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Forsooth, as I have returned from the crazy masses of pop culture fans that attended New York Comic-Con this past October 11-14. I can definitely say that it was a blast to be at as I have gotten to see almost all the Japanese guests that attended the event. The spirit of Tokyo was definitely thriving (albeit a small one) in NYCC.
The only problem I have is that the Jacob Javits Center (the building it’s hosted in) is still not the greatest convention center for a pop culture convention. When you have an organization like JManga complaining about the building, you know there are problems. As NYCC continues to grow and become even more like San-Diego Comic-Con, will there be any extra room for more than 116,000+ folks? Compared to San Diego, you have to travel a bit far to get to the good restaurants/bars around NYC and the Jacob Javits Center is much smaller than the San Diego Convention Center. However, NYCC seems to have more anime/manga-related content than SDCC.
Another thing I realized after attending NYCC was how much I missed New York Anime Festival. While the likes of Danny Choo, Yu Asakawa, Yoshitaka Amano, Moyoco Anno, Masakazu Ishiguro, and Masakazu Katsura are very notable guests, how can NYCC top Danny Choo? Though we should leave it in the hands of folks like Japan Foundation to bring notable Japanese talent overseas. New York definitely deserves another anime convention as there are notable differences that make Japanese pop culture stand out compared to American pop culture.
In any case, Japanese pop culture was still alive in the East Coast’s premier pop culture event thanks to the efforts of the Japan Foundation, Vertical Inc., SUNRISE, Viki, Dark Horse Comics, and JManga. すべてのありがとうございました！
Enjoy the photos below!
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(Natsume Ono fans awaiting her appearance at Kinokuniya.)
Samurai Beat Radio just published an interview with fans during Natsume Ono’s appearance at Kinokuniya Bookstore. Take a listen below!
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(Picture: Natsume Ono’s titles on display at Kinokuniya during her interview)
Special thanks go out to VIZ Media & Kinokuniya for organizing the event!
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I will be at the event assisting Samurai Beat Radio and also live-tweeting (if possible) as well. For those who are able to attend, stop on by and say hello.
Also, expect a look at “House of Five Leaves” later this week!
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For those of you who read my “About Me” or read from the ANN post about the “Anime Fans Help Japan” podcast, I am also a part of Samurai Beat Radio. Therefore, I will be at the Kinokuniya event on May 10th.
I will let everyone know about how much involvement I will have in the event once further details arise. Stay tuned!
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With another earthquake hitting Japan, it’s becoming more important to stand by the country as it faces more uncertainties. On Saturday, April 9, Japan Society will be having a 12-hour program of music concerts & special events. A wide variety of musical guests that will be attending include John Zorn, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, Hal Willner, etc.
Famed Japanese musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, will be performing as well. There will also be classical, contemporary musicians that will be taking the stage. One of my favorite NY-based Japanese-led bands, echostream, will be performing as well.
If you’re interested in arts & education, Japan Society will have calligraphy, origami, washi lantern, & Japanese language workshops on that day as well.
I will be attending this event and perhaps interview some of the guests at the event. If you are in the NYC area, please stop on by and show your support. For those not able to make it, the event will be broadcast through uStream at: http://www.ustream.tv/JapanSociety.
100% of the donations made at this event will go to the Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund.
Just to give a heads-up that Manga Therapy will be part of the “Anime And Manga Bloggers For Japan” fundraising group set up by Daniella Orihuela-Gruber, a well-known manga editor & blogger of All About Manga. If you love anime & manga and love to blog about those subjects, please join our efforts in donating funds towards the victims of the disaster in Japan. Japan can’t do everything alone and with our help & many others, the sun will rise once more. I already donated and hope you will do the same.
Also, I will be a guest on the “Anime Fans Give Back To Japan” podcast, which begins later today at 6pm. I will be appearing on Sunday, 1:30pm. The podcast will be 24 hours long and be streamed live via uStream as well. Be sure to tune in as there are a HUGE variety of guests showing up, including notable ones such as Steve Blum, Stephanie Sheh, Crispin Freeman, Justin Sevakis, Ed Sizemore, and many others.
Finally, I want to plug one last event. Samurai Beat Radio (which I’m part of) will be taking part in an event called “JP Girls NYC - Save Japan With Your Love”. They will be raising funds in the Times Square area of NYC tomorrow from 12pm to 6pm. If you happen to be around that area on Sunday, be sure to check it out.
Show Japan your love & support!
Just a heads up for fellow readers from the Tri-State area, I will be hosting an panel on Hip-Hop Music in Anime & Japan at Kinokuniya Bookstore on February 12. The panel will start at 2:30PM. I will be joined alongside Vivian Ho, my co-host of KIKEYO! and May Young of Asian Culture Goes Pop. We will also have other special guests as well.
Oh yeah, there will be a sneaker art workshop where you guys can enter to win some cool prizes, courtesy of Hip Hop USA!
See you guys there!
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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hosting “Holiday Anime & Manga Day” at Kinokuniya Bookstore. It was the first anime/manga event that I have truly hosted. I have taken part in panels for Samurai Beat Radio there, but not hosting an entire day’s worth. I have to say it was quite a learning experience and lots of fun with introducing the guests, announcements, entertainment, & raffles.
The first panel was the “Unofficial One Piece Podcast” panel. This was very, very informative. I started following One Piece very recently & I find the series to be insanely funny. I think the one thing they stressed about the series which I thought was very apparent, was the theme of “family”. Everyone in the Straw Hat Pirates accepts each other unconditionally, despite all their differences. In some ways, it reminds me of the Yorozuya in Gintama. If you haven’t followed One Piece yet, please do so. Just flat-out funny, charming, and great.
The next panel was probably the one panel that a lot of people were waiting for (& tweeted about), the Kodansha Comics launch event. Associate Publisher Dallas Middaugh appeared in front of an anxious audience. He addressed the current situation with Kodansha USA & unveiled upcoming titles for Summer 2011. A full list of the titles can be read here.
I have to say I was impressed with what they have in store for manga fans, though the CLAMP titles (Tsubasa & xxxHolic) still being under Del Rey Manga intrigues me. One title I’m ESPECIALLY happy about is Bloody Monday. That’s one title I was wondering whether it would be brought over here and now I got my wish.
I was also impressed with fans bringing up titles that Dallas forgot to mention during the presentation. Nice to see fans care about Kodansha USA & supporting them.
Kodansha USA rewarded fans for coming by doing a raffle where they gave away 4 Air Gear posters, 2 sets of the Ghost in the Shell manga (Volumes 1 & 2), and 1 Sayonara! Zetsubou Sensei towel. Great, great start for Kodansha USA.
The next panel was “Translating Tezuka” with translator, Mari Morimoto. As many manga fans know, her resume is very noteworthy. Mari discussed her latest project, Osamu Tezuka’s “Ayako”. I have to say Ayako is very, very interesting. It makes me wonder about the difficulties of living in Japan, post World War II (the setting for the story). Another thing is the title character, Ayako, is an EXTREMELY flawed character. Just literally almost everything about her is not perfect (maybe except her physical appearance). It provides some good psychological curiosity on how someone like her would be able to fit in society today.
Also, one thing I would like to note from this panel. At the end of the panel, Mari spoke about Kodansha USA possibly bringing over their Weekly Morning manga magazine to the States. I can’t verify the truth of her statement, but this is something I feel is interesting to share with you guys.
Uncle Yo & Chris Troy took the stage next. Funny how this was Uncle Yo’s first time performing at Kinokuniya. A lot of fans enjoyed what he had to say. He made a few jokes that were outside of anime, manga, and video games. The best joke he made was how insane people are now on C-SPAN instead of being locked up in mental asylums.
Last, but not least, animator/artist Jose Velasco presented his new short animated film, Calypso Agency.
Yes, everyone gathered around like that & watched the film through his laptop due to technical difficulties with the television at the store. All I can say is that the film looked AMAZING and it shows that non-Japanese animators can make some great anime. Also, congratulations to Jose for winning the 12th TBS Digicon 6 Singapore Golden Prize in Asia for “Calypso Agency”.
There was another main raffle where many people won more prizes, courtesy of New York Anime Festival. Overall, I had a fun time hosting and I also promoted my blog as well. Someone said that I’m the heir apparent to Peter Tatara, the Programming Director for NYAF. He usually hosts the Kinokuniya events, but couldn’t make it because of the Singapore Comic Convention 2010. I still have a ways to go, though I wouldn’t mind hosting another anime/manga event again in the future.
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To everyone living in the Tri-State area, I would like to announce that I will be hosting Holiday Anime & Manga Day at Kinokuniya Bookstore this Sunday, December 12. Though it’s more like I’m hosting for Samurai Beat Radio than Manga Therapy.
In any case, a lot will be planned for this day-long event. I am extremely looking forward to the One Piece Podcast panel, the Kodansha Comics announcements, and Mari Morimoto’s (who I know personally) panel. I’m planning to check out Osamu Tezuka’s “Ayako” soon. Reading the Wiki synopsis got me interested. Vertical, Inc. already has a sample of the book up on their website, which you can view here.
So, if you’re around the area and a huge anime/manga fan, come on by, say hi, and enjoy what looks to be a day packed with anime/manga fun for everyone! See you guys there!
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