Otakon 2011 Days 2 and 3: Shikai Con Baltiport 2.0 Ver.

I got a big kick out of those Baltiport badges. I probably could have begged Bandai’s Napton for one, but that joke is kind of a drag once I actually escape from Baltimore, which is… an effort to say the least.

[07/31 19:19] <omo> wee back
[07/31 19:19] <omo> to baltimore: 2.5hr, from balitmore: 4hr

And I had the foresight of the latest Google Maps app on Android PLUS local travel know-how to avoid some of the traffic. Sigh.

Day 2 is where most of the action is. Part of my own mismanagement caused me to miss out a potential epic chance for LULS when I knew LOAE was translating for DJ Saolilith. That would’ve been epic, and I could’ve made it to their panel if I ditched Hoshi o Ou Kodomo right when it ended. Or if Shinkai-kantoku didn’t take like 15 questions for the Q&A (and he wasn’t even supposed to?)

Comix Wave was pretty awesome at the con and they gave away some amount of swag for basically all of Shinkai’s events. During his proper Q&A they were giving away film strips from Kumo no Mukou. Film strips! And the nice producer-san there even helped screened the strips that they had so people walked away with strips that had character art in them.

Aniplex’s Iwakami (henceforth IwakamiP) gave away that Saber sketch at his panel, which led to some awesome-funny outbursts from this man. You had to be there. They also raffled away volumes 1-4 of Madoka BD, and a couple Cospa shirts or something. That’s, of course, on top of the charity posters that Aniplex helped produced. It’s too bad that IwakamiP was only here for 2 days, and left Sunday AM, because he had relatively a lot to say.

I also went through major-fail when I forgot about the Jtor meet-up. Part of what is fail about it is I was actually at the K-ON dub voice actresses live event at the time, which is something I could have totally skipped out for. FAIIILLLL. Just means if I see those guys next time I will have to buy drinks.

Tho the dub concert was actually okay. For a con concert that is premised on the notion of roleplay cosplay karaoke, it could have been a lot worse. I mean Kylee’s concert wasn’t a whole lot better, and that was a real, proper live.

Chemistry is pretty nice, but the crowd was, well, lamers. In retrospect the rave crowd was the best that I saw this year, for a live crowd. Then again, Otakon isn’t Wotakon. Still, Chemistry is too little too late and not even my kind of thing.

I didn’t get to spread the love of Tanto Cuore, except telling super rats about it while waiting for the directors panel. SDS dropped the best (broest?) question there. Link’s left-field question about Murata-kantoku’s favorite To Heart character is pretty good too, but it could have been even better if he followed up on Shinkai-kantoku, since he was chuckling like a nerd. There was also a cute question about their top recommended anime (of not their own) from probably Evan of Anigamers, IIRC.

Shinkai is a nerd, by the way. How did this nerd get so much tail is apparently the stories about their distances beyond the cloud down below the falling cherry blossom as trees grew money at 5cm/s. Or some such. He even likes Five Guys. Director Shinkai Makoto is surely an exemplary man.

I actually recorded the Sunday AM Otakon ritual panel for directors this year. But to save you the effort of hearing my kibitzing I’ll just paraphrase it here. And no, no promises about putting it up (I still owe you guys some Tutuuruus anyways), since I might never get around to it.

SDS:  So earlier, director Ishiguro was saying he doesn’t understand digital animation, and directors Murata and Shinkai work in digital animation. Can the two younger directors give some pointers to director Ishiguro?

Toshi: … uhh

SDS: Okay let me rephrase that, is there anything you can share about working between digital animation and analog animation?

Toshi and LOAE explain it to the directors. Murata and Shinkai chuckle nervously and Ishiguro just smirks.

Ishiguro: Yeah, since my last work I realize I need to learn more about digital animation. You must give me some pointers.

A long 10 seconds passed and the conversation between them started. Eventually some interesting information did actually come out. I forget who said what exactly but Shinkai was saying how he found it difficult to talk with people who worked on analog animation in expressing distances in pixels versus millimeters (eg., this object moves x pixels per frame versus this object moves y mm per frame). Ishiguro chimes in about how during Yamato, the ship would always move 1mm per 3 frames, because that’s the lowest speed setting on the machine. And then Shinkai explains it to him how it was hard to communicate how x mm doesn’t translate into pixel due to the scanning process, and it is difficult to convert between the two technical shorthands.

Hrm, that was kind of technical wasn’t it. To be fair, that was Ishiguro’s second time at this American panel nonsense. And to put it into perspective, Makoto Shikai is born in 1973. Kazuya Murata is born in 1964. Noboru Ishiguro… 1938. Calling him “dai-senpai” is politely undershooting here.

Evan’s question is a simpler sample of what went on. With Ishiguro on the panel you’re kind of stuck, especially given the three of them aren’t really that familiar with each other as far as I can tell. Each of them gave something simple and sure-fire. Ishiguro didn’t really namedrop anything “commercial” but rather a lot of animation he saw in the 70s and a lot of foreign stuff. Murata named Future Boy Conan. Shinkai talked about how he’s slowly working through the Legend of Galatic Heroes during dinners at home.

OK! Yeah, there are a lot more I can talk about just about Shinkai alone, but let’s save it for later.

Bandai After Dark had a soft pitch this year for prizes. The one embarrassing thing you had to do was live karaoke to Fuwa Fuwa Time, with romanji lyrics posted on the screen. I should’ve jumped at it. Winner got one of those dealer room banners with VA autographs. They also upped the general give-away: people got those Gurren Lagann straw bags, with random junk inside (set of GITS figures, yet still another Lucky Star seifuku t-shirt, and some random manga or CD). I didn’t think everyone got one of those, so the consolation prizes were just more GITS figures.

I sort of wish I had more time in the dealer’s room, but I already spent a ton of money there… Picking up a CD here, a penlight there (Chemistry was selling some pretty nice white ones), plus some t-shirts. MangaGamer’s got really slim picking at Otakon, it’s just sad to compare it to what they have at AX.

Okay, enough for now…I need the sleep. And while I’m at that, someone let me know what MangaGamer gave away at their panel? LOL.

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