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Notes from 2006 Guest of Honor panels
« on: June 03, 2006, 01:53:25 AM »

I'm going to try to post my notes from the panels I attended with the Guests of Honor at Fanime 2006, for those who might not have been able to attend them, but were interested in the material covered.  If phpbb has too-stringent posting length limitations, this might not work out--but it's worth a shot.  ^_^;


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2006.05.26 Asami Sanada-san's panel
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 02:05:36 AM »

2006.05.26 Asami Sanada panel

ATTENDEES: Yamaga-san, Sanada-san, translator,  Tagoma-san,?

Asami Sanada played Digiko in DigiCharat, as well as other roles.

Sanada-san starts off with a loud Nyo! for the audience.

She speaks some english, but be patient;
she played Chizuko Oe in Mahoromatic, Jun in Rosen Maiden, Kazuki-san in Galaxy ??
A new series, Amaenaideyo--oh, it's the second season, she plays a new character.  Rival of the main character,
Ama Nai De Yo? (not sure of the name here at all).

Yamaga-san brought a list of her characters, she plays Marie in ugly/beautiful world as well.

Q. Is this your first time to the Bay Area?
A. Yes, this is her first time, and it's colder than she expected!  She expected it to be very hot since it's California.

She came to Animazement in NC three years ago, so she's been to the US before--that was her first time coming to the US.

Last year she was at Anime North in Canada; Yamaga-san invited her to Fanime last year, but she was in Canada at the time.

Q. How did Sanada-san get involved in voice acting, and what was the impetus that got her started?
A. When she was in Jr high school, she got sick, so she had to take off school; coming home from the hospital, she stopped at a convenience store, a 24 hour place like 7/11, and saw an anime magazine in the store; she bought it, and found out there was  such a profession as voice acting.  It caught her  attention, she decided she wanted to do it.

She originally liked singing, wanted to get into entertainment as talent, singer, celebrity, etc.
But with anime, she found she could also give voice to non humans like aliens, which interested her even more, so she pursued that.

After graduating high school, she started at a voice acting academy; there are many of them in Akihabara, she went to one of those.  
Broccoli was having Digicharat auditions--it was an open audition.
At an open audition, fans vote like on american idol; she was voted the winner of the audition by fans.

Q. In Leave it to Piyoko, she worked with Hayashibara Megumi-san, how did she feel playing
Megumi-san's rival?
A. Megumi-san is like a super-senpai, but when you ADR, you don't think about being a rival, she just remembers it as being very fun.
In the US, we separate the voice actors, but in Japan, they all share the same microphone in the same room, so it's much more fun.
If you're in the same room like that and not good friends, says Yamaga-san, it's not so good;
Sanada-san interjects--it works well as long as you're all good friends.

Q.  Which voice acting role is most similar to her personality?
A. Every role she plays, there's a little piece of her in the character.  There are similarities and differences with each.  Since Dejiko was her debut, and she's done Dejiko the longest, that's probably closest to her; only Sanada-san's not so evil.

Q. In her voice acting experience, is there a lot of difference between handling voice acting and live acting?
A. She's done live acting in theatrical plays twice; for live acting, she uses her whole body to express character, so it's more physical; but
with voice acting, you have only your voice, which puts more stress on the vocal requirements.
Also, you have to get timing down with voice acting much more carefully than live acting to match the characters on the screen.

Yamaga-san asks--for live action, you have an audience to think about as well, isn't that somewhat different?
A. She's done (in japan) chaacter shows, she's done "open recording" of voices in front of an audience like this.  In the studio, you only focus in front to screen and director.  In an open show, your focus is everywhere--screen, director, audience, other actors, etc.

Q. Is she still playing her saxophone, and did she bring it?
A.  The question was focused on her internet radio show.  She mentioned that on her show, she's gotten to the point where she's played her own song (played a dejiko character song) on her saxaphone.  She's been teaching herself and learning on her own, but she hasn't had time to practice much recently at all; in Japanese  apartments, the walls are very thin, she hasn't had a place to practice at all.
You could maybe go to th park; she used to go to the recording studios early, and she practiced there.

Q.  What type of saxophone does she play?
A.  Alto sax.

Q.  If you could play any character in literature, whether eastern or western, who would it be, and why, and would it be live action or anime?
A.  Muzukashii!! Eto...eto...anno...
Seishuheiki Kanojo...
Yamaga-san:--don't you have anything you've read?
Sanada-san:  Yes, but it's already been done. SaiKano, Chise would be who she would try to play if she could.
That would have to be anime, clearly.  ^_^
Since it's a book she's already read and liked, not sure if it's better she wants to get involved with the project, or better to just enjoy it from
the sidelines.

Q.  Curious about how you go about preparing to play a character, like if it's a character that's very different from yours--how do you prepare to
play a character?
A.  Jun, from Rozen Maiden, for example; She tries to think of what kind of person that is.  He's a hibiko, stay-at-home otaku, he doesn't open up to
the dolls, or socialize with people.  She tries to think about what she has in common with the character.
For that role, for example, well, she's a bit shy, so she tried to focus on that.  She stayed at  home for 2 whole days, to get in character;
it was tough.  ^_^

Q.  About mahoromatic CD dramas, what can she say about making the drama CD?
A.  Sound engineer Inawami-san is known to be very fast.  At beginning of recording, normally you do sound check, he went straight into recording.
If you make a mistake with a line, they just keep going, they just incorporate the mistake in the next person's line--the mike board work was very busy.  
The japanese studios are stingy, only 3 mikes for 10 people, so you have to watch to swap out quickly and quietly as your lines are coming up.  Sometimes fights can start between voice actors when it gets stressful, says Yamaga-san.  Sanada-san laughs and disagrees.
Questioner wanted to thank everyone who worked on the CD dramas, he really enjoys them, thank you very much!

Another audience member wanted to say thank you for the Chizuko reaction for Mahoromatic when she cooks a wonderful meal.
Sanada-san faces away from the audience to perform that "huwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" sound, as it's very, very loud when she does it.

Q.  Was Nyo her creation?  
A.  Nya is normal for a cat?  
Koge-donbo wanted something slightly more twisted for Degiko, hence "Nyo".

Q.  She faces away again and does a loud "me kara beam"
for the audience, causing the room to erupt in appreciative applause.

A.  Degiko's been used in other series, like Excel Saga.  In her new series, her character for one scene uses "nyo" in all his lines, just for that
one scene.
They often have fun with characters that way.
Yamaga-san is director of Mahoromatic, he didn't know sanada-san yet, but he wanted a "nyo" in it somewhere, he knew that much.
That was when Sanada-san was glad she'd done Degiko.
When she was still a rookie as a voice actress; they didn't know her name, she was just the person who did "nyo".  :)

Q.  If you could work with anyone else, living or dead from anywhere, who would you work with?
A.  Audrey Hepburn.  Definitely.  But she's continuing to meet new people.  Shimojo-san, he does Hollywood movie type productions.  Certain voice actors are within areas, she works with them, but she'd like to do more drama, like Lupin, get involved with other types of voice actors.  Monchichi?
She also does kids shows, she did Monchichi last year (monchichi-kun?).  When they do those shows, they record with the younger generation, so she doesn't get to meet people from previous generation who did shows like Doreamon.

Q. Digichraat extra video, shows Sanada-san eating many many snacks, what is her favorite snack, and why does she eat so many snacks?
A. Sanada-san's one-day report...started with staff saying let's take a full day of Sanada-san eating.
It really came from the web page, the 4 panel comics had her eating every day, so it came from that.
She likes tarts the best.  :)

Q.  What is the meaning of life for her?
A.  Muzukashii!  Since she's still new at her acting career, she still has many things she wants to accomplish.
Wants to do more plays, more venues, more roles, wants to do some Hollywood live acting.  Her roles, her work is generally her life, she'd like to continue to expand it more and more.

Q.  Wanted to know if gamers will open a store in northern california?
A.  She's ok with coming over, but not about opening a store...oh, they're just joking around, nevermind.

Exhibit hall 1, she'll have an autograph session, bring your stuff, she'll sign it there.  :)

Panel wraps up at 1257 hours Pacific Time.


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2006.05.26 Ryoichi Koga-san panel
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 02:10:58 AM »

2006.05.26 Ryoichi Koga Panel


Introduction.  He's made the first Onsokumaru and Ninen Ga Shinobuden as well as  Genom, Genom: the second series.

First, some snippets of Shinobuden, then a drawing demonstration.

For QandA, raise hands, he'll take a microphone, you ask in English, it'll be translated, then he'll repeat the answer back in English.
Courteous questions would be good.

He is the creator of Shinobuden, Ryoichi Koga, and starts with a preview of the first two episodes for the audience.

Next, he demonstrates how to draw Shinobu and Onsokumaru live in front
of the room via big screen panel.

Q.  What was his inspiration for Onsokumaru?
A.  He heard that round characters are loved by Manga readers, like Doraemon; so he started to draw round characters so they will be loved by his audience--that's how Onsokumaru was born.

Q.  What is Onsokumaru?
A.  A mysterious creature--he's not really sure himself.   :)

Q.  What can he tell us about his other work, Genom?
A.  Genom is about an elf who visits an insect museum; it's as though it's another world each episode, and each episode has a main theme.  If the main theme is spiders, the character's outfit focuses on spiders.  There is a second character, PACMAN, which is a lot like Onsokumaru.  The elf's
name is Elel(?), and she's a lot like Shinobuden.
Genom was his debut item; the series is 10 years old now.  The first series is four volumes long, and they've now started a second series, which is
currently in its first volume.  That's pretty much it for Genom.

Q. Did Koga-san have any seiyuu in mind when Shinobuden was animated?
A. Before the anime was started, they had already worked on a drama CD, so he already had Wakamoto-san in mind for the part.

Q. Does Koga-san do his own colouring when drawing his manga, or does he do the line drawing, and have his assistants colour the drawings?
A. He colours his works himself, on a digital computer; most manga artists prefer to draw and colour their work themselves, and generally have assistants do the backgrounds.

Q. Which character on Shinobuden is his favorite?
A. That's not a fair question!  He likes all of them, of course!

Q. When did he get the idea to throw the crocodile into the middle of the storyline?
A. He didn't have a character in mind, really; he had been thinking of the mythical water creature (?), but wanted to put a twist on it; he was originally going to throw some piranhas in, but they ended up becoming the crocodile as the story idea was developed.

Q. Why did the drawing style suddenly change after episode 9?
A. The director was the one who suggested the change, and after reviewing it, Koga-san decided he liked it, and they decided to keep it.

Q. Will there be more?
A. Koga-san certainly hopes so!

A fast-and-furious Jan-Ken-Pon competition is held to find out which lucky attendee leaves with the autographed picture he drew of Shinobuden and
Onsakumaru during the panel.

Last announcement--Infinity Studio is printing his book dubbed into English, for $10; there will be copies on sale during his autograph session, if you would like to purchase one, he can sign it for you right then, or you can purchase it later.
Also, Shinobuden the series will be released in the US by RightStuf starting in July.

Everyone adjourns to Exhibit Hall 1 for the autograph signing at 1504 hours Pacific Time.


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2006.05.26 Hiroyuki Yamaga-san panel
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2006, 02:23:13 AM »

2006.05.26 Yamaga-san Panel

PANEL MEMBERS: Hiroyuki Yamaga-san, Kazuhiro Takamura, Asami Sanada, Takahiro Mizushima, plus very excellent translator (I'm not sure who she is, but she totally rocks!)

A. Not a formal panel, so move up to the front!
Any panel one has, the other three will be there with them for the weekend; one highlight, others are supporting them.  :)

If you're going to ask a question, feel free to dive in, this won't be formal at all.

Q. Why are they cosplaying for this panel?
A. It's not really a significant story; Gainax always has a party at the end of the year, to wish for good luck in the next year; until 10 years ago, they always cosplayed for the party.
When Eva was being worked on 10 years ago, nobody cosplayed anymore, they got too busy. So, Yamaga-san's reviving the practice.
So, he decided to cosplay for last year's year end party.
He was going to do a Ghibli/Miyazaki cosplay,  but he felt it would be bad for Gainax CEO and president to do that.
So, he decided to be a samurai instead; but he didn't have it ready for the year end party, so this is the first time he's wearing it.

What he's wearing isn't really complete, but he hopes to have it done by the year end party this coming year.
One of the other panelists asks, "What about swords?  You can't bring them to the US, right?"  
Well, he'll make it out of plastic, he can't really walk around with swords in Japan either, right?

Q. What is the most embarassing Gainax production?
A. He does his best to forget those.  :)  He's been with Gainax for 21 years, he likes all the ones he's done, not so sure about the other guys--they might not have been so good.  

Q. If someone gave you a huge pile of money what would you like to produce? (From Giles Poitras)
A. Samurai, of course!  Since that's what he's into right now; not anime, but he likes Kurosawa.
About 10 months ago, he was drinking with Akagai?,  who has come to US before; producing anime, he isn't completely happy, fulfilled, satisfied.
He wants to make a live action film.  Yamaga-san asked him what kind; he wants to do a live action,  samurai movie.
But Gainax is a poor anime studio, they can't make an expensive live film, he said.
The next morning, he realized they can't do great things if they keep thinking small, stingy like that.

Minamoto Yoshii?
Then the two were talking--if they were going to do a samurai movie, what period would the do?
Well, everyone knows about the Last Samurai,  with that crazy guy, Tom Cruise; if there is a Last Samurai, there must be a  first samurai as well, right?
Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, his works started the whole samurai tradition; he wasn't a samurai himself, but he started the movement. So they decided on the Heian period for their movie.

Q.  Is this something he's going to produce, or is working on, or is it just brainstorming at this point?
A. To make a big budget movie like that in Japan is impossible, so either way, it's pretty the  same; he doesn't see it actually happening any
time soon.
Giles suggests: NHK Taiga drama?  
No, that's tooo cheap, he wants to make it better than those taiga drama series.

If he could make samurai films like Kurosawa, he wants to do it, otherwise he'll stick withanime.

Q. For samurai, does he like old style, focused more on character development, or new style Hong-Kong, influenced stunt based?
A. He's not strictly a Kurosawa fan, but he doesn't want to make it all action Hong Kong style.
He'd keep the same style as what he focus on in anime, but just not make it animated.

Q. Did he read Notenki memoirs, by Yasueda?
A. Yes, he's in the interview, in fact.
Q. His thoughts on it?
A. The author is a close friend of his, butmaybe he doesn't have that much of a writing style.  So some parts of the book could have been presented better, could have been funnier, since he knows many of the same stories, he has ideas of how they could have been told better.

Q. Clearly he likes Jidai geki, samurai drama, heian period drama, what does everyone else on the panel like?
A. First male next to Yamaga-san (Kazuhiro Takamura-san) doesn't like old samurai movies, he likes future, forward looking, not history;
flying cars, etc., prefers anime over live action, and prefers science fiction.

Next up, Sanada-san likes samurai movies, she  likes jidaigeki movies, etc.  Her last name, Sanada is from Sanada Yukiwa, who is a samuraii, and she likes and respects them. She likes kimonos and other Japanese culture, if she could, she'd like to be in a samurai movie; she also likes fantasy like Narnia.

Last one in the row (Takahiro Mizushima) likes robot animation.  He'd like to ride on a robot,  he hasn't yet.

Romance of the three kingdoms?  
He likes japanese old stories and chinese old stories, so they're talking about doing that.
Yamaga-san notes that for this ugly and beautiful  world, the voice actors and Yamaga-san liked to go  out to drink together, hang out together, even Ayoko Kasugwa liked it, they looked into doing a version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Yamaga-san has to write the script first or nothing will move, so they're all just kinda waiting for him to write the script first.  :)

Q. What's different about his version of Romance of the 3 kingdoms?
A. Since in KonoMimi (this ugly and beautiful world) the main characters (and their voice actors) are all cute girls; but in the 3 kingdoms they're all old ugly men.
He doesn't want the cute girls to be side charcters, so he'll have the cute girls be the main generals instead.

Q.  Mahoromatic was co-produced with another company?  KonoMi was JC Staff.  Do they have a joint relationship between the companies?
A. They worked on Melody of Oblivion with JC Staff; in general, the anime industry in japan are all good friends; they are all on good terms; you don't think of them as  separate companies, they work on projects together, whenever there's work to be had.

Q. If they all work together so much, do they share the money, or compete for revenue?
A. It's more like sharing the money.  He was recently working with the animation director for blood plus, for example.
So it's not like he just does work for Gainax; it's work across the industry as a whole.
There's a big budget for the production, and different people work on it.  Not just one company getting the bulk of the money.

Q. English plays a big part in Anime, with stuff being written in English as part of a portrayal of foreigners; often, errors seem to creep in; do they have people check them?
A. There's many different cases; sometimes, they make mistakes on purpose, to highlight the difference.  It's actually Japanese, but then said in English; the Japanese language takes many words from other languages, like French and German, and is then made into Japanese; they use Chinese characters, but they're not Chinese anymore.  You may think it's wrong, but it's right for them, in the Japanese mode, not the English mode.
People who know how to read Chinese will look at Chinese kanjii and think it's wrong, since it's really Japanese. So, let's say in an anime a foreign exchange student arrives, and starts speaking in English; it's made for the Japanese audience, so the English is aimed at being more understood
by the Japanese than the English; like the Japanese in Hollywood movies that makes no sense to the Japanese.  :)
Let's say it's a serious anime; if it's  like complete gibberish, and you'd lose something with that, they will consult with a true bilingual person to make sure it's still in the right tone.

Q. Are foreign seiyuu ever used in order to sound specifically foreign, rather than having Japanese try to sound foreign?
A. Unless it's a really serious story, they'd be unlikely to do it; Yakitake
Japan isn't really a case of a serious Anime.  Niea Under 7 used one; wasn't that serious?  No, not really.
It's up to whoever it's producing or thinking/ directing the story; do they want realistic foreign speakers?  In Eva, they speak gibberish German, that's fine, it's not really serious.

Q. What would advice be to American animation student who would like to be part of the new blood for making anime?
A. First have to learn Japanese, of course!
Steve Bennett is mentioned...
Of course, if you're really good at drawing, like Steve Bennett, you could get work; but Yamaga-san wonders how he got through the meetings to discuss how to present characters, since that's the really hard part.
Keep knocking on doors, and be persistent; believe in yourself and your work.
Usually, new animators who come into their studios are recommended from specific animation schools.  If a foreign person comes in and says
please use me, it's hard to evaluate their skills and put them to use.

Q. What level of involvement does Gainax have with the live action Eva production underway?
A. Gainax has the rights, but Yamaga-san is curious to see what an other studio will do it.
He heard WETA would work on it, they did King Kong; if they're going to be on location, maybe he could show up to see how the production
is going.  :D
They don't have a director picked yet; he thinks that if they just had Peter Jackson do it, it would go faster.

Everyone moves over to Exhibit Hall 1 for the autograph signing part at 1906 hours Pacific Time.


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2006.05.27 Voice Acting Panel
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006, 02:36:31 AM »

2006.05.27 Voice Actor Panel

Jonatan Osborne, Asami Sanada-san, Takahiro Mizushima

First, introductions of the panel members:
Jonathan Osborne: Hi, I'm a voice actor, among other things; primarily a walla(?) voice actor,  he does extra voices and sounds.  His more recent major roles have been William Morris in ??, George in Niea Under Seven, Musashi in Paranoia Agent, he's the character who has the anime doll collection.
This is his sixth year at fanime, delighted to be  here again!

Asami Sanada-san, voice actress, her first role was as the voice of Dejiko, also played the voice of Jun from Rozen Maiden, and she's  happy to be able to talk with a real-live US  voice actor.

Takahiro Mizushima, is a voice actor in Japan, he played Kota in "Uchu no Stellvia", someone in KonoMimi (this ugly and beautiful world), someone else in Asagiri No Miko,  and he's also happy to be here in the US

Q.  How long did it take for you to get as famous as you are now?  For all panelists.

JO: took a year and a half since he was first  brought in; from 99 to now, been working as a voice actor, working with ADR directors such as Taleisen Jaffe, Jonathan Kline, he's been doing walla and such for
Funimation more recently.
It took him 2 years to get his first part, based into a very bad audition tape, but finally  got a call back.

Sanada-san: Interesting case, her debut was Dejiko, in DigiCharat; it got big quickly, and she was known as the "nyo" girl, so even if they didn't know her name, they knew about her.  Fast fame.  ^_^

TM: Well, I'm not really famous yet either!  *laughs*  After debuting, for the next 3  years most of his work was dubs for US TV series and movies.  When he got Asagiri no Miko,  he got a more important role, and that helped him get better roles.

JO: He has to thank OhayoCon, the original organizer there introduced him as the "man of a thousand deaths"--he's now the famous "red shirt" of Anime now.

Q.  What type of courses did you have to take to get into the industry?  What type of training?

JO: Originally it was just that he was in  theatre in high school, doing musicals, then later did community theatre.  
He moved to CA, his friend Neil ? (who is an anime translator) put him in touch with some of the studios out in CA--he sent out
the worst audition tape ever.  Once he got his first gig, he took some additional classes.
He had a radio show which helped as well.  He didn't take official training, but he did  drama, and understood basics of acting.
Jonathan notes he had to be a member of SAAG to do work in California, which is why he left CA.  
When he started, Anime was non-union; then, it got popularized, and has become unionized, so he left for Texas, a right-to-work state, so now he doesn't have to worry about SAAG.
Now he's doing ADV and Funimation in Texas without SAAG issues.
He did take a voice acting class, for his radio show, and some classes for his drama work.
The voice class was mainly about voice placement.  
You can work from the back of the throat, or talk from the top of the throat to go deeper or higher.  Also dealt with acting, how to portray characters, add some reaction effects vocally.

TM: In Japan, a bit different from what Jonathan described; in voice acting school,  it's more about acting, not so much about  the voice.  Once the job comes in, and the role comes, in, the training is about how  to change your voice to match the character.

In Japan, the VA's all work together in the same room with the finished animation rolling in front of them; at least mostly finished.  They work to match the characters  mostly.
In the US, each person does their work separately.  In the US, with original animation, the voices are recorded first, and the animations are shaped around the voices.
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were not yet famous when they recorded the voices for "Toy Story",  for example?

Q.  How hard was it to get their first job, to break into the field?
AS: For Japanese vioce actors, fresh out of a voice academy, you join an agency;  if there's an audition, they let all the  agencies know, the agencies send people they have  available to that audition.
JO: In the US, you have an agent, they let you know what's available.
It's even harder to get into voice acting in  the US than in Japan.  It's who you know, not what you know.  If Jonathan hadn't known Neil, he never
would have gotten a foot in the door, since he did his audition tape incorrectly.

Q.  What were your favourite roles, or most memorable moments?
AS: It's really hard for voice actors to choose favorites, since they work so hard on all their roles, you can't choose just one.
For her, most memorable moments were working  on KonoMimi, all the voice actors got very  chummy chummy, would go out together, very memorable.
TM: Getting a good show, good voice actors to work with is good.  But he did a lot of dying  parts, and that's also fun.  He's done both parts in a conversation at times, when that goes well, that's really fun.  In some films he wonders how often he's died in that particular film.  He's done some wonderful sound effects too.
JO: William Morris was his first serious role, and George from Niea under 7, since it was so fun, and Paranoia Agent for the audience
During one session, he was asked if he'd like to do some work in Cowboy Bebop; they said they needed  some extra stuff.  It's the one show he says no English words in--he's in the last episode, from the moment Spike enters the building, he's EVERY person Spike kills, from there to the end.  :)
Also, the leader of the terrorists in the earlier episode, the mother of the Monkey  virus family, was voiced by his ADR director, and she would keep breaking into that terrorist's voice when talking to him over his headphones,  making it hard for him to concentrate--he kept wanting to laugh at the voice.  

Q.  What do directors look for in a voice actor, and what sets them aside from other voice actors?
A. Muzukashii...eto...ano...
TM: He puts the two questions together; it's more about the scriptwriter and director trying to figure out who would fit the voice they imagine for the character.  It doesn't matter what the director wants as much; there's two ways of getting a role;
1st way is director or producer saying they want a person, they wanted them to start with and had them in mind from the start for the role.
2nd way is via an audition, and they see how well the voice actor matches the character.
JO:  I wish I knew!  Voice directors usually have an idea of what they want ahead of time, they'll generally pull from a pool of actors they know ahead of time.  Auditions will help bring ideas up they might not have thought of,
though.  Don't try to guess, just do what you do, and if they like it, they'll hire you.
In Japan, the version is already made, so it's up to the company to see if they want to match the voice style (bubbly, etc).  Very much depends on the company.

Q.  Is there a stereotypical 'anime' voice?  Megumi Hayashibara can get any role because she has a high, nasally voice, right?
TM: Of course, for cute characters, you need a cute voice.  And for cool characters, you need a cool voice.  In anime, let's say you have a chibi character, you want an ayumu hamasaki voice.
When he has a cute character, he does aim to make it a bit nasally, a bit high; but it's not a typical "anime voice", really.

Q.  What's the weirdest voice/thing they've had to say?
JO: In paranoia agent, he plays a character who brings girl anime figures with him when he visits a prostitute.  That was definitely weird.
He also played a high-voiced shrieky thug, and he based the voice for it on Salacious Crumb, the vicious little pet bird of Jabba the Hut in  Return of the Jedi; that was another weird voice to play.
AS: I can't think of one particular one, but like in Digicharat, they have to make nonsense sounds, and sing nonsense songs.  The "Midsummer in Akihabara" song is like that--very  silly, just words strung together that make no sense.
To show us, she sings the song for the audience.

Q. What went on each of their audition tapes?  Were they specific, or general?
JO: His original (terrible) audition tape was reading lines from various scripts.  The most recent one he did is various characters doing a few seconds to  establish each character, then moves on; he does 14 characters in 2 minutes.  He's being pressured to get it down to 90
seconds for 14-20 characters.  Need to show you can establish the character within a few seconds.  Show a wide range, highs, lows, funny characters, evil characters, all as quickly as possible.
AS/TM: They have voice samples on the fanime site; they sent their audition tapes to Fanime so you can listen to them.  
If they audition for a specific part, they get the script ahead of time
so they can read from it for their tape.

Q. How did they create audition tapes?
JO: A friend had a recording studio, he went in, recorded various parts, then trimmed down and put it together.
AS/TM: With an agency, in Japan, the agency does the recording for you, you don't have a friend do it for.

Q.  Are there any deaths on their demo tapes?
JO: No, he gets to survive on his demo tape.

Each one has a chance various dying noises for the audience.
Jonathan is doing a script reading panel tomorrow, Sunday night; look for the script-reading panel on the schedule!

And now, off to exhibit hall 1 for the  autograph session.
Panel adjourns at 1624 hours Pacific Time.


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2006.05.27 Funimation Industry Panel
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 03:00:55 AM »

2006.05.27 Funimation Industry Panel

Lance Haskell is Senior Brand Manager for Funimation.
He's in charge of making sure production, licensing, and the generaal nuts and bolts of anime shows coming from Japan to US are preserved, and presented in best possible way to the fans.

He gets to watch anime, and gets paid for it--best job ever!

He'll do recent trailers, release schedule, bit of FMA the movie, some
upcoming stuff they've acquired yesterday, and then do a QA period.

If you're online, the Anime Boston panel is also happening this weekend.
In about 30 minutes, they'll be announcing  another title from Boston.
Can't announce it here yet, due to timing issues--Boston gets to announce it first.

He plays a Funimation channel advertisement which shows Gunslinger Girls and Lupin

June 19th, funimation channel will be in LA, it'll be 18.3, a digital channel,
it's a free over-the-air digital channel you can pick up with a regular antenna.
Will be on Verizon FIOS soon as well.
Also on June 19th, syndicated on dish network, channel 9407.
Will be in other areas as well.  It'll be when the channel launches, so watch
for it!
They'll star by covering LA, Verizon, Dish network and Colours network.
It's a five year plan.  Meeting with Comcast and Charter, but you have to
prove your worth first, get into households first before the big boys will talk to you.
It's like cartoon network--started small, then grows, like G4 is doing now.  Just keep asking and waiting for it.
They have realistic goals for the channel. Not a lot of people will watch it this year; they'll have the line-up announcement later.

Next plays a promo for Mr. Stain in Junk Alley

Desert Punk--the Desert Duo.
Bounty hunter, hormones get the best of him, female bounty hunter uses her breasts to own the guy's hormones.  Bounty hunters, boobs, and laughter.  For more info, see his panel on Sunday at 11pm, in the Panel Room titled "what the hell is desert punk?"

Next, shows a trailer for Full Metal Alchemist, Journey to Ishabal

Then another promo for Desert Punk, vixen of the desert

Kiddy Grade trailer is next, followed by Speed Grapher, which will be available July 4th

Negima trailer is next, followed by a promo for the Basilisk Premium Box set.

He shows a cute promo for  Moon Phase, Tsukiyomi, and then finishes up
with the promo for  Trinity Blood

That's pretty much their July through Fall lineup.

Release schedule, through August:
Desert Punk is a test (going 4 weeks between volumes), releases in Feb, April, May, June, July, doing volumes monthly!
May 23, vol 3, June 20, vol 4, July 18 vol 5, Aug 15, vol 6.
From april to august, they'll finish the entire series!
Test to see if the fans can support a release cycle that fast.  Previously
was on an 8 week schedule.  Not sure if their production cycle can support
it for multiple series either.

5/30, tues, samurai 7 vol 7, limited edition, arian and guu, 6/6/06?
yu yu hakusho, 112 eps, 8 different releases.
1-14 is first release, 34.98, good price!  uncut versions.
Dragonball GT, vol 1-15 in box in june
FMA 3rd box set, tin, monkey light on it, soundtrack, some really great extras.

Speed Grapher is out in July, comes with box; Also Basilisk and Trinity Blood will  come with both special and limited editions.

Negima is out on August 1st.

Oh, June box sets.  July 11th, double hub box?  Will have reversable wraps, 48 collecting  cards with it.  Couldn't hear which series that was, though.

samurai 7, last volume; standard, limited edition, and ender box all come out.
Nice art, japanese art box.  Trying to match the region 2 goodies for US Samurai Seven release.

August 8th, next volume of Basilesk comes out.

Tenchi Muyo GXP, Aug 15 box set.

Trinity Blood wil be in Sept.

Full Metal Alchemist the movie, sept 12th release volume 10 june 2th, vol 11 july 5, vol 12 in august, sept 12, vol 13 released the same week as the movie.  It will be busy fall season for FMA fans.  :)

There's new stuff coming almost every month for new shows.  There's no lull in the industry yet, not sure what fans are talking about in terms of a lull.
They pick and choose what to bring over, based on the size of the niche they think it serves. They poll people at conventions to find out what they're interested in, and what they're likely to buy.

He's lhaskell at AnimeOnDVD, and other forums,  you can catch him online or here in the convention.

He put his cover letter and resume in a fruits basket cover folder when he sent it to Funimation, and then he got hired a few  weeks later.  Always good to target a company specifically like that when applying.  :)

Press announcement yesterday, you can get it from him at the end for some of their new titles.

Full Metal Panic second raid!  volume 1 will come out Oct 3rd. will have DVD ep 00, and ep 14, the OVA that features Tessa--they've got all of the region 2 goodies on it.

KatsuCon announcement, will be out in Winter.  Kimi Ga Nozumu Ein.
Rumbling Hearts, (KimiNozu) Will be released early winter, no solid date yet.
They're a public company now, so they move release dates around to fit quarterly numbers.

A new film is coming out, a live action called Shinobi, goes with Basilisk.  Showing at Seattle film festival in a week or two.
He doesn't have a current date when it will hit funimation films.

Full title to search for is: Shinobi--heart under blade.  It will be subtitled only, not dubbed.

Q and A,  then first five minutes of FMA movie, and then a 30 minute retrospective movie with the FMA voice actors if they have time.

Q.  Will later Speed Grapher disks have japanese limited edition plushies?
A. Not sure, but they'll always try.  

Q. Any news on Slayers?
First 13 eps uncut of DB?
Detective Conan movies?
A. New releases of slayers in are coming out in Japan, they're trying to find out if Enoki  has cleaner prints.  They have the rights, but they're trying to get cleaner prints before promising anything.
DragonBall was first contracted to KidMark;  some wording in the contract makes sublicensing  rights not clearly defined.  KidMark was bought by
people, eventually became LionsGate, but getting response from them has been really slow, negotiating with them has been very
They have dubbed first two Conan movies; one released in winter, may slip, it will be the first movie.

Q. Will Dr. Slump be brought to US?
A. It's a long show, a funny show, but not  sure how much of a market it might have.  If it was done, might be Funimation, but since it's a shonen property, might go to Viz.
It's not a high likelihood, as Funimation is more oriented towards shojou.

Q. YuYuHakusho didn't finish on Cartoon Network?  
A. They did, but at 5:30am.  Might be on a  new channel soon.  ^_^

Q. Contrast funimation channel with ADV anime network, how will they be more successful?
A. Well, ADV's been pretty successful, their marketing has been pretty solid for the AnimeNetwork channel.  Philosophy, market timing, not sure how things go on their AnimeNetwork, they have no special info on it.  Funimation has been planning this for years, they've been building up, and
they're patient, in it for the long term.  Not blasting it everywhere, they're owned by a public company, they have strict budgets,  they're planning carefully around the channel.

Q. Conflicting reports, DBZ movie live action? Some sites say it's cancelled, others say it's just stuck in production hell.
A. Could be like Spiderman move in 90s, with CG the way it is, it'll be badass if it ever gets made.

Q. Still trying for Fruits Basket series 2?
A. Yep, still trying.

Q. Will Funimation channel have subtitles?
A. Case-by-case basis at night; requires approval from Japan for native language content.

Q. Funimation channel, where else will it be?
A. Starting in LA, get 5.3 million households in one market, good shot to establish themselves; NY and LA are the two biggest markets for video, so if they can establish themselves there, other networks will be more likely to talk to them.

Q. How does the acquisition of shows work?
A. He has a panel that explains this in depth
in an hour...come to that.
In brief: There's lots of manga written; a few get made into anime series.  To get made into an anime, they need funding, a producer, production
company, an animation studio, an advertising agency, the network it will be on, and some investors.  They all create committees, pool money, split
things up into pieces.  Very complicated.
Then, bringing it to US, companies meet at NATB, trade shows, Tokyo Anime Fair in March,  licensing show in June, toy faire, lots of shows where people get together, representatives show up and have meetings with other companies, they pitch shows, Funimation reviews them, they may put a bid in, depends how many people bid on it, depends on past relationships, etc.
Negotiations can last two years for some shows! Some negotiations can take just a few months.
In general, process takes about 9 months to work through.

Q. KimiNoZo, does it include follow up anime, and who will the voice actors be?
A. Can't announce actors, but have started dubbing.  Don't have followup episodes, no.

Q. Will they cut their shows to fit US censorship laws?
A. Eclair and Lumiere naked had to be cut, since that was going to be on at 4pm.  But the violence is still there.  So some yes, some no.

Q.  He came from advertising background, how would he contrast that with his current job?
A.  He worked at an Internet ad agency, worked at fast pace.  Funimation is even faster paced than the internet ad agency.  Live and die on release dates.
See the "how anime comes to america" panel.  So many levels for the process!

Q. Funimation has the license for FMA, what happens to new material that comes out in that  franchise in Japan?
A. Funimation has options, but they still have to compete against other companies.  They have first rights, but every contract is different.  The movie closes up the storyline and opens it back up at the
same time.
The manga just diverged; vol 13 of manga released, Hoenheim was totally different between the two.  Two different views of the story.
The OVA is scenes from the series, some live actions, chibi comic party, and one very cute spoilerish bit, but they're not pure episodes per
se, so unlikely they'll be brought over.

Q. AT AX, showed third OVA for Tenchi Muyo; when will they finish it off?  
A.  In Sept; they made an additional episode in Japan when it got popular.  Schedule was based on the original 6 episodes, didn't want to risk
the extra episode being lost, they had to push out their schedule to make sure all the actors were available for the dub.

Q. Why didn't they get One Piece or Narurto?
A. Well, it comes down to bidding, and strategy.  Viz and 4Kids have their own strategy for putting the show out on Saturday mornings.

Q. Can they get same voices for FMP2 as FMP?
A. Contractually, getting at least one--the others, they're still working on.

Q. KimiNozo is romantic drama; that's not really Funimation's normal market; what brought them into that field?
A. Some of the folks at Funimation liked the story, it's good romance, so they chose to go after it.  Trying to expand, since different fans have different interests.

FullMetalAlchamist movie trailer gets played next.

Ah--now he can announce they've purchased Beck, Mongolian Chop Squad.

The Conqueror of Shambala will go theatrical, hit top 25 markets, check Funimation films website for the scheduled markets.

First five minutes of the FMA movie played next.

Release will be based off the limited edition release in Japan, they'll have the majority of  the niceties in the US release as well.

Panel wraps up at 1759 hours Pacific Time.

Pimpstress Rei

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Notes from 2006 Guest of Honor panels
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2006, 03:50:52 AM »

I <3 my publications staff!

They're so freakin awesome!
Marie F.
Vice-Chair 2009-2011
Assistant Director of Marketing 2008
Publications Manager 2006, 2007
Con Mom forever o.O


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2006.05.27 Yamaga-san samurai panel
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2006, 06:38:57 AM »

2006.05.27  Yamaga-san on stage zero announces he's got a samurai panel; he will be wearing his special armour, so come check it out!

Unlike the samurai you see in movies that you see jumping through the air
with flaming swords and electricity coming out of their mouths, he'll talk about real samurai.

It's in Video room 1, from 8-9pm.

2006.05.27 Yamaga Samurai panel

Samurai studies
Often, the samurai and samurai period are shown in movies and anime; in the industry, even if not directly interested, you have to learn about them to work with those movies and anime.
Most people in the west who don't study samurai probably think that's like everyday people in Japan at the time.  Nope!
2 years ago, the movie the Last Samurai, was released, many saw it, he's seen it too;
when he saw it, many people in japan saw it as well, and noted even with help from a Japanese studio, that still watn't a real portrayal of how samurai existed.

The title of the movie, Last Samurai, is somewhat odd; to the Japanese, there's no "last samurai" or "first samurai", it's just a phase of historical development.
Some of them started thinking about what the first samurai would be like, it became a topic of drinking conversation.
The character (kanji) for samurai, is similar to the character which means "to wait", so he feels they may have similar meanings. The job of the samurai is to wait next to his lord, wait for a command.
To compare to western knights, in Japan they think about how they are different, and how they are the same. The western knight is a religious, holy type of position; depends on church and lord, has a sacred position, sacred calling, whereas the samurai changed drastically over the years, it never had a religious aspect in the beginning.

To introduce you to the beginning of Japanese samurai, go back to about the 3rd century when the island of Japan came into being as we know it today.  That original country/nation was formed by both native inhabitants, as well as people who migrated from the Korean penninsula.
Now japan has an emperor; current one is the 125th emperor; descendant of the original people who formed the nation of japan. The difference between legendary history of Japan and the true history; by legend, he's  the actual descendent, but not actually  necessarily the true descendant.

In about the seventh century, the imperial army came in (originally only the western half of the japanese islands, not the whole thing)--in that period, first called the island "Nihon", the "source of the sun".  The imperial
military at the time weren't samurai.  The army of that period came from China, much like roman infantry, came in large groups, crushed by sheer force.
As compared to classical samurai bow, which is tall, like longbow; the military bows were much smaller, more like a classic bow.
In 8th century, Kyoto became capital of the country.  At this time, many of the royalty/nobles had gained money and wealth, they came to dislike war, as it threatened their wealth.
They used military to quench rumours of war before any outbreaks actually occurred. but because military is expensive to maintain, they eventually got rid of it entirely.  They were able to do this because they'd already crushed all resistance and opposition on the island (couldn't really happen in Europe or other western areas)

They still had influence from China and Korean penninsula; but it was good relation, so they didn't really feel the need to have a military.  At that point, made it illegal for anyone in the country to carry weapons, except for some law enforcement agents, like police, who were allowed to carry weapons.  These law enforcement agents who could carry weapons are the first ones who would become the samurai.  Even in Japan, and rest of world, we think of them as military; but they're more like law enforcement personnel--like SWAT team, only
used in emergencies.

What he's wearing now is a model of the type of armour they would wear.  They wore this type of armour, were generally mounted, and their weapon of choice was a longbow, over two metres in length.  But limits of armour and size of bow restrict him to shooting from one side of the horse only, can't swing bow across the horse.  Obviously, a wartime person would want to be able to attack from any side; but they could only attack via the left side.  The reason they came to be like this, as opposed to a war where enemies are coming from all sides, they were going after law breakers, and generally could go after them one on one, facing just one way.
Generally, left side made of iron, right side would be made of leather.  Left side was more protected, since that was the  direction they fired.

Even though they carried a katana, a longsword, in general they preferred the bow; the sword was a fallback weapon.  This particular person was especially good mounted, and with a bow; a mounted archer.

Moving into the 10th century, Taida Masakago?, generally considered the first samurai. Taida Masatiado?  was a famous person in Japan, part of a rebel force, but since he was killed when his rebellion was crushed, he had no descendants and his line didn't continue.
If you want to consider the line of the samurai, the family through to Watanabe in Last samurai, you have to follow another man, Minamoto Yoshie.  Minamoto Yoshie, in 1083, he was called to leave Kyoto and quell the rebel forces in the north.  Even though he was victorious, he didn't get
paid for his services.  Rather than telling his underlings the government wasn't going to pay them, he paid them out of his own pocket.
Obviously, unusual thing to do, all his subordinates thought of him as their leader, rather than following the emperor, started to look to him as the head of the samurai.
Yoshie was an outstanding person, born in Osaka, near Kyoto; there's a hiking trail Hachimanjinja, 80,000 shrines, a path that goes past many shrines in Japan; he hiked that path for his coming of age ceremony at 20
in Japan.
Yoshie is his real name, Hachimantaro is his nickname because he hiked that trail.  He's the guardian angel of the samurai, and the guardian of their line and way of life.

Obviously, the name he got, Hachimantaro was for hiking the trail before he want to the north.  The shrines and temples along the trip/tour aren't specifically shinto, nor budhist, a mix of them.  They're dedicatd to 3 gods;
One, Desu?, is a woman.  Often in many anime, there are female warrior
types; this female goddess was a warrior goddess, might be an inspiration for those figures in anime.

Obviously the samurai style we're familiar with hadn't developed yet at this point.  Yoshie and his followers, his troops, were to go to the northern countries and quell the natives who weren't yet part of the nation.
A lot of parts of what you see in traditional samurai style actually comes from the natives which they were sent to crush.  So even though we think of samurai as a traditional style, it's not the imperial Japanese style, it's more the style that came from the natives.  Like if Custer had taken the style of the Indians he had been sent to kill as his own, we would think our federal troops in a different style.  :)

Because the royalty/nobles at the time had adopted the idea that war was a bad idea, they were just using Yoshie to carry out their goals.  Yoshie really didn't like the nobles hiring him, he started to feel more for the people he went to crush, which is why he began adopting more and more of their style.

About 200 years after Yoshie is when you see the formation of a ruling samurai governance, when the ruling class began  using the samurai to preserve their rule.

This government (samurai controlled) was different from the Kyoto controlled imperial government.  They weren't trying to rebel  against Kyoto, they just wanted their own independent governance.
The leader of the new samurai ruling group is the seitaishodono?
that same name is carried down through the years, everyone who became leader adopted the same name.
Obviously we've heard of Shogun, which is used in Japan and now in Western world; came from seitaishogun, has same character and nature.

In the 1800s, with the advent of Captain Perry, that initiated the downfall and the end of the samurai period.  

Even though he's just covered a period of about 800 years very quickly, he's wanting to move forward so he has some time for some questions.

Q.  What was the name of the goddess he referenced earlier?
A. Jingukogo is the name of the goddess he was talking about earlier.  According to legend, she had a child named Ojin; some debate about wheether that person  existed, supposedly she gave birth to the 15th emperor.

Q. Taida no Masakado as the first samurai?  What made him different from Saika no Tamuraro?
A. Major difference, is the time period mentioned; Saika lived when Kyoto still had an army consisting mostly of infantry;  Taida came when the army was disbanded, and they had a law enforcement class that was NOT royalty, was made up of ordinary citizens.

Another difference he points out; Minamoto, rather then sending out a huge army to go crush the opposition, instead they sent out small groups, like family groups, they'd stay there to maintain the peace afterwards.

Q. Are the Taida and Minamoto families he mentioned the same families that fought later in the Gidaijeki period?
A. Yes, they are related.  During the earlier time, they were doing the same work, no real enimity; 100, 200 years later, the families became enemies; Minamoto family won, their line continued.

Q. During peak of Shogunate, weren't there many warring warlords, each controlling small part of the country?  Who actually "ran" Japan, the emperor or the warring warlords?
A. Depending upon the time period, the level of power shifted; sometimes emperor had more power, sometimes the samurai.  From early period to about 1400s, the samurai power increased.  Mid 1400s, samurai reached peak; then they started to decline again.  During 1400s, China had more relations with Japan; China had an imperial ruler; a letter he sent gave Japanese emperor more power over the samurai.

Q. How important were massed infantrymen during that period?
A. Basically, when the royals founded the capital around kyoto, and abolished war and weapons, they didn't pay infantrymen, so they all quit; so nobody tried doing massed infantryman technique.  It wasn't until nearly the 15th centrury when that became an issue again.

Q. What were some of the things Minamoto picked up from the native people he went to quell in the north?
A. Basically, almost the entire outfit you see, the style of the armour was taken from northern Japanese natives.  Exactly how the armour came into being isn't known, the beginnings of the samurai aren't very well known.  Traditional colour style would be dark base like black, with bright trim like gold; that continued all the way through.  In Kyoto, used many different colours, produced vibrant colours and images. So style and colour schemes were what were borrowed from the northern natives.
Another thing unique about samurai is that they ride horses; in Kyoto, they were infantry,  so the ability to ride horses was borrowed from  the northern natives.  Also the katana, the sword was from northern natives; theirs was slightly smaller.  But because of Chinese influence that was
prevalent in imperial portion in the south, they  used a straight sword, as opposed to the curved katana of the northern natives.

Q. Is Yamaga-san's samurai armour recreated entirely using anime materials from shows produced by Studio Gainax?
A. Mochiron!  Of course, since he will be wearing it to cosplay at their company party, the anime material used to make the armour only features studio Gainax shows.

The panel wraps up at 2108 hours Pacific Time.


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Notes from 2006 Guest of Honor panels
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2006, 06:41:23 AM »

Quote from: "Pimpstress Rei"
I <3 my publications staff!

They're so freakin awesome!

Awwww....*bright blush*  ^_^;;

Just wanted to share some of the notes I took.  I fell asleep last night before posting all of them, so here come the rest of the notes now.  :)


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2006.05.27 Ric Meyers Kung Fu panel
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2006, 06:58:37 AM »

2006.05.27 Ric Meyers Kung Fu panel

He'll be showing clips from movies that are like anime, or made from manga like anime, using similar styles and techniques, espeically in Korea which is taking over the animation industry.

Arahon is the first example clip he shows--a young girl with very superheroish powers involved in fight sequences that look very much like they were lifted straight out of an anime series.  It was actually adopted  from a manwha, which is the name for Chinese and Korean comics, similar to the term manga in Japanese.

In the later clip, the anime influences  are unmistakeable, as they fight with psionic power, levitating rocks and flinging them at each other.
The impressive fighter in that clip is Aurahon?, he's the 'dean' of Korean
actors right now.

Many live-action adapations from Japanese animation are being done now, including Initial D, which pulls material from the Japanese arcade game, the manga, and the anime.

First, a bit more background around who Ric Meyers is: He's the first non-martial artist ever inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, he's written or co-written several books on the subject including "The Encyclopedia of Martial Arts Movies", he's a columnist for "Inside Kung Fu"
magazine, he created the fanzine  "Martial Arts Movie Associates" (MAMA), he's a professor at Bridgeport university in their martial arts studies degree program.
This is his seventh year doing this, does it every year at San Diego ComicCon in front of 2000 people where it's usually a three hour panel; he'll try to squeeze it down to 90 minutes tonight.

He shows one of the mountain race scenes from Initial D to highlight how well they've adapted the anime stylings in live action.

One of his favorite samurai flicks is based off the famous manga series "Lone Wolf and Cub"; he shows clips from the fifth in the series of movies made from it, which is "Baby cart  in the land of demons"(?).  It's the fifth in the series of movies by Wakayama Tosuboro with Kenji Musume; Ric considers him the greatest samurai director ever; an absolutely brilliant artist with his films.  Of course, every samurai movie is an attack on the Bushido code, but this sequence at least is perfectly done.  It's the last fight  sequence of the film, and is of course the  best fight scene; it shows how samurai swords were really used.  There were six movies made in total base on the series; the TV series, however, cast a much more handsome actor for the character but didn't have the same incredible technique.

The films are available from Drunken Master,  booth 300 in the dealer's room, who are helping by sponsoring this event.

Recently, with kung fu films, the great ones are like gene kelly movies; these are suprahero  movies, where the artists have gone as far as you can go as a human, pushing the human body to its limits of performance.

Every year, they honor the greatest martial arts choreographers--somewhat like an Oscarin that field; he will showcase the five nominees with some of their best work.

Lu Chieh Liang, made best movies ever; he stars  in it, along with his blood brother, and adopted brother, rest of his family are in it as well.
In this fight sequence with Gordon Liu (who you might recognize from the Crazy 88 in Kill Bill), they fight with  all of the legendary 18 weapons of kung fu.  The fight involves the mo shan, or mao shan, who are the predecessors of the Japanese Ninja; the ninjas were full of guilt based on their culture--they had no place on earth or in heaven; the mao shan suffered from no such guilt.  They were magical spies and assasins, and are featured predomanantly in this movie.

Hong Gar, or Hong Family Fist is the specialty of master Go.
Some of the 18 legendary weapons shown in this fight sequence are:
three sectioned staff
pie(?) sword
three pronged fork
three section chain
two crutches
two daggers
monk`s spade
double sword/two sword technique
straight sparring
Tieh Hau

Master Lau is a teacher who refused to sacrifice his students against the challenge of modern weaponry.  In real life he's just incredible, having beaten cancer, he's in the new Tsui Hark movie, seven stars/swords?

Yun Wu Ping? helped made Jackie Chan a star; Ric shows us one of the most famous scenes.
kwan tan fei? [Ric tosses out names faster than I can figure out who they are]
Jet Li/Jackie Chan have both played the character.   He plays a wise, Confucian character.  

Not sure if they translate the caligraphy or not, just so you know, at the end it says "the man of virtue is invicible".  Scene is from "Magnificient Butcher"; the bad guy is shown running through moves representing each of the planets, very heavy in the crane/tiger mode of fighting.

Quan Tan Kung?, was 66 years old when making this--look at how strong and flexible he still is.
Wang Fei Hong theme music playing in the background is very famous, used in different movies whenever that character is used.

The subtitling is done poorly there; he really says "if you can finish the piece of paper, I'll carry your shoes"--hence the significance of throwing the shoe back at the end.

subtitling vs dubbing wil be the topic of another panel coming up on Sunday or Monday--come hear Ric gripe about that topic for more informative factoids.

Wing Chung style used by Wan Fei Hong was created by a woman--you'll notice it's the style Jackie Chan uses as well--more fluid, fewer harsh poses, compared to the tiger  and crane techniques.

Next up is an absolutely incredible fight scene in Hero between Jet Li and Donnie Yen; they absolutely had to beat the fight scenes from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" since the actors in CTHD aren't martial artists, and both Jet Li and Donnie Yen are great martial artists.
Great example of art of ching su don; they wanted to showcase real martial artists, and the idea of the 'fight of the mind', where the fight is played out in each person's mind, and possibilities are tested before either moves the first muscle.

ching su dong, doesn't want to become famous in US; doing TV shows like
storm riders, and storm riders wind and cloud.  Some wirework, etc., but still a great stage director.
vincent zhao, replaced jet li in once upon a time in china also did house of fury, later movie, and hun wu ping.

There was some concern about where hong kong cinema was going, but there's a new generation of people growing up and working on choreographing things like House of Fury, so things aren't as bad as they once seemed.

Q. How many of 18 weapons were historically taught?
A. Generally martial arts, kung fu was passed down within houses.  kung fu meant simply hard  work.  It was all about channelling your  excellence and your chi; about being healthy.  Destroying everyone around you came as a side  effect of the study.  The families taught strategies, passed them down, found that different styles worked at different times in life.
Arguments exist around the translations of  texts on kung fu, they may be poorly translated  over time, so training may have diverged over time from one original source into different  styles.  

Ching Su Dong superhero work, much of it is based on Chinese Manwha. Sammo Hung, also in last clip?

Jackie Chan was last of the nominees for best choreographer.
The Myth is his most recent movie, he's in his 50s now.  He thinks of himself as a filmmaker, a performer, not a martial artist.

You can see some of his really good fighing scenes, especially focusing on his style in armor of god 1, 2, 3
One scene Ric showed took place in India, in a glue factory--rat traps filled with super powerful glue.

The overall winner was Donnie Yen, Ric shows clips from SPL, sho ping long?,   Donnie choreographed and acted in it, very
Sammo Hung acted in it as well, and also Jackie Yu Wing? as the hit man.
Ric shows the last two fights, best knife  vs short pole fight he's ever seen.

The final fight in SPL...
Between 1993 to 2003, HK film industry couldn't seem to do anything right, now it's starting to see a resurgence.
Sammy Hung still looks great in the fight; he's in his late 50's, he's really fat, and he still kicks ass.

bao sinh mak?, he's trained with chinese tai chi team. [not sure which person this was in reference to]

Q. Wirework, how far back does it go?
A. back to the very beginnings of  hong kong films first in wusha, heroic literature, super heroic. then also gravity based kung fu.

Chinese audience has seen nearly 50 years of this, they start taking kung fu for granted.

Sammo Hung films at 18 frames a second, but he makes sure nothing in the background  looks too fast, so his scenes all flow well.  The cinematographers are martial artists as well, so they can follow the movement, unlike Bale in Batman returns, where he can't even move his head quickly enough to follow the movements.

Donny maintains that final fight was filmed  at 24 frames per second; no speedups.    He jumps and kicks three times in the air without landing, he's very proud of that.  Jet Li uses the same signature move.

Jackie and Sammo like doing 21 frames, 22 frames, etc. to get a slight speedup to their movements.

Q. Do you have a website up with all this information on it?
A. Ric hasn't put up a website yet, he's been meaning to, but he gets beaten up online so much already...  :D

Sammo Hung is wonderful at introducing wires without ever making them intrusive.  "Fearless" is just the opposite, it use  wires unnecessarily; Jet Li is starting  to use them, he's already in his 40s.

Martial arts in movies is becoming far  too exaggerated; real strengths are less flashy, less visible.  World tai chi push hands champion, hard to bring traditional martial arts to the film. great tai chi is devastating martial arts
when externalized.

Alec Baldwin movie in china?  36 chambers of shaolin, he makes whole movies around martial arts.

Hero uses exaggeration to tell truths about martial arts.
Martial arts in america: Karate Kid is a true indication of problem; it's about ego, rather than about excellence of self.  The original Karate Kid was all about the McKungFu  money-for-belt-colour problem that has been getting worse and worse in America.

Jackie Wu Zing was the one in the white suit in that last clip.  He's a master of tai chi, he does the best tai chi ever put on screen--he does mostly TV now.  He trained in the same schools as Jet Li and Donnie Yen.

The "silent flute" was a Bruce Lee concept, then they put David Carradine in it, who is not a martial artist.  It was near the worst period  of David Carradine's life, "kung fu" was supposed to have been written for Bruce Li.

Q. Any north american release dates?
A. house of fury is already out.   SPL was bought by weinstein group.  dragon dynasty dvds, hero, are both shelved  right now.
2 dvd remastered, fist of the master, jet li remake of fist of fury with bruce li

fist of legend, most important line taken out in US release.  Souji tells Jet Li, "if you want to win a fight, bring a gun; the real purpose of fighting is pursuit of self improvement."

Yet another reason to avoid getting dubbed  kung fu!

He'll be doing another panel tomorrow, and a subtitling vs dubbing panel on Monday; er,  tomorrow's panel is on bootlegging.

Panel wraps up at 2246 hours Pacific Time


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2006.05.28 Robotech update panel
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2006, 07:08:40 AM »

2006.05.28 Robotech panel
Presented by Steve Yun

He starts by showing some clips of the upcoming "Shadow Chronicles" movie.

First clip: standard press release/sales clip, was shown at NATPE, which is a conference at which TV stations gather and producers show what they're trying  to sell for the upcoming year.

TV commercials are being made now for the DVD release.

The UN had their 60th anniversary this year, and they asked various people/groups,  including U2, the Smurfs, and other celebrities to do PSA's (Public Service Announcements) talking about the importance of the United Nations.  Harmony Gold was asked to do one using the Robotech characters, so they did.

Unfortunately, the copy Steve grabbed when heading for the show was the Spanish version, so the audience had to make do with audience provided translations as it went along.

Next up, he played an intense action sequence; midway through it the very recognizable sound of Mark Hamill's voice showed up playing the part of Commander Taylor.

Steve took questions from the audience as he went along, with no formal Q and A section to the panel.

Q. Do you know when DVD will come out in the US?  It seems to have been in  negotiations for almost a year, and there was a Newtype blurb last year that said it would be released Christmas 2005.
A.  It's really aimed to be released this year; the studio/distributor they were working with wanted the rights to not release it if they wanted; they couldn't agree to sign that contract.  The good news is they're very, very close to finalizing terms with another distributor.

Q.  Will this wrap it up for the Robotech story?
A. This is the first in a series of 3 or 4 films, they have an outline for the next 3 or four films which would be spaced out over the next five years or so.

Q. How long will film be?
A. About 88 minutes, slightly longer than a Disney film.

Q. How much time has elapsed between the end of the original series and the movie?
A. The movie starts with the Battle of Invid at the end of the Robotech series; so a bit of the movie is recap of the end of Robotech, and we again see Scott Bernard fly off to search for Rick Hunter; this eases unfamiliar audience members into the Robotech universe gently.

Q. Who will be doing the voices?
A. Greg Sneghoff, Scott Bernard is back, Tony Oliver is Rick Hunter, he's back.  Yuri Lowenthal...Grant and Ben Dixon will be reprising their role.

Q. Who did the character designs?
A. Character design were done by Tommy Yoon, originally from Wildstorm studios, and by Long vo? At Gaia online, you can see some of his designs there as well.

Q. Will DVD just have English voices?
A. No, they're planning to release in Latin America, they have more Spanish fans than English fans.  Jesus Barero will be back, original Scott Bernard, they're working on assembling the original Spanish cast again.  May release to Japan later, but the first release will be English/Spanish.

Q. Will it incoporate incircle (novel)?
A. They ignored the novels, decided to take it in a different direction.

Q. Any toys coming out with it?  
A. Can't comment on that now.

Q. Sentinels movie, any plans to release it on DVD?
A. It's on the extras disk with the ADV Protocolture collection.  Or, you can also just buy DVD 3 of the Legends collection to get it.

Q. Will we see Dana or not?
A. Can't say at this time.

Q. How did they juxtapose this story with the story of The Sentinels?
A. The story takes place about 10 years after Sentinels, so not much overlap.   But they did try to keep it open so that fans won't have too much confusion.

Q. Will all of the movies keep the Shadow Chronicles byline?
A. Not sure what the future titles will be; will they all be "Shadow Chronicles"?  Probably not.

Q. Will story still center around Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes?
A. Yes.

Q. SDF 3 design, is it the same?
A. It's like the Star Trek Enterprise from the movies; slightly updated, but still mostly recognizable.

Oh, speaking of Star Trek, Chase Masterson from DS9 will be in it as well.

It was screened for the first time at Cannes by the same audience that booed DaVinci Code.  70% full audience.  Nobody walked out of the Shadow Chronicles, and they applauded at the end, so that's a good sense of how well it will be received.  The fact they were there probably means they know what anime is, and were interested in buying it.

Q. Why wasn't it screened at this con?
A. not sure, he doesn't control that, it's up to the higher powers.

Q. Will they use the old songs?
A. Yes, there will be some of the same themes,  but re-orchestrated, and there will be new  themes mixed in.  Like in Superman returns, where 2/3 of the music is new, but most of the trailers use the original John Williams music; they've been updating music on each subsequent trailer to get people used to the new music.  Scott Glasgow, worked on several movies as a Hollywood composer.  Worked on the Grudge movie, the Praugue symphony is doing the music as well; twice as large as original orchestra.

Q. If this dos become a series of  movies, will the veritechs get updated?
A. Yeah, probably.

Q. will there be a Masterpiece hovercraft?
A. Up to toynami, they pick which pieces will be featured in the accompanying toy line.

Q. Are they working on a Beta fighter for  the series of toys?
A. Yes, they will make an Alpha fighter and a Beta fighter, and yes, they will mate.

Macross 2 and macross plus came to US, then the issue went to court, now it's still frozen, so licensing issues can get thorny at times.  Who has seen macross zero?  Most of the room.

Q. Who is better, Roy or Max?  
A. Well, one lived, one didn't.

Q. If this does well, might they do a southern cross to new generation bridge, to see what happens with those characters?
A. Shadow Chronicles movies will keep them busy for the next five years or so; but maybe in the future after the Shadow Chronicles series.

Q. Internships?
A. Nope, sorry.

Q. Palladium book, Robotech Sentinels 2, non-piloted Invid drones, will they be seen?
A. Those designs were in the past.  Designs seen in the movie will be new Invid designs.

Q. What kind of release schedules for additional movies?
A. Probably about 2 years between them, they haven't planned them all out yet.

Q. Has work started yet on the next movie?
A. Just story work, can't say much beyond that.

They have pins, and Hero Factory is developing a card game, they have beta decks here; you can only get them if you're really going to give feedback.

Panel wraps up at 1441 hours Pacific Time.


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2006.05.28 Gilles Poitras panel, Anime Intellectual
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2006, 07:30:26 AM »

2006.05.28 Gilles Poitras Panel

[Matt enters slightly late after running from a previous panel on the other end of the convention hall, so notes begin mid-sentence]

...Newtype USA started putting out their publications, he knew Jonaathan Clements, he's an associate editor for Newtype USA;  Jon thanked him for his kind words, then a regular editor offered him a column.
His column is "Below the Surface"; he's working on column 40 about puns in Maison  Ikkoku, (box 8 comes out July 4th, start  buying it up now!).  It's an interesting  case; Takahashi Rumiko, one continuous story with a definite ending, 96 episodes, her only story that has a definiteending.
Viz put out a redub, then put out the sub, then they said no more redubs, they can only sell subs; VHS redubs stopped; so when they went to DVDs, they needed to track down the voice casts to finish up the series.
Similarly, Ranma was staggered, where dub came out, 3 months later, subtitled version came out; when it got popular, took a year and a half for the subs to came out.  He stopped collecting it at that  point.

Maison Ikkoku is the most detail-dense series you'll find about modern life in Japan.  For example, even  the character names hold meaning:
Ichinose (ichi, lives in room 1)
Yotsuya (yon, lives in room 4)
Godai (go, lives in room 5)
Ikemi Roppongi, bartender, lives in room 6
Roppongi is famous for its many bars, so of course she's a bartender.  :)

It's a beautifully done, fun story, but that's a side story, it's his favorite series.
He watches anime for fun, then goes back and takes detailed notes.  If he sees a particular food, or locality, or landmark, or government agency, landmark, or any other identifiable object, he writes it down.

In episode 4, for example, Soichiro was said to be as handsome as Tomasaburo Bando the Kabuki actor; later, he started doing some research on Bando, and now he can refer back to that episode with better understanding.  (Bando played the wife of priest and dragon princess both in a movie.)
He got into Kabuki because he saw so many refrences to Kabuki in series; charactes striking mies, for example.
Bentsenkodo?, a group of thieves from Kabuki show up in Lupin the 3rd as well, for example.

Foods are another good set of details.  Buildings are more challenging, but sometims you can spot specific buildings that can be identified.

Tokyo bridges are other good landmarks; but there's 3000 bridges in the city--a web of canals and rivers.  They were for flood control and defense of the shogun's castle.  You learn so much about Japanese history in looking up details shown in manga and anime!
Anime and Manga give more details about Japanese history and culture than any other genre.

Q. What were you doing when you were doing this on usenet?
A He's a librarian, so he was just collecting anime notes that were of interest to him.

Q. Examples of intellectual anime?
A. Rouroni Kenshin first series, "Trust and Betrayal."  Almost everyone but Kenshin and Tomoe are actual  historical figures; also one of the best samurai  flicks.
Mamoru Oshii, first 2 Patlabour movies, first 2 Ghost in the Shell movies Avalon, his live action film is good too.  He tends to think of high quality first, intellectual pedigree second.

Then there's the junk, the grade B movies:  Wild 7, Goku Midnight Eye, some really crude stuff.

Some anime is just trash--some series you just waste time of your life watching them.
Q. Examples?
A. Technolyze, a series that goes nowhere;  Blue Gender goes downhill as well.   Don't bother with them.

Look at them as a branch of cinema; the only US studio that does that much in terms of cinematics is Pixar.  Wishes more people would do it.

Q. Have any us company done comperable work?
A. Justice Kids stuff, Teen Titans, saw some interesting character interactions there.  They need to have shows with definite end, with each chapter being a part of a story, and break away from the never-ending, episodic model US animation tends to follow.

Sazae-san, started in 60s, still hasn't ended; even though the author has been dead for 30 years.  Dragonball went on way too long.
Ranma could have been half the length it was, and probably would have been a better story.
Adventure of the week period is fading out; the single story format is more useful.

Anime series have character development as they progress.  Most of them run their course, and then stop; the characters have a beginning, they develop and change, and then there's an ending, and the audience can move on to a different story.

Channel 26/8 shows subtitled live action Japanese TV shows, the 3 month or 6 month shows, like a chef with conflicts or stewardess detectives, or the family bathhouse; good live action stories; it's a format that really works.

Naruto and Bleach, they're not ending it, they're branching out from the manga, making up stuff.  
Q. Is that japan taking on US values?
A.  More likely it's that the series is catching up with the manga, so they're trying to fill time--more likely the latter, they're filling time because they've outpaced thd manga.

The "Trust and Betrayal" story was told as a flashback in Kenshin, because they already had manga source for that; a better way of handling reaching the same point as the managa without having to make up random material.

Ignore the Samurai X motion picture, only watch the "trust and betrayal" series of samurai X.

In Japan they're more likely to end a series, and then pick the characters back up for a second series, rather than move into a neverending story of the day mode.

Kinpachii-senpai is one that is classic; he teaches homeroom for the last year of junior high; it's a really stressful time.  In their last year, they have to take exams for high school; only required to go through jr high, so very, very stressful for those that want to continue.
Kinpachii deals with that, and the conflicts and the problems the students face.  In one story, a girl has a gender identity disorder; she made a decision to become a boy; but she's 15, and so the doctor told her she had to wait another 5 years. She ultimately ends up deciding to tell her class about her decision.
In another scene, there's some other gems that reflect Japanese culture that can easily be missed unless you understand some of the background.  The school nurse  is warning the students about about STDs, and the teacher starts crying--what you're supposed to realize is that she's still single, and is getting older, and is upset that her students are getting warnings about something she isn't in a position to have to worry about.
Plus, there's several cute GTO references.  :)

Other stuff to watch: Taiga, current historical drama on NHK.  NHK is the Japanese public television network; they pick a person or group to showcase; they're very good at trying to make it as authentic as possible; for example, in a recent series, they managed to find an actor who could put his whole fist in his mouth, which was something the leaader of the Shinsengumi was famous for being able to do.

Their current story is about a ronin with 2 vassals, who served with the shinsengumi, then shifted to...?
It shows at 9:30pm on channel 26, saturday nights.

One of the recent shows highlighted the importance of samurai wives sharing gossip.  It was very much an intelligence network, they passed information along.  In many cases wives knew more than their husbands.

The shows go one year, then they end; a wonderful model for shows.

Q. what series are good to watch?
A. He usually waits until series comes out in US before following series.  Second Gunbuster series really needs to be licensed.  Kamichu is interesting, she takes a ferry to school; first DVD is just about to come out, it's like if Ghibli did a TV series.
And Angel Heart--it's a sequel to City Hunter, but City Hunter didn't do so well, so not likely to get licensed.
The main character is a gun for hire, his occupation is thus illegal; he's a skilled, strong, lecherous idiot.  He's Ataru from Urusei Yatsura grown up with a gun,  basically.
City hunter is a good show about day to day life, about bars, gangsters, foods, life on the streets.  At one point he's being hounded by an undercover cop, and he takes the guy to a transvestite bar.
City Hunter the movie is great too; at a hostess club if you're a regular customer, they keep a tab for you while serving ou drinks.  While he runs up a big tab,  the hostess is responsible for his tab.  When he says he's unable to pay, the hostesses decide to take it out of him...in flesh.  Very fun stuff!
It ran for four seasons, 2 long, 2 short, and then had some movies.
The manga is a bit more graphical; in the TV show,  they trimmed out the obvious erection jokes like the newspaper floating at waist height.
One story per week, but they have an undercurrent, ongoing story, and the story progresses; characters you care about die as the series progresses.
He'd really like to see the sequel, Angel Heart, come out in the US.

He also likes stories with historical value; Rouroni Kenshin, for example.
Otogii Zoshii takes place in the Heian period for the  first half, and they even coined the term Hitogizoshii stories about it.

Peacemaker Kurogane is another good series.  Peacemaker is about a young boy who joins the Shinsengumi; the main character in Peacemaker is one  of the few Shinsengumi who survived, made it all the way to Hokkaido.  His lieutenant, Hijikata ordered him to take documents south at swordpoint, which is the only reason he survived.  Again, most of the characters are based on real historical figures.

Another one he likes, but can't remember the title takes place in modern times, but with the spirits of ancient warriors.
Matt suggests he might be thinking about "Mirage of Blaze"; Gilles quickly concurs.
It's about Senjokujidai warrior spirits that are ordered to come back; in the realm of spirits, they are trying to conquer specific parts of the territory; the spirits  are trying to get control of that area in the real world as well.  They're not reincarnated, they expel the original person's soul at birth, and take over the body at adolescence.  One spirit is resisting taking over his host body.
While Odu Nobunaga isn't directly in it, his followers are doing some fighting in it.  A bunch of other historical warriors are also
mentioned in it.

Q.  Why does animation thrive so well in Japan vs other countries?
A. Japan never had the late 40s suppression of comics that the US had; girls comics were squashed during that period, because it allowed for relationships which could lead to sexuality.  In japan, was considered for kids, lowbrow entertainment, by the time the 60s arrived, it was too late for any contention.  They had segregated adult comics and children's comics, so there was no confusion, no concern for who might be reading them.
Tetsuwan Atom helped grow the age base upwards.
Also the manga side was getting more diverse in the age groups it was aiming for, so anime ended following suit.
Gundam was cut short because the way they measured popularity was how well toys sold.  High viewership on reruns, more popular with high school and college, that's why kid's toys weren't selling.  But the model kits sold like hotcakes.
It had a serious war angle, so other people doing series started to follow suit, like Battle Aura Dunbine.
That diversification continued, until now when it's become the most diverse genre.

Q. Do you have suggestions for other really unusual anime, like Yokohama Shopping Log?
A. Angel's Egg, Mamoru Oshii film; it has a total of five minutes of dialog; first words are spoken 26 minutes into it.  You follow it through images, rather  than words; it's very cerebral.
Audience member suggests Aria, YKK crossovers.
Gilles continues by noting he looks for classic literary works; Black Lizard is finally out in english.
mastermind criminal figures are good too...
One great actor plays the mother wolf in Mononoke Hime,  and the Witch of the Waste in Howl's Moving Castle;  he also plays a mistress in another movie; he does a wonderful job.  Gilles knows a friend of his.
Also look for "Anime Classics of Japanese Literature."

Princess Nine is another good one; it's about a high school baseball team; on Japanese TV for girls.

Nadia, on NHK, by Gainax.
CCS was an NHK production.
Nice thing about NHK is you don't have to please sponsors!
Whispers of the Heart/Omoide Poroporo? is also good.
"Cockpit" is released by ADV, it's 3 stories set in WWII by Leiji Matsumoto--get the DVD and watch the directors' interviews.

Cream Lemon erotic anime--it's very literary, actually, except for the climax.  Onii cycle is only available in Japanese.  lolicious is a website that had a fansubbed translation of one episode of the series.

Doomed Megalopolis is quite good.  Make sure you get the sub release though--the dubs butchered it horribly.

Escaflowne was an interesting crossover blend of shonen and shojou.  He feels the TV series is better.  Movie is more masculine, TV series is more feminine.

Ghost in the shell TV series; watch for gestures!  Even innocent hand motions in one chat room are echoed in the real world later as an interesting clue to character identities.

GTO manga is good; TV series is OK; the live action is licensed for US, also good.

Here is Greenwood--may be first shoujo anime ever subtitled.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, the TV series is also excellent.

Gunbuster/Daibuster series.  Don't watch the second unless you've seen the first one, it won't be as comprehensible.  Different flow to it.

Nadia has references to Yamato, as well as precursors of Evangelion.

Kaze no Yojimbo; it's a mystery story about a  small town in Japan.  Produced by Akira Kurosawa's  company.  It's released in the US now.

He has a recommended title list on his website; he likes to wait until a series has been completed before finishing it.
(website is http://www.koyagi.com/ )

Q. You like Mamouru Oshii, and Miyazaki; aren't they in competition?  
A. Takahara is also great, other part of the Ghibli team.  Ghost in the shell Innocence was funded by Ghibli, you know.  Suzuki-san funded it.  Very interesting relationships.  Ghibli and Gainax have done work for each other as well; the staff overlaps; Ano started with studio Ghibli, for example.  The industry as a whole is friendly-competitive, in that they all work together and help out on projects, while at the same time challenging each other to do better.

Panel runs out of time, next group needs to come in and set up; again, his website is

Panel wraps up at 1702 hours Pacific Time.


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2006.05.28 Cosplay spectacular notes
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2006, 07:39:38 AM »

(this wasn't a panel, but I was still jotting notes down during the cosplay spectacular in order to be able to do a wrap-up report for the newsletter--so these are my notes for the article)

Masquerade Madness!
The 2006 Fanime Masquerade started off with a bang with an impressive video segment put together by Travelling Valentine, showcasing scenes from previous Fanime conventions, reminding everyone why we attend these incredible weekends.
Next, Amanda Holling, the winner of the 2006 karaoke contest performed an absolutely spot-on rendition of "Hemisphere" from Rah Xephon.
Following that, a wonderful demonstration of martial arts moves was put on by Tom Lu Kick? of San Jose.  [I apologize for not knowing their correct name, but I  couldn't find any printed reference to them.]
After that came the cosplay and masquerade performances, and they were stunning!  This year's performers again pushed the envelope, both in terms of quality of craftsmanship, as well as in creativity in their performances.
Vocalist Mayu again performed the halftime show, this time backed up by Eugene and JC, her musical accompaniment.
"Lost in Translation" performed an amazing combination of live action and computer generated graphics, setting a technical bar that's sure to be hard to match for years to come.  In the super-cute category, the iPlay team performed a PuyoPuyo! skit that drew cheers from the audience.  Finally, USA Musume wrapped up the cosplay segment with an energetic pair of performances.
The AMV winners were shown, and among them were some stunning works that again raised the bar for future entries.  The Viewer's Choice in the Drama category, in particular, impressed many attendees with its careful blending of material from both the anime and manga for Fruits Basket, using identical scenes from both sources together in such harmony and with such impact it left few dry eyes in the house.
The night wrapped up with the presentation of awards to the Masquerade performers by the judges [I'm sure I'm slaughtering their names, so I apologize in advance]  The judges for the event were Wayne Kau, Chris Chu, Wayne Carter, and Jenny Newman--a huge round of thanks to them, even if I got their names wrong, for helping make the show a success.  Winner of the overall Best In Show was HCC Cosplay with their incredible rendering of Takarazuka's Rose of Versailles characters.  
Congratulations to ALL the Masquerade contestants, and special thanks and congratulations to Marissa Price and her team for helping pull together a very successful event!


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2006.05.29 Closing Ceremony notes
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2006, 07:46:30 AM »

2006.05.29 Closing Ceremony Notes

Starts off with a cosplayer introducing a slideshow highlighting scenes from around the con, including lots of pictures of cosplayers, and a bunch of shots from musicfest, all the masquerade winners, etc.

Introduces the next person, Rob Miles; people might have seen him at "Late night with Rob Miles."  He gets the audience wound back up, and then starts the thank-you's.

First up is Kentaro Abe, head of guest relations. He introduces this year's Guests of Honor:
Ric Meyers
Gilles Poitras
Yamaga Hiroyuki
Mizushima Takahiro
Asami Sanada
Takamura Kazuhiro
Koga Ryoichi

The guests of honor join him on the stage for applause.

Then Ric Meyers takes the helm and leads everyone in the room through three sets of waves: first the audience, then the guests of honor on the stage.

Next up is Jason Ebner, director of programming.   This year, Fanime really cranked up the programming to a whole new level: jumped from 120 hours last year to 438 hours of  programming for this year's con.  Jason thanks the audience for their support of his new programming format, and thanks Sean Barber, who managed stage zero.  He put in 63 hours this weekend, worked straight through manning it, and just did an incredible job.

Tony Figueroa did MusicFest, he tracked all the bands down, kept track of them.  He put almost 70 hours in this weekend between stage one and the civic center.  There were 11 bands in two venues, and this was the first time we were able to let the audience in up close, able to almost touch the acts.  Kamijo was getting auctioned by rabid fangirls, apparently.

Stage Zero guests were ably handled by Sean, Jerry, and Oniko.  Jerry notes there were 325 hours of anime programming, 72 asian films in 3 rooms,   Thanks also to the woman who keeps Kentaro straight, Miho; if it weren't for her keeping her head on straight, who knows how things might have turned out.

He thanks Andy, his predecessor, for the honor of being able to take on such a big responsibility, as well as Aya Chow; now  the plan is to one-up the predecessors.

Kudos to the fashion show, it was cold in the room, but it was excellent!

Wil thanks the tech crews, the operations staff, the logistics staff is packing up, registration area is cleaning up their area.

Charity auction went well, the director of  marketing will speak about it.  Erica--the Second Harvest Food Bank was our charity of choice.  We raised $1416.63 at the charity auction as well as filling all the bins around the convention center.  Excellent work, everyone, and we think that this partnership is a good one.

Planning for Fanime 2007 is underway already!!

The feedback session will happen next, come up front, we'll collect input and use them to improve next year's Fanime.

With that, the closing ceremonies wrap up at 1548 hours Pacific Time.


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Notes from 2006 Guest of Honor panels
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2006, 08:05:35 AM »

Holy Wow!  :D Thanks for all the great notes; I couldn't make some of the panels and this is a great way to "be there" without well, you know, actually having been there.  :oops:
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Fanime Director of Guest Relations (1999-2005)

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Notes from 2006 Guest of Honor panels
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2006, 09:29:01 AM »

I didn't make any of em.  LoL  I was too busy running from one end of the convention center to the other to really watch em XD
FanimeCon 2006 - Panels Head
Now Rena's Panel's Slave


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2006.05.29 Feedback session notes
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2006, 12:41:18 PM »

(was debating about including this, then realized it was open for all attendees, so those who might not have been able to be present might still have been curious about what was said there).

2006.05.29 Feedback session notes


F: Please move artists alley back to where it was!
S: It was where it was because with stage zero there, would clog the walkway too much.  The artists alley was much bigger, and they could bring cooler stuff because they knew it would be locked up at night.  They might try having something in the hallway next year, but no guarantees.

F: Volunteer location was out in the middle of nowhere; it needed to be near to ConOps, nearer to the center of the action.
S: Well, Rob thinks needed it just needed to better advertised.
S: Matt disagrees, should be centrally located.

F: The artists' alley being where it was did attract some people, since it was like a small dealer's room.
F: Someone else disagreed, saying it limited who could see the material, fewer people circulated past it.  Having it out in the open, more people would get exposure.

S: Jason notes the first year, the artists didn't like being out in the open; too many walk-past people dissing the artists, and too much congestion with people trying to go past.
Jason notes the poll was about 50/50 with people supporting it.
Masato is an artist who has worked in artist's alley for years.  The artists want a space that is theirs, guaranteed.  No way to enforce space allotments in the open hallway.
He was able to get artists we wouldn't normally get because they were guaranteed their own place.
Also, other cool things like the Tea Ceremony could take place in it, and the Davis Kung Fu, stunt people, silicon valley judo?, all things that couldn't take place on stage zero or in the walkway.  This allowed us to use space that would otherwise go to waste.
New things are always met with resistance early on; let's give it another year or two and see how it works out.

F: People do note that the room wasn't exactly empty.  :)

F: Someone speaks up in support of the artist's hall the way it is.  There's more space, less people jostling past, bumping into the tables and into you while you try to look at the  artist's work on the tables.  And with the attendance growing, that'll be even more important.

F: Printed grid schedule, very detailed, but panel descriptions and name of presenter or presenters should have been available somewhere, hopefully with the schedule.
S: Jason apologizes for that.  Fluffy died.  Fluffy will be repaired.  [editorial comment-- are we sure it's worth repairing Fluffy?  We've already spent several thousand dollars repairing Fluffy, and she's already got 50,000 copies on her counter.  Perhaps we should outsource, or look at the long-term-ROI for a younger, less road-wearly copier?  --MNP]

F: Video rooms, having the set-top deinterlacers helped a lot, instead of directly hooking up the DVD player to the projector.

F: Someone else notes that the schedules listed with rooms were hard to see; would be nice to list ONLY the material being shown in that room, in larger print, instead of just having copies of the super-fine schedule grid posted.

F: Followup to that--one of the biggest problems was getting information disseminated.  Wasn't until about halfway through that things felt like they were starting to synch up.  Most issues felt like they were due to information problems, and information dissemination.

S: There were some definite challenges in that area, yes.
Marie apologizes for not having the schedules out in time; she understands the frustrations fans are feeling; this was our first year doing it, hopefully next year we'll be able to serve the members better.

S: Rob notes that automating registration process when fans arrived helped speed things up; once  programming is locked, it should be possible to  have a real-time copy at the information desks;  we could have have monitors at the info tables  showing the program grids as well, if possible.
S: There were a bunch of schedule changes that happened at the last minute, which added to the challenges.

F: Why not have the schedules showing on the TVs throughout the convention center--we had that last year, could we try it again next year?
S: The panels are now flat panels, and they're subcontracted out to an advertising firm, and they're very expensive, so we're not sure what we can do, as we can't control them, and purchasing time on them is expensive.

F: Times--so many things were happening at the  same times--can the scheduling be arranged so things don't overlap?
S: Susan wanted the time for yaoi night at the same time as masquerade, for the example, to give fans a choice, rather than being bored if everything closed down during the masquerade.

S: Jason asked how many people enjoyed the late night panels?  People did appreciate the longer hours.  But if he clears everything out during AMVs and Masquerade, there will be several unhappy people.
jason@fanime.com, feel free to volunteer to be part of his planning team for next year.  :)

S: They tried to schedule things to give people a chance to see as many panels as possible.  We're trying to increase the quality as well as the quantity of programming.

S: The bigger events are split across three days, to allow people better chances to see other panels, have fewer conflicts.

F: One audience member had heard that the con was going to implode, but it seems that this year went off fairly well.  Job well done!

F: There was a drop in musicfest attendees;  the schedule showed the musicfest as a single  six hour block, which was a bit too long for  people to stay for the whole thing waiting for  their favorite band to play.

S: It wasn't expected to be six bands on Saturday night, the schedule did list the bands in order,  but it didn't really make it clear that was the  order  in which they would play.

F: There were too many styles mixed together;  punk rock, goofy styles didn't mix very well, might have made some fans leave because they  didn't like the goofy music mixed in with the hard core music.

F: Thumbs up for midnight madness.  Some rooms made it harder to see the subtitles, the images needed to move higher on the screen.  Maybe move screen higher, or resize the image to move the subtitles higher.
S: So, if we do more dubs, will the audience be happier?

F: Video rooms 2, 3, 4, seemed to have 5 fewer  rows of chairs in them this year; why?  People  ran out of room to sit.  Same room, but less seating  capacity  this year.  
S: Sounds like someone needs to review their BEOs more carefully.  BEO is banquet equipment order, need to fill them out with *exactly* what the room needs.

F: Arcades, para para was nice surprise, continue outsourcing them to oncampus?, having a form listing confirmed games online would be nice.
S: We didn't know what games would arrive until the truck showed up.  Hoping for DDR Supernova but it wasn't released in time.

F: It was cool to see that a number of the older series were being shown again, like technoman and other early 90s shows, will it be there next year?  Will we continue doing that in the  future?
S: Definitely!  There's more and more generations of fans showing up year after year.  Getting close to five generations showing up for the conventions now.  Some of the older fans still like the older hand-drawn stuff.  We'll try to have something for all generations.

F: At last night's cosplay, could we group into skits and pure-cosplay-only groups, let people leave partway through?
S: Well, that would be somewhat rude to the ones who came out later in the show, wouldn't it?  USA Musume was happy to get to wear all of their  costumes this year.  These people put their lives on hold and pour all their energies into their work in order to get a chance to show off their efforts.

S: Alex answers for masquerade; they tried to make the early slots reserved for young children and those with bulky costumes who couldn't sit until they could go on.  And some groups had to be separated due to backstage space limitations.  Also wanted some variety in the programming as well.
Casey and Marissa cut their teeth at AX; with all due respect to Eugene and Brian who put on previous cosplay, they did pull things together very well.

F: Pretty good to move dance back to where it was.  Much better accoustics in the room.  Liked the internet cafe, free wifi was very cool.  He likes doing his unofficial fan stuff, doing gaming, he set up his own stuff on the table, got some good attention.

F: Two comments--1, masquerade, liked how the acts were spaced out, good variety; wished the awards were separated into groups;  costumes vs skits, seemed there were more awards for costumes than skits.  
S: Marissa and Casey are big on costuming and technical merit, meticulousness to the costume leads to similar meticulousness in the performances.  Emanual notes he'd never seen a judging for technical expertise before.  They really get close, magnifying-lens inspections on the costumes; you'd really get credit for putting good work into the making of your costume this way.

F: Second comment, about prereg; for next year, was walking back and forth in the dealer's room around 10am, went to fanime table, asked about prereg.  By the time she came back, they said it was already over.  How about we make the whole last day of con for prereg?
S: Good question, we'll try get word out better next year.  The times weren't put out there at all.

S: It was a one hour sale, only?  It was kept open until people stopped coming in, and then they stopped doing it once the line went away.
[editorial comment--having "stealth sale" like that isn't fair to people in panels who may not make it back to the dealer's room before the line thins out, and the sale is ended.  To be fair to attendees who are in panels, we need to have the time clearly listed in the schedule so they can plan their time accordingly. --MNP]

F: When he pre-reg'd, his full name and fan name showed up on the website, would kinda prefer to keep it out of search engines.  fanime.com/2005/ needs to get cleaned out of caches as well!
S: We'll work on that, yes.

S/F: Matt notes that keeping live programming away from video programs is important; at least try to not have them share a moveable wall; the fixed walls are good enough to stop the sound, but not the moveable walls.

S: Volunteers department; liked how they tried to streamline the system this year over last years' system; second, internal issue with publications, will talk about that at dead dog.

S/F: Oscar, hasn't slept much yet.  Heard there was alcohol at the dance; will there be more rovers to keep the dance PG-ish, he didn't want to bring his girls there after there had been some incidents there.
S: Unfortunately, yeah, rules are going to need to be put in place to control the elements that don't have good self control.  The well-advertised theft from last year with the young man and swift reaction helped keep this year safer, there were no incidents this year in the dealer's room.  Will probably need to focus more on the dance and other after hours areas next year as well.

F: Liked the way things were compartmentalized into areas with a common checkpoint.  The live panels weren't well listed on the schedules, the horrible font didn't help; and finally, could we maybe group the rooms numerically together. finding and remembering where they were is a challenge.  make the numbering logical.
S: Yes, will work on that for next year.  Having 1 near 2, next to 3, etc. would help.

F: Video 8, doesn't have good signage--out behind the elevators, more signs would have helped.

S/F: Oscar, people asking about how to get food at 4am, 5am; could some of the concession stands get opened at different hours?

F: Some other conventions do have a fan room with some basic supplies.

F: The map with surrounding area was cool; putting hours when the food places were open would be really useful.  [like listing that Pita Pit stayed open until 3am with good, cheap food, and that La Victoria stays open until 2am with some of the best burritos in the area for cheap.  --MNP]

S: Could be some issues with providing food services late at night in the con without running afoul of concession rules for the space.
F: But there are some concerns from the younger females not wanting to go outside past curfew hours to get food.
S: We'll keep trying to make more inroads in that area.  Was already pretty tough to get Starbucks  closing time moved from 2pm to 9pm, finally got  them to agree to keep serving until people stopped showing up.
S: There are insurance issues with keeping things open late.  Craige is the guy who watches out for our liability issues.  Stunt guys on stage zero, that could have been a really big issue.  Craige chooses the video games each year, as well.  He'll have to chime in on the liability concerns for each of the suggestions.

F: Scheduling changes always seem to be last minute, can we put out updates at all?
S: Jason promises a working, editable copy of the schedule will be on the website one month before the event starts.  Hoping to be able to print out personal schedules for yourself for the con.

S: Newsletter team tried their best to make sure updates for the day were listed on the daily newsletters; people should glance through them to see which things were moved.

F: Some rooms had to re-burn a few things; could there maybe be USB hard drives, instead of DVDs?  
S: That gets MUCH more expensive to handle, so it's pretty unlikely.

S: Oscar notes there were ID checks and badge checks; he often saw issues with people who flashed badges to random other people and claimed they had already been checked by flashing their badge at a random person.
S: Keep your badge visible, even if you're in costume; if staff can't see it, you may keep getting harassed to see it or be chased out.

F: What was the rough attendance figure?
S: There were around 10,000 total attendees: 7,000 onsite, 3,000 prereg.

[Matt thinks of one more point as everyone was walking out of the feedback session--could we play the winning AMVs at closing ceremonies like we did last year, so the staff members who were too busy running everything else during the con could have a chance to see them?]

Thanks again to everyone who helped make Fanime 2006 a success!


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Notes from 2006 Guest of Honor panels
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2006, 12:46:01 PM »

Quote from: "Ayapon"
Holy Wow!  :D Thanks for all the great notes; I couldn't make some of the panels and this is a great way to "be there" without well, you know, actually having been there.  :oops:

You're welcome!  :)  Glad to hear they could be useful (well, besides just providing raw material for newsletter articles. ^_^; )
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