Panels at Otakon Vegas

I will be at Otakon Vegas January 3rd through 5th and will be giving four panels! It feels like only a few weeks ago that they announced the convention and finally I will be going into the very center of Sin City and… giving academic panels about Japanese cartoons… I don’t think I’m doing Vegas correctly….

Hope to see you there!

Tortured Artist: A portrait of Hideaki Anno

Where: Panel 2/Celebrity 5

When: Friday January 03, 2014 at 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Starting in the early 1980s Hideaki Anno forced his way into the anime industry by impressing veterans with his sheer talent. As a founding Member of Studio Gainax and his works, including Gunbuster and Neon Genesis Evangelion, remain an influence to anime almost twenty years later. However, Anno’s career in animation was cut short by a crippling depression that had become his signature narrative element. This panel examines the work of Anno from his early days into his fight with depression where he creates some of his most striking an innovative work.

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Panels at ConnectiCon 2013

I will be at ConnectiCon 2013 from July 12th through 14th presenting the following:

On a side note, this will be my eight ConnectiCon and my third as a presenter. It’s the one big event that I look forward to every year and as I continue to contribute more to the con I get even more excited to be a part of it.

Tortured Artist: A portrait of Hideaki Anno

Location: Panel 3 (CTCC MR 14)

Date: Friday July 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Starting in the early 1980s Hideaki Anno forced his way into the anime industry by impressing veterans with his sheer talent. As a founding Member of Studio Gainax and his works, including Gunbuster and Neon Genesis Evangelion, remain an influence to anime almost twenty years later. However, Anno’s career in animation was cut short by a crippling depression that had become his signature narrative element. This panel examines the work of Anno from his early days into his fight with depression where he creates some of his most striking an innovative work.

Makoto Shinkai: The Next Hayao Miyazaki?

Location: Panel 3 (CTCC MR 14)

On Saturday July 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Makoto Shinkai started as a truly independent artist; after animating, writing, and starring in his groundbreaking “Voice of a Distant Star” he was quickly brought in to create a feature length work and since has been steadily perfecting his unique narrative and animation style. This panel looks at his current work and tries to answer the question that many have asked during Shinkai’s rapid rise to the top: Have we found the next Hayao Miyazaki?

When Gundam Goes Bad

Location: Panel 3 (CTCC MR 14)

On Saturday July 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The U.C. Gundam franchise has been held up over the past twenty years as the father of modern mecha anime. But while those original Gundam series were innovative and exciting, there is also a side of it there is extremely silly. We go over the details on when Gundam is extremely good, and when Gundam is laughably bad.

When Moe Goes Bad

Location: Panel 3 (CTCC MR 14)

On Sunday July 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Over the last ten years Moe anime has risen as the dominant genre in the medium. With that rise came a lot of excellent shows but following shortly behind were projects that desperately wanted to cash in on the popularity of the medium. In the style of “When Gundam Goes Bad” this panel explores the very best of Moe and highlights moments when Moe makes me embarrassed to be an anime fan.

E3 2013 Wrap Up

 

I was a little bit down on E3 this year. I’m not sure why, but in the last few months I’ve been in a bit of fatigue around game news and game hype. Even so, I’m excited for a whole lot of games announced at the show because even if I’m sick and tired of how the industry and fans use marketing to manipulate people… I still love games.

I’m being too negative again. I’m going to try and work on this.

Pokemon X and Y

The Pokemon games haven’t gone through a lot of changes since Red and Blue, but the original formula still works as I said during my Pokemon White review a few years ago. This seems to be the biggest change to the series and if they manage to work through some of the more painful UI elements that still pelage the games this will easily be a Home Run. It also includes some Nintendog like functionality, if you’re into that.

The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

Having missed the original on Game Cube I’ve always wanted to go back and play Wind Waker. With the graphical update and small game play improvements this is the perfect opportunity to jump into the game. With the other games coming out towards the end of the year this is also releasing around the perfect time to grab a Wii U.

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I want more Gravity Falls... NOW

I’m sick and tired of waiting for new Gravity Falls.

Yes, I’m a bitter spoiled child. But there are two conflicting model for releasing serialized content and the one that is persisting, the one that has been around forever is delaying the release of popular content for as long as possible. It doesn’t make any sense in our current media landscape, and it does nothing but enrage the fans.

I’m not talking about the standard model of producing set number of episodes and then releasing them in a set number of weeks... that’s perfect if that is what you have to do. Even Doctor Who, where Season 7 of the show was broken up between 2012 and 2013 more for production issues than milking the show. I can live with that because they at least explained away the delay.

The stuff the drives me insane is stuff like Battlestar Galactica. Where they were finished shooting the final ten episodes eight months before they released them just to get the feeling a new season is coming. Breaking Bad is doing the same thing where they made the creators pad the series in order to break one season up between two years. Those drive me crazy... but even then we have a set number of episodes in a set time span.

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Panels at Anime Boston 2013

I’m pleased to announce that I will be presenting “When Gundam Goes Bad” at Anime Boston 2013 at 11:15am Friday May 24th in Panel 309. This is the second time giving this panel so it’ll be a slightly tweaked version. It was first presented at ConnectiCon 2013. I plan to be at Anime Boston all day Friday, with a possible stay over till Saturday. Anyone who wants to meet up can hit me up on twitter.

When Gundam Goes Bad

“The U.C. Gundam franchise has been held up over the past twenty years as the father of modern mecha anime. But while those original Gundam series were innovative and exciting, there is also a side of it there is extremely silly. We go over the details on when Gundam is extremely good, and when Gundam is laughably bad.”

Destiny: Zenith of a poisonous hype machine

 There is a poison that has been growing in gaming culture for some time now. In the last year or so I think it’s reached a zenith, and it is time that consumers start fighting back. The core gamers are told that there are threats to their hobby. That congress is legislating against their games, that iPhones and iPads are causing dedicated game consoles and game capable PCs to disappear. However, the real threat to gaming culture is internal, and is inflamed by PR firms who want to manipulate and gamers into buying into their story so they can sell games. Hype. Hype is the greatest danger to the gaming market and it is time that the majority of core gamers realized how they are being manipulated.

Of course, this could be a problem with the greater geek culture that has risen to prominence in the last ten years. Fans line up for hours to watch ten minutes of a film they are going to see in theaters in a few months. That waste of time and money has always baffled me, as I have always found myself with more media to consume than time to consume it. In gaming I’ve seen fans line up for hours to play a few minutes of Portal 2 at PAX East less than a month before release. The same for L.A. Noir, a game that wasn’t even worth playing even after the price had bottomed out. At NY Comic Con fans waited in line to watch game play of Batman Arkham City only a week or two before release.

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Podcast Challenges

I love podcasts. I listened to some podcasts before even iTunes started to support them but it wasn’t until they got rolled into the iTunes store that I became seriously dependent on them for entertainment during my daily commute and the more mundane tasks I have to suffer through during work. And now, as a podcast producer, I have a vested interest in the ecosystem around podcasts.

Before iTunes allowed podcasts into the store the way to actually get and listen to podcasts was tedious at best. Users had to download them using a desktop based RSS feed reader to download the audio files. Then the user would listen to it in their preferred MP3player on their PC or sync it onto their iPod or other MP3 players. After iTunes worked it into their store, things got a lot easier. Users could find and subscribe to the podcasts they wanted, and then iTunes would download them and delete them from the users computer and iPod after they listened to them. Users would still have to sync with their computers but the management of the audio files had become invisible.

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Otakon food diary

 

 I will be writing a full convention report about Otakon over at Otaku in Review but I wanted to get some details that are not exactly relevant to the convention out in this post, more of a vacation wrap up than a convention post.

I left early on thursday and made it to Baltimore around 3PM. I only stopped twice on the way, the second was for lunch at Waffle House which holds a warm nostalgic value for me. The food is delicious in a “this is bad for you and hastily prepared” sort of way. I had a Waffle with eggs and grits with sausage and toast. A carbo-load for a day filled with walking.

When I got into the city I went to the hotel but saw no place to drive up and unload my bags. Later I found that the valet parking area can be used for this, but at the time I just wanted to get there so I drove to my parking space a half mile away. Not being in the inner harbor proper the price was far better, $17 a day, and I got a deal with Parking Panda which made the four day stay a total of $60. In an area where parking will murder you, I claimed this as a huge accomplishment. Of course, I had to drag my suitcase, tote bag, and backpack three-fourths of a mile to the hotel. It was probably worth saving the money.

We sat for a bit and then went to get our badges. From there we met with the Out of Time Production crew  to Edo Sushi. I’m not a big sushi fan, although I tried one with raw salmon that I liked, but the consensus was that it was an overpriced mediocre Sushi place. Considering the thousands of Japanophiles in the area for the convention I’m, sure they cleaned up over the weekend. It had a nice Japanese atmosphere inside with waitresses dressed in Yukata and all the trappings of a high priced Sushi restaurant. I ordered an Asahi which I liked. It was a dry beer with a nice flavor and no after taste. For dinner I ordered a beef Teriyaki and expected to get some beef strips and rice but received a full steak covered in Teriyaki sauce. The meat was cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth, the teriyaki was slightly sweet and complimented the meat beautifully. For dessert I got some Green Tea ice cream, a favorite of mine at Japanese restaurants. Frankly, anything Green Tea flavored is an easy way to win my heart.

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Otakon 2012 Tweets

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