Category Archives: Conventions and Concerts

Hatsuboshienbu

The IDOLM@STER 765Pro All Stars solo live in 2017 is called Hatsuboshi Enbu. That’s a mouthful. Notwithstanding the jittery that comes from witnessing another one of these, and how a bunch of the fandom speculate how every one of these is the last one of these, I went, as usual (kind of). This is actually my first 765Pro All Stars live, believe it or not, partly because they’ve not had once since the 9th anniversary tour in 2014. Well, I kind of had to go I guess.

Hatsuboshi Enbu (初星宴舞) loosely translates to the promenade of the first star, first star being a reference to some new year-y thing, as the live takes place literally the first weekend of the new year. Naturally the loot and theme of the show is new-years-y, the MC was kinda new-years-y, and they while there aren’t any new-years-y songs in IDOLM@STER really (they ain’t gonna perform Happy New Yeah, yeah?) they did whip out that wa-fu, Hatsuboshi mix of Utamas. I really want that song on MP3 or something…!

For some reason, I feel like an old cat at my first 765Pro All Star live, probably because I’ve seen all of them more than once at this point, and as recent as last October even. Even Azumin, who was at the launch events for the Chu2koi movie that weekend and not present at the live, felt more like an unfortunate afterthought than a sorely missed part of the IM@S family. I guess that’s okay, because we can focus congratulating Pon on her marriage? LOL.

Just going to keep it short since I have to drop that hot take on Winter 2018 animu still…? Check the set lists linked below and follow along, since I’ll just jump to songs that are remarked here.

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Year In Review 2017: Twelve Twelves

Anime industry exists because it’s a miracle.

I’ve been really busy this month, despite the lack of events. But here it goes–trying to scramble something together to introspect a year’s worth of content consumption. Introspection is worthwhile, and a tradition of doing it is a good idea. I don’t know how much of it is entertaining or informative for someone not me, though. Still, here goes.

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Eventing 2017

[Last year’s event log here. Last update December 27]

This is a blog post that will keep track of the nerd events I’m attending in 2017. It will be updated over time to add/delete and update the status of the events I plan to attend or have attended. If you’re going to one of these, feel free to let me know ahead of time.

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Anime NYC 2017: Wrap

Anime NYC came and went. This is the closest hometown con to me even though I live like, 20+ miles away and it takes over an hour for me to get there on any given day. It’s closest because I work about 20 minutes away by foot, so I was able to duck out of work and go to the con on Friday, and manage to go home Saturday to spend time with family who was visiting, and still come back to the con late in the day. It’s definitely a different perspective for me, to judge Anime NYC as a personal experience versus other cons I visit. Even with AnimeNext in AC, it’s a little too far to be “convenient.”

As a con, it’s basically the resurrection or reincarnation of New York Anime Fest. The venue is the same, and that alone will draw all the comparisons. The con runners overlap a lot, but what else are you going to do running a big con in the same geographic area? The pricing and VIP perks and all that stuff overlaps, for more or less the same aforementioned reasons. What’s interesting is that a non-trivial number of people I talked to this weekend didn’t even know or went to NYAF, so this is kind of a constant reminder of how young the con eventer scene is in North America.

The con can be broken into a few tracks. Princess Principal, Gundam Thunderbolt, Sailor Moon, Anisong Divas, and Overwatch. There’s also the usual industry and panel stuff. There was a special screening of the FMA live action movie with even special intro videos. Other than the anisong stuff I didn’t really care much, although on the merits alone, the Gundam Thunderbolt show was definitely top notch. The anime was great (I’m up to date on it), and the live performances is very much reminiscent of what Cowboy Bebop was. The musicians (pianist and drummer) are the star here, and the composer merely play along on the sax. The two singers are great too. The kawaii song is, well, kawaii.

Well, obviously I’m here for the Anisong diva night show. It’s brought to you by the team that produced the two Anisong Matsuri events in the States, and the one in Shanghai. It’s good! I got some songs I always wanted to hear live checked off, namely everything Chihi sang. Yonekura is very veteran, as it goes. Ishida Yoko I had the good fortune to see several times over the course of her career so her part was less novel but nonetheless very enjoyable–finally, Strike Witches opening… True obviously is the centerpiece here I think, partly because she is someone who is still on the upward trajectory and still very new given everything. It’s a little obvious that they were pushing True. I saw her for the third time this year, so I have some familiarity at this point. I like how each artist saved their best for last and it gave the show a kind of climax rather than just ups and downs from one artist to the next. Collab-wise, Cruel Angel Thesis and God Knows are kind of just OK, but Just Communication between the two Gundam anisong singers was good.

I was able to sneak into the Q&A panel just earlier in the day before the live, as I had to ditch work early. Hosted by Danny Choo, it was kind of interesting, I guess, although most of it was just Choo asking kind of basic questions that are common to these kinds of panels. I liked that they sort of winged it and on a certain level it feels like True is on par with the two veterans. It’s kind of reassuring to know, and I’m sure True is kind of playing it safe here too. Well, I have formed kind of an opinion on her at this point, and you can ask me in person if interested.

What else at this con? I guess I can talk about some con-stuff while describing how the autograph sessions went. All the “free” sessions are ticketed, which require you to either line up early to pick up from the autograph giveout that starts at 8am the day of, or via the Premiere/VIP badge perk, which gives you 4 tickets outright (4 different ones). The Gundam Thunderbolt sessions required purchasing a CD I believe, or unless you also have the concert VIP package. (By the way I gave Chihi and Ishida their old CDs which was very “natsukashii” and all. I had True sign my Shinso ongaku ensokai 4 towel.)

The confusion on VIP badge value (priced at $275 + fees) was that the perks, which included front seats and other benefits (like a special lanyard and a messenger bag (which seemed to be well-regarded)), overlapped with the concert-only VIP packages, which also gave additional perks (high-five kai for Diva Night and autograph session + CD for Gundam Thunderbolt). I don’t think I picked the wrong choice by going pleb, since the outlay is at least $100 less than the VIP set, and I got the high-touch kai benefit (VIPs don’t get this perk…but some I know did because there were some confusion and staff did not enforce well). I ended up camping for autograph tickets on Saturday, which kind of did suck, but it was not a bad camp. Like, I only had to wake up at 4:30am, so it was easy mode relatively as temperature remained above freezing.

I might get the VIP badge next year if there are enough good guests to cause some camping conflicts, I guess. As is, everything else at the con seems to run smoothly enough and the size of the con is manageable, so one can probably live without.

Loot-wise, I gave up and bought a LP of the Thunderbolt OST and got that signed by the dude. It was a token thing but in retrospect I was glad that I did, since their show was off the hook. I also got a sign from the Princess Principal director since that anime is pretty okay and the guy has done a bunch of other things.

I wasn’t able to do a lot of hanging around unless you were at the autograph line on Saturday early afternoon or morning, since I had work Friday and familial obligations Saturday and Sunday. It was kind of rough not seeing everyone I wanted to say hello to, so apologies! Also I wasn’t feeling so good Friday and most of Saturday so I had to take it easy in terms of eating, which limited my social options. Oh well.

Overall, despite being a first year con, Anime NYC is basically the second coming of NYAF. It’s got some rough edges as expected of a first year con but I think stuff will smooth out quickly. I’d go again if the guests are right.

Let’s end with some tweets.

You can see Yaz in these, she’s one of the key organizers for con anisong events! If you see her not busy at a con you can say hello I guess.


Anime Weekend Atlanta 2017: Wrap

AWA came and went. I was in the middle of another “eventing sprint” so to speak, this time things felt rather last-minute. In August I did 2 weekends back to back: Anirevo in Vancouver, then Otakon, and after one more gap weekend I went to Anisama (didn’t want to make Animefest to become a 4-in-a-row). In September I attended a nerd wedding (which I guess isn’t so bad other than for sleep) and related stuff, AWA, and Hotch Potch Festival in Japan the week after. In other words, I was dying. So dead, I wasn’t able to finish this post until well after Hotch Potch.

Main interests at AWA this year was Luna Haruna, Bless4, and Ueda Kana. Bonus was Daoko and being to catch some miscellaneous guests like Takahashi Taku, Hanafugetsu, the Strike Witches guys, and the veteran Naruto seiyuu folks. I whiffed completely on the last group, but I already saw two of them before at other cons. Also, it’s always nice to hang out with other folks and see some new people.

This post is gonna be brief, because I forgot a lot of the finer details to bemuse on.

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