Category Archives: Conventions and Concerts

Anime Boston 2012: Wrap (TL;DR Version)

Another con, another meeting and parting, and more importantly, another party. I think it’s fun to see AB trying something new in its 10th year. I remember when I first read about Anime Boston 10 years ago, it was close but so far and so not worth the effort. Over time they’ve shaped up and gotten better. Trying new things and sticking to what works seem to be the formula for them.

I wrote a lot for this wrap up, and to facilitate things please just go to the bold points for each heading. The important stuff is towards the latter half of this post, I think, but maybe it’s not!

I could start anywhere but I guess here’s some general con feedback: The panel setup was fine, but I guess there were some issues and that caused certain things to be moved or canceled. I heard Fakku’s panel got interrupted and relocated mid way. That’s unusual. I heard from Mike Toole that there was something going on after the Hynes ejected its ‘contents’ after 2am or whenever, and the cops came to broke things up on the side walk. That’s not unusual. On Saturday, AB felt just as crowded as it did in the past despite PAX East going on at the same time. I’m going to chalk that up to people who didn’t/couldn’t pre-reg for PAX as that show sold out on Saturday well before the con started, where as AB was open for on-site. For more than a few people the decision to go to AB over PAX was made for them in a similar way.

Moving the autograph session to the hotel was nice once you realized that’s what was going on, however they really need to figure out a better way to line people up. It’s kind of annoying and more amusingly how it makes the press easy because the interview rooms were right there. I thought press was run pretty okay this time, definitely a step up from the last time I went LOL.

I think PAX has a huge hit on the “dealer room” crowd–the people who spend huge parts of their time in the dealer’s room. I wasn’t able to make it there on Saturday, but Friday and Sunday it was relatively light. That’s great for me, but probably not great for the vendors. Actually it wasn’t really bad, but Sunday was always kind of tricky when your con operates on Easter weekend. The artist alley was probably not impacted, but I was only there for one time on Friday.

I actually didn’t outright attend any panels besides the GOH ones. I sat in a couple for a short time. Thought the Gothloli fashion show was pretty pimp, very stylish I guess. Saw Chris’s panel for half an hour, but was really just there to see bayoab LOL. I’m glad that FUNimation announced different things at Sakuracon and Anime Boston, and both sides had exciting things (perhaps more so for AB) to say. I’m also glad that FUNi did a cosplay marketing thing for AsoIku at their booth. I thought my picture was pretty okay in the “dude, I didn’t hire these kids” kind of way. It’s less embarrassing than confessing to be a creepy otaku next to Zange-chan, let’s put it that way.

But all you need is a bro to make a good laugh. Houki is platinum mad!

Oh, and there was the iDOLM@STER poster story (Postory?). And I’m probably no less wordy than Nisio Isin about this, so feel free to skip to the next set of bold words. Sunday had the one programming conflict between Kanako Ito’s dealer room giveaway/game and Momoi’s 2nd autogrpah session. I was like, dude, I would go play “guess which song” game (especially since it involved her actual self riffing it on the guitar instead of a recorded thing) so I tried to double dip (partly because I would rather hang with the Momoist when I could) by going to the autograph session as early as I could and immediately run down to the dealer’s room (which while isn’t very far, it’s still quite the distance from the Sheraton 3rd floor to the Hynes). Turned out I got there just in time as they were finishing the guess-the-song game. Kanako Ito’s group ended up handing out 2 of her concert DVDs and a promo wall scroll thing they had hanging in their booth. They also brought a bunch of CD-Rs of the single she recorded for the Tohoku 1-yr song to give out, so those who were there got lucky got it (and got it autographed!).

Back on Saturday, some of the Momoists (these guys) did some impromptu graffiti on this poster pad outside of Kanako’s Q&A session. We hung around doing it and eventually her group walked out and saw us and told us about the Sunday session (btw the one guy who translates for her is pretty great at it). Long story short (w), we were going to get her to autograph that sheet of graffiti. It’s really the start of the whole “oh hey there’s a conflict thing.”

At any rate, “Onii-chan” and the twins wanted to get it signed (they were pretty adorable/effective at least versus the various GoHs) so they snooped out the dealer room to try to get the 411 on the session, effectively reserving a spot at the event. They also later told me about Nippon Columbia booth and showed me where it was. And how there were some awesome iM@S posters just lying on their table. And how some people took them even if it wasn’t clear they were there to be taken. Actually, were they? I probably should have asked about that.

I’m kind of glad I didn’t know what they (people and posters) looked like, or else I might also get platinum mad!

Actually by the time I got there, it was prime time for lunch and all we saw left were the 4 poster hanging on the back drop and a stand-up of Louise, promoting Zero no Tsukaima F (it even had a little voice box where Kugyuu will tell you to buy it or else!). The group decided to split and re-converge for lunch, and in the 20-minute gap when I left the area and returned someone has already lifted that Louise stand-up. How bold! And this is to say, the booth was set up so all there was, it was just a table with the name of the vendor, some posters hung up on the back, and that stand up behind the table. No signs or anything. And of course, nobody around.

Seeing the opportunity I just didn’t want to let it go.

What was amusing is that the dude who lifted Louise took it with him and got lunch at the food court where we were. I think he didn’t own up to that he just 5-fingered it either when it was asked where he got the stand-up. Poor Louise. At least I can take solace that anyone ballsy enough to 5-finger her and take her to lunch (on Easter! in public!) probably at least like her.

Anyway, given how we were pretty much done with the con after lunch, I went back to stake out the Nippon Columbia booth while everyone else went to line up for the closing ceremony. It was actually great–I met two other iM@S fans! Both of them were anxious and excited that they may be able to take home a couple promo posters for the second series. This sounds awfully weird now that I think of it, but it was very interesting to see these tense yet excited fans eyeing the same objects of desires as I do and struggle with, heh, moral issues. Maybe I’m older and more centered (LOLOL) but it’s like a social experiment kind of thing, where you want to see how they behave and which forces of the mind wins over, given different external circumstances.

The first guy I talked to is a excited guy but he had the facial expression of someone who is about to commit a crime for the very first time. Despite him being all nervous and talkative, I actually didn’t talk to him much other than to explain to him why I was there (to wait if the reps return) and why I was doing it (because, well you know). I explained to them how the reps are most likely not going to miss missing a poster and you’re not likely to get into any trouble. But after all, these were definitely “not for the taking” as they were hung up in the display. I also gave him the clear, as an iM@S fan to another, that I’m after the other iM@S poster.

There were 4 posters up, one from yoshiki*lisa’s debut album, the promo poster for CHANGE!!!! [four !’s !], a Zero no Tsukaima CD release promo poster, and the promo poster for iM@S2 prologue CD. [By the way, the iM@S page for Nippon Columbia records is, wow, nice.] In the end, after talking to me, and 3 of the other dealers near the area, he reached up and took the poster for the iM@S2 prologue CD.

That was amusing. Despite the act of taking without consent the dude was a nice guy. And speaking as another fan I can’t fault him. He did as much as he reasonably could in that situation. Short of just giving it up, of course.

It wasn’t long until the honey pot snared another iM@S fan–this guy is a lot more reserved than the first guy, but by that point I was enjoying myself so I talked to him about things. I suppose it’s typical, but this dude only saw the anime and liked it. I fault myself for not asking the most important question: who was your favorite? We ended up talking about the games, or rather, I did–because to me iM@S is just nowhere nearly as fun until you’ve had the chance to produce your idol(s) from start to finish, the ups and downs, the minigames and the random talk sessions, all of that. The anime was great, but it’s so much more. Anyway, me, at an anime con, not talking about iM@S all weekend? That’s tough to do. It’s good to finally do it with some real-life people, since basically nobody I was hanging with was into it. The saying goes, every bone in my body is LADY.

The social experiment side is a slightly different story. I told him we’re now competing the same good, and he agreed that we should decide it somehow. I guess he had to go somewhere and wanted to decide first so he can just leave, so I used that as an advantage and put it off. It helped that I had something to do while I waited (so many tags for my 3DS) and people to talk to (sup lvlln, twins). It was totally divine providence that at around 20 minutes until the closing of the dealers room, the reps showed up. Actually, the main guy is actually a GOH at the con, this Shotaru Kizuka dude. Then we’re like “can we please”? And then we did 2 out of 3 janken to decide who walked away with it. Begging is within the scope of things I permit myself to do, and so is exercising that janken skill from hours of iM@S, AMIRITE. The rest is history. In retrospect I probably would’ve been amused even if I lost. What I probably should have done is talk to the reps and let them know our love for the games, the anime, and hit myself for not carrying more copies of my business card.

It feels good to get that out of my mind.

Accommodations this year was different. Then again, every time I go to AB I stayed somewhere different. The weather was nice, but it was definitely on the chilly side. It’s at the point where you have to pack a jacket, but once you get indoors it’s shorts and t-shirts kind of weather. The advantage of staying in the Sheraton is clear, since it’s attached to the complex. The down side is that you’ll have to grab your coats each time you go out for eats.

Like Sakuracon’s namesake, the historic residential district of Back Bay is laced with cherry blossoms. On Sunday some of them started to shed, and it was beautiful. We stayed at a converted apartment-into-vacation-homes kind of place a couple blocks south of the con center, so we had a suite with a kitchen. I made my own coffee, which was nice and it also marks the first con in a long while that I didn’t have any Starbucks.

I have to say, to me, part of Momoi Halko’s attraction at an American con is seeing the Momoists. This is the sort of thing you can only see at west coast cons, save for the occasional Minori Chihara tour group and the like. It can be fun to see these Japanese fans bring their cheers to the concerts and those long, long autograph/concert lines. What marks Momoists different than any other group of hardcore anison otaku you see oversea is the way they do their wotagei, plus the large number of westerners that make up the group. Being Anime Boston, though, there were no strong outing, and in truth only a few of them were uh, ready to put on a move. But they worked as a team and everyone pitched in something to make the thing work.

Before the con I already knew what was going to happen as a result of already knowing some of them. I psyched myself out a little, but in reality they’re not scary at all. I thought coverman’s light baton collection is something quite special. It’s like a magic item. The group (teams Socal, Japan and Canada) was small but passionate. Armed with free glow sticks and call books, they did what they could to AB’s tough crowd. I think enough of the crowd got into it at the end that the real obstacle was the song arrangement and that the show was just too short to really get things going.

I already stated the quick take in the last AB post I wrote but for sake of completeness, Kanako Ito was just that. Halko Momoi is somewhat more complicated to explain, so I guess I can expand on it a little. I did attend the press session for her so I will spin out the results at the usual place, and in the interest of making this not unbearably long you can just read about it when I get around to writing it up. Just a short blurb for now.

In a nutshell, I’ve heard various things about Momoi. That’s part of being friends with Momoists, but also because she’s been to a lot of different cons. She’s also just been around for a while, over 10 years musically, as a personality, and as a seiyuu, I guess. She’s something like 34 years old this year, and she has been writing and doing all kinds of things. I think as a person with a lot of stories, she’s a treasure. And she does tell her stories when prompted. In that sense she is really the cultural ambassador for Japan, the one who could fly around the world and preach Akiba’s siren songs. It’s the wind beneath her wings.

I spend way too much money on loot again, and this time half of the money spent was on shirts I can’t even wear. What kind of a bogus size is “LL” or “F” anyway, LOL. I guess they could be made into presents and bribes as the time comes. I wonder if I can run a charity auction or something, or donate it to a charity auction. Or whatever, you know. I did end up with something a lot more useful: a Wagnaria plate and soup bowl set. Maybe I will actually use it to drink soup, you never know.

What would really get to my wallet is if say, Benjamin Moore came up with cans of moe paint. I probably should repaint some of my rooms. I could also use some moe lawn seed/fertilizer about now.

The rest of the loot is more or less calculated risks and things I knew I was going to buy going in. I helped someone buy a Kanako Ito CD and got a friendly face to help autograph it. I really appreciate this random act of kindness from a total stranger (even if I suspect this mysterious helper is someone I talk to on a certain internet forum). It’s not uncommon that the freebies that I got at a con are way more meaningful than the things I paid for, and I’m not even talking about the memories I made! Or that hole in the wall that will probably cost me money–that probably does not count as a freebie.

Oh yeah, so I made a hole in the hotel wall, partly because the night before I was jumping up and down to see if I can top coverman’s airtime, but also because I was sleeping uncomfortably on the floor. I tried to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and my legs cramped up on me, causing me to fall. I was able to break my fall using the wall, but well, now there’s a hole there. How much plaster does it cost, I wonder.

Finally, I’d do a shoutout to all my brothers and sisters in arm but srsly, I’m just going to be like, miss someone, and make that person feel and make me feel oddish. So let’s just be said that if I missed ya, I’m sorry for not able to catch you. If I saw ya, it was a good time. If you own me money, you gotta cough it up (gotta pay for that  hole somehow right)! And let me know Tim, I was going to give you some money for your books but I never got around to it, so I’ll get you the next time I see you. Meanwhile you can look at some pictures here. Lots more where those came from, but those are request only~

Anime Boston 2012: Day 2, 3

Besides making a hole in the wall, day 2 went without a hitch. I think this is possibly the lowest energy day 2 I’ve ever had. Probably has to do with skipping lunch for press duties, but I lived.

Day three was equally laid back and presented possibly the biggest schedule conflict at the con when Ito Kanako’s music game conflicted with Momoi’s autograph session. But as fate would have it, I don’t think things would’ve turned out in the same way if I optimized it the right way. I got a couple photos with Momoi between the two days, and that was very neat. She’s like the older sister-imouto type, if you get what I’m saying. Sometimes the wile comes out and it causes giggling. She’s a storyteller, but coming from her it just feels kind of off. Doesn’t quite match that Akiba idol idea. Just like how being an otaku is cause for dissonance in Japan.

Kanako Itou, in some ways, is the total opposite of Momoi. Itou is an easy-going and funny person with funny habits. I’m not sure how to pin-point her besides that she’s a mean singing machine in the way she emotes through music, and happens to be very easy to get along with. It’s kind of tough to do an article on her without getting a good handle, but sometimes that’s just how these acts roll I guess.

And in case you didn’t know, writing up Momoi is like, writing up Akihabara. Mission accomplished for her I guess.

Day three, despite being like, half as long as day two, has all the fun stories. Like how I janken’d someone out of an iM@S poster. I hope he scores some consolation prizes. This year’s AB is pretty chillax, as chilling and relax as Boston plus Momoists can be. It’s that west coast mentality, perhaps. Something to dilute my New York pace. Lowering my engagement a tad and avoiding a lot of conflicts make the con that much more easier to deal with. PAX may have helped. Easter may have helped. Every little thing counted.

And I’m home. Good times. Loot shot. Life resumes. Lots of words left to spill before I can put this one away, yet.

Anime Boston 2012: Day 0, 1

Oysters? Check. Little-neck clams? Sure. Shrimp? Why not. Crab? Ok. No lobster though. Squid? Definitely.

Yes to hamburgers, Momoi-ist Hardcore-ist, cheap vacation suites made out of converted historic apartment buildings.

Say hello.

Say hello to sad songs, and happy songs.

And friends. (By the way if you know I took pictures of you and want the full size copy, leave me a comment using your email address or just uh, email/twitter me).

Pretty laid back otherwise. Meeting new friends and old alike.

Having PAX in town did drastically lower the population at the con, too, so life’s not as congested even compared to 2010.

Got content for my obligations. Good stuff.

Good times.

Random Thoughts: Cold-Call Stalker

I wasted a perfectly good Saturday wormed in front a couple Nico streams for ACE. It’s something I probably have never really done before, although I may have had in different variations over the years. I think one of the strongest thing NND has over Youtube is precisely this sort of live content programming, the sort of stuff that resembles more like sports programming than, say, some pre-produced thing someone uploaded to some video service. NND’s coverage of ACE is actually pretty good once you ignore the fact that half of the content happen in the wee hours of the day for EDT and some of the better stuff is either not streamed or geoblocked.

As much as I casually (or maybe beyond “casually,” I’m not objective enough to tell) follow these new-comer seiyuu scenes, these ACE streams mark the first time I’ve seen some of them live with any prolong period of time. I guess it’s kind of interesting seeing Kayano do her little Menma corner in that interesting getup. Interesting, because I don’t really have another word for it.

It was enjoyable to see Mizuhashi and Shintani pimp the new Hidamari Sketch TV show. Man, I remember Shintani when she was like, 18 years old. Time flies. Mizuhashi was interesting and pro. The Madoka stage was rather uneventful other than seeing your favorite seiyuu on stage. In my case it’s mostly just Nonaka. I really need to dig out more videos of her, she’s like tailor made for my weak points. And I guess that’s the thing: I just don’t spend the time to watch seiyuu videos and the like, so there’s a sense of wonder left when I subject myself to this sort of manufactured marketing drivel.

On the other hand, you kind of have to be all keyed in to that stuff to enjoy, say, the iM@S x YuruYuri x Milky Holmes variety show. I was pretty happy about NND broadcasting that one in their US portal. Also, you can tell iM@S team is just more together, having better chemistry and more experience. Not too surprising given that they’ve been around the longest and have done so much together, even including newcomer Asakura/Yukiho.


Remember that seiyuu phone call app? Originally it started out with a list of A and B rank seiyuu and you have to pay to get the full “calls.” Now it’s flush with a bunch of C rank (I’m not sure why I’m using these letter grades but I hope it gives you the idea) seiyuu that are free. It’s kind of cool because it’s one way to find out about some interesting voices, like Chiyo Ousaki. Definitely a budding eroge queen!

Is this creepy? At first yeah, even for me. But as I go through the various selections it’s actually kind of fun. Fun in the sense that it’s like you get to hear someone new and check out what they sound like, how they act out a scenario–something I think that is fundamental about being a seiyuu person. This along with that card game where you can pick up seiyuu by voice provide an interesting way for new voice actors to get themselves out there and for seiyuu fans to pick up “relevant entertainment” cheaply. Win-win for marketing and consumers IMO.

Then again, you get people like this. Which is kind of neat but, well, LOL. Anyway, you can read about the list of newbies at Seiyuu+plus’s site.


Anime Boston, PAX East, and Easter are all happening at the same time! As mentioned earlier I’ll be enjoying (hopefully) the first Momoi concert of my life and it is with slight trepidation that I look forward to how the Momoists handle it. On one hand I hope it’s a lot of fun when fans put so much effort and energy into it, but on the other hand I just want to see the crowd being the way they are–lackadaisical and KY–without getting too worked up by wotagei. As much as the calls are part of the whole thing, it feels kind of too stiff sometimes. But then again, con crowds are typically easy and it’s not like I go to the con for the crowd anyway!

And that brings us to the true topic: obviously, I go to Boston for some fresh and tasty oysters. I think if there’s a staple thing to have in Boston, that is it. All the other seafood-y things are a little bit overrated. I mean I can get a perfectly good lobster roll or a cup of chowder in Manhattan today, why even bother doing it when I’m just 4 hours up north?

I wonder if there’s any good oyster omelette place in Boston.

Itou Kanako, I’m looking forward to that show without any reservations. Thank God.


Back to ACE, and this time, 4/1. I’m as impacted as anyone else about April Fools. I’m fine with people complaining about it, but I think OreImo season 2 announcement on 4/1 is well-played. When the marketing is this self-aware, I have problems with people faulting that. It’s like they just don’t get it. Well, nobody’s perfect I guess.

Random Grab Bag

Life’s pretty chill when you have time to rest when you are weary and things to do when you are not. Kick back and relax to something like:

Help yourselves.


Author explains his thing about Haganai. I am sympathetic because I didn’t agree with the general discourse on the topic from the blogs I’ve read either. Like, the whole thing comparing the anime to the manga. I thought the anime was slightly more authentic in that the girls are genuinely unlikeable, versus some kind of semi-tsundere moe that gets you in the manga. I understand the whole “clumsy but likable” distinction but I didn’t think that was the point of the original works? But I didn’t really care about Haganai beyond the visuals and voice acting, so I didn’t really want to state an opinion. Well, I guess on occasion it was genuinely funny, and that was why I watched it in the first place.

The thing I wanted to see the most is that proposed crossover between Seitokai no Ichizon and Haganai. I hope they make an anime based on that.

Also, I kind of like the OP, even if it happened right in the middle of that Aki Toyosaki stalker drama. Props to Tom H@ck. I also have a history of liking these painful anime OP, so take it with some salt.


Con season 2012 is still a ways away, but now that Halko Momoi is landing somewhere a bus ride away, I will try to oblige. See you there?


I understand why, in theory, a Ritsuko or Kotori figure would be desirable, but I think this is a good real-life example.


MOOOOOOOOOOO MOURETSU! The PV and the live dance OP are, well, common idol schticks, but I can’t imagine iM@S to come up with something like this, even if songs like Honey Heartbeat rivals it in awfulness. These two videos have a strange addictive qualities to them. I recommend checking them out just for how weird they are.

The fusion of idol and anison is power!

Year in Review: N-Listing

So, the tradition continues. 12 lists of 12 things. Some are ranked, others are not. One this year is not ranked but merely numerated.

Continue reading

Criticizing Cons: Not “Why” But “Who”

JP sums it up. But I think there are a few things that need to be couched in the right contexts.

Let’s do the refrain:

[#1] interaction with pros,

[#2] procuring goods,

[#3] gaining new information, and

[#4] interacting with fellow fans.

JP explains further how anime cons don’t quite meet his needs for #1-3, and I can see that to a degree. Again, the context is kind of off.

First of all, “anime cons in general” are not Otakon or Anime Boston or even PMX or The Chase Wang Spam Con (aka AM2) (It’s a dumb joke by the way). It’s your garden variety vendor show. It’s the cons in Florida that you hear people tweet about but nobody ever goes to unless you are already local. You go those cons to meet up with other locals and buy crap (#2 and #4) because it’s easier to buy IRL than over a URL. There are like, almost a con a week in North America alone. But maybe this is kind of a hit and miss thing.

Second, let’s look at the actual criticisms of anime cons in JP’s post.

#1. I basically go to cons largely for access. My raison d’etre, as they say, when it comes to cons. The fact that I actually go to cons makes the criticism not particularly poignant. Even at NYAF (well ok NYCC) I was able to score this. Access! You get the idea. I can crack jokes about “splash” or “Ask [insert person] to draw Anaru” because of my chances at interacting with pros. Interacting with Takaaki Suzuki was great at this past AX. Listening to Shinkai talk at Otakon was insightful. Seeing IwakamiP being true to his word gives me hope for the future. [As an aside I think everything he said about Madoka and Fate Zero during his Otakon panel came true, right?]

But JP is right in that if you didn’t care for anything like “the industry” or “character designers” or “mechamusume” or “yaoi” or “weeaboo merchandising” any of the sub-section of anime fandom represented at the con, you probably wouldn’t care. There’s something also to be said that I don’t go to many cons, like this year’s AnimeNext, which is like minutes away from where I live. And AnimeNext is a top-ten anime con this year I think, in terms of population.

Interaction with pros is something that anime cons bring at various levels. But it’s good to take a bigger perspective and realize that compared to Japan, US fans are context-poor and starved of interaction. Not everyone is a Halko Momoi. Not everyone cares for dub actors (but I guess a lot of people do). Anime cons bring us a little bit of that interaction, but it’s like what you can get if you just buy this month’s Newtype or Seigura or something, for example. Heck, US-based dub actors have no commercial press out there to publish their dealies! No exposure besides what ANN picks up, really. That’s not all there is to interacting with pros at cons, but even with the internet helping out, there’s a sizable gap between what hardcore fans over in Japan knows versus what fans in the US knows.

With that said, the main thrust behind JP’s argument on this point is perhaps the realization of how even for the top-attended anime cons in the US, most people don’t care too much about creator access in this sense. Just go to Otakon forums and talk about Japanese GOH panels and their attendance. It’s kind of sad coming from a certain perspective to see a fan panel getting more attendance than some creator’s GOH panel, when that creator makes the anime that fan panel is about in the first place.

I can probably write a post or three on just point #1, so let me just wrap it up now and say that at AX this year, there were a lot of Japanese otaku doing the same things I was doing. Because they were able to interact with some of these pro guests in ways impossible in Japan.

#2. Likewise, most people at any con don’t blow their wads at the charity auction. In 2011, no thanks to the tragedy in Tohoku, that was the #1 place where you could have spend and bought some seriously awesome stuff. That was just an observation but let me get that out of the way.

Anime Expo’s dealer room was also a solid place to pick up stuff. Vendors like MangaGamer had some really cool stuff that it would take a ton of effort (and additional costs) to buy if you wanted to proxy them. Specialty Japanese vendors occasionally appear at the bigger cons. I’ve spotted Cospa at least a couple times over here on the East coast, for example, and just by bringing over a fraction of their wares you’ll likely see something you want to buy that you didn’t know even exists.

And then there’s the more R1-centric type swag that’s worth less. I have a Madoka charity poster that you can’t get anywhere, for example. Funimation offers a whole lines of trinkets and t-shirts that you can only get at a con (I still want that Eden of the East t-shirt they were giving out last year). It’s a very different mode of buy-and-sell, very different than the horde of neckbeard dudes flipping their comic books on eBay or whatever that you can see at NYCC, but I’m at a place in my collector’s life where I’m seeing a lot of stuff in my collection that you can’t just walk in a store (online or otherwise) and buy. At least not easily. The biggest anime cons in the US offers at least something to check out in their vendor halls, imported or domestic. The examples are numerous, but I think the truth here is that most of that money is out of marketing, not because there is a secondary economy healthy enough to support it (well the RULERS OF TIME may have something to say about it). This is drastically different than what goes on in Japan.

As to buying crap, while the internet basically renders a lot of this a moot point, there’s still something to be said of having the physical shopping experience. On top of that certain goods are just better purchased in person (posters, figures, etc). I think we can safely say that buying stuff hasn’t changed that much in terms of mode, for any con versus what you can get online. That’s why there’s still shows and cons packed with small vendors, for video games, comics, TCGs, anime things, books, whatever. People still go to them to shop. As fans in a first world nation, ultimately that is a core competency.

#3. God bless bayoab. This kind of blurs into the point about access, but that’s kind of true–you get better news from people reporting at the con than being at the con. I suppose that is also why now I play with a press badge. Anyways, all of that just points to the fact that cons have new info. I’ve had a dig or two, but that’s more something unique to the circumstances and not because the general attendee had access to that information.

To sum it up: cons are big marketing pushes even for anime companies. But it is only the larger cons where that is true. NYCC is one of them. Perhaps the anime con circuit is too centralized (or not amorphous enough?) and it will miss a large parts of the megacon audience.

#4. Contrary to JP I think this point kind of is the least relevant to anime cons. As oppose to most people who do cons as a social event, I don’t, at least not primarily. The internet is a great way to talk to and socialize with other people, don’t you agree? But just like #2 and #3 I don’t think the internet replaces existing types of human interaction. It just supplements that.

Of course, it’s much more fun to do a con with a group of friends, and a con is always a great excuse to party, so those things happen. But in the proper “learn to offkai” mentality, I socialize to socialize. If it happens at a con, great, but that’s not why I’m there in the first place.

To wrap this up, I think I agree with JP here:

You can’t apply the megacon style to an anime con, and anime cons are too amorphous and unfocused for the megacon attendees.

But that has more to do with the people going to anime cons than how anime cons are run. Considering attendance, Otakon and AX are proper megacons. It’s just that unless you are a weeaboo, you wouldn’t get much out of the programming at those cons. I would even go further to say that AX and Otakon’s attendees are too amorphous already. To give an example, looking at the guest requests threads at those two con’s forums, you’ll get requests of things that are just “geek” and not even anime related. And that is more and better representation than even some of the most popular anime-related people in Japan. [Every con should request Yamakan btw.]

So there you have it. I mean just think about it a little–no anime con has proper 4chan programming (other than Otakon for a few years) but every major anime con is a internet meme con, why is this? It’s because the people who go to anime cons are largely internet … people. I think Intel and MLG might get better reception if they target those events than mainstream cons! I mean, LOL.


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