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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eroge Bus Episode 6

This month, Hisui from Reverse Thieves returns to discuss what's the big deal with Type-Moon and their franchises.

Show Notes:

00:00 Intro - Skydive - Freefall
02:15 Opening words
05:30 Break - Everyday I'm PonPonPin'
06:00 News:

Nov 24th: JASTUSA’s status update

Nov 27th: Love, Election, & Chocolate Game Gets 2012 TV Anime

Nov 28th: My Sweet Umadonna to Launch on December 11 as Web Game

Nov 30th: Koi-ken! Mobile Dating Simulation Game Gets Anime

Nov 30th: LovePlus Virtual Girlfriends Get Shōnen Mag Photoshoot (might omit)

Dec 1st: Guide to Playing Visual Novels on Android Devices

Dec 2nd: Touch Shiyo! Love Game's New Promo Streamed

Dec 3rd: Amagami SS+ plus TV Anime to Premiere on January 5
also: Amagami SS+ 1st TV Ad Streamed
also: Amagami SS+'s Newest Promo Video, Meat Bun Revealed

Dec 5th: Kisaragi no Hogyoku full English version hits iTunes store

Dec 6th: Mangagamer announces new physical copies
also: Master up of We Love Master

Dec 7th: Konami Offers Life-Size LovePlus Girlfriend Calendars (might omit)

Dec 8th: New Fate/Zero Project to Be Nendoroid Petit Figure
also Fate/Zero's Saber Motorcycle Built in Life-Size
also Fate/Zero, Railgun, Oreimo, Ro-Kyu-Bu Curtains Unveiled
also Fate/Zero's Assassin Parka Jacket Offered in Japan
also Roundup of Type-Moon figures

Dec 14th: ToHeart2 Gets Pachinko Slot Machine Game

Dec 17th: Final Chapter of Umineko translated to English

Dec18th: Fan Translation of Little Busters! complete
also: Little Busters! PS Vita's Release Date Listed as February 23

Dec 23rd: AmiAmi now exports Japanese eroge for cheap

Dec 23rd: Angel Beats! Singer Lia Covers Hatsune Miku's 'Meteo' Song

Dec 24th: RococoWorks to close down at the end of the year.

Dec 26th: Creator of YU-NO and Eve Burst Error dies

Dec 27th: Comiket Blood Donors Get Posters of Type-Moon, Overdrive, Others

35:40 Break - Carnival Phantasm OP
37:13 Type-Moon discussion
66:20 Break - Fate/Zero ED
67:48 Upcoming Games:

An excellent guide to non-eroge VNs:

Mebae by Tanuki Soft:

Kikouyoku Senki II Gin no Toki no Corona by ETERNAL:

Appare! Tenka Gomen by Baseson:

Manatsu no Yoru no Yuki Monogatari -MIDSUMMER SNOW NIGHT- by EX-ONE

Hanasaku Otome to Koi no Grimoire ~Guild no Nai Mura ni Guild o Tsukurou!~ by debonosu seisakusho:

White Album 2 by Leaf:

Sentoreido Gakuen by Liquid:

Nanatsu no Fushigi no Owaru Toki by Etude:

Imouto Senbatsu☆Sousenkyo ~365-nin no Imouto Icharabu Manifest~ by latte

Nikutai Keiyakusho by FULLTIME

Love Gear ~Kinematic Lovers~

86:00 Ending - School Days - Kanashimi no mokou e

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Secret Santa Review: Xam'd: Lost Memories

This is the second edition of the secret Santa review brought to you thanks to the efforts of the Reverse Thieves. Enjoy this review of Xam'd: Lost Memories by studio BONES.

What the hell is this thing?!

At the height of the anime bubble in 2008, there were many anime titles getting produced. Many of these titles were visibly trying to cater to a Western audience.  Xam'd: Lost Memories is one of these titles. Unfortunately, due to the bubble and the massive quantity of different shows released at that time, this impressive sci-fi show has flown under my radar. So when Sentai Filmworks licensed this series earlier this year, I was sort of confused as to what this show is and why was it licensed. I now know as to why it was licensed: It's effing awesome!

So I dove straight into this series knowing nothing about it. The first thing I noticed just how pretty it was in high definition. The characters that were first introduced seemed somewhat bland and didn't really grab me at first. Of course the first episode spent a lot of time introducing all the characters and sort of show what their relationships were. Furthermore, the show did not wait to start weaving a story and right away the audience are thrust into a conflict. It appears that there are factions who are still fighting a war but it's not clear as to who is who and what their intentions are. And of course the main character ends up being mixed up with all the fighting.

Details. Details everywhere.

As I stated before, this animated series looks gorgeous in high definition. There are many painted environments as the series goes from place to place such as villages and towns. All the machinery is well detailed as well as attention is given to all the various rifles that are used throughout the series.  The animation in the opening is fairly consistent with the animation in the series. As you can see the animation is smooth and there is a lot of action. The show has a lot of that and in addition there are quite spectacular animations of destruction. Overall this series is quite a visual feast.

Check out this opening.

As you probably have noticed, the openings and closings are entirely in English which is quite rare. The regular soundtrack does a good job setting the mood but doesn't really stand out and is fairly average in that respect. The Japanese voice cast was very competent at acting out all the characters and conveying their emotions. Unfortunately I did not try watching with the English dub, but from looking at the names of the cast they appear to be standard Sentai Filmworks talent.

So the series is mainly about a boy, Akiyuki Takehara, who gets caught up in an explosion that grants him powers that change him into a biological weapon much like The Hulk. However, he does not initially know how to fully control this power or what the actual purpose of it is. An enigmatic girl named Nakiami from a free lance postal air-ship flies over, and not only helps Akiyuki from being consumed by his new power, but also adopts him until he gains control. The first half of the series basically is his journey to master these new powers. Now there is a lot more going on than Akiyuki's journey and this makes the first half a bit hard to watch and impossible to marathon. Now the second part of the series is a bit easier to swallow since most facts were already presented to the viewer or are once again shown for clarity. Despite the initial confusion, the series did pull me in and I wanted to see more and more of the story. In short, the story is very dense which is somewhat hard to swallow for many people, but it is rewarding to keep watching as things become more clarified along the way.

Can you recognize the gun on the left?

Putting all this together it should be no surprise that Xam'D: Lost Memories is a must watch series. I would recommend this to anyone. If I were to give this series a number score, it would be an 89/100. Although a word of warning, this series should not be marathoned and I do recommend watching it twice as the second time around, the series is more enjoyable when everything makes sense.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Eroge Bus Episode 5

This month I go solo and talk briefly about Alicesoft and their games.

Direct Download
Subscribe with iTunes

00:00 Intro - Skydive - Freefall
02:10 Opening words
04:30 Break - Aselia the Eternal opening
06:41 News:

October 27th: A Scar of a Doll gets released in English

Nov. 4th: Love Plus gets a full fan translation

Nov. 8th: A new Fate/Zero project to be revealed in Newtype

Nov. 8th: The Idolm@ster cafe to open in Akibahara

Nov. 9th: Aselia the Eternal gets released by JASTUsa

Nov. 11th: Chaos;HEAd Noah to be released for Android during Winter

Nov. 16th: Fate/Zero collaborates with an online toy wars game

Nov. 17th: Ai Mi Moe Can Change! gets an anime OVA adaption

Nov. 18th: My Girlfriend is the President gets a golden master

Nov. 18th: Da Capo 3 voice cast and release date announced

13:06 Break - Beat Blades Haruka opening
14:41 A short primer to Alicesoft
23:07 Break - Hare Tokidoki o Tenkiame OP
24:58 Upcoming Games:

WakeAri! by illusion

Ore wa Tsuma Kira! by OLE-M

d2b VS DEARDROPS -Cross the Future- by OVERDRIVE

SoniKomi by NitroPlus

Tentacle Road by Yatagarasu

Strawberry Nauts by Hooksoft

Hare Tokidoki o Tenkiame by Palette

Shunki Gentei Poco a Poco! by Alcot Honeycomb

Kanojo wa Sora ni Inoranai -quantum girlfriend- by Escude

Yumemiru Tsuki no Lunalutia by Arianrhod

32:04 Ending - School Days - Kanashimi no Mokou e

Friday, November 4, 2011

New York Comic Con 2011

In the middle of October, I came back to the city to partake in the massive gathering that is the New York Comic Con. This was the fifth installment of the convention and it has grown considerably to the attendance of over 100,000 people. Once again, ReedPop reserved the entirety of the Javits Convention Center for the convention but this time, they had access the areas that were under construction in the previous year. Similarly, the New York Anime Festival had its own place on the convention center with a larger space but utilized completely different. What was new this year was that New York Comic Con expanded to a 4 day convention allowing people who purchased VIP, or 4-Day passes access to the showroom on Thursday. Overall, the convention was still a lot of fun, but still suffers from many problems.

The presence of the crane reminds everyone that JCC is still under construction.

I came in on Friday expecting smaller crowds due to Friday being a school and work day. However, I was quick to realize that those circumstances didn't stop the hordes of people that filled the convention center. Already I was in game-mode where I scheme in any way possible to avoid crowds or lines. With few exceptions, the layout of the convention was almost completely different than last year. Even the way the showroom was organized was changed drastically. The maps provided by the various guides were fairly inadequate as they didn't show how the con was connected nor did it show where the panel rooms were located. So therefore it was a good idea to walk through the whole convention center multiple times to see where everything was so that one doesn't get lost and I did just that.

Friday's showroom. Fairly crowded.

The giant showroom is one of the few things this convention got right. The new layout seemed fairly random, but there was a good reason for that. Last year, the layout of the booths was neatly organized, placing comic shops together, anime shops together, etc. There was a big problem with this layout. There was massive crowding in the more popular sections and the sections few people cared for were nearly empty. Thus, the more random layout spread the crowding out. I was actually able to walk through most of the showroom on Saturday without any issues. As usual, the showroom provided with a ton of variety. There were booths where you can shop. There were booths that let you play games before they were released. They were booths that were showcasing various crafts. Also, in the corner section there was the usual artist alley. That said, the industry presence was fantastic. The New York Anime Ghetto was moved from the basement to the attic occupying a larger space. This space was used largely for the artist alley and a stage with cafeteria like seating. This I thought was very good for taking a break from all the hustle and bustle. NYCC also had a new floor where an enlarged table top gaming room was present. Also, on the same floor they put in a kids area and an area for autographs. With such a big convention, many distributors and publishers used this as an opportunity to announce new products or ventures. But was lining up for all these industry panels really worth it? With most panels and announcements also posted simultaneously online, I honestly think that seeing this announcements in person is of very added value.

Makoto Shinkai's Q&A panel with Roland Kelts

So it would be an understatement to say that the convention center was crowded on Saturday. Most places inside were packed wall-to-wall with people. Although I am fairly experienced in avoiding crowds, on Saturday, this was an impossible task. On top of that, there was quite a bit of confusion as to how people are supposed to line up for panels and events. Line up places were poorly marked and the staff were too overwhelmed to properly control the crowds. At times the lines simply turned into mobs who rushed the entrances of rooms. Even though the presence of the industry allowed for some great sneak peaks and announcements, it completely stifled any fan presence. Fan presence was almost non existent at this convention even on the anime side where fan presence dominates most anime conventions. On Sunday, the con funk was out of control. You can smell it everywhere. During most conventions, con funk is either isolated to a certain big room or neutralized by the staff. However, at NYCC, the con funk was completely out of control and the staff took no steps in making sure the con is funk free. Of course, the last issue is the remoteness of the Javits Convention Center. Hopefully in the future, the subway extension will make this a non-issue, but as things stand, you have to walk for quite a bit in either reach the convention center or leave to get decent food at a decent price. However, what will still attract me to attend New York Comic Con in the future years is the great guests that ReedPop can afford to bring to the show. If Makoto Shinkai and the screenings of his movies were missing this year, I don't think I would have attended.

The NYAF stage with chairs and tables.

As things stand, NYCC is growing faster than ReedPop can manage. The crowds are reaching San Diego Comic Con levels but at the same time, and with that the industry presence is at such a high level such that it is slowly pushing all of fandom out of the convention. New York Anime Fest continues to simply becoming an anime track at NYCC which is unfortunate because it basically means that NYAF practically dead. But not all is gloom and doom. Although I still see this convention becoming a massive trade show for geeks, there is still a lot of room for improvement. There is still a lot of space on the convention center that is either not properly utilized or not utilized at all. This space can be used to further expand the convention to include perhaps rooms for fan panels and such.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eroge Bus Episode 4

This month @GNitro of The Otaku Gamer returns to discuss the history of Eroge in Japan and the many localizations into English.

Direct Link

Show notes:
00:00 Intro - Skydive - Freefall
02:10 Opening words
19:13 Break - White Album - Anime OP
20:55 News:

SEP 29: Mangagamer releases Go Go Nippon

OCT 17: Ever17's remake game opening posted

OCT 19: Abunai Koi no Flight otome game offered as app for iPhone

38:37 Break - YUNO - opening
41:20 Main Segment
76:40 Break - True Love - credits
78:23 Upcoming Games:

Madonna ~Kanjuku Body Collection~

Custom Android Ai

Walkure Romanze ~Shoujo Kishi Monogatari~

Ren'ai 0 Kilometer

Shinsei ni Shite Okasubekarazu

Midori no Umi

Steins;Gate 8bi

Kimi ga Ita Kisetsu

93:40 Ending - School Days - Kanashimi no Mokou e

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eroge Bus Episode 3

Join me for this month's episode of the Eroge Bus with guest blogger/podcaster @HisuiRT from The Reverse Thieves while we review Innocent Grey's Kara no Shoujo released by Mangagamer

Show Notes:

00:00 Intro - Skydive - Freefall

02:22 Opening words and introductions

10:41 Break - Internet Dramu

11:20 News:

August 24th: A TL patch for Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo – Anata wo Suki na Shiawase was released

August 25th: Analysis of Japanese sales of visual novels to date:

September 1st: Mangagamer releases a retranslation of Edelweiss

September 5th: Some drama, Amaterasu releases TL patch to MuvLuv Alternative and Shikkoku no Sharnoth despite Mangagamer’s talks about licensing MuvLuv.

September 6th: Fate/Extra CCC RPG planned for PSP release next spring

September 16th: TL patch for Rin ga Utau, Mirai no Neiro was released

September 16th: Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney game cast revealed

September 17th: TL patch for galaxy angel the end of enternel love is released.

September 21st: Aselia the Eternal goes Golden Master to ship in October

28:47 Break - Kara no Shojo OP

31:17 Kara no Shoujo review spoiler free

Preview picture of Kara no Shoujo 2:

51:18 Break

52:01 Kara no Shoujo discussion FULL OF SPOILERS

76:12 Break - Mayushii Dubstep

77:01 September Japanese game releases:

89:14 Outro - School Days - Kanashimi no Mokou e

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eroge Bus Episode 2

Join me for this month's episode of the Eroge Bus as I talk with Kouryuu and Exedore of Mangagamer about Mangagamer. I apologize in advance for some of the noisy audio that occurs midway through.

Show Notes:
00:00 Intro - Freefall - Skydive
03:35 stuff no one cares about.
05:25 Break - Uguu!
05:37 News:

July 30th

August 11th

August 11th

August 13th

August 13th

08:32 Break - opening to Koihime Musou
10:28 Discussion about MangaGamer with Kouryuu and Exedore
43:04 Break - opening to DearDrops
44:33 August Japanese releases:

47:37 Closing - School Days OST - Kanashimi no Mukou e

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thank You: Otakon 2011

It's that time of the year where tens of thousands of anime fans gather in downtown Baltimore. Of course, this gathering is Otakon, the second largest anime convention in the US. Last year, I made a fairly critical look at the failings of Otakon. However, I am pleased to say that this year, most of my complaints have been addressed. So without further delay, let's get into the details.

The best badge!

It's Friday morning and I made sure to line up at around 7 AM to get into the convention center. I was quickly reminded that it's the summer and this year has been especially hot and humid. Needless to say, when the doors opened at around 8:20 AM, I was drenched in my sweat. That said, not only did they let people in the convention center on time, but also 10 minutes early! Holy cow! All along my goal was to be one of the first people to get into the dealer's room. This is the first time in 7 years that I decided to do that. My motivation was the Puella Magi Madoka Magica charity poster. We had no idea how many Otakon was selling. Their website implied that there were limited quantities. Noon came and the doors finally opened. With few people around, I was able to get a good look of the dealer's room this year. The quantity and variety of exhibitors was quite an improvement. I think most notable additions were probably the Bandai Entertainment and Sentai Filmworks booths in the industry section. Very little space was wasted on large and lavish displays. The usual dealers were in attendance plus a few new ones. Overall, I spent a good chunk of my time at the dealer's room.

Scout beat everyone to the front of the line. Must have used Bonk!

Last year, Otakon's guest line-up was fairly lack-luster. This year, Otakon stepped up their game and offered a plethora of Japanese guests. Unfortunately, there was really too much to do and too much to see and I only managed to check out Atsuhiro Iwakami who was responsible for producing many Aniplex series such as Kara no Kyoukai, Bekemonogatari, Ore no Imouto Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga nai and most importantly the new Puella Magi Madoka Magica. He was a pretty cool dude and introduced Madoka to many people who never seen it. On Saturday, I managed to get his autograph on the limited edition Madoka poster. For a better coverage of Japanese guests, I recommend you check out Reverse Thieves' post on this matter.

Atsuhiro Iwakami just signed my poster.

What would a convention be without major industry panels? There was fairly a good number of industry panels which is a good reflection of the recovery of the anime industry. The Funimation panel was fairly straightforward as usual. There was a Sunrise panel that showcased some of their newest and upcoming shows. Most suprisingly though, Bandai Entertainment threw a hell of a presentation with the voice actresses of K-On! singing fuwa fuwa time. A violinist and composer who was responsible for the soundtrack to Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya played one of the tracks from the soundtrack while on stage. As fun as the panels were, however, most of them were fairly disappointing in terms of announcements. Surprisingly, the best announcements came from the Bandai Industry panel who announced the acquisition of Nichijou and Gosick. Aniplex USA announced Oreimo. ...and Funimation picked up the Sora no Otoshimono movie.

Typical Bandai Entertainment panel.

Despite the guest and industry heavy schedule, I managed to attend some fan panels. On Friday night, there was a Let's Play Eroge panel. It was a fairly entertaining panel. It was run by trio of girls so yaoi content was inevitable, and as an eroge panel it was quite mediocre. On Saturday, I attended the excellent Investigating Detective Anime panel which was presented by the Reverse Thieves. On Sunday, it was proven to me that the Touhou fandom is insane when I attended a Touhou panel. Finally, I wrapped up the convention with a Puella Magi Madoka Magica panel that went fairly in-depth into Madoka and was quite full of delicious spoilers.

There was also this Anime Amazons panel about strong female characters.

Every year of Otakon is remembered by something. For example, 2004 was known for Larc ~en~ Ciel's concert. 2010 was of course known for the massive fire alarm. And this year is known for the ice cold water man. His enthusiastic approach to selling water has turned him into an internet meme. His "I've got that ice cold water" jingle could be heard repeatedly during the weekend in the hallway repeated by con-goers. Hopefully this will replace the buttscratcher and marco-polos that are growing increasingly tiring.

In conclusion, Otakon really got their shit together for this year. They managed to finally get people in on time; managed to get a hold of interesting Japanese guests; made crowding seem like a non issue; got rid of the staggered schedule. Even the convention center improved. They put in new carpeting; put in new maps and signs; painted the doors and walls; and even opened up a food court in the dealer's room. Overall, Otakon 2011 has been very good.

I spent too much money.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Eroge Bus: Episode 1

Join me for this month's episode of the Eroge Bus featuring Michael Camacho of Otaku in Review Podcast and The Otaku Gamer. In this episode we will be discussing Nitro+'s Deus Machina Demonbane that was released by JASTUSA.

Direct Download EDIT: should work now!

Show Notes:
0:00 Opening Song: Skydive - Freefall
3:36 Intro
9:16 Break
9:26 News

June 27th: JAST USA announces 7 new games right before AX:
July 4th: Mangagamer releases Kara no Shoujo:
July 12th: JAST USA releases Yukkuri Panic:!/jastusa/status/90958861967695874
July 14th: JAST USA: Preorders for School Days HQ and Saya no Uta/Hanachirasu
July 19th: J-list partners with Mangagamer for package distribution:
July 25th: Mangagamer's plans for Otakon 2011:

20:43 Break: Demonbane Anime Opening
21:38 Deus Machina Demonbane Review (spoiler free)
33:36 Deus Machina Demonbane Discussion (full of spoilers)
55:53 Break
56:44 Japanese June Releases

Sengoku Hime 3 by unicorn-a /ge-sen18
Custom Reido V by KISS
Ore Tachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai R (AKA We Without Wings) by navel
Shoujo to Maou to Tactics by chariot
Dangeki Strikers by OVERDRIVE
Yukioniya Onsenki by Soft House Chara
Shin Yakin Byoutou (Night shift Nurses)
Rewrite by Key (non H)

1:06:09 Japanese July Releases

Kyuuen no Kizuna -THE ORIGIN- by xuse
Tsuma X Heven by Complet's
Oiran Ru-ju by liar soft
Hougako Custom Time ~customize lovers~ by TEATIME
Imouto Style by C:drive

1:12:39 Closing Song: School Days OST - Kanashimi no Mukou e

As you can see, this is my first podcast. Please leave comments so I can improve it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

AnimeNEXT 2011

Summer's here which means the con season is about to start. What better way to start of the season than the 10th anniversary of AnimeNEXT in Somerset, New Jersey. This mid sized convention was held in the Garden State Exhibit Center and the nearby Double Tree and Holiday Inn hotels. This year the convention grew even bigger in size with crowds beginning to choke the convention even on a Friday. Despite the crowding, I've been pleased with the panel line-up, the constant presence of staff, and the overall atmosphere of everyone there.

Damn those trees!

First Impressions.

This is my 3rd time at AnimeNEXT and not much has changed since last year. Coming in on Friday I noticed that there were quite a bit more people than usual. Picked up my badge pretty quickly and had plenty of time before the first set of panels. Usually Fridays are more laid back, but this year almost every good panel was scheduled on Friday and felt like I had fun non-stop the entire day. Lining up for popular panels seems to have become a norm at animenext.

This is justice!

Panels and Guests.

Although AnimeNEXT is only mid-sized con, it is able to attract some big names in the Japanese anime industry. Studio I.G.'s animator, Satoru Nakamura, and episode director, Koudai Kakimoto, were the guests of honor this year around which was quite awesome as they are responsible for working on Moribito and Eden of the East. There were no big name musical guests this year which was somewhat disappointing but the ones that were featured were still very cool.

I attended many panels which were mostly hosted either by the Reverse Thieves, Anigamers, or Charles Dunbar who run many high quality panels. Whenever you see their panels listed in the con guide, make sure you attend them. I've noticed that panels were not scheduled until after 11 AM which is pretty good for most people. But there were still some problems with panel rooms being too small for popular panels. In addition, they put panels in workshop rooms that had no projectors which caused problems to panelists that depended on powerpoint for their presentation. I noticed that AnimeNEXT seemed to have a shortage of panels, with a few of them being programmed for all three days to fill in time. If you have a great idea for a panel, now would be a great time to think about submitting it for next year's AnimeNEXT.

@hisuiRT, @Poetic_Ink, and @VamptVo presenting a panel

Dealers Room, Artist Alley, etc.

Since the convention is in the same location, the dealer's room is the same size as it was, crowding near the entrance was somewhat of an issue but once you leave the area it was pretty smooth to navigate. The variety of dealers wasn't as good as last year mainly due to the fact that AnimeNEXT was scheduled at the same time as another bigger convention. There were noticeably more booths for guests and such than before and Funimation, who's usually at AnimeNEXT, was completely absent.

They located the artist alley in a completely different place than last year. Last year the artist alley was in the double tree hotel. This year they moved it to right across the dealer's room next to the main events stage. This was a good decision as it enlarged the artist alley and allowed for more walking space.

Once again, the anime screenings and the video games were in the training center and the holiday inn hotel as last year. Unfortunately, this will always be the issue of the venue. Fortunately, I was not troubled by the detachment of screenings and video games as I never really had time to check them out.

I scored her at the con. She now protects my anime.

Closing words.

In short, AnimeNEXT continues to be one of the best anime conventions to attend in the North East US. This year, there was a significant increase in attendance and the convention will continue to grow. Although the convention will still take place in the same venue next year, I can foresee AnimeNEXT to outgrow the convention center and eventually move once more to a bigger venue. Hopefully, next year, the convention won't be scheduled on the same weekend as another bigger convention.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

They Sure Grow Up Fast: Zenkaikon 2011

Although I have only been to Zenkaikon for 2 years, even in a year's time it has grown a lot bigger. This year it was Zenkaikon's 5th year running and it grew from being in a small room to 2 floors of the Valley Forge Convention Center.

Unfortunately, the massive growth wasn't without some growing pains. Last year when the convention took place inside the Radisson Hotel next to the Valley Forge Convention Center, it was very crowded. The crowding made the small con experience feel like a big con despite having small con guests and events. Fortunately, the change of venue to the convention center solved the crowding problem and allowed the convention to grow comfortably to several thousand attendees. In addition, the convention is still in it's sophomore stage as the staff are still unable to work the A/V well enough to allow for panels to start on time.

The high growth can be attributed mostly to the location. This is the only anime convention in the Philadelphia / East Pennsylvania area. In addition, it also attracts con goers from New Jersey and even New York. Another anime convention was being organized to take place nearby, but these plans were eventually scrapped.

Of course I have to mention the earthquake/tsunami that ravaged North-East Japan because Zenkaikon did their part in raising money to help those in need.