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ANIME EXPO® 2009 ANNOUNCES LEGENDARY JAPANESE VOICE ACTOR AS AN OFFICIAL
GUEST OF HONOR

Legendary Seiyuu Toshiyuki Morikawa to Attend Nation¹s Largest Anime and
Manga Convention

Anaheim, California (May 28, 2009) ‹ Anime Expo® 2009 will be the place to
be this fourth of July weekend as legendary and world re-known Japanese
voice actor (seiyuu) of Anime and video games, Toshiyuki Morikawa, is
announced as one of the official Anime Expo® 2009 Guest of Honor for the
nation¹s largest anime and manga convention held July 2-5, 2009 at the Los
Angeles Convention Center. More information can be found on the website
www.anime-expo.org <http://www.anime-expo.org> .

Mr. Morikawa has appeared in many anime roles within such popular titles as
AFTER WAR GUNDAM X, BERSERK, BLACK LAGOON, BLEACH, D. GRAY-MAN, DEVIL MAY
CRY: THE ANIMATED SERIES, DIGIMON ADVENTURE 02, FIGHTING SPIRIT, FULL METAL
PANIC? FUMOFFU, GUNDAM WING, INITIAL D: FOURTH STAGE, INUYASHA, KYO KARA
MAOH, LAST EXILE, NANA, NARUTO, POKEMON, ONE PIECE, SAIYUKI, STORY OF
SAIUNGOKU, TENJHO TENGE, THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA, MOBILE SUITE
VICTORY GUNDAM, SLAM DUNK, SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, STAR WARS: CLONE
WARS, YU-GI-OH!, DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS, GAKUEN HEAVEN, HARU WO DAITEITA
and many others highly recognizable titles.

Mr. Morikawa has also been featured in the world of electronic
entertainment, as he is also the voice of the infamous Sephiroth of the
FINAL FANTASY video game franchise and Heishiro Mitsurugi in the SOULCALIBUR
franchise. Mr. Morikawa has also voiced in other video game titles including
KINGDOM HEARTS II, NARUTO ULTIMATE NINJA 3, SUPER ROBOT WARS ORIGINAL
GENERATIONS, STREET FIGHTER, TEKKEN and many others.

Mr. Morikawa joins Hiroyuki, Iamaishi, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Yosuke Kuroda,
Toshimichi Mori, Morning Musume, Yasuhiro Nightow, Atsushi Nishigori,
Satoshi Nishimura and Kari Wahlgren as official Anime Expo® 2009 Guests of
Honor.

Attendees, Press and Industry Members are also encouraged to view the video
coverage site of the 2008 convention at www.AXBackstage.org
<http://www.AXBackstage.org> .

Red & Black Sponsors include: FUNimation, Silver Sponsors include: Anime
News Network and Digital Manga Press, Patron Sponsors include: COPIC,
Central Park Media and The Right Stuf, Media Sponsors include: ImaginAsian
TV, Animation Magazine, Anime Insider Magazine, Anime News Network and UTB
Hollywood.


About Anime Expo®
Located in Los Angeles, California - Anime Expo®, the nation¹s largest
anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests
of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a
key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and
explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the
industry to conduct business. AX 2009 will be held July 2 ­ July 5, 2009 at
the Los Angeles Convention Center in Southern California. More information
can be found at its website (www.anime-expo.org).

About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit
organization with a mission to popularize and educate the American public
about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate
communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more
popularly known by its entertainment property ­ Anime Expo®. More
information can be found at its website (www.spja.org <http://www.spja.org>
).

The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are
"forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on
current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and
uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a
number of important factors could cause Anime Expo®/SPJA¹s actual future
results to differ materially from those expressed in any such
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation,
product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and
industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of
relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers,
international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its
intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon
any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The
Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any
forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date
hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Still not sure what to do with that Dreamwidth blog, but here's some WEBCOMICS!

http://www.girlamatic.com//comics/jeepers.php?view=archive&chapter=13906 Jeepers starts a new storyline today! Jeepers and the Meowfia ended with the last update, as seen here http://www.girlamatic.com//comics/jeepers.php?view=archive&chapter=13898&name=jeepers

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Ok I mess up with the Recruitment thread for Ep. 9 with only giving everyone just one day note, but not for ep. 10. We got a full seven days and more info then you know what to do with so here the 411.
  1. We start recording about 10 CST (central standard time, check the web for your time zone or get a globe)
  2. We use Skype to talk to each other. So Download it, Install it, and make a user name for yourself. (It free so don't pay for anything)
  3. Then PM me your Skype user name. I'll call you when I get your message and we'll work out your mic and stuff.
With these seven day anyone who wants to join well be able to and I do believe the more people the more fun.
So Yea!!! Let's rock.
to check out Ep's of Vice Squad go to my bros (MoonStorm) Blog
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All right so! I've already decided my cosplay for next year and it may take a bit of work...probably...
I've decided to cosplay as Pandora Hearts' own Mad Hatter, Break Xerxes! In case you don't know who that is, just search the wiki, I've put up quite a bit of information on him for reference. It's going to be so awesome! He has like this little doll named Emily and that's going to be fun, though keeping her on my shoulder all the time may be a little difficult so I might just stitch her onto the outfit itself which I'm going to start getting all the necessary materials for very soon. It may take some time for this after all. (Good thing it's NEXT year that I plan to cosplay) I've never really done any cosplay in my life so this is going to be a first for me. I look very much forward to it!
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VIZ MEDIA UNLEASHES THE WILDEST, SHOCKINGLY FUNNY MANGA FOR THE NOT SO FAINT OF HEART, DETROIT METAL CITY  

Johannes Krauser II Is The Outrageous Demonic Front Man

Of The Heaviest Death Metal Band In Japan

But Off Stage He’s A Pop Music-Listening Wimp –

Can He Ever Reconcile His Two Personas? 

San Francisco, CA, MAY 26, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will delight rock and roll and manga fans nationwide with the debut of DETROIT METAL CITY on June 9th. The new manga series is rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences and carries an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $15.00 CAN. The first print run of volume one also contains limited edition tattoos. 

Prepare to have your mortal soul devoured by the demonic Johannes Krauser II, front man for Detroit Metal City, the most outrageous death metal band on the Japanese indie rock scene! Soichi Negishi dreamed of moving to Tokyo and starting a bubblegum pop band, but now he’s fronting the most scandalous and demented death metal band in Japanese rock! Deep down, Soichi still dreams of acoustic guitars and trips to Paris, but when the makeup comes on and he transforms into his alter ego, Krauser II, not even the denizens of hell are safe from his soul-devouring death metal sound. Can Soichi reconcile his sensitive inner yearnings with his wild on-stage persona – the vilest hard rocker in Japanese (and possibly world) history? 

DETROIT METAL CITY takes the zany rock antics inspired by films like Spinal Tap to hilarious new extremes in this witty series created by Kiminori Wakasugi. First appearing in the pages of Japan’s Young Animal manga magazine, the manga quickly became a national sensation. The series has already sold more than 2 million copies in Japan. The DETROIT METAL CITY animated counterpart has also gained a major following across North America. A live action version of the film was recently released in Japan featuring cameos by Gene Simmons (KISS) and Marty Friedman (Megadeth).  

“The hilarious on- and off-stage antics of Soichi Negishi and his swaggering alter ego Johannes Krauser II promises to make DETROIT METAL CITY the most over-the-top, profane, and funniest hard rock manga satire to ever hit North American shores.” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing for VIZ Media. “We look forward to it resonating not only with manga readers but also with music fans who will relish this eccentric heavy metal adventure.” 

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com. 

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Hey guys,

We just deployed new notification code this morning that allows you to configure your account to receive instant email notifications if you so choose. This was an old feature on ComicVine and its something we're happy to have brought back.

Instant email notifications follow the same rules as the instant pm notifications that are already on the site - you essentially define which actions kick emails off to you. The current actions are:
  • Friend requests
  • When another user comments on your content (blogs, images, reviews, guides, etc.)
  • Wiki submission approvals (not instant approvals, but those that go through moderation)
  • Guide edits by another user (on public guides)
  • Wall posts by another user on your wall
  • Review recommendations
  • @Replies and @Quotes in the forums

By default, we carried over everyone's old PM notification settings - so those should be the exact same. Instant Email notifications are turned off by default, so if you want to receive notifications via email - you are going to have to go to your settings to turn them on. Note that emails are pure text, not html, so they should be easily readable and should provide a link back to the activity that generated the message.

Follow the instructions below to configure your notification settings:
1. Go to your notification settings in your profile:
2. Configure your settings and click 'Save':

3. Sit back and wait for notifications to come through. Note - you may need to check Spam settings on your email and add ComicVine/GiantBomb/AnimeVice to your 'Safe' list.





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(crossposted from NikoScream)

After listening to the Gundam Experience panel Japanator was gracious enough to post from this year’s Anime Central I was unable to attend (thanks, college graduation), the first thing that came to mind was to share this little jewel to even more of the internet. Behold: Doozy Bots!

  

What is this, you ask? Well, as the ’80s became the ’90s, Sunrise wanted to bring Gundam to the States. However, for some reason, I guess Sunrise didn’t think little kids piloting robots of death in a war would appeal to us Yankees. Guess they didn’t see Robotech.

Instead, we got a pilot for a chibi-fied bastardization of Gundam that almost (almost) makes Superior Defender Gundam Force look acceptable.

The premise? Professor Doozy created this machine that puts human souls into robots. His teen science club obviously proves better than guinea pigs to test this out, so the professor puts them in to transfer their minds into a Gundam, a Zeta Gundam (or a Re-GZ, not sure), a Guncannon, a Guntank and a pink GM. Why transfering their minds made their bodies vanish, I have no idea. These teens now have to battle evil robots that escaped from the professor’s lab. Of course, these would be Zeonic mobile suits, which begs the question: why was Professor Doozy building Zeon?

Now you’re probably going, “This concept sounds like a surefire hit. Why did it never get made into a series?” Probably because at this point, God still loved us, or maybe God didn’t find putting the wheelchair kid into the Guntank as funny as I do. Really, if you could give people seemingly perfect robotic bodies, forcing the kid who can’t walk into the mobile suit that doesn’t have legs is a pretty dickish thing to do.

That’s only the most glaring oddity of this clip. We cannot forget the Guncannon that shoots UP gumballs that have to be subsequently hit by a hockey stick, the girl in the pink GM with a thick Southern accent and a lasso. Oh, and wheelchair boy, he gets relegated to cleanup duty. Then there’s the robotic chicken that lays Dom eggs, and I could go on and on.

Honestly though, I don’t think the world is any poorer or richer for the failure of Doozy Bots to get off the ground. It took almost a decade  later for a Gundam series to hit it relatively big when Gundam Wing premiered on Toonami. Perhaps it would have happened sooner when people learned of this thing called Gundam in Japan, or perhaps no one would have ever made the connection. Either way, Doozy Bots exists to show us a simplier time when political correctness didn’t matter as much and Gundam was about being a teenager and having fun, instead of all the war and gloom it is today (and yesterday, and 30 years ago).


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ANIPLEX LAUNCHES “nagisamafanclub.com”,

AN OFFICIAL “KANNAGI –CRAZY SHRINE MAIDENS” SERIES WEBSITE 

Aniplex announced today that it has launched “nagisamafanclub.com” in the USA as an official website of the series “Kannagi-Crazy Shrine Maidens-.” The Japanese version of the official fan club website, “nagisama-fc.com,” has amassed 2,000 fan club members to date. The show and Nagi-sama (Lady Nagi) have been so popular that Aniplex decided to launch an English version of the website that will feature numerous updates in the coming weeks including the opportunity to sign up for an EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP CARD which will entitle members to special benefits. 

ABOUT “KANNAGI –CRAZY SHRINE MAIDEN-“

Based on the hit manga by ERI TAKENASHI (published by Ichijinsha), “Kannagi” was made into a 13-episode animated series. The show was directed by YUTAKA YAMAMOTO (“Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya,” “Lucky Star”) and written by HIDEYUKI KURATA (“R.O.D -the TV,” “Kamichu!,” “GunXSword”) and created by A-1 Pictures (“Valkyria Chronicles,” “Kuroshitsuji,” “Persona”). The Opening theme “motto ☆ Hade ni ne!” is sung by Nagi’s voice actor, Haruka Tomatsu, and has already inspired a legion of fan imitators who dance to the opening song on the internet and at conventions. 

<STORY>

The goddess Nagi has arrived and wants you to worship her! 

Nagi is the local deity spirit of the town of Kannagi and she was able to take a physical form when Jin Mikuriya carved a wooden statue of her out of a block of wood from the sacred tree of his family shrine. Nagi's mission is to cleanse the impurities that plague the land, but since her sacred tree has been cut down, she can only do this with Jin's help. 

While pursuing an impurity, Nagi is reunited with her sister, Zange, who happens to have converted to Catholicism. Zange's power is greater than Nagi's due to her scared tree still being intact and becoming a local celebrity listening to confessions on the street at night. The only way for Nagi to regain her power is to gather her own followers and gain popularity. 

Will you become one of Nagi's worshippers? 

About ANIPLEX Inc.

ANIPLEX Inc. (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan) is a leading provider of anime content and music production and distribution in Japan. Established as Sony Pictures Entertainment Visual Works Inc. in 1995, as a joint-venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., it became ANIPLEX, Inc. in 2003 after the company became a subsidiary completely owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. ANIPLEX Inc. has introduced a variety of properties including such hits as “Gurren Lagann,” “Fullmetal Alchemist,” “Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X),” “R.O.D –THE TV-,” “Blood+,” all of which are licensed and distributed worldwide. The company launched ANIPLEX of AMERICA in Los Angeles, CA in 2004 to handle licensing and co-production business in North and Latin America. In 2005, the company established A-1 Pictures, currently the largest and most technically advanced animation studio in Japan.

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Guin, Sin and Life's a Bitch... Find out Tomorrow...
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I just caught this in my RSS feed on DancingQueen's How A Girl Figures blog and had to repost it for you guys!

It's a music video featuring a lot of great shots of (almost) everyone's favorite from TTGL, Yoko!

Enjoy!

  

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BESPA KUMAMERO new release "PLASTIC CONFUSION" plus Anime Boston recap

May 27, 2009 - Japanese indie techno performance unit BESPA KUMAMERO performed at Anime Boston on May 23, 2009 to a standing-room-only crowd of 1500 at the event's annual all-night dance event.

Anime Boston marks the duo's 5th overseas event, following appearances in Houston, TX (Anime Matsuri), London, UK (It Came From Japan), Moscow, Russia (Tokyo Cyber Eve), and Monterrey, Mexico (Animex).

BESPA KUMAMERO played songs from their new CD "PLASTIC CONFUSION" and their USA CD release "Romantic Waves." Complete set list and event photos can be found on the JapanFiles.com Anime Boston spotlight page. 
 
Links!
SPOTLIGHT PAGE - http://www.japanfiles.com/spotlight/bespa-kumamero-anime-boston

BESPA KUMAMERO on JapanFiles.com - http://www.japanfiles.com/bespakumamero

BESPA KUMAMERO Official MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/bespakumamero

About JAPANFILES.COM:

Supporting Japanese artists since 2004, JapanFiles.com specializes in digital music sales and media promotion for Japanese music, with over 300 indie and major artists reaching their USA fans - rock, pop, hip-hop, punk, and techno! All downloads are DRM-free and only 99 cents each!

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FUNimation Entertainment Introduces Fruits Basket Virtual Goods

There.com Now Offering Virtual Clothes and Accessories Based On Hit Anime Series

 

FLOWER MOUND, Texas – May 27, 2009 – FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Navarre Corporation, today announced that the anime leader is launching its first virtual goods in the popular 3D social virtual world There.com.

 

FUNimation Entertainment joins a host of companies, such as Coca-Cola and NBC, to offer virtual and real world merchandise which There.com members can purchase for their avatars. Members can outfit their virtual alter-ego in Fruits Basket yoga pants or tote bag or they can purchase a limited-edition autographed lithograph for their There.com home.

 

Members can also click through to e-commerce sites to buy the real world version of many of these goods.

 

“We love that Fruits Basket can inspire There.com inhabitants to add a little flair to their avatars and profiles and create a vibrant, virtual world influenced by anime," says Adam Zehner, Director of Acquisitions and Licensing at FUNimation Entertainment.

 

“Virtual goods continue to be increase in popularity with our members,” said Michael Wilson, CEO of There.com. “We’re pleased to add FUNimation Entertainment to the growing list of partners that offer our members an avenue for self-expression, both in There.com and in the real world.”

Items from other FUNimation distributed anime series will appear in There.com later this year. 

 

About Makena Technologies, Inc.

Makena Technologies is the parent company of There.com, a fully interactive, 3D online virtual world where members can customize and create their own 3D character, meet and hang out with friends in real-time using voice and text chat, build their own virtual homes, participate in events ranging from car races to paintball to fashion shows and even create and sell their own virtual items. There.com is a safe and exciting "PG-13" environment for ages 13 and up that has something to offer nearly anyone. Makena Technologies has offices in San Mateo, CA and Laguna Beach, CA. For more information, visit http://www.there.com.

 

About FUNimation Entertainment

FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for home video sales of Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, visit www.funimation.com.

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Ya we might throw a cast tonight. So, if anyone wants in just let me know by pm or by my wall.
We mostly try to start at 10 pm but you know what time does.
In any case seems like a fun week with the con and everything so yahoo fun!
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Your Executive Summary and Index, Week Ending 17 May 2009

last week’s rankings
About the Charts
Analysis and Commentary Posts

The Weekly Charts:
Your Executive Summary and Index
Week ending 17 May 2009

Comics Top 500

1. ↔0 (1) : Watchmen – , [851.5] ::
2. ↑4 (6) : Wolverine Origin – , [747.9] ::
3. ↓-1 (2) : Batman The Killing Joke – , [729.5] ::
4. ↓-1 (3) : Batman The Dark Knight Returns – , [727.6] ::
5. ↓-1 (4) : V for Vendetta – , [711.6] ::
6. ↓-1 (5) : The Joker – , [693.7] ::
7. ↑29 (36) : Star Trek Countdown – , [685.4] ::
8. ↑23 (31) : Dark Tower 3 – , [638] ::
9. ↓-2 (7) : Naruto 43 – Viz Shonen Jump, [608.2] ::
10. ↔0 (10) : Sandman 1 – , [607.3] ::

[more]

Top 50 Series:

1. ↔0 (1) : Naruto – Viz Shonen Jump, [2325.56] ::
2. ↔0 (2) : Batman – , [1901.49] ::
3. ↑1 (4) : Sandman – , [1361.68] ::
4. ↑7 (11) : Wolverine – , [1246.02] ::
5. ↔0 (5) : Bone – , [1242.79] ::
6. ↔0 (6) : Y The Last Man – , [1213.92] ::
7. ↓-4 (3) : Fruits Basket – Tokyopop, [1197.5] ::
8. ↑4 (12) : Dark Tower – , [1165.71] ::
9. ↑6 (15) : Buffy the Vampire Slayer – , [1123.75] ::
10. ↓-3 (7) : League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – , [1093.7] ::

[more]

Manga Top 500

1. ↔0 (1) : Naruto 43 – Viz Shonen Jump, Apr 2009 [608.2] ::
2. ↑1 (3) : Naruto 44 – Viz Shonen Jump, Apr 2009 [600.5] ::
3. ↑5 (8) : Naruto 42 – Viz Shonen Jump, Apr 2009 [596.1] ::
4. ↓-2 (2) : Fruits Basket 22 – Tokyopop, Mar 2009 [590.5] ::
5. ↓-1 (4) : Naruto 40 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [530.8] ::
6. ↑1 (7) : Vampire Knight 6 – Viz Shojo Beat, Apr 2009 [525.2] ::
7. ↓-2 (5) : Naruto 38 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [521.8] ::
8. ↓-2 (6) : Naruto 41 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [519.6] ::
9. ↑8 (17) : Maximum Ride 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2009 [512.2] ::
10. ↑45 (55) : Return to Labyrinth 3 – Tokyopop, Dec 2008 [500.3] ::

[more]

Manga Top 50 Series

1. ↔0 (1) : Naruto – Viz Shonen Jump, Jul 2003 [2325.56] ::
2. ↔0 (2) : Fruits Basket – Tokyopop, Feb 2004 [1197.5] ::
3. ↔0 (3) : Vampire Knight – Viz Shojo Beat, Jan 2007 [1059.26] ::
4. ↔0 (4) : Bleach – Viz Shonen Jump, Jun 2004 [1053.29] ::
5. ↔0 (5) : Death Note – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Oct 2005 [976.22] ::
6. ↔0 (6) : Rosario+Vampire – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Jun 2008 [852.89] ::
7. ↑5 (12) : Fullmetal Alchemist – Viz, Apr 2005 [817.34] ::
8. ↓-1 (7) : Chibi Vampire – Tokyopop, Apr 2006 [793.04] ::
9. ↓-1 (8) : Negima! – Del Rey, Apr 2004 [652.49] ::
10. ↓-1 (9) : Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Yen Press, Oct 2008 [588.38] ::

[more]

Manga Midlist 500
What’s the Midlist?

1. (9) : Maximum Ride 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2009 [512.2] ::
2. (10) : Return to Labyrinth 3 – Tokyopop, Dec 2008 [500.3] ::
3. (11) : Fullmetal Alchemist 18 – Viz, May 2009 [487.2] ::
4. (18) : Negima! 21 – Del Rey, Mar 2009 [420.9] ::
5. (20) : Chibi Vampire 13 – Tokyopop, Apr 2009 [398.6] ::
6. (26) : Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 1 – Yen Press, Oct 2008 [377] ::
7. (27) : Rosario+Vampire 6 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Apr 2009 [375.4] ::
8. (29) : Dark Hunger – Feehan, Zid – Berkley, Oct 2007 [357.65] ::
9. (35) : Dark Hunters 1 – St. Martin’s Griffin, Apr 2009 [348.1] ::
10. (36) : Rosario+Vampire 3 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Oct 2008 [337.8] ::
11. (37) : Rosario+Vampire 1 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Jun 2008 [335] ::
12. (38) : Rosario+Vampire 2 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Aug 2008 [334.8] ::
13. (40) : Rosario+Vampire 4 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Dec 2008 [321] ::
14. (41) : Skip Beat! 18 – Viz Shojo Beat, May 2009 [315.8] ::
15. (46) : Rosario+Vampire 5 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Feb 2009 [303.5] ::
16. (48) : xxxHolic 13 – Del Rey, Mar 2009 [298] ::
17. (49) : D. Gray-Man 13 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, May 2009 [297] ::
18. (52) : In Odd We Trust – Koontz, Chan – Del Rey, Jun 2008 [279.35] ::
19. (53) : Chibi Vampire 12 – Tokyopop, Jan 2009 [274.5] ::
20. (55) : Junjo Romantica 9 – Tokyopop Blu, Apr 2009 [272.9] ::
21. (56) : Berserk 28 – Dark Horse, Mar 2009 [270] ::
22. (57) : Fairy Tail 6 – Del Rey, Apr 2009 [266.4] ::
23. (58) : A Drifting Life – Drawn & Quarterly, Apr 2009 [264.55] ::
24. (60) : Warriors 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Apr 2007 [255.7] ::
25. (63) : Warriors 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Apr 2008 [246.7] ::

[more]

Please note: the Publishers’ ScorecardEmerging Trends Report, and theFull list of ranking New Releases and Preorders reports will be temporarily shelved for a few weeks, or months, until I find the time to enter all the publishing information for the thousand or so new line items in my spreadsheet.

Receive this report as a weekly email; sign up for the Manga Rankings Newsletter Here.

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Well to begin i should explain what this is about if you are so courteous as to read i thank you!
I have decided to begin a regular blogging process where i document a new series i have been watching or an impression of a charcter from a series.
Today i decided to blog about 2 series i recently experienced. 
The first is Hajime no Ippo, and i call it this because i prefer the sub and dislike the name fighting spirit considering Hajime no Ippo means "The First Step" and The name "The Fighting Spirit" is clearly a maketing scheme Grrrr.
There are a few main Points i'd like to each will be subtitled so feel free to scroll to a section you want to read.

Hajime No Ippo


That goosebump feeling


When i watch this series i just feel so inspired to do great things, whether its become a boxer or not, the feeling is directly reminiscent of my first viewing, or more precisely every viewing of Gurren Lagann, i love an anime that can give me that inspirational feeling, its my favourite emotion to feel, i love being completely in awe of something.

The Kamina-Takamura Connection


Anybody who has watched both gurren lagann and Hajime no Ippo surely knows what i mean, the main reson is the contant switch in personality from loving brother like figure to teasing brother like figure, believe the similarity is there.

Getting the nerd into boxing


To be honest this is kinda streching the truth, i mean it is a suprise for me getting highly into real boxin however i was never not into sports, but seriously this has really got me interested in taking up boxing as a hobby at uni.

Musical Score


The final Point i care to raise about this anime masterpiece is that the music really builds to an intense and emotionally satisfiying atmopshere how else can i describe it?

Ouron High School Host Club


Can dudes enjoy this without being weird?


Now i should raise the point the only reson i even gave this series a look was because in one of Mr Crispin Freeman's panel's he said he was really liking and i respect that mans opinion, so ye i watched it and you know what, at  first it creeped me out entirely especially the twins, but once i got past the point where it was completely freaky i saw how clever the story was told and how ingenious the humour was, a great watch really, i would say guys beware you in for a scare but if you can take it keep watching.


To be honest thats all for Ouron, just wanted to get that off my chest really :) goodbye and stop by again in the future!


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ANIME EXPO® ANNOUNCES GURREN LAGGAN DIRECTOR AND CHARACTER DESIGNER AS 2009
GUESTS OF HONOR

Celebrated Talents Imaishi and Nishigori to Attend Nation¹s Largest Anime
and Manga Convention

Anaheim, California (May 26, 2009) ‹ 12th Animation Kobe Director Award
winner, Hiroyuki Imaishi and 7th Annual Tokyo International Anime Award
recipient, Atsushi Nishigori, are now announced as official Anime Expo® 2009
Guests of Honor at the nation¹s largest anime and manga convention held July
2-5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information can be
found on the website www.anime-expo.org <http://www.anime-expo.org> .

After graduating from Tama Art University, Mr. Hiroyuki Imaishi, was hired
as an animator for the Gainax Company, Limited.  His first work was the
animation that many critics considered a social phenomenon NEON GENESIS
EVANGELION. Since then, Mr. Imaishi has worked on storyboards and as art
directors for such hit anime series as HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES and FLCL.
Mr. Imaishi made his directorial debut with the OVA DEAD LEAVES.  Mr.
Imaishi has also worked on RE: CUTEY HONEY and TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGGAN
franchise. Mr. Imaishi was also the recipient of the 12th Animation Kobe
Director¹s Award.

Character designer Mr. Atsushi Nishigori has worked on many titles including
MAHOROMATIC, THIS UGLY YET BEAUTIFUL WORLD, HE IS MY MASTER, OVER THE TOP! 2
and serves as the character animation director for the TENGEN TOPPA GURREN
LAGGAN franchise.  Mr. Nishigori was also the recipient of 7th Annual Tokyo
International Anime Awards¹ Individual Character Design Award category.

Mr. Imaishi and Mr. Nishigori join Daisuke Ishiwatari, Yosuke Kuroda,
Toshimichi Mori, Morning Musume, Yasuhiro Nightow, Satoshi Nishimura and
Kari Wahlgren as official Anime Expo® 2009 Guests of Honor.

Attendees, Press and Industry Members are also encouraged to view the video
coverage site of the 2008 convention at www.AXBackstage.org
<http://www.AXBackstage.org> .

Red & Black Sponsors include: FUNimation, Silver Sponsors include: Anime
News Network and Digital Manga Press, Patron Sponsors include: COPIC,
Central Park Media and The Right Stuf, Media Sponsors include: ImaginAsian
TV, Animation Magazine, Anime Insider Magazine, Anime News Network and UTB
Hollywood.


About Anime Expo®
Located in Los Angeles, California - Anime Expo®, the nation¹s largest
anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests
of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a
key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and
explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the
industry to conduct business. AX 2009 will be held July 2 ­ July 5, 2009 at
the Los Angeles Convention Center in Southern California. More information
can be found at its website (www.anime-expo.org).

About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit
organization with a mission to popularize and educate the American public
about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate
communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more
popularly known by its entertainment property ­ Anime Expo®.   More
information can be found at its website (www.spja.org <http://www.spja.org>
).

The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are
"forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on
current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and
uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a
number of important factors could cause Anime Expo®/SPJA¹s actual future
results to differ materially from those expressed in any such
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation,
product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and
industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of
relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers,
international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its
intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon
any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The
Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any
forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date
hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
| |
  


There are a few things in this video which we are aware of:
1) Yes, it says "I was a normal day." Was meant to be "It", but I'm lazy
2) Clamp no Kiseki  vol. 12 was not *just* released, but it's the most recent.
3) No, Kazuki Yamamoto was not the name of the comic, but rather the author's name. The name is Greeting to Clamp

And with that... enjoy
| |
I doubt he can be dark enough.
Would be an awesome performance and change of career style for him.
| |
zAhh the last day of Fanime. Usually this day is to relax and look over the days spent running around taking pictures and hugging complete strangers. Blissful state it is. After writing the Gurren Lagann documentary and panel blog entry, I'm quite exhaustive but I shall blog the last day for sure! And here it is in all its glory!

Since it's the time to get any last minute purchases, I went around the Dealers Room one last time. I ended up buying three Gurren Lagann keychains/phone charms and a Yoko patch. I included the picture of that one phone charm I bought on Thursday's Swap Meet (which I took a picture of in my previous blog but failed since it was blurry):

Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Fanime 2009 - Day 4

In the Artist Alley, I wanted to splurge on one really awesome picture. I went across Emi's (well I assume that's her name/alias she goes by based on the business card thing I got) table and bought her water colored Simon picture. In my opinion, it was a good 30 dollars spent. If I remember correctly, she told me that she made it to give to but she never ended up meeting him so she was selling it. I'm quite happy to have it and now I'm looking for a frame. Here's the picture along with her business card:

Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Just to pimp her out because I like all her art pieces, here's the links you can see more from her:
http://021.deviantart.com
http://www.candylovepop.coyfish.net

Speaking of Artist Alley, my friend bought me a print of Ciel Phantomhive on Friday. I should've gotten a business card or some url so I can credit the artist but alas I don't have one. If you know the artist, please tell me so I can edit this post and credit the person. Here's the print of that picture:

Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Fanime 2009 - Day 4
And just for good measure, here's my Yuki figures from Thursday's swap meet:

Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Fanime 2009 - Day 4
I still haven't figured out a good pose for Figma Yuki yet so she'll be like that for now. Meganeneko ftw! <3

I forgot to take a picture of the tokidoki plush I bought yesterday. Oh well. Here's one online so you can see what I bought:

Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Fanime 2009 - Day 4
Every year, I buy something completely random (last year were pee and poo plushies). The tokidoki plush is weird because who freaken wears a cactus suit? That'd be an interesting cosplay idea...

Another thing I forgot to mention in a previous blog entry is those protesters. I took more pictures of them (sadly my camera died out so make due with my camera phone pics):

Copy-pasted from my reply on this news article:
Basically, there's a bunch of people who come with signs and a megaphone to speak their "words of wisdom" to convert all us evil otaku into fun-loving Christians. Convention goers gawk at them since no one takes them seriously. For example, there's was a Jesus cosplayer last year (and this year) that hung around their area doing random things that's un-Jesusy (best made up word ever).
Here is last year's Fanime forum thread about it:
http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/topic,10050.0.html
There's a couple pictures and videos linked throughout the thread but you'll have to wade through it.

The gathering of these Christian people I witnessed today had some guy spouting random Bible versus and asking if we have found faith. I'm Catholic so I was going to go up to them and say that yes I have my faith but that would make me involved and I'd rather not. Plus, I wouldn't want to associate myself with them because I don't feel the need to convert everybody. People will find their own way through life spiritually (whether they find faith at all), leave them alone. That's my policy.

After walking around and taking pictures, I went to the Closing Ceremony. Before it started, there was a slideshow of pictures from this year's Fanime. It was very nostalgic (despite the fact it was only yesterday/a few days ago). They started out with the AMV audience choice winners. My favorite ones were the Pani Poni Dash one (with "Flight of the Concords" as the song) and the AMV titled "Lord of the Anime" featuring Lord of the Dance music/performance clips along with Miyazaki movie clips. The Pani Poni Dash one was hilarious and the Lord of the Anime one was spectacular. After watching all the AMVs, the Fanime staff were auctioning off items for two charities: the Humane Society (in Silicon Valley) and the Asian Prenatal Society. The first item was an art canvas signed/doodled on by every artist in the artist alley. It ended for $70.
The next item was a LE cover for Resident Evil 5. It was a cell laser print with Chris Redfield on it. It came with a bunch of signatures from voice and motion capture actors/esses. It ended for $100 (and that seemed too low in my opinion but whatever).
The funnier auction was the Wii guitars signed by Halko Momoi (sp?) and a bunch of other musical guests. Two exuberant fans were bid fighting each other. It ended up being $250. After that one, ANOTHER Wii guitar was brought out and they compromised to each other to bid the same price of $250. It was an interesting site to behold.
The most interesting item is the Wii. They have a Wii that's been signed by ALL the guests of honor/musical guests from last year AND that's year. Some people include: An Cafe, Momoi, and GAINAX staff. The reason why it has last year's guests along with this year's guests is because the person who bid on the Wii last year donated it back for the upcoming year. The starting bid started at $600 and it took a while for someone to bid on it. The person who did bid on it decided to donate it back for next year (oh dear it must be uber expensive next year...).
From all the charity auctions (not just the one I witnessed here) the total came to $2620. Fanime is matching that to make a grand total of $5240. Impressive.

The guests of honor who were still at the con were acknowledged once again and Ric Meyers got some award that I'm blanking out on right now. He's a fairly funny man so he deserves it. The chair of Fanime (I believe his name is Tony) gave a mini appreciation speech to everyone but he left on such a downer message that Ric Meyers took the mike and pronounced the end of Fanime by making everyone cheer for next year. That was great.

I then went home at roughly 5 PMish. I noticed I barely ate a breakfast and skipped lunch so I had a hearty meal of lemon chicken and some egg rolls.

Overall, Fanime was very fun this year. I believe it tops itself from last year. Friday and Monday were a lot more crowded than before but the more, the merrier. I don't really have any gripes other than to please help stop the hug lines. They're quite annoying to walk past because they try to solicitate you into hugging them. I don't mind getting asked to hug as long as you don't have otaku funk.

Here's the pictures I took on the last day:


I hope to see you all next Fanime (in real life or in spirit through these blogs). :) I hope you enjoyed reading my blog entries (or if not even that, just looking at pictures). Is there anything I should change in my blog entries or have I been doing fine? I'm sticking with this method the next time I go to a convention if I get no feedback.
I can't wait to see the Fanime videos that'll be up on the site~~ <3 I hope I don't look too stupid. =)

Me rambling about nothing:
  • I don't know how much I spent and I am NOT about to calculate. Usually, I'm one to make sure that I know how much I spent on a biweekly basis but frankly I spent a bit too much. At least it was in cash so I won't have to worry about APR rates on my credit card.
  • I'm also anxiously waiting for my Gurren Lagann LE DVD Part 3 to come in the mail from Borders.com. It's taking FOREVER.
  • I wonder what cosplay I should do next year...

Previous Fanime 2009 blog entries:
Day 0
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Gurren Lagann's world premiere documentary/panel
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On Day 3 (Sunday) of Fanime, I went to a panel where I witnessed the background process of Gurren Lagann. As a trooper, I stared wide-eyed at the screen and took notes with my Blackberry so I can share with you all what I've learned.
Granted, it was a difficult thing to do. I tried to catch the names of the people who were interviewed for each segment of the documentary but I missed a couple names. Sorry for any information I cannot give but I tried.

The panel was separated into two parts. The first part is the documentary itself that lasted rougly an hour and twenty minutes. The second part is a question and answer portion with some staff that worked on the series and/or movie.

If you haven't finished Gurren Lagann, there are spoilers within the documentary thus there are spoilers here in this blog entry. You have been warned.

The Documentary

The actual video I witnessed had interviews from various staff members ranking from the highest people (like directors) to the lowliest peon (inbetweeners). Since the documentary is divided into several sections, my notes here shall be separated into those same segments. Some parts were longer than others so I may not have many things to say about each section.

Introduction

Well this isn't part of the actual video but they were saying things before they showed it. As I already stated, this is a world premiere documentary. Not even Japan saw this documentary, I see this wondrous new video before most. This video showcases the beginning of the Gurren Lagann series from the last two years of production.
It was filmed by Mario Hirasaka (apparently the director's friend who lives in Germany).

Plot

Originally, Kamina was set to die in episode 20 but the creative writing staff didn't see Simon growing enough with Kamina hanging over him so he died sooner. Usually they would write a few storylines per episode before the episode and lead directors decide which one to use. Their brainstorming sessions look like normal meeting tables with papers thrown together as they discuss what they need to do in an episode.

Character Design

For Yoko's character, they wanted to show a "wholesome sex appeal." For example, the lead character designer commented that Yoko's bangs are big because it shows her strength.
Simon was designed to look like a flat character. Using this type of design helps make the audience not label him. His neutrality is helpful in developing his character as he grows up into his GARness.
They intentionally made Kamina seem like the main character in the anime so the viewers will not be focused on Simon. That way, the viewers see Simon grow from Kamina's example.

Mecha Design

The head designer of the mechs said that the most difficult to design was Gurren Lagann itself. In the beginning, GAINAX was going to gear the mechs to be more real and mechanical. After many MANY rough drafts, they stuck with a "magical" aspect. The focus of Gurren Lagann was to have an atmosphere similar to feudal times. Each mech has its own personality. One animator commented that he thinks they all look dorky. They wanted to make the mechs look uncool so the viewers are mislead and eventually fall in love with the quirks of each mech.
The lead designer also stated that there were lots of drills for Gurren Lagann because he did an old work where he had a character sincerely labeled "Drill Dick Man." The documentary had a footage of the guy with a drill literally placed above his wee wee.

Color Design

The lead director here says she didn't have many leeways for choosing colors and that she just followed the higher ups' suggestions. When she got to decide what colors to choose, she would get nervous and unsure of herself. She comments that it was tough schedule-wise but she managed. She has an attachment to Zoushi (that seedy looking guy with the pink shirt) because she got to choose his color design.

Editing

There are some shots from Production IG here. Most of the editing done here is using storyboards for the episodes so the other sub-divisions (like voice acting, inbetweeners, etc) can work on other parts of the show.

Mixing

There are video clips of Studio T&T. Simon's seiyuu talks mostly through this segment. He says that voice actors/esses get directions from only one person - the audio director Toru Nakano. Voice actors rarely speak with the other directors directly. The other directors would be in the room too but the seiyuu would only know what to do from Nakano-san. The video recording room is separated into two segregated sections. One room is full of the seiyuu while the other room is full of directors. There is a window inbetween each room so they can all see each other.
One example they showed here was the line "Sorry for the wait, Nia" said by Simon. He gets criticized by the many different times he said it. Directors comment how Simon sounds too girly, shoutay, and not young manly. Eventually he nails the line down and one of the directors laugh and say "good enough."
Sometimes the seiyuu would get anxious because they can see the directors talking about things but they just sit in the recording room waiting for instructions as the directors talk it out.

The Inbetweeners

For those that don't know, the inbetween animators are those that add the animations inbetween main frames. Many of the interviewed inbetweeners say that each sheet should be neat but done speedily. You usually would get 200 yen per sheet. One inbetweener said that on a good month, she'll make 300 sheets but the average is usually 200 to 250. Many inbetweeners talk about their personal goals and how they want to get into the main animated eventually. There are lots of young staff in the inbetweeners.
To check the inbetween animations, the director would flip through the pages multiple times. He feels that the general viewer won't care but when he sees it, he can get mad easily. All of the interviewed inbetweeners say that the inbetween director was harsh and demanding to them. One comments that he was very terrifying. Eventually, they all learned and he doesn't get angry as the series progressed. There were less and less retakes since each inbetweener learned the fundamentals.

Key Animation

Key animators draw the frames where they want to see the action change. They don't draw the process of it actually moving (that's the inbetweeners' jobs) but they draw the focus. They'll look at 3D models of characters and often times draw over the frame lines. There are time sheets where they label where key animation is and they'll leave blank spaces for how many inbetween animation there has to be between each key animation. The producion advance staff look through the table and frame animations while making comments on them. It gets passed to the animation director who will look through it and correct things. The animation director says it is not a troublesome job. Instead of holding meetings to say how to change something, they'll draw argue. This means they'll draw a part of a frame that needs to be changed and write a small note why things need to be changed a bit. The example they give here is Rossiu's eyes being smaller in a scene to show more remorse.
The animation supervisor makes sure everything fits in the television time. They also check to see if they match the character models and concept art. They also check for inappropriate things (this is not defined in any way other than "inappropriate" so take it as you will).

Background Art-Design

Studio Bihou focused on the background art and color here. The art director chooses which person is fit/adequate for certain jobs since some are good at still figures while others are better at homes or whatever. In a scene, they usually divide the atmosphere into color palettes. For example, the underground scenes in Simon's village were blue toned to represent the reclusive nature of the village while the sunrise/set parts of that episode are in orange tones to represent escaping that life and going on an adventure.

Photography

The director of the photography department usually sleeps at the office. Each episode takes roughly 4 to 5 weeks here. Some things they work on are paraffin, glare, gradiation, and other effects. The example they use here is when Gurren Lagann takes the helmet off of Viral's Enki. As the helmet is placed on the head, the middle portion shatters and the helmet transforms into the colors of Gurren Lagann. The effects they added to this scene is extra particles in the debri and the shiny transition between Enki's dull colors to Gurren Lagann's vibrant colors. The documentary had clips before the effects (where everything looked flat) to after effects (where it looked more vibrant).

Music

At Sound Inn Studio, the Gurren Lagann director explained to the composer what the anime was all about BUT that they don't want typical robot music. He left the composer with lots of freedom. A clip was shown of the composer conducting and his face is very expressive. The composer says that he made music so the viewers will think "why are these used here?" type of music. In "Libera Me" for example, he chose to have a soprano and the rapping parts. The soprano part represents the Anti-spirals because the soprano parts show conflicting views compared to the rapping parts. The rapping parts represent the Guren-dan because they are fighting through to get to their goals (Row Row Fight the Power!).

The End of the Documentary

Near the end of the documentary, they showed the main producer at GAINAX and how he was pleased with everyone. They hold a party with all staff members and each head director of a department makes a mini speech of their appreciation to the staff. They share the joys they had and the tough times.

The Question and Answer Portion

Any audience member can ask a question (they just get called on by the translator). The translator would reiterate the question since most people can't hear the questioner's... question. Each question and answer set is separated. The questions and answers are filled with as much as I typed on my Blackberry so it isn't word for word. I might use the word "we" in an answer but that directs to the Gurren Lagann staff and not me. Any commentary I have on questions will be in parantheses. If multiple people answered this question then the answer portion will look like this:
one - answer
two - answer
three - answer

Q) The art direction in episode four was changed. Could you explain the rumors behind this art change because there are lots of rumors around.
A) We don't know the rumors so we cannot agree or disagree with them. The production team didn't think it was strange or wrong. Actually, this episode took the most effort but the people didn't seem to like it.

Q) When adapting a television series to a movie, what do you look for? What changes do you decide and what gets cut?
A) The movie script was written before they started changing things around. That original script ended up being really different to the movie reiterations (I think the translator didn't get the original question and asked something different thus a non-complete answer).

Q) How long does it take to do an episode?
A) Episode one took roughly a year. By the 26th episode, each episode took roughly one month.

Q) Who was the target audience for the Gurren Lagann movies?
A) The movie isn't a completely new thing. We did consider both audiences (the hardcore fans and the ones who haven't heard of Gurren Lagann). There are a lot more people into movies so we hope people saw the movie and want to check out the anime series. We tried our best to stand out. It caught many people's attention.

Q) When were the moments of "I can't work on this series anymore!" or "it's driving me crazy"?
A) one - When my savings account became negative (haha everyone laughed here)
two - "No matter how much I draw and draw, I couldn't sleep at all"
three - When I couldn't take a shower for five days. I must really stink (hahaha everyone in the audience laughed here too)
four - When there are lots of retakes and doing it over and over again.
five - During the tv series, I just got married and it has been a year. I only got to go home once a week and my wife says she wants to burn GAINAX down! (everyone laughs here a lot)

Q) The tv series looks really expensive. What was the budget and did it exceed it?
A) It's usually 120,000 USD per episode. GAINAX already was had their sponsor group meeting prior to the series being made. They were already set in getting 150,000 - 160,000 USD. They would usually end up spending 180,000 to 200,000 USD per episode so they'd go over the budget. They would make up for this loss in merchandise and holding licenses.

Q) In the drawing process, where would you get inspiration? Do you get any from previous GAINAX shows or some other series?
A) Yes we got inspired by some things from EVA. We watched things as reference but we didn't want to copy previous works. We talked about it with the director.

Q) Could you tell us more about Kamina? What/How was the inspiration/concept/personality made for his character?
A) He is not based on any character. Nakashima-san (I hope I spelled that right...) decided specific things about Kamina. The director (and ten others) gave their unput to create how he ended up in the series.

Q) In the first arc, we see Kamina getting killed. When and why did he get killed off and why did you want Simon to be the leader? How were decisions like this made?
A) We'll make this clear: Simon was to be the main character from the beginning. Kamina was a big role because we wanted Simon to develop from a boy to a leading character. He gets that through Kamina, his driving force. We wanted Kamina to die early because Simon would then take the lead to become the hero.

Q) (I think a Japanese tourist asked this question because it was asked in Japanese) What is the background between the changes of the fight scenes from the series versus the movie?
A) one - In the end of the movie (the combining battle with the four generals), we decided that is where we wanted to end. Everybody though we would end in episode 15 where Lord Genome died. We wanted to show Simon independent at the end. We needed the fight with the four generals changed.
two - It was done during the announcement press conference. This was our first robot anime since EVA. Robot anime was becoming less mainstream so we wanted this to be like a test to graduate. We meeded to make a good robot movie to find a new direction for the company. We graduated and we won't have to make another robot anime for a while (aka milk the series GAINAX? Thanks... =_=)

Q) What's the background information on Yoko's character? Why is she the sexy one and how is she set to be the fan service character?
A) one - Why? We should always have a sexy character! In robot anime, there's always a set. It was a natural process. We decided what kind of female character we needed. We decided we needed at least two female characters, Yoko and Nia. It's like EVA being a pair of girls, having two is good.
two - What I've heard, she was based on Fujiko from Lupin the 3rd.

Q) Where did you get the drill idea? How was that decided?
A) In Engrish literally: "The directors likes drills!" (It was really cute)

Q) (I didn't catch this question that clearly) How does Gurren Lagann compare to other robot characters? It can throw galaxies!
A) (they were confused so they gave a general answer) We didn't concern ourselves over other series. We just did anything we wanted.

Q) I would like to know more about the storyboard process. Were there many storyboard artists?
A) "I remember you from last year!" (he got all excited because he remembered the person who asked the question from last year's Fanime). For the duration of the anime, we had 6-8 storyboard artists. Each episode has one storyboard artist and once they finish, they go on to the next episode that isn't being worked on. Episode 8 was done by the assistant director.

Q) Why doesn't Leeron age? (HAHA)
A) (the guy laughed). He just looks like he doesn't age. He's just trying to look young. He uses spiral force power! (everyone laughs)

Q) Was there a connection between the manga Uzumaki and Gurren Lagann?
A) There isn't one but it's pretty scary (giggles abound)

Q) The first episode had a couple minutes that never appeared later on in the anime. The battleship didn't look like that, why was the storyline changed?
A) The spiral force was too strong and so it changed itself! (haha more laughs yay)

Q) Was there any inspiration from Time Odyssey? For example, aliences attacking humans when they reach a certain population cap.
A) Actually, I don't really remember if it was in a discussion or not.

Q) There were a lot of characters who died. Who was it hard to let go minus Kamina?
A) one - actually when characters die, it makes the story more interesting because they died (laughter here)
two - For me, it was Kittan. The story was good when he died.
three - Nia. (that's all that was said)
four - Nia. I understand she had to die for the story but it was sad.
five - for me, it was Kittan. I felt sorry for Yoko. First Kamina, then Kittan.
six - Adiane (he repeated her name like five times in a row!)
seven - Kamina! (the translator corrects him saying you can't say Kamina) lots of thinking and he then says the twins because he met the voice actors for dinner and it was really sad to see them.

Q) Could you please introduce yourselves, we didn't find out who each person is. (... I can't spell Japanese names and this part was really fast so I don't have everyone down...)
A) one - Animation director Yamada-san removes his shirt to reveal a white tshirt with Kamina's tattoos. He comments that he was shocked to see himself in the documentary looking scruffy and tired. Last year, he remembers seeing Nia and Boota and he was inspired to come back to Fanime this year because of the fan love.
two - Kojima-san. He says he was interviewed in the documentary but he thinks he said things he should not have said.
three - Key animation director (didn't catch name). He worked in the parallel works series too.
four - (didn't catch name). She worked in animation. She loves the fan passion here.
five - Ishikawa-san in animation. He says he can't wait to see everyone at the party (sadly it was limited to 100 people with a voucher and I wasn't eligible to get one since I had a press badge. Well it was hard to get the voucher because you had to win it but still...)
six - Makamatsu-san. He works in the composition department. He's happy to see everyone and he hopes you like what he does.
seven - (didn't catch name). She worked in the composition department in the movie. She is a fan of the tv series and she enjoyed the documentary because she watched it as a fan.

Q) In one of the parallel works "episodes," Gimmy does not have any pants on. He was also taking people's clothes and stuff. Why?
A) The parallel works is what it means - a parallel world. It could be possible that it makes sense. The director of that episode wanted to show "Gimmy's wee wee." (that's what the translator said and everyone laughed)

The End... End.

After the Q&A section, there were autographs. I mentioned in my Day 3 blog entry that I got autographs on my LE bag from part two of the dvds. I also got my friend to get me a piece of paper with their signatures too.

Boy that was exhaustive. I hope you enjoy the tl;dr entry!

Previous Fanime 2009 blog entries:
Day 0
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Mandatory Network

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