Thursday, July 29, 2010

Combo Attack!! 's Next Target Is...

And so the radio silence ends, and the real chat begins...

What is the trio to take on for their first official episode of the Combo Attack!! podcast?

Do we even need to say it?

Combining the visuals of comics, the framework of video games to come, and the experimentation of sheer cinema, it's a movie Combo Attack!! was made for.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Is INCEPTION Backlash-proof?

 Just had a thought this morning after a week of processing my own personal thoughts on INCEPTION. And I know, this has gone on for several posts now, but it still stands to trouble me that the current wave of backlash against the positive reviews of the film have been characterizing the film under expectations that are unbecoming of what the finished product seems intended.

The larger concerns over the film's flaws (upon certain restrictions do exist, just so there is no illusion implied on my part) as undermining hyperbolic views of the film as "too-intellectual", or "perfectly constructed" are more that these positive reviews are overlooking elements of a work that took nearly ten years to write, from a filmmaker who has been famous for meticulous, borderline obsessive in his storytelling technique. As if looking desperately to find a weakness in the armor like so many eternal malcontents, is more evidence of a viewing community out to head another Shymalan at the pass, as to avoid some kind of imagined betrayal that has yet to happen. In order to be spared the pain of another Phantom Menace? Are we still smarting from that one?

Never again, the connected public seems to want to say.

That said, I can see where some views see the film as less heady as Nolan's previous works. The film seems a lot less interested in following through on its own rules than MEMENTO, or even The Prestige. But as films that explore the fragility of rules, they are only pieces of a larger creative whole. To see INCEPTION on the same exact field of reason is (for me anyway) to miss out on what is Nolan's big moment to have a little fun with his craft thus far, to not play by the same elaborate design schemes he's so relied on before. While many "totems" of his past films are in full-force here (the dead love interest, guilt-ridden leads who make matters worse for themselves and others, etc), the films thrust is to blast through all prior concepts in a Greatest Hits fashion, whilst offering a conversation piece that is more introspective than many folks are considering.

From an authorship perspective, the piece is less a puzzle to be solved, and more a look into the process of filmmaking from the mind of someone enraptured by the possibilities inherent in audience participation. It's something that came to mind hours after viewing it, that Nolan's films seem by design to be interactive pieces.

To be led, invested, misdirected, and enthralled are his hopes with these works. Just as the participants in Cobb's group are meant to spin a fiction for us to inhabit for a brief time in order to inspire change within a single man, we are the larger fish filmmakers are after. They may not always attain the intended results, but it is in the collaborative attempt that these "jobs" fuel their fire. All one needs to do is to look at the cast, and recalibrate them as writers , art directors, stars, and executive producers, the film's intentions become alarmingly clear. And as Nolan had said once before, the heist film is that rare genre trope that allows for consistent exposition. It makes a perfect analog for the film creation, let alone any major creative endeavor.

Using this "through the looking glass" approach may seem overtly reductive (and for some, may even cheapen the end product), but it just stands to reason that after a short run of highly commercial successes with the Batman series, it felt time to do something personal. The only reason we see so much talk of summer blockbuster is merely because the year itself has proven itself to be a pretty bleak one for film. And when your only heavy hitter is a 200 million dollar art-house piece, you know things aren't well for the industry. That said, it is exciting to think of such a  film as commercially viable in an age where studios are tightening what is left of their belts, and are inches short of breaking out the barrels.

 To consider that they'd allow a labyrinth-minded explorer of the human condition the ability to run wild with his personal obsessions and inspirations, it's a surprise the film wasn't an unmitigated disaster.Thoughts not meant as a pass of immunity, but rather a reminder of intent over expectation. Had this been a film that was truly about a heist, then it'd be a different outcome for sure.

 On its own terms the film is more a means of entertaining what would otherwise come off as esoteric ideas, unfit for film. But for me, this is a massive part of what makes it so entertaining. To see these wild ideas through such a logic-leaning mind makes for an interesting paradox of art versus the literate. But the sum is larger than the whole, not too unlike works of auteurs of the past. It is a paean to the wonder & curiosity of storytelling, and a love letter to film in general.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Armond White And The Nature Of The Troll

Listening to Armond White's rare appearance on the Slashfilmcast earlier today, and was caught in feeling that not only was the man's intense disdain for the films of directors like Christopher Nolan unreasonably old-fashioned, but is telling about his entire reputation as an internet troll with a soapbox. The New York Press-based writer has become notorrious in his often contrarian for their own sake reviews of often critically praised works, including Nolan's previous film, The Dark Knight, and yet heaps praise for directors such as Michael Bay.(now there's no accounting for taste, as the old saying loops)Perhaps on text, it all does seem as if this educated writer could in fact sum up the acumen necessary to back up his views, but upon listening to this week's appearance, it comes off the way many of us had feared, that it may either be the elaborate work of a would-be troll, or simply the fearful words of an outdated model of film criticism.

And therein lies the issue with not only film critics, but also with anyone in a position of influence who takes offense toward evolving methods of communication. If you have a strong position that is counter to popular acceptance, you'd better bring not only your intellectual A-game, but you must also come armed with  open context based upon new data. An understanding of the modern audience is an important element. Even when I personally find a film remote from my liking, despite mass appeal, it is important for me to attempt to understand why. What Mr. White seems to rally for, is a return to an era of film that has not only long past, but will never be returning.(even going so far as to claiming that Roger Ebert was responsible for the downfall of film criticism) And perhaps it is this that he feels threatened, in a needy position to justify why he feels lost with current , and ever warping storytelling methods, even if they are attempting something ambitiously new. Without the reservoir ready in hand, it is natural to see the world as a naturally occurring spiral of negatives, but the explanation is a massive part of what makes journalism so vital. But when asked about certain direct questions via slashfilmcast host, David Chen, many of his answers were of the "no comment" ilk. This method of explanation does little to continue the discourse of film, and art in general.

His comments regarding INCEPTION couldn't be more naive & one-sided. Again, sharing words more akin to short-attention-spanned viewers than an actual historian of the filmic arts. And this is about a mainstream piece that attempts to utilize a more literate approach to the proceedings. To reduce the themes and ideas of the film to merely video game fodder,..feels like he didn't really watch the film after all.

Which reminds me of many a time where I have been wondering if I myself could come from a similar cloth, to perhaps being a contrarian myself. Upon which at the end, I would resoundingly conclude with a simple, no. For me, it is more an exploration into finding what makes a work connect or not, while seeking out the jewels that must speak to certain folks. It isn't always easy, but the needs for an empathic link with the audience and for an observant eye for intention are crucial. These elements are perhaps tenets of certain critics not Mr. White, but I will state that for one, I prefer to read from, or listen to. To merely shut off, and not clarify what isn't coming across is dangerous in any field of communication. After all, the internet itself can be seen as an eternally intricate series of meta-conversations, and trolling is not unlike contextual pornography.

It serves a segment of an audience who wishes to hear it at the cost of actually communicating, or even creating.

As much as I admire the gall with which he speaks, it would have been nice to have seen a more even-ended glimpse toward understanding what makes such a mind tick. But the problems multiply throughout the recording, making it clear that this is merely conjecture, blasting out in order to get a rise out of film fans, and offering little for us to really chew on. To be true, there is a history of film to be appreciated, and much to be learned, but to merely raise a nose up in disapproval without any will toward clarity does little to bridge gaps, and serves to create more.

And to this, may we never mention him here again. Save the attention for someone who can both talk the talk, and walk the walk. Anything less, I can get from a random visit to a Chan site.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inception (2010) Review

Ideas have become far more important to us than action - ideas so cleverly expressed in books by the intellectuals in every field.  The more cunning, the more subtle, those ideas are the more we worship them and the books that contain them.  We are those books, we are those ideas, so heavily conditioned are we by them.  We are forever discussing ideas and ideals and dialectically offering opinions.  Every religion has its dogma, its formula, its own scaffold to reach the gods, and when inquiring into the beginning of thought we are questioning the importance of this whole edifice of ideas.  We have separated ideas from action because ideas are always of the past and action is always the present - that is, living is always the present.  We are afraid of living and therefore the past, as ideas, has become so important to us.  ~J. Krishnamurti

Praise Be To The Cinema...

To be able to sit here, and express about how a film such as Christopher Nolan's latest probably shouldn't exist in today's film world, and yet does is a testament to the fortitude, and dedication it took such an obsessive mind to unleash it upon the world. Several hour later, I'm still doing my damndest to keep all the best images & thoughts for myself, and possibly failing as human memory often does. Much in the way it has been suggested in his past films, memories often lead toward decisions not completely within absolute control. And the consequences of living a life through captured memories sans the essence of those memories as ripe as they were on the day of their occurrence. To be able to retain that feeling, that place that felt so aligned with everything on the exterior must be one of the greatest longings inherent in the human experience. But for them to fade, allowing room for new experiences to breathe lives of their own must be considered. And finding a way through these mazes we create for ourselves is at the heart of INCEPTION. Taking pages from some of the best in science fiction writing of the last thirty years, mixed in with some of that classic Nolan grit, and warping them into a wholly new hybrid form of cinematic achievement is something truly exciting indeed. There is simply no real way to merely review a film like this without looking at the other "I" word...Intent.

The stars were aligned at last for Nolan to finally tackle what is essentially a dream project. The film by which a director risks life and limb to earn an ability to construct. It has been known that he had in fact been conceiving this piece for well over ten years (even during his MEMENTO days), and after the monolithic success of his Batman reinvention, he has finally been allowed to share the tale of expert mind-diver, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his voyages into the framework of the human mind. Its also no secret that the director's films have often been derided as being either too meticulous, and emotionally distant to make any truly deep impression. And it can be said that this isn't far from the truth, as often we are made participants in his sometimes overtly clever mindgames , nothing could prepare the average moviegoer for the Herculean workout they are about to receive with this one. This is the kind of film that anime such as Ghost in The Shell has been hinting at from the horizon for over a decade now. And boy, is it a welcome entry into this rarely filmed mode of hard science fiction. And in the best examples of a volatile project of this nature, it is a resounding success.

Cobb (DiCaprio) is an exiled american working as a master of psychological corporate espionage, which is to simplify, a "dream thief", specializing in diving into the minds of a mark to retrieve data for paying interests worldwide. A haunted anti-hero figure, Cobb requires the assistance of several other experts in the hopes of earning his way back into the US due to laws forbidding him to do so. Hired by the mysterious & dedicated Saito (A wonderful Ken Watanabe), Cobb and his partner in crime, Arthur(Joseph Goron-Levitt) enlist a small team of experts, including fellow diver Eames (Tom Hardy), chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao), and architectural prodigy Ariadne (Ellen Page), who can help enter the mind of powerful heir-to-be, Fischer (Cillian Murphy) in the hopes of doing the near-impossible...the implantation of an idea as opposed to extraction. Despite the precision, and ability this team can muster, there is no guarantee of success in the realm of the ever-unstable human psyche. Especially when the leader is as tormented by the past as he is. And it is this fly in the ointment that fuels a great deal of the film as Page's eager student longs to better understand the world of the dream, despite the terrible danger Cobb's past engenders for not only her, but the entire operation.

From the opening scenes, into the leaps in non-linear time, and ultimately the dream itself, the film is an intoxicating mix that may alienate some upon first viewing, but render many to return as there is just so much value in nearly every moment of it. From the scenes revealing the unstable, shifting world of the dream, the nature of dream invasion, and the interweaving of exterior logic within the confines of full REM sleep. (I often sleep with music playing subtly in my room, so this makes absolute sense) The mission unfolds, and nearly spirals out of control to a point to where the team is forced to go much deeper than initially planned which creates a dizzying effect not unlike the way real dreams take conventional logic, and sends it packing. The interlocking of dreams within dreams is an incomparable feat of writing and editing that must be experienced to be fully comprehended. And this is where Wally Pfister's visual wizardry is paramount in expressing the tale in a nature most comparable to the images of one MC Escher. A visualist perfectly cast into a story so entrenched within such a labyrinthian structure. Hans Zimmer's score evokes both his greatest strengths alongside the very best of John Barry in a truly rapturous accompaniment. And to see a film so realized in its vision that the sights and sounds are so aligned with the intelligence to match, it is perhaps no big concern that the emotional effect perhaps is best saved for a second, or third viewing. The mind is so busy working overtime, this is perfectly understandable. This is a definitive example of the kind of rare work that rewards multiple viewings with added volumes of thought.
 And this is where the cast keeps the film so well grounded. DiCaprio's performance is a perfect follow-up to his impressive leading turn in Shutter Island earlier this year. In many ways, Cobb is an extension of the same character. But this time, the pain is driving his every move and has worn heavy on his appearance. It's a startling transformation for him, and offers a lot more than one may expect. Also engaging & funny is Gordon-Levitt's Arthur, the kind of slick upstart that pays counterpoint to Cobb's troubled, determined demeanor. He's a natural sidekick who more than holds his own in some of the work's most thrilling action pieces. Its also great to see Watanabe in such a larger role than usual in a large scale feature. Hopelessly dedicated to his cause, and oddly charming, his Saito is a fun, toned-down twist on the Bond-villain that adds a cool touch to the whole caper. And I can't help but love Tom Hardy in the role of Eames, a man so clearly aligned with his inner Ian Fleming. Support by Murphy, Tom Berenger, Rao, and even Nolan regular, Michael Caine are equally welcome to the proceedings.

Now what I haven't mentioned thus far was the inclusion of the film's feminine element consisting of a figure of Cobb's past played by Marion Cotilliard, and his urgent present in the form of Ellen Page. In the role of Ariadne, Page is tasked with perhaps the least amount of characterization in the film, and yet is all-important to the overarching narrative. As the young, eager student, she is tasked with entering the mind of Cobb, but discovers his secret that threatens the operation, and yet she cannot help but be entranced by the need to know. To push further than anyone prior had done. Knowing that her task is to create a projected maze within this scape of existence, she cannot help but wonder what lies beneath, and is thus more in tune with what Cobb truly wants as opposed to what he hopes to avoid. And in this, it is clear that she is less a requisite character on a heist as the majority of the cast, but more of a conscience that Cobb has been neglecting to keep his memories locked within. She is the key to his salvation, even as memories of the being known as Mal (Cotilliard) threaten to keep him imprisoned forever. It is in this stroke of story that INCEPTION leaps beyond the surface of protean mechanism, place, and spirit to deliver a most complex, yet human of parables.

And speaking from looking at the film from an interior view, it is also very telling that multiple parallels indicate that this is in fact at least a partially autobiographical look into a director whom at least right now, has the moviegoing public in his hands. With the revelation that one of the lead character's children is played by his real-life son, it isn't far off to see DiCaprio's Cobb as a broken analog for the director himself. And filmed with a love for pop-cinema of England past(the Bond connections are blatant), the piece can also play as a mediation on the life of one who has sacrificed so much in order to weave tales for us. And while some may see this as something less than subtle, it is also a declaration of the necessity for ideas in all eras. A primal call to arms in an art world in danger of collapsing to mere co-opt, familiarity, and safety. With a wildly ambitious script, a supporting public, and a note-perfect cast, we are sharing his dream within a thousand dark rooms. And perhaps with a hope that souls young and old can remember what it is to remain truly inspired.

Never mind that cinema may never be the same after INCEPTION has its way with your mind upon exposure. Never mind that it is a heist caper in rank with the best of authors such as William Gibson, and has an interior logic all of its own, and not in the best interest of mass audiences(especially within the realm of that all-comfort-food world of the Summer Film). What we have to bear witness is a thriller that stands defiant in the face of an ever-deadening cinematic landscape, and declares ideas to be our greatest saviors if not greatest terrors.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Combo Attack!! Podcast is Live!

The conversation expands...The rest is up to you, the listener!

At long last, a once lofty subject of discussion between old friends finally takes on life in the form of an all-new, and hopefully revealing podcast experiment! Combo Attack!! is the brainchild of Alain Lecaro (of Alain's Comic Stop), Joel Tune, and myself which'll explore pop culture from 3 diverging, yet hopefully entertaining viewpoints.

Where did this all come from? Well the fact that Al grew up with mostly American supehero comics, Joel with Video and Tabletop gaming, and myself with film & anime, it only made sense that it'd be a great time to hop on and share these often engaging & fun chats of ours with fans all over. (and all in the name of proving that the three fandoms could co-exist sans-the fear of fire & vitriol that the internet can sometimes engender)

Check out the site (including the debut episode, featuring an epic discussion of Nolan's The Dark Knight!)

Just in time for INCEPTION this weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Basking In The Ember Glow

Still recuperating from a week of settling back into work, as well as writeups on Anime Expo, but it felt peaceful just long enough to put a spotlight on some house objects scattered about.

At the moment, trying to set aside time for some fun editing for something hopefully very fun this weekend.

With Anime Diet, columns like Bridging The Gap, Otaple Talk, and Analog Diaries will in fact be continuing very soon. As of right now, I'm formulating where AD is going specifically. Just so many memories in that particular pool to dip from, it was really tough to pick a single one for the next post. And Otaple Talk is definitely something I'd love to do more of in the near future. Always a fun time to help better meld the 2D vs 3D in strange, hopefully revealing ways. As always, BDG is perhaps the one most closest to my heart.

Perhaps now would be as good a time as any to remind readers that The Kaijyu will again be in the audio form within the coming weeks. As time zero stands at almost night, I can best sum it all up by saying that the planning has been as good as is possible given the technical limitations we have. So I guess I just want folks to know that even if the first few episodes begin with a scrappy feel, we are aware of these and hope to have a final format & maintenance system down. Until then, I hope we can offer an insightful look at pop culture events large and small from three wildly diverging viewpoints. In the past several weeks, it has become crystal clear just how different the three of us are. And in this, the hope is that we can cover an impressive range of viewpoints, and maybe, just maybe...offer something altogether new in the podosphere (is that even a word...yet?).

Also very overdue is another Infant Island Podcast, which should reemerge very soon. The Kiyo and I have been incredibly busy with watching and discussing shows old and new. And I'm certain that we have a memorable one for our next show. This is one that is a little easier to produce as (surprise!) it's all in house with us here at The Cube. As for when, it truly depends on our respective work situations before a new installment can become a reality.

So on one level, I'm a little relieved that con season is almost over, and the new anime season seems to be under way. Whether it'll be fun, or another dark, tarry abyss remains to be seen. (the guys at Diet have been getting some peeks, and seem to like a few- personally I just want to see Occult Academy)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Anime Expo 2010 Surprise! Toradora! Q & A With Horie & Kitamura!


Pardon the suddenness. This post was initially not on any plan of any kind, but upon getting the tip that two of the principal roles of a favorite recent show of mine were to actually be a part of a Saturday morning panel, there simply was no way I could resist the opportunity. Especially when one of these performers has been a personal favorite of mine for well over a decade now.

That's right, not only was the Toradora! panel hosted by anime distribution babes, NIS America going to feature a cool preview of a surprise close to my own heart, but to have two of the show's core triumvirate of stars in attendance! The thought of not being able to catch seiyuu superstar, Yui Horie at a panel a day before broke my heart, so you better believe I listened when informed that she would be at the Toradora! panel alongside co-star, Eri Kitamura. For those unfaimilar yet with the series & characters, I highly recommend catching this series as soon as possible because for my money, this is one of the few new releases that screams owning. NIS's Premium Edition sets for the series are second to none in packaging and extras. The series itself is a brilliant take on the classic high school coming of age story, armed with some of the best characterization the medium has to offer today. And in the roles of loopy-hyper crush Minori Kushieda & the at-times nebulous beauty queen Ami Kawashima, both Horie and Kitamura aquitted themselves as true troopers and open souls.

With the show's producer, Takahiro Yamanaka in tow, the duo took part in a Q & A session featuring questions that were entered on a sheet of paper that was at the NIS America booth in the exhibit hall over the previous two days. With questions ranging from the typical "What made you want to be a voice actor?" to some erm..interesting ones "Which character would you have like to have played in the show if not the one you took?", the festivities were great fun, and made most interesting because I suddenly realized that...despite the fact that photography and video was strictly prohibited in the large Concourse Hall(which was near to full upon our estimation- we were three rows from the actors), they didn't say the same for audio recorders!

So without any futher delay, here's part one of my audio (with notation for your assistance- I know my recorder isn't the best. Didn't I say this was wasn't planned?)

Let the service begin! The recording begins as Kitamura is asked about, what else? What inspired her to become a voice actress..

(please forgive our annoying voices in this edit. Over the course of the Q & A, I realize this and begin toning myself down. My fanboyishness rears its ugly head from time to time. Working on it!)

[00:35 - 01:05] Horie-san explains her original inspiration on the form of a blue-haired Lovely Angel! (upon us reciprocating her mention of the show, she then proceeded to applaud with her hands out to Kiyo and I. Classic. We seemed to be among the few who responded to her enthisuasm for the show as she mentioned it. So that was a big fan/artist moment for us.)

[01:35 - 04:26] Kitamura & Horie are asked to provide advice to those interested in becoming a VA.(the Emcee accidentally begins to ask another question before everyone catches him, allowing Horie to add her two cents)

"I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!"

[05:35 - 07:39 ] The stars are asked if they ever wished to play another character in Toradora! And if so who? And could they do an impersonation for the audience? The answer is pretty noisy and hilarious for all in the house...Horie's is especially noteworthy.(WARNING: Squawking ahead.)

[08:07 - 10:30] Discussing the biggest challenges of playing Kawashima & Kushieda respectively. It is revealed here that much like TV here, it pays to cast against type with voice actors. The switch between both actresses and their temperaments works beautifully in this show. Truly liberating for both of them for sure.

Just taking a break to say that I especially loved Horie-san's translator. His demeanor never wavered, and his ability to handle even the more frenetic responses of our stars was fantastic.

Now onto the last half!

[00:00 - 00:20] Horie-san's translator conveys her liberated feeling at playing such a hyper, carefree character. (seriously, this character almost steals the show. And only doesn't because of such great writing and performances all around.)

[00:42 - 03:03] Asked about what is perhaps the most fun part of working on Toradora! Again, this plays on the fact that both ladies are playing characters that allow the two to let loose in ways that previous jobs had not. Kitamura in reality seems to be the more hyper type, as Horie-san seems more collected. Either way, great listening.

[04:08 - 05:15] Okay, this one dates me. But the pair are asked if there were seiyuu they still would love to work with in the future. And if so who? Their answers made me smile ear to ear.

[06:03 - 06:29] Now we're totally going Toradora! fanchild here. Two two are asked to chat with each other in character. (The poor translators.)

[07:20 - 08:10] Saying, Thank You!

[08:50 - END] Last question: Saying, "I love Anime Expo" in character voice. Anime Expo Dai suki!

Of course, no cheesy recording or commentary could match the feeling that was filling the room that morning. My only wish is to have been able to get actual photos. An amazing little function, and a sweet way to usher in a new name in quality for anime in the US. Here's to more in the future.

For more coverage with Horie-san, please check out Anime Diet for a live-blog of her panel the day before. And also for more coverage of Anime Expo 2010!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

AX2010: Mementos In Image Volley No,1

So much to transcribe, edit, write, retouch, upload and share regarding the weekend's festivities, so I'll do my part to just say that Anime Expo 2010 was a mixed event, but filled with a rare sort of vibe. The kind that is finally willing to embrace the now, and take some much needed risk amidst a crumbled market hampered by sameness & safety. A reality check has been in the needing for some time, and it's nice to see that clearly on so many faces. It's a pretty decimated, yet strangely exciting time. One of great promise for sure.

That said...onto the pics, featuring V.Zero's own resident icon, Miss Kiyomi Park! (An entire set is in fact coming- the whole bloody affair is huge, and will likely disperse throughout here, Anime Diet, as well as Hobby Yokai, so keep those links ready!)

                                                              A terrific Toradora! pair.

                  Possibly the cosplay I was most seeking out this year. Shinra & Celty from Durarara!!

Busiest day is still Saturday.

                              The almighty Exhibit Hall, while light on presence, was still quite busy!

                                                Okay. How can you go wrong with good ol' Dan!?

                                                      A great pair of Katamari kids!

   An unprecedented crowd at the Artists Alley!(integrated Comic-Con style within the Exhibit Hall this time)

                                Kiyomi in a time warp! Where's the frickin' TPDD when you need it?

The time rupture was massive, eventually the equipment was found beneath that pile of Jimmy Eat World CDs. (Great Haruko though.Image Courtesy of Kiyomi Park)

The culprit of this particular time crime was found, and was promptly dealt with. The Kiyomi's brand of justice is perhaps best kept a mystery. (but trust me, it's pretty frightening)

 No sooner that the criminal been managed and subdued, another timequake occurred with slightly more erratic results. What're you gonna do?

Again, there will definitely be more news and commentary regarding the event. Seriously, I haven't even posted my personal favorite images yet. So stay tuned here, as well as on Anime Diet & Hobby Yokai!

AX 2010. Bigger than a Tweet.

Still alive. And here for a final round before posting heats up here and abroad. Much was covered yesterday regarding photos & mingling with friends new & old. Despite not being there for the onslaught of GoH panels and concerts, we were able to enjoy a surprise in the form of seiyuu & production icons visiting industry promo panels at a time where most attendees missed out. (can't wait to fill that report!) Aside from this, an overall feeling that the industry can only go up at this point as we grow more open toward embracing the technological possibilties.

Pretty worn out this morning, but have plenty of vigor left for the big wind down that is often AX's last day. So until next time...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

AX Anxieties & Anticipation

                                                           Crap! It's HERE.

So yes, this year's AX is going to likely be a strange one filled with marketing, cosplay, & many happy reunions. But most importantly, much more visual than last year's battery fail-laden excursion. And even as I may be missing the bulk of the weekend's big tickets (Click Here For The Painful Reaction), it still feels more like a normal con than I had been concerned it wouldn't be. With so many things in the air regarding the future of the anime industry, it should prove fascinating if word comes through from on high that things are not only evolving from the newly embraced streaming business model, but that perhaps the medium has a little more on its plate than the apocalyptic talk hovering around as of late. As everyone has seen , things are not so different from what Hollywood has been resorting to as of late, and it isn't looking terribly like that's going to sustain everyone in the long run. So with this, I hope that folks from both the creative, administrative, and even press can congeal enough thought to provide some much needed ideas.

And here I am again, unable to start the con from the beginning. Something which is perhaps just as well. The combination of work situation, marketing talk, new videos, and podcast preparation, it has been a little mad around here as of late. But it all culminates this month as AX tends to be ground zero for many of these activities. It's just a tricky thing, balancing both work and play in an event that for years was merely a playground for me. Much has changed over the years.

That said, I'm really looking forward to sharing some memories from the convention. Perhaps a few chats & video will be involved, so stay tuned for updates!