a-kon

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As God intended: TENGA cosplay sighted


Jun 27
// Josh Tolentino
In the greatest cosplay development since a man wore a cardboard box with "Gundam" written on the front, an A-kon attendee was seen cosplaying as a TENGA onacup. His costume was surprisingly accurate, replicating th...
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Don't count Bandai out of this con season just yet


Jun 08
// Tim Sheehy
As you may have noticed, Bandai was noticably absent from every con so far this year, including North America's longest running anime convention, Project A-kon. However, in a recent e-mail exchan...
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A-Kon '09: Best and Worst Cosplay of A-Kon '09 Part 3 of 3


Jun 04
// Red Veron
The third impact of cosplay from this last weekend's A-Kon 20 in Dallas arrives and the cosplay just keeps getting better and worse. Though I have to declare that the best cosplay of the con is in the picture above. That's th...

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Shunya "Shunyama" Yamashita, you are my god.


Jun 03
// Tim Sheehy
For those of you who aren't aware of his art, it's time to get with the program. Potentially my favorite artist, Shunyama is known for his beautifully drawn, full figured character designs, often inspired by 1950's pinup mode...
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A-Kon '09: Best and Worst Cosplay of A-Kon '09 Part 2 of 3


Jun 02
// Red Veron
I bring upon you the second onslaught of both good and bad cosplay from this past weekend's A-Kon 20 from Dallas, Texas. Now we have even more cuter girls in this batch. I could've given you more if it weren't for my entire 2...
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A-Kon '09: So.. there was cosplay, at least.


Jun 02
// Tim Sheehy
It was a pretty sad sight, at least I'd like to say that because honestly, there wasn't much to see. For what is the longest running Anime convention in the US, you'd expect there to be major announcements, numerous guests, a...
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A-Kon '09: Best and Worst Cosplay of A-Kon '09 Part 1 of 3


Jun 01
// Red Veron
So A-Kon 20 totally happened this past weekend in the city of Dallas, and Japanator was there. Out of the many cons I've been to, there's always one thing you can count on: The Awesome Cosplay.I consider myself somewhat of an...
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A-Kon '09: Day 2, Camino Q&A and the dealer room.


Jun 01
// Tim Sheehy
Saturday proved to be less than exciting, but we managed to enjoy ourselves at the con, despite the lack of major outlets and their usual announcements. We started the day going out with the kids at AnimeVice for lunch. It wa...
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A-Kon '09: Legal in Japan Edition


May 30
// Red Veron
It's 2 am and I'm here in Dallas and tired as f*ck from driving all day. You ask why I'm in Dallas? For A-Kon 20, you silly goose. The oldest running anime convention in North America, A-Kon, is celebrating its 20th year and ...
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A-kon '08: AMV Contest(s)!


Jun 09
// Aoi
I've put this post off, not only because the past week has seen me running around like a monkey on acid back and forth 'cross central Texas getting ready to go back to "school" or "move" or whatever th...
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Podtoid-san 60: 'This is A-kon' edition


Jun 06
// Dale North
When I look back, A-Kon 19 was a total blur. My mind is filled with random images of whiskey, sashimi, Kagami poseable figures, side boob, and more, and I can't make sense of any of it. I guess it's a good thing that we recor...
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A-Kon '08: Anime Hell


Jun 04
// Aoi
This con staple took place a tiny bit late, which is not notable at itself in a huge, busy Friday-night con environment; what stuck out here was that several key volunteers and/or Anime Hell guys seemed to be sick or otherw...
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A-kon '08: Helen McCarthy and Peter Beagle's panel


Jun 03
// Aoi
On the con schedule, it was called "Gossip" with those two writers, but really, it was last year's Storytelling panel all over again, which was not a good thing so much as a magnificent concession to the fact that l...
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A-Kon '08: Friday arrival, Idea Generator panel


Jun 02
// Aoi
A full day's rest and no alcohol have set me up nicely to talk about some little ol' con from this weekend in Dallas; with my chocolate all melted, my L wig broken and a couple of fantastic souvenirs, I'll always be able to t...
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A-Kon '08: The cosplay!


Jun 02
// Dale North
While final totals aren't in yet, I think it's pretty safe to say that A-Kon 19 demolished the previous record we told you about earlier. The forms and entries are still being tallied by officials, but it is estimated that ov...

A-Kon '08: Budo Grape interview and concert photos

Jun 02 // Dale North
Japanator: You'll have to excuse me. I heard that you all did a bit of drinking last night. I probably drank too much and I'm still trying to wake up. Nagai Grape: You too? You drank too much?Japanator: YesNagai Grape: You are bad! [laughs] Japanator: Can you tell us how you all came together as a band?Nagai Grape: [As a band] we were pretty famous in Nagoya. This was before Quminco joined us. One day we were in a recording studio where we met Quminco and we just kind of stole her from her band. Japanator: Nice! [laughter] Japanator: Can you tell me what you think of Texas and A-Kon so far?  Nagai Grape: We are pretty impressed. Japanese otaku are very similar, as they like to copy each other. American otaku are very original, making their own costumes and things like that. Because of everyone's originality, we were pretty amazed. We see that otaku has become a culture in America.  Japanator: Thank you. You kind of touched on my next question. I was going to ask you how you thougt US cosplayers compared to Japanese ones.Nagai Grape: I can read your mind?Japanator: Well good! Okay, what am I going to ask you next? [laughs] Nagai Grape: You were going to ask me why we are so cool.Japanator: Yeah, that's right! That is what I was going to ask! [laughter] Japanator: Congratulations on your North American tour. We hear that you are going to San Antonio next, and then New York. Are you planning on anything after these performances in the future?Quminco Grape: Before we came, we really wanted to be sure this wasn't a one time thing. Coming here, we're hoping to get another chance to come back to America.Japanator: Is there anything you're looking forward to doing here in Texas or New York while you're here? Quminco Grape: Hmm.Nagai Grape: Yesterday at the autograph session, I got the address of this really cute girl. Maybe going over to her place would be something I'd like to do. [laughs] Japanator: I like your overall uniform look. You looked great on stage last night. Do you always wear ties? Is there a reason behind them?Nagai Grape: Sometimes. We like neck ties.Quminco Grape: Scarfs also. Nagai Grape: Because we vary in age and musical influences, we like to kind to bring unity to the band with our costumes. We have this synchronized costume in hopes of bringing the band together.  Japanator: With different ages and taste, does this play into your unique sound?Quminco Grape: Because we have varied personalities, I think that we're able to pull each others talents out to the fullest extent and compliment each other. That does help in our music production.Japanator: Because of this, do you write your songs together?Nagai Grape: I take most of the writing responsibilities. But I don't do it without the help of everyone else. Sometimes we'll ad lib at the recording studio, and I'll take that home and refine it. Sometimes we work together to create things.Japanator: Are any of you anime or manga fans?Matsui Grape: I like it very much. I like Evangelion. I like Gundam.Quminco Grape: I like the manga One Piece. I also like Nodame Cantibile.Japanator: Ooh! Me too. [laughs] Anyone else? Nagai Grape: Ashta no Joe is an old one. It's about boxing. When I was a kid, it was running in a weekly magazine. I got into it from there.Japanator: I have to ask this: do you all like grapes? Quminco Grape: I love them.Matsui Grape: I do not like them. [laughter] Japanator: Really? Matsui Grape: I don't like peeling grapes. Quminco Grape: Do Americans just eat the grapes without peeling them? Japanator: Yep! We just wash and eat.  Quminco Grape: Japanese will peel them, so our mouths and hands will get all sticky.Nagai Grape: Why do Americans use the phrase "sour grapes" for disappointment?Japanator: I think it's because people make a sour face when they eat them. I'm guessing! I don't know! Budo Grape: Ah! Nagai Grape: We all are sour grapes. [laughs] Japanator: Not last night, though. The concert was a lot of fun. It was so high energy and really great! The crowd was really into it.Quminco Grape: Thank you.Nagai Grape: I was worried about my MCing and if my English was getting through to the audience.Japanator: It definitely was. And on that topic, I think your "Crap, Piss, Spit" song got through to them too. After the concert I heard plenty of audience members singing along as we left the concert area. Quminco Grape: I think that if the Japanese fans saw that concert, they would be pretty impressed. Japanator: What was the reason for making that song? Nagai Grape: We made it so that we could spread the phrase "Crap, Piss, Spit" to the Americans. [laughter] Japanator: That's a great reason! What's coming up next for Budo Grape?Nagai Grape: We have four albums that we've already released, with one of them being Juice, which we are releasing in the States. We are working on a fifth CD, and we are in the process of making the music for that CD.Japanator: As drinkers, what is everyone favorite beverage of choice?Matsui Grape: Beer.Japanator: Any particular beer?Matsui Grape: Japanese beer. Asahi. Midori Grape: I like milky drinks.Quimico Grape: I like fresh juice.Nagai Grape: [in English] Beer. I recommend Japanese brand Suntory beer. Malt.Tachi Grape: Tea. Japanese tea. Green Tea.Japanator: Midori, last night on stage, you said you were a space alien. Can you tell us more about that? Midori Grape: Okay. I came from Mushroom Planet. It was really far from here and hard to explain. [band is snickering] If you make your soul tranquil and look up with a pure soul, you will be able to see it up there. [Midori looks up]Matsui Grape: [in English] You're bad, so you can't see. [laughs] Midori Grape: When I was a baby, my mother was holding me and I fell to Earth accidentally. And just perfectly, my mother and father, who wanted a baby, kind of caught me. [laughter]Japanator: Do all aliens play keyboard?Midori Grape: I learned the keyboard because I grew up in Japan. In mushroom planet, everyone only eats mushrooms, so we don't play keyboard. [laughing] Quminco Grape: Wait, how do you know so much about [Mushroom Planet] since you were only a baby when you were there?Midori Grape: Because I always look up at my planet. [Midori stretches her hands to the ceiling] Japanator: Were you looking last night as you were performing? [band and management laugh] Midori Grape: Yes. I sang with the feeling of "mom, dad, from the Mushroom Planet, please cheer me on and look over me."Japanator: What was up the combat scene between Midori Grape and Quminco Grape on stage last night? You seeemed to be sparring from a distance. What was that?Quminco Grape: The music just kind of strums our battlistic urges.Nagai Grape: I meant to ask that as well. Thank you.Midori Grape: We didn't know what happened. It just took over us. Quminco Grape: We were thinking of attacking the audience from stage, but thought that it maybe wasn't the best idea.Japanator: They would have liked that!Quminco Grape: Next time we'll bring shuriken and throw them out into the audience. [Quminco does throwing motions] Japanator: If you don't kill them, they'll like that!  [Thanks so much to Dave, JapanFiles, and Budo Grape for the interview.]
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Budo Grape kicked off their US concert line up in Dallas, Texas this past weekend, and we had a chance to meet with them to talk about their premiere performance at A-Kon 19. Tachi Grape (drums), Nagai Grape (guitar and vocal...

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A-kon 08: ImaginAsian report


Jun 01
// God Len
Our ninja Gia reports of some new announcements coming from the television network ImaginAsian. Starting Mondays next week ImaginAsian will be showing a selection of ADV’s live-action films such as Jailbreakers and Marr...
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A-Kon '08: More pictures to hold you over while we wake up


May 31
// Dale North
Team Japanator sucks. We have a lot of coverage coming up from last night, and much more to cover today. But right now everyone is still barely moving about, some still reeling from the drinky drinky that went well into the m...
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A-kon '08: Bandai conglomerated entertainment panel


May 30
// John Martone
If a general exposé of Nabeshin wasn't industry enough for you, we've arrived at Bandai Visual/Entertainment's panel. As should be known, the two have offically combined into some sort of awe-inspiring anime peddling o...
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A-Kon '08: Shinichi Watanabe's afro-rific panel and crotch shot


May 30
// Dale North
Director, anime star, and voice actor Shinichi Watanabe (aka Nabeshin) fluffed his afro for an appearance as a special guest at an industry panel today at A-Kon 19. The man behind shows like Excel Saga, Tenchi Muyo EXP, Puni ...
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A-Kon '08: Early bird gets the worm... and cosplay pics


May 30
// Dale North
The rest of team Japanator are lazy f*cks for the most part. John has been fired. They sleep in, or hang out, or shuffle around, all while all the good sh*t in the dealer's room is being bought up! Where is their sense of dut...
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Podtoid-san 60: "This is A-kon" edition


May 30
// John Martone
Crowning our second "at the con-room recording," we are pleased to bring you episode 60, live from Dallas, Texas. I'll make this short and sweet, but yeah... we at Japanator are trying to have enough fun for all the...
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A-Kon '08: Is this a 4-day con now?


May 29
// Dale North
What the hell is going on here? The Japanator crew is still getting their lodging and travel situation sorted on this Thursday night before A-Kon 19 kicks off tomorrow morning. But from the looks of things around here in the ...
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Con Reminder: A-kon


May 28
// John Martone
Just in case anyone happens to be going to Dallas and forgot, this weekend is A-kon 19. A-kon 18 was my first con, and this one will undoubtedly be like... ninety times cooler.A few quick notes for any interested parties: Ver...
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Podtoid-san 59: Lions, Tigers, and Cons! Oh my!


May 24
// John Martone
As the readers may or may not be aware of, its con season! We here at Japantor are taking such matters seriously, and have sent our agents out. Between Len's coverage of ACEN last week, Tim at Fanime right now, and next week ...
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Budo Grape: New album, new US tour dates


Apr 30
// Zac Bentz
The always funky and quirky art-rockers Budo Grape will be making their debut appearance in the US at A-Kon this year. What, can't make it to Dallas on May 30th? Well fear not! There are two more live dates for the band com...
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A-Kon is out to beat the Guinness game cosplay record


Apr 07
// Dale North
You're going to be at A-Kon 19 in Dallas, Texas, right? We are, and some of us will be cosplaying as videogame characters to help them out a bit.What would we be helping by cosplaying game characters? We would be helping this...
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Vis-kei metal masters Versailles to play A-Kon 2008


Jan 17
// Zac Bentz
Tainted Reality, a major vis-kei promoter in the US, has just announced that they are bringing the masters of metal and frilly dresses Versailles to A-Kon this year. This is huge news for fans of quality visual rock as Vers...
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That's me own back on the left, a few billion fangirls in a long multi-hall wraparound line, and a generous chunk of the reason they're all there writing his e-mail for me on the right: 'tis Vic Mignogna, voice of Ed in Ful...

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A-kon 2007: Storytelling


Jun 11
// Aoi
This year's A-kon positively teemed with large, elaborate cosplay, the likes of which I never would've guessed were playable. It's a mark of the con's high quality, then, that there were plenty of events and panels both gra...

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