Brain Dump: 2011-05-12

Just to capture what’s on my mind today before restless sleep flushes it out, that or just a lot of work:

The Aya Hirano thing happened. If you’ve ever been to Forbidden Planet, you might note that it is arranged not unlike the Strand used bookstore next block down, which, if you have not been to either, is a place with a lot of stuff stacked mighty high, and there’s not a lot of room to move around. It’s kind of like shopping in Akiba, I guess. So even if you want to do an event there, there’s just not much space for it.

The rumored 5pm starting time is grossly exaggerated. Things didn’t really happen until 6:30. The word was Hirano and crew were filming something at the Met, and, well, NYC is the birthplace of gridlock. It’s not a long drive at all from UES down to Union Square, thankfully.

The whole thing went down like an episode of Otaku Versus Zero, except instead of Macias going to the field (or the improved Macias x Asakawa combo in season 2)  for some half-reality, half-reporting programming, it’s Hirano going to the field for some of the same. It is really casual; the crew was about 7 people, including two camera peeps, a boom guy, and a bunch of girls who are, I guess, handlers and interpreters and whoever Hirano needs on location.

The crowd was pretty small; pretty much all kids until later on. A couple business types showed up so I didn’t feel so out of place. I think there were a bunch of kids who had to leave because of classes or something, so the delayed start thinned out a lot of people. That said, it’s Forbidden Planet, so by “a lot” it’s like just a dozen.

What did Hirano do? She did her half-scripted thing with the one clerk there, she asked some questions and 2-3 of the people in on the thing asked her some questions. Before that she was just looking and shopping and pointing at merch. There was this bigass Haruhi dakimakura right by the entrance to the anime/manga section (oh, right, this all took place on the second floor of FP, which is even smaller), I wonder why. Anyways, after the Q&A, we got friendly, took pictures, and she signed a few items before being ushered away. Oh, she also did like 4 different voices. I was holding back my urge to yell “Katja-sama!” but that’s probably the right thing to do. But if anyone cared, one of the four voices was Ms. “Give Me Blood” Pachira! Thar be otaku in our midst.

There’s a line about how it went down in terms of press and media. If there was anyone to blame, it was one of the guys who had the heads up on Hirano’s visit and tweeted about it. The next thing that happens is that the all-seeing tweetbot of Scott Green (of AICN/CR News) picked it up and retweeted it. It happened some time like 3pm on 5/11, but I didn’t notice it until I was reading my feed on 5/12, on my commute in. I think Jtor picked up the story for serious, and ANN got the full scope afterwards. Wonder who wrote it up for them…!

There’s also some back story that I overheard about Hirano’s low-profile visit. But surely, Japanese people read ANN. I guess it’s just the anime industry types…but that stuff cross-breeds on 2ch just the same. Uh. The back story has to do with stuff about the low-profile visit, so you can take a guess what I’m referring to.

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The other thing I want to just blarb about is Anime Expo’s Hatsune Miku festival. Pound for pound, while Kalafina is pretty cool, Scandal over at Anaheim is probably a little more attractive. I happen to like Kalafina’s music more, but I’ve also seen them already. Now, this Vocaloid show? It’s, what, the third or fourth time we’ll see actual holographic projection for real? We as in, the world? I think this one is just a little more serious business, Toyota’s involvement notwithstanding. Plus, Sega is doing it!

And holograms don’t weight very much I think. Even if you throw in Len, Ren and Luka on top of Miku. [They also don’t take up space in the green room…hrm THE PERFECT AX GUEST LOLOLOL.]

It’s got a production committee behind it fer crying out loud. But with the behind-the-scenes works, it doesn’t surprise me.

As for the last bit on Miku and Toyota (for now), the WSJ blog post on it is as good as it gets to the bottom line. Ricers may not dig Corollas, but their girls and sisters might just have big dreams and compact dreams. (I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.)

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