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Messages - GokuMew2

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Yesss. Wonder if he'd have time to visit the gathering......? XD It would be amazing. <333
Considering it's around lunchtime, the chances are unfortunately likely to be slim. Please do drop by his panels and/or autographs though!

Gee Torres as Mega Red from Denji Sentai Megaranger
So there's a Red... Any Blue??? Masaya Matsukaze is coming this year!

Iirc, there is (at least) one event at Fanime that requires a separate (purchased) ticket. Something like a dinner with a Guest of Honor. I'm not 100% sure.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
The Meet the Guests reception, while a ticketed event, has always been free. It is also more like a brunch/light lunch event, not a dinner.

Dealers Room / Re: Bootlegs/Counterfits in the Dealers Hall
« on: November 07, 2015, 12:21:12 AM »
But I bought what I thought was a S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon. It was a fake, and I remember asking if it was legit, and the vendor said yes.

Out of pure curiosity, what tipped you off that it was fake?

If there were no difference, everyone would have already booked a room. =)

If you want the FanimeCon room rate then you will need to book a room through the FanimeCon-specific website that'll be open when things are ready. The reason for that is because FanimeCon has blocks of rooms that we can offer at the discounted con rate. Only rooms booked through the FanimeCon website will be booked in those special blocks. If you book through the hotel website, it won't be inside the con rate block and you would therefore be paying the hotel's full price.

I'm sure there will be an announcement when hotel bookings are about to open up.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Official Lost and Found Thread
« on: May 29, 2015, 01:53:31 AM »
I forgot my gray ONE PIECE hooded jacket on the couch on the top floor of the Hilton on May 24th. When I went back for it later in the day it was gone and could not be found either at the front desk or at lost and found. Would appreciate it if whoever took it would return it. Thanks.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« on: May 27, 2015, 02:09:44 PM »
The Kyouko/Sayaka question was borderline for me, too, but I know that people love that pairing (and it's nearly canon anyway). There was another question asked that was something along the lines of, "You voice this one character that has an intimate relationship with a girl, do you have any similar intimate relationships with another girl?" I'm hoping that that question was translated to be less personal and inappropriate. Another borderline question was about how she was able to mentally prepare herself get into the mindset of a pervert. Nonaka-san was nice to answer these questions, but they could be seen as harassment if not handled delicately.

I actually do not remember that question being asked. Perhaps I was doing something else at the time and didn't hear it, so sorry for missing that. Personally I don't have a problem with the "how to mentally prepare for pervert role" question since while it may have been partially asked for kicks, it is still a question relating to how to get into a character that is very different from yourself.

I appreciate the response and effort. Another suggestion might be to request that all questions be asked in English. Even though the people who asked their questions in Japanese were respectful this time, there's no guarantee that will always be the case, so requiring the question to be translated first would be a good way to avoid future issues.

I don't think requiring people to ask questions in English is necessary since some fans practice hard and would like to use what they have learned. Guests also appreciate it when fans make an effort. If something is very inappropriate, we will step in.

As someone who came to Ai's first autograph session (and was the very last one in line before it was capped), thank you for doing your best to expedite the line. I was worried I wouldn't get to see her since we were running out of time, but I managed to get through!

Yes, I do remember seeing someone in the first session with the Zetsubou Sensei manga. ;) We actually set a new record for most number of autographs in an hour on the second day (yet still had to turn away many people due to time constraints). I'm very glad to see that everyone was so excited to see Nonaka san, and she had a blast.

The only other thing I can suggest is to remember to keep the line out of the center aisle. It was moved over to the side eventually, but that was unfortunately after my question was asked (I was the "How was it like working with SHAFT studios/Akiyuki Shinbo" question). Nonaka-san did the famous SHAFT headtilt in response (which was truly an amazing moment for me and way more than I expected!), but my friends couldn't see nor could they take a picture of it because of the wall of people in line. I hope someone got a photo of it!

Yes, this is something we will keep in mind for the future. It was actually Nonaka san's manager who suggested that the line be moved to the wall on Sunday, so you can thank him for that. (You can just thank me for the "come in" and some of the other little English phrases that Nonaka san used during the panel. :P) I would also like to see some photos since I was behind the table most of the time and couldn't see what the audience was seeing.

Anyway, thank you again for being so quick to respond and willing to listen to my concerns! I had a great time getting to meet/ask questions of the Japanese guests, and that's thanks to the efforts of staff who make those events happen. I'm very appreciative of that.

I'm very glad to hear that and please rest assured that we will take your feedback in consideration for next year and beyond. Thanks!

Would written submissions help? I'm not saying only do written submissions but it might help get questions translated faster and avoid more embarrassing ones.

I don't think we will implement something like this because we would like fans to be able to personally ask their questions, instead of having someone else read their question from a paper. Thank you for the suggestion though.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« on: May 27, 2015, 02:03:17 AM »
Hi. The proposal question was definitely inappropriate and we sort of tried to ignore it but Nonaka san went on and answered so we ended up translating it. The Pocky thing was very odd too and before we realized what was going on the guy was already coming up so it would've been rude to stop him in front of Nonaka san. Next time we'll let people know beforehand that they are not allowed to come up to the guest.

As for the MadoMagi question, I vaguely remember giving the OK on it since it was part of the story. It was borderline imo so I let it slide. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts on it and I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

We did think of moderating questions but didn't deem it necessary in the end since we could just stop people like we did with the guy who tried to ask her to say a line. We will try to be more proactive in this regard in the future so thank you again for your feedback.

I know for the autograph session I had to move quite a number of people along and stop them from talking too much or asking for extra things that would take too much time. For the second one we pretty much didn't allow photos at all because there were so many people waiting. There were also several people taking video during the panel even though we said no video and one of our staffers went around to make sure those videos were deleted.

If anyone else has other suggestions or feedback, please let us know.

(I wasn't at any of BACK-ON's panels so I have no idea how those went.)

General Convention Discussion / Re: 12 Years in 2 Weeks
« on: May 21, 2015, 02:23:58 AM »
2013 was one of my most memorable years so I'm looking forward to the story on that!

I am very interested, though, what the possible upsides and downsides would be of partnering with companies to bring guests would be. Would Fanime lose some autonomy by having to cater to the wants/needs of these companies in return for their bringing guests?

I, personally, have been pushing for sponsorships almost since I began staffing for the con. The con has its reasons (which I largely disagree with) and unfortunately I don't think I can really say more than that.

However, I do think it's fair to compare you to SakuraCon as you're both roughly the same size and feature Japanese guests when I wonder why, ever since 2012, guest announcements don't begin until April, at the earliest, while SakuraCon starts four months prior to con.

If the key obstacle between getting more Japanese guests is money, I'd be happy to put my money where my mouth is and donate.  While I love the food in North Carolina to death, I'd rather use my travel expenses towards providing a higher quality experience for everyone if that extra couple grand would make the difference between having a guest and not having one.

I can't really speak for SakuraCon since I do not have the details of their inner workings, but I believe they often work with companies like Aniplex. As I've mentioned, licensors, and especially Japanese powerhouses like Aniplex, have a lot of leverage when booking guests. They can get things done, and early. Unfortunately FanimeCon is not organized in a manner where I can't go the same route, so I'm stuck playing the waiting game. Think of it this way: SakuraCon goes through the VIP back door; FanimeCon goes through the front door used for the general public.

Regarding budgets, I can only tell you that I am given a certain number of slots and a figure. I basically then go find people who will fit those criteria. Though I have a hand in selecting the people who fit the criteria, I don't really get any say on what those criteria are. I am like you; I don't go to cons for the American guests. I want to see the Japanese guests so I know how you feel, I really do. But at the end of the day, I only can work with the resources I'm given, which is reflected in the number of Japanese guests we have. I don't have much power beyond that.

I don't think FanimeCon will ever accept donations from attendees to get guests, unfortunately, but I do appreciate the gesture.

General Convention Discussion / Re: 12 Years in 2 Weeks
« on: May 19, 2015, 08:50:18 PM »
^^^ Just a note that when Tony says "Nonaka," he means "Nonaka Tsuyoshi" and not this year's guest "Nonaka Ai."

Since other staffers have been posting, I guess now's a good a time as any for me to chime in as well.

However, one thing that I hope Tony's stories are showing is that staff aren't doing things willy nilly just because we want to. I'd like to think MusicFest's track record shows that we are listening to what attendees want, and we are working hard to make your requests happen with the resources we have. We don't reply often times because we always get a lot, but the suggestions are always forwarded to us one way or another, and I'm doing everything I can to forge the relationships with labels and companies to make things work.

This also applies to non-music guests.

MusicFest costs a lot of money, and it has a lot of downsides. A lot of the cost is in renting the Civic, renting music equipment, and paying for labor to run everything. Relative to the GR side, you essentially get one guest for the price of two or three Guests of Honor - there are band members and entourage that need to come, whereas a Guest of Honor usually only has a +1.  In the bigger picture, we had some 15,000 people coming to con, but MusicFest, in the Civic, could only entertain 3,000 at the most. And really, typically only about 1,500 would actually come. The return on investment, even at its maximum, is low.

To compare, Guests of Honor tend to come in twos - the guest and a spouse or co-worker - and have no overhead. Even then, they don’t yield a great return on investment; panels like “Who’s line is it Anime” tend to fill the room better than a Japanese guest can.

The sad fact is that if you’re looking at the numbers, Japanese guests don't make sense.

I have been browsing the forums for a while now and to be honest, it really, really hurts to see people saying that the reason our guest lineup is disappointing is because the staff are lazy, among other false assertions. You can only do your best with the resources you are given, and you can imagine how discouraging it is when people say that your best is not good enough. The reason why MF always has an awesome act is because they have the resources to pull it off. Unfortunately the budget for booking Japanese guests does not quite enjoy that same leisure for reasons Tony has mentioned.

There's a lot of things that go into booking guests. I'll only talk about Japanese guests since that's who I work with.

Staffers are generally easier to get because they are eager to promote their work overseas and their attendance usually only depends on their availability at the time. We did try for some staff who worked on series that were really hot in the U.S. at the time, but they had prior commitments either with work or other events and couldn't make it. You have to remember that the more in-demand a guest is, the harder they are to get. The reason they don't come to FanimeCon is not because we aren't trying to get them.

Guests such as seiyuu (voice actors) are a looooooot harder to book. Seiyuu who are active (ie. the ones people want to see most) have a very tight schedule and it's hard to get them to open up about a week to come to the U.S. It can also be difficult to convince the agency to send us someone since the agency has nothing to gain by having international exposure. It's not like a seiyuu coming to the U.S. is going to land that seiyuu more jobs in Japan. In fact it, could be the opposite where they have to turn down a job in Japan so that they can adjust their schedule and come to the U.S. One of the reasons why some other cons are able to book big-name seiyuu is because that seiyuu is sponsored by someone like Aniplex or FUNimation. These companies have a lot more leverage when negotiating for guests to bring to overseas events and since the seiyuu is there to promote a series, the Japanese side is happy too. (And yes, I have suggested on more than one occasion over the years that we have these kinds of tie-ins but unfortunately the idea has been met with... opposition...) To make things even more difficult, a seiyuu's availability might not be known until maybe a month or two before con and then there's still paperwork to be done before announcements can be made. What sucks the most is when you're waiting months for a Yes or a No and because you don't want to overbook and go over budget, your hands are tied as far as contacting other potential guests is concerned while you wait for the answer. If in the end the answer is No, you might not have enough time to try to fill the opening. That's the thing with seiyuu agencies... Knock on their door too early and they tell you that they don't know what schedules are like at that time yet. Knock later and they're already booked.

Anyway, this is the main reason why announcements tend to be close to con. We aren't withholding information from our attendees. Case in point, I heard that Nonaka's attendance was first announced at a staff meeting, which gave some people the idea that we purposefully delayed our announcement to the public. The paperwork for her was literally finalized just a few days prior. Tony touched upon it earlier but marketing and web need some time to do their thing and that is why announcements are made when they are made.

I hope these insights give our attendees an idea of how hard it is to pull off a convention, especially where guests are concerned. It's not as simple as shooting an email or throwing money in the face of the people you want to get.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Guest Autograph Questions?
« on: May 19, 2015, 07:53:53 PM »
I was wondering if having her sign the manga from the series would be acceptable, even though she was only tied to the animation. Would that be rude? Should I just suck it up and buy the non-translated anime?
Hi. The manga shouldn't be a problem. The only items we ask people not to bring are unlicensed items (bootlegs) and anime/manga items completely unrelated to the guest. (Generic objects such as cellphones, badges, etc. are fine.)

Whatever happened to Media Blaster's license of Zetsubou Sensei anyway......? :(

General Convention Discussion / Re: 12 Years in 2 Weeks
« on: May 18, 2015, 12:13:16 AM »
2010 was the one year I wasn't able to attend FanimeCon since I started going in 2001. Sadness since it would've been my 10th consecutive year, but what can you do... I was half a world away teaching English. ^^; I still remember when you and Marie announced at a staff meeting that you were getting married. =)

Yokota san's auction in 2011 was off the wall. I remember just sitting in the front looking at all the pretties that I can't have. XD And I do remember Aya crying when you guys lost the Battousai sketch. That was a shame, but hey, the winning bid went to a good cause. Didn't we have a page on the website showing photos of what was going to be auctioned? I can't remember if it was up before or after the show, but if it was before, that's probably what alerted the collectors.

Until recently when he was hospitalized (he's out now), Yokota san was still continuing charity work for earthquake victims. It's pretty amazing how dedicated he is. I've visited him once or twice at exhibitions he was participating in, as well as a few karaoke sessions. Hope he starts taking better care of his health.

Dealers Room / Re: Dishonest Dealers from 2014
« on: June 02, 2014, 11:53:23 AM »
If people don't understand what they are looking at when they buy something that is usually their own fault. As the old saying goes "buyer beware."

By this logic you'd be blaming the customer who buys a bootleg rather than the seller who sells it though.

I highly doubt some cardboard, plastic, and tape is going to cost $2. In any case, I'm not here to argue with you about this. All I'm saying is that there was a booth that was quite clearly trying to rip off buyers. Since their box of cutouts still seemed pretty full on the third day of the con, it's nice to know that not many people were biting. I think most people will agree that $10 for a plainly mounted magazine cover from two months ago is a rip-off and I don't get why you're so desperate to defend these outrageous prices as if you were the seller.

Anyway, I've said my piece so I'm done here. If you think their prices are justified then fine. There's no need to go back and forth on it any further.

Dealers Room / Re: Dishonest Dealers from 2014
« on: June 01, 2014, 12:48:11 AM »
If you don't like their prices, keep on walking.

That's exactly what I did. And the "mounts" were just cardboard matting with the page taped to it. Maybe a $2 price tag may have been more reasonable but I definitely don't think $5 or higher is. That's almost the retail price of the magazine itself. There are over a hundred pages in a magazine. If they sold even half of the pages that'd be like a $250 profit on a $6-7 magazine, not including so-called "labor."

Like I said, it's not really that the dealer was being dishonest, but they were definitely hoping to bank on fans who may not know any better. I posted this so that people may be aware of some sellers who try to rip them off with outrageous prices.

*hands you a club*

Knock them out and drag them back here for next years fanime haha

Not sure who you are referring to when you mean "they" but I don't think I'll be able to get through customs. :P

Next week at this time I will probably have just arrived at Narita International Airport. I'm looking at the weather in Tokyo and am not looking forward to going back to it. x__x

Dealers Room / Re: Dishonest Dealers from 2014
« on: May 30, 2014, 05:38:32 PM »
This isn't so much dishonest as it is taking advantage of people who don't know any better, but there was a booth selling "mounted" magazine pages for like $5-10 a pop. CRAZY! I literally mean magazines PAGES from Animage, NewType, Animedia, etc. Magazine bonuses like posters and pencil boards or clear files I can imagine, but these people cut out pages of magazines and sold them one-by-one for like 5 bucks each. Even two-page spreads were cut and sold separately.

I seriously hope no one bought any of these, and I think the FanimeCon dealers room would be better off without sellers who try to rip off anime fans like this. Unfortunately I don't remember which booth it was but they were near the end of one of the lanes iirc. They also sold the covers of magazines mounted for about $10 each which were displayed against the back wall.

Dealers Room / Re: Bootlegs/Counterfits in the Dealers Hall
« on: May 30, 2014, 05:32:15 PM »
There was a booth at one of the ends of the lanes that sold wall scrolls of illustrations. The wall scrolls were not licensed and the illustrations were quite obviously fan art. I have no problem with people selling their art in the dealer's room, but to be honest I couldn't tell if the art belonged to that person. There were illustrations of many different styles that didn't seem like they would be drawn by the same person. I could be wrong, but there was a red flag raised in my mind, especially since using art stolen from DA and Pixiv to create merchandise for profit is not uncommon.

Arrived from Japan in the morning this day last week. XD Man, I've already been here for a week. Time flies!

Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Guests I Want For Fanime 2014!!!!!!!!!
« on: December 11, 2013, 06:14:38 AM »
I was wondering too, has Fanime ever had eroge or hentai manga/anime staff show up?

Did you miss Yokota Mamoru these past few years? ^^;

Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Guests I Want For Fanime 2014!!!!!!!!!
« on: June 14, 2013, 05:58:42 AM »
I wonder if it were possible to setup a poll... where everyone could add to options and edit their ballets... that'd be quite efficient.
Evan is keeping count for us. =) I'm of course checking the thread too and making mental notes.

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