Anime Expo 2011 Day Minus-4: What Is This I Don’t Even

Just to gather my thoughts on AX 2011, part two.

I’m helping out at a friend’s panel. You might know him as this fun-loving dude with a lot of figures and wears pro-Starcraft paraphernalia; you might not. But he’s going to take center stage on AX Day 3 (Sunday, 7/3) at 8pm @ LP3. He’s going to talk about figures. He’s going to show you figures. I’m going to do whatever…that I do. Come see us. Come heckle us! I don’t care. It’ll be fun, hopefully. And I say this with some uncertainty because I think we’re still a ways to go to finalize the content.

And “a ways to go” is pretty much how I feel about AX 2011. A lot of the stuff they’re promising for the public slipped, even if most of them did materialize at some point. Dates are missed (a couple big ones for press I think). Let’s get it together yo. But of course I say this without any condemnation. It’s just kind of how it is.

Armed with the convention schedule and now a list of descriptions, I’m going to drop some names and sigh at the fact that those two things only makes up maybe 50% of all you need to know. Anime Expo is big enoguh, elaborate enough and corporate enough that to get all you need out of it, you have to look at all sorts of places.

I mean, first off, we know there’s that Hatsune Miku thing, but what does it mean? You won’t find all you need to know from AX’s website; it’s all posted on Mikunopolis.

This is kind of how I approach AM2–it’s another value-added event that occurs outside of AX. Except AM2 is a real con now and located an hour away. Not too worried about it (although it would be nice to see Scandal and kanon x kanon perform their latest single LOLOLOLOLOL). If I can go, I will go see Scandal. If not, I am not going to lose any sleep.

Well, the fact that AX info is posted all over the place is nothing new. What is new is that we’re T-minus 4 days and there’s no news at all on autographs. I guess we should expect the usual…but that is not a good sign. And AX autographs can really use some good signs. On the bright side I can probably live without a set of Kalafina paw prints, and unless Nirgilis and Maon knock it out of the park, that leaves just Sawashiro for the minimum. It doesn’t mean I won’t be trying for more, though.

And because of all this, having the con event schedule alone  is kind of useless. Well, we can continue on.

The AX Maid cafe posted some pictures (and even they operate outside the AX media infrastructure to a degree, and they’re part of the con… what does that say to you?).  Along the same lines, there’s the pre-con offkai charity event Christina Vee (she really should cosplay Kurisu this year wwww) and Steph Sheh is hosting. I mean LOL whut. Wuuuuut.

What’s more LOL WUT is something on the schedule. The JETRO is helping to throw a panel (LP4, 10:45am on Saturday) that polls the audience on new media trends. I mean, let me just quote you what the PR says:

GRAB YOUR “YES” OR “NO” SIGNS AT THE ENTRANCE AND TELL THE PROFESSIONALS IF THEY ARE RIGHT OR WRONG!
Industry professionals will gather to present their ideas in developing the next best online business model, discuss recent trends and the next step necessary to make anime and manga content more accessible to consumer demands.

For every topic introduced, we will ask the audience if they agree or disagree with the professional’s viewpoint.
Grab a sign, grab a raffle ticket, share your opinions, have fun, and win your own Nintendo 3DS!

The thing is suppose to include these following people: Ken Iyadomi (Bandai Entertainment), Henry Goto (Aniplex USA), Atsushi Yanai (VIZ), Vince Shortino (Crunchyroll). Holding out on us huh, Gen? This is a recipe for LULS!

It’s probably also worth noting what the industry lineups and events are for these companies, but I’m not going to shill that hard. Well, maybe except Aniplex, because they have a certain contractual obligation to fulfill. That’s Day 1 at 2:30. But other than Madoka I’m not sure what they’d tell us, and, well, we already know about Madoka somewhat.

Aside from that, there’s a Funi-sponsored noitaminA panel; Which sadly conflicts with the one I’m helping with. Do go to it; I want see people blogging the hell out of that panel. I would totally go.

There are a few panels at AX about industry and IP stuff. I’m not sure if any of them are worth attending, but I am curious to know what they cover.

Of course, I can’t leave out Fred at AX. But to me this dude is just as big of an attraction. Thankfully it doesn’t entirely conflict with the Yuki Kajiura panel that’s being hosted by zzeroparticle. And I say I’m thankful because the whole looking-at-AX-schedule thing is just an exercise to determine how many interesting things you are going to miss out because of a time conflict. That these two panels I want to be at overlaps only for half the time (and probably a 5-minute walk between panel rooms) makes attending them somewhat feasible. Fred’s panel starts 10am on Sunday, Zz’s at 10:30am.

Back to the schedule. And shilling. Although in one case it is a genuine premiere… And there’s the stalking.

  • As of today, the last of the TBDs on the event schedule has filled in, so there are more items you can worry about conflicts. There’s going to be a Friday night show for Maonsu, tied to HOTD (which may require age verification? Unclear), a mini concert. Com’on, Maon stakers, you know who you are.
  • The video schedule reveals Gundam Unicorn focus panel on Sunday at 2pm.
  • Onigamiden is screening at 2pm on Friday (with an intro).
  • More relevantly, Sawashiro frontwomans the Arakawa UB screening on Saturday at 10.
  • Right after the Arakawa UB screening is the premiere of Last Exile Silver Wings at noon, with a Gonzo panel after that. What? A Gonzo panel?
    • Looks like I am very much in a position where I may have to trade an autograph opportunity for Silver Wing. AUGH.
  • A Gonzo panel kind of makes the HOTD screening and panel at 4:30 on the same day (and same place) a lot less outstanding, but I’m sure that isn’t the case.
  • Mizushima’s Gundam 00 the movie screens on Sunday at 7:30 pm, with a panel at the end of it.
  • The creator focus panels themselves are not too bad. I’ll show up for Maon’s and Miyukichi’s, and probably Matsumoto’s too. Kalafina’s if time permit.

And I haven’t even touched the various hanging-out events with real people! Or the stuff I need to help out with on top of the panel itself. Or the press-related things.

So tempted to just wing it. Oh, you know what else is sorely missing? The AX iOS/Android app. At least last year there was that website where I can export the schedule as a calendar file, which I can load into Google cal (or whatever that you use). I guess I can live with PDFs, but that is a real slip.

Last for this post, and hardly least–food truck gallery at AX. Three days. They say the way to a man’s heart is where? I AM SO EXCITED.

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3 responses to “Anime Expo 2011 Day Minus-4: What Is This I Don’t Even

  • ToastCrust

    Man I am so hype for the food trucks.

    I will also totally dig that Last Exile screening. I’m kind of curious about seeing where Gonzo’s actually planning to go too, I suppose.

  • omo

    It’s kind of amusing to see Gonzo back after being dissolved as an animation company.

  • Amoirsp

    Excellent post. It exhibits the same feeling I’m getting of the convention being just there with a ways to go. It got to the degree where I actually asked myself why did I set myself up to go since last year.

    Thus that’s why I sort of went rampant on locating people this time around. I stood around wandering too much or not really doing much not knowing what is going on.

    Then again I suppose it is hard to think of things to do at an anime convention when one doesn’t watch anime.

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