Con Season 2011: Preliminary AX Scouting Stuff

With Memorial Day weekend squarely in the rear view mirror, it’s North American anime con season proper. With Anime Boston, Acen, and the Memorial Day triplet at Anime North, Animazement and Fanime Con, it feels like I’m already conned out. Except I did not go to any them!

Still, it’s good to keep an eye on what’s developing. With the Tohoku disaster still fresh on our minds and with the disaster opening up new opportunities while shutting down old ones, the guest-guessing game is a bit odd this year, I suppose. I’m just going to do a brain-dump of the AX events transpired thus far, since I’m planning to attend it.

Anime Expo is slowly rolling out its big guest announcements, but to many the Miku-fest (or properly, Mikunopolis) is going to be the biggest one. And amusingly to others it may not be obvious as to why. Maybe that’s for the best. Maybe not. It’s somewhat of a “large” event for any con, anyways. With Toyota behind them, it’s kind of just how it’s going to be. I just hope the organizers are encouraged by the result when it is all said and done.

Seeing Miyuki Sawashiro being announced, though, is pretty neat. She’s a very unique talent in a sense, since she’s on the full seiyuu career track for a while now (10+ years), and is already an industry veteran before she is 30. I mean, she’s only 26 or something (for perspective, Aki Toyosaki is 25). Also, she’s not really doing that idol thing either; instead she is just in a ton of random shows. It’s a very different kind of perspective. Anyway, it is her first real oversea fan event.

From the PR it looks like Miyukichi’s participation at AX is brought to us by at least NISA, with those ArakawaUB plugs. The other possible tie-in is from GSC–she is half of Black Rock Shooter OAV, after all. The president of GSC is going to be there, with Danny Choo. It makes you wonder. For the record, by Memorial Day Weekend 2010, the big guns for AX 2010 were already posted (not counting Secret Guest Kanno, but you knew). So compared to last year, AX is rolling out late by a couple weeks. Blame it on the quake I suppose; and definitely the best announcements, hopefully, is yet to come.

Well, a Kalafina is fine too. It’s cool to use this opportunity to see how much bigger of a fan I have become of them. I wasn’t much of one during their AB visit a couple years ago. It was amusing to see myself and some others I know in the omake video that came with the second album, now that during the time I have grown much more fond of their music. For a group formed just to do music for Kara no Kyoukai (why do a seiyuu group when you can use real singers?) Kalafina’s got some long legs. I wouldn’t even need to burn any glowsticks for this one.

On a totally different note, I want to see what’s on the menu for the symposium AX is hosting. Having seen (online) at least one Ian Condry talk, it sounds like something worth going to see. Is it worth an hour of precious con time, however, is something to be determined.

On Mangagamer’s side, the latest word from Bamboo during the live chat he hosted last week, it was unclear what industry or artist guests he will be able to arrange for. He did note it will be a quieter year in terms of that. The extent of the damage from the quake is large on the galge development efforts, given that they are often very small operations. Maybe next year he could drop by Otakon?

And speaking of the other Summer cons, Otakon has up to 6 seiyuu guests slated, along with a couple directors and the like. Could be very interesting! AnimeNext is the next con up on my list, even if I may not be covering it. I wonder if they have any opinion on Naoto Kan’s resignation and the recent vote-of-no-confidence thing. Wonder if Taro Aso would make a trip these days! Even if he ninjas into NYC like Aya Hirano, I don’t particularly mind.

That just leaves AM2 to be figured out. Scandal would be a cool addition to my list, but while at AX I would be at mercy of locals in terms of legging it to Anaheim and back to downtown LA. It’s about an hour drive, more with traffic. The con is free, but they do sell some special tickets for shows and what not, plus a paid badge for extra perks. It’s totally gimping off AX. Aside from the fact that it is run by people who used to run AX and released a PR about they’re not gimping AX, they are totally gimping off AX. On the other hand, AX is huge; the people can use an alternative. And I think that someone could double-dip on Scandal or kanonxkanon (Koi no Doutei? soooo not like Calendula Requiem. Heh) is always a boon than not being able to.

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