Anime Next 2017: Wrap

This was a fun time in Atlantic City, partly because we had a pretty nice crew going and it was well-supported by everyone. Thanks for everyone who made it happen, and big thanks to the con for bringing together the guests and being able to put on a mostly competent event! I also have to give massive thanks to the 30 or so people at my panel, thanks for showing up! Super thanks for the wota demo yall.

The reason why I had a good time, indirectly, can be traced to the fact that seiyuu Ueda Reina was here as a guest. She came as a group with the series director for ReLIFE, Kosaka Tomochi, and character designer Yamanaka Junko. I guess director Tomochi’s signature work was Yowamushi GR OP, and Nobunaga no Shinobi for Yamanaka. Ueda Reina got Bakuon as a nod. It seemed like, from the panels, that Kosaka had a lot to say, so it was a little sad that she didn’t get to do it as about half of the panel was Q&A and the other half was presenting materials from ReLIFE. I’m guessing this only happened because TMS arranged it to be like that.

The two panels for ReLIFE were run in a scripted style. Ueda Reina was the MC, who did the thing in a very standard JP event style. You have to also give props to the interpreter for keeping it up. The two panels were also more or less the same, which both had a live sketch portion with the result sketch being offered to the person who beat Ueshama in rock paper scissors.

I don’t have a lot to add to the stuff involving Ueda Reina. In person, she’s pretty much what I expected, a lively and expressive woman with some, uh, inaka tendencies. They call her Uebaba for a good reason. She’s also a little dorky, which adds to her charm. Or I should say, there may be a thin line between awkward and charming, but she always lands on the right side of the line. Those of you who know her knows her, I guess, and it is a joy just to be able to share this weekend with her even in this limited way.

It’s even more of a joy to share the weekend with all the others who appreciate her, and some of the eventing tigers that somehow makes up my greater circle of acquaintances and second degree acquaintances via others. I ran a panel about events, but some friends ran a panel about wota. I guess these days they go hand in hand even in the States. We watched some Million Live 3rd this weekend, but also did an episode of HPTalk, which I should post soon…

There weren’t a lot of silly things that happened, our Ueshama kaigai TO-type bought gifts and flowers to get his Umimi POP signed, but outside of that it wasn’t all that.

I ended up at the con Thursday night, so I can wake up at a reasonable time and work most of the day Friday. I actually ditched work to go to the Trigger panel and came back to wrap up. It worked out well enough since I brought some food with me. Seeing the schedule having that free time helped a lot. The two Trigger panels were good, especially the Friday one where the crowd watched Infernal Cop on some dinky projectors. Dinky because they weren’t elevated enough and you can’t see anything once people stood up to sing “America ga daisuki” which…well.

The second Trigger panel was the LWA focus panel. I missed the first half of it because I thought I wouldn’t make it into the panel room due to full-ness, as it took place right after the TMS panel. I came back to it after a bit and sat in the back. There was great regret because I actually read up on LWA animator Handa before and missed out on the quiz (with Imaishi autograph on the line): what’s Handa’s debut work? It was Hanamaru Yochien but I said Panty Stocking (which was his second IIRC). The hard part was getting picked, but I got picked.

I also swung by the Capcom Live concert on Sunday, although just for the last third. They snuck in a couple anime songs that I got a to hear, Guren no Yumiya and One Piece… Their lead singer was pretty cool. The video game music part, that was pretty good, even if there was only one Rockman track…

I actually walked the dealer room/artist alley this time, but nothing struck me as very interesting. Not that many vendors to begin with.

Anyways, it was a fun con. I took it easy; so did everyone more or less. I even went to the Otabrew stop there, and it helped that a con higherup was helping the coordination. Found a couple beers that I liked, even (mostly the Equilibrium Photon Citrus). It was also good to hang with a crowd I normally don’t see.

PS. I was able to walk around a bit this year to get bites, but I ended up at Wingcraft twice again. I did go to the pho place behind the Bass Pro Shop and it was solid, if albeit a tad higher priced than expected due to the location. I think some people wanted to go to the conbini where Ueshama said she got a hot dog from but I don’t really know if that’s such a good idea, LOL. So she says, according to her, that’s a very American thing to do, to walk around town while eating a hot dog. Photo was taken (not with hot dog in hand) while walking back from Pho; there was a bike tournament on Sunday, which was oddly still related to our guest of honor.


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