Monthly Archives: June 2012

Anime Expo 2012: Day 1

More LiSA, more everyone. Cosplay, learning to use my camera–two people I know got themselves NEX-5Ns so I guess that’s kind of the sweet spot.

Tatsuo Sato is great, it’s the kind of thing I wish I could go do the press circus for, but this year AX’s setup for that is less than optimal, let’s just say. Instead I ended up going to his fan panel and having breakfast, taking pictures of cosplay… Probably I only have myself to blame?

At any rate, Sato is a good sport and despite the panel’s overt intention to make you ask questions about Mouretsu Pirates, the usual complains still surfaces about Nadesico and what not. Nobody talked about Stellvia for some reason. I did what I could and Sato fessed up about how they modeled the scene in episode 25 after the recording studio Komatsu  and Hanazawa did their session in. Yeah, why not right? But yes, episode 21 and onward, anime original stuff.

Otherwise I wasted most of the day buying loot and lining up for autograph. Tamiyasu Tomoe is great, I hope she gets some well-deserved fame for her Little Buster gig coming up this fall. FictionJunction’s show on Day 2 is gonna be awesome. Kind of sucked that I missed out on Animetal USA though.

AX this year has this 21-and-over lounge thing. It’s great because after the dealer’s room closes you have somewhere to go. It’s kinda bad because everyone goes there, turning it into this crowded place with loud music. At least the live music it provides (and some of the non-live stuff) is pretty okay. What isn’t pretty okay is the expensive drinks. $7 for domestic beers is highway robbery if the term can ever be used on anything. It’s a cool idea I suppose, just needs to be executed better.

No blogger dinner, but it’s like a tweet-up all over this time with protein overdose.

Moral of the story: spend over $200 at the NISA booth with your Anohana purchase and get a towel? Buy a LiSA CD to option for a photo session with the cute Japanese girl? I haven’t even seen Aimi and Izumi Kitta yet what is up with this? Bushiroad’s Dr. K is easily confused with Dr. O (I learned more about Cardfight Vangard the game more than I ever wanted to)? “Ufotable”? The world may never know.

Best cosplay (that I got a picture of) of the day:

PS. I saw a pretty good Nyaruko, but couldn’t get it.

Anime Expo 2012: Day 0

Blogger party was pretty smashing but old guys like us retire earlier. For our credit we are still on East Coast time and had to wake up quite a bit earlier than the younger, fresher local dudes and dudettes.

Longest press reg line ever.

I took over 900 pics at the various press functions. Lisa’s little dance routine is, well, something to behold. It’s nice to see all of FictionJunction–Keiko, Yuriko, Karoi, Wakana, and the band. Or in Animetal’s case, the band. The madhouse guys are serious but it’s nice to see two senior director types: Sato and Asaka. Aoki looks positively a greenhorn compared.



Anime Expo 2012: Guh Harder

I like many of the guests and the people I know attending Anime Expo this year, but I am just not motivated enough to think it’s worth the effort. For the first time ever I am going to a con feeling like it’s work. You know? I am not sure why this is (besides not at all liking the way press panels are done this year) but it’s a small price to pay for the sort of thing I get out of it.

Let’s put it in context. Otakon just announced Nonaka Ai as a guest. That alone has gotten me more excited than the entirety of Anime Expo. On top you add the stuff they already announced (Hirano, Eminence crap) that already bumps Otakon well beyond AX this year. That has a lot more to do with my own tastes and leanings but I don’t think what I enjoy is all that niche among other guest-chasers. It isn’t like AX is not loaded to the gills with oversea guests, after all.

Give me one reason, AX?

Continue reading

Fate/Zero Goes “To The Beginning”

I’m still savoring the feeling of enjoying the ride to the end. When the credit scroll hit in episode 25 I was like, that was nice.

Oh, spoiler warning for Fate/Zero, obvious. I’ll break this into a few different parts demarcated by bold titles.

Continue reading

National DVD Ripping Day, Sept. 30, 2012

You’ve already read the background, right? So you know that the newly amended copyright code in Japan now not only carry prison (and obv., criminal) terms for illegal downloads, but also for home ripping and anti-circumvention stuff, right? So you get the joke in the post title, right?

You know when law school ruined you when you read this article and the one sentence stands out is the quote from the Bar Association (Japanese Federal BA), besides how it saps your sense of humor:

“Treating personal activities with criminal punishments must be done very cautiously, and the property damage caused by individual illegal downloads by private individuals is highly insignificant,” the group said in a statement.

I mean, I think it doesn’t need to be said that criminalizing this is the wrong way to go, and it doesn’t even come from the IP debate perspective. It comes from a social justice and criminal punishment perspective. I guess crime rate in Japan is so low, they need more inmates for their prisons to justify their existence? I don’t know. At any rate, it’s going to be interesting to see the impact of this law on the actual practice of illegal file sharing. But for countries busy locking up people doing pot, putting people who download rips in jail seems like a huge waste of the government’s time, money and resources. I mean, all for what, protecting some wag-the-dog media content industry? [I think Verizon still generates (much) more revenue in the same period than the total retail sales of music in the US. (Add AT&T and you get the US home video industry.)]

It’s kind of interesting to see the impact of this law on legal filesharing. Well, more like the hypothetical Youtube or NND cases–does this mean someone in Japan can break the law enough to go to jail just because you happened to click on a link that plays back some to-be-DMCA’d material that was hosted on a Japanese server/site? I think it’s bullocks in the sense that why does anyone consider this? I don’t think it’s going to have a serious impact with existing players. Japan just doesn’t work this way.

Let’s put it another way. If you read this article it might give you the impression that the copyright amendments passed without really any fanfare, and the legislature just rubber-stamped it. Why? Because politically it just isn’t that important. It’s kind of the thing that gets shoved through as the course of normal business in the Japanese legislatures. One org pushes one way, the other relents only to get some other favor their way later. Contrast this with B156’s passing rites, it is a huge difference, despite ultimately the Tokyo metro ordinance (rather than a national one that’s this copyright law change, by the way) doesn’t really impact individuals but rather publishers. (And thanks to that, I got to watch some cool ACE streams off Nico!)

Well, maybe that is not a fair comparison. Everyone reacts to child pornography (even if it’s the fake kind). But yeah. I don’t expect Japanese kids and youths (people under 40 years old) to stand up for their rights. I just don’t have the respect that I have for your parents (despite the bad pun on ice cream)…unless you take away their To-love-ru Darkness (which, as expected, does not happen).

Silver lining (maybe… not): Hopefully this is yet another opportunity for some internet people to learn the difference between “illegal” and “criminal.” Because that change is a major highlight of the amendment.

PS. If I was in Japan and I published this post, the top image alone will get me in trouble!