantom of the Inferno and Vjedogonia. I'm very surprised that fans over here know a lot about Saya no Uta. How did you get your start in the visual novel/game business? I used to work in a game design company and I used to write walk-through books for games. While working there, that company was making a visual novel game and they asked me if I wanted to work on the game. At the time everything is becoming a media mix, which means books and games and things like that are released together. And since I was writing novels on the side I thought it was a great chance to expand to video games. How did working on Blassreiter and Phantom anime change the way you look at anime as a way to tell a story? The biggest thing to expressing in an anime is the spirit of the story, and for Blassreiter that is up to the director. The director is who matters the most. The job of the scenario writer is to interpret the ideas and the spirit of the story by writing it out and put in the scenario. It's up to the writer to write the lines and write the scenes in a way that reflects what the director wants. For Phantom, it's different because I wrote the story and it is a dark and grim story. When it got animated, it got into director Mashimo's hand. He does very flashy work and good action scenes. Rather forcing the story down a grim and dark direction, we wanted to appeal to Mashimo's ability to make things flashy. In that sense, not going with the original story was the choice I took. Director Itano praised your work such as Blassreiter and Madoka. He said that he convinced you that anime is a worthy medium to work in to tell the stories you tell. Is that an okay thing for him to say? Do you agree?  Since it was director Itano that got me started writing for anime and corrected my misconception about anime being a medium that does not appeal with its storyline, he shattered that misbelief, and I think it's good thing. How was working with director Shinbo, the creator for Cossette and Nanoha? How much input did he have?  When I first heard the idea for Madoka, I thought director Shinbo wanted me to make another Nanoha or something like it. Later I hear from the producer that Shinbo wanted me, the writer of Fate/Zero, as the writer for this project. So I was thinking maybe Madoka should be something more along my style. When I watched Cossette, I thought maybe it could be like that and it would combine with my style in a way that also respects the director's style.  You have a reputation for making a story that is depressing but also somewhat sweet. Why is this? What motivates you to write stories like this? When I was a kid, there were a lot of anime that were heavy and sad in general. There were no "moe" anime back then. What I want to do is just bring back things from those days to the present. I don't think I'm doing anything special. It's just me bringing in back older style of stories. Looks like my time is up! Last question: Do you have any long term goals? What do you see yourself doing in 5 or 10 years? I've received some offers already, and hearing them I think they will be very big projects, almost too big for me. In the next 5 years, I would do things that 10 or 20 years later on, I can look back and say "wow these were really heavy and big episodes back then."  Thank you very much! [Top Image]

Japanator scored an one-on-one interview with Gen Urobuchi! I was able to get a short interview with the creator of Fate/Zero and the collaborator of Madoka Magica and ask a few questions about his outlook in writing for anim...


Otakon '12: Aya Hirano solo live

Jul 31
// Jeff Chuang
One of the biggest draw at this year's Otakon down in Baltimore is Aya Hirano. The singer-personality-seiyuu talent showed off her renewed poise and mesmerized the masses this past weekend, and part of that is her very first ...

Licensing GET: Aquarion EVOL and Umineko go west

Jul 28
// Chris Walden
It seems the folk at Otakon have been busy nattering away at the panels, as we've got word of two new acquisitions. The first, and perhaps less exciting of the two, is that Aquarion EVOL has been licensed by Funimation. ...

Otakon 2012 brings Kpop, Urobuchi, Aya Hirano and more

Jul 22
// Jeff Chuang
Otakon is right around the corner. This year the con management began its guest announcement back in April, but the guest list didn't begin to fill until June and it only finished last week. Thankfully, this year's guest list...

Otakon announces Aya Hirano as first big guest

Jun 06
// Brad Rice
It's summer con season, which means in addition to the never-ending slew of events, there's a bombardment of announcements regarding con guest after con guest. Anime Expo has announced most of their big guns, so it's up to Ot...

Dragon Zord! Jason David Frank will morph at Otakon 2012

Apr 25
// Salvador GRodiles
Otakon better have their construction team ready, because the Green Ranger and the Dragon Zord are going to tear up Otakon this year. Super Sentai and Power Rangers may have their differences, but Sentai has never had a recur...

Otakon 11: Makoto Shinkai press panel interview

Aug 24
// Jeff Chuang
Long delayed, but nonetheless, here is the first part of a series of write-up promised about a man who waxed poetic about loving at a distance in anime film. You might know him as Makoto Shinkai, but I know him as a humble gu...

Otakon 11: a foray into Artist Alley

Aug 10 // Pedro Cortes
    Artists in order of appearance: Anne Marie Chua Lee Zombies Ate My Waffles! Vampetz Deanna Echanique Loritza Castillo Catherine "Cassie" Gretschel Allegra Northern Shelly Rodriguez Eric M. Maruscak (Youtube channel)

  We're finally up to the last video out of this year's Otakon and it was a hoot to shoot. Kristina and I walked around Artist Alley, a room filled to the brim with artists peddling their wares. While that may seem pre...

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