Despite some initial criticism of this year’s guests, there was fairly muted hype over many of the names that came. The convention had some strange logistical problems that hadn’t been there in the past; one was cordoning off a large section of the second floor that forced people to take a long detour to get between major halls. Most of the NHRV’s time for the first two days was divided between press concerts, panels, and a terribly addictive game called Tanto Cuore. However, we did go to our fair share of panels and events, so here’s coverage of the first two days of Anime Expo 2012! Remember, panel coverage for different days will be batched into individual articles for publication along with concerts and/or interviews that we have for the same guest.
Introduction by Kylaran
Bushiroad Panel on Day 1
Eternal This was largely geared towards advertising a game called Cardfight Vanguard. The company brought over two of the illustrators from Japan to talk about their work on the cards. Adachi Yosuke made it clear that he enjoys drawing action scenes involving non-human characters like robots and dragons, while Midori Foo preferred more tranquil scenes. Her favourite card illustration that she worked on is one that combines traditional Japanese miko (priestess) clothing with vibrant colours and action that she hopes would give it universal appeal.
JAST USA Panel on Day 1
Eternal The main draw of the JAST USA panel this year was the upcoming release of School Days HQ. The translation was completed by staff of the original fan translation by Sekai Project. JAST’s Makoto offered the audience a live tour through School Days’s animated scenes, offering an example of the potential good ends—and, as fans know from the anime, bountiful bad ends—available in the game. He also reminded the audience that the Sumaga (Visual Novel Database link) project is still underway and that two more games by the company behind Aselia the Eternal (Visual Novel Database link) would be released in the future. The company closed the presentation with the revelation of a new release: Schatten (Visual Novel Database link), a hot-blooded tokusatsu-themed eroge.
Mirai no Neiro Panel Part 1 on Day 1
Kylaran I showed up a bit late to this panel due to the fact that the Kajiura Yuki one that had started just 30 minutes before (meaning it started late by 30 minutes), but there was a supportive full crowd within the room. This panel was for showing Vocaloid videos and songs to the public, including some that were world releases, in addition to some MMD choreography that everyone enjoyed.
Mirai no Neiro Panel Part 2 on Day 2
Kylaran Held at Petree Hall, which can hold a whopping 500 people, this panel introduced several Vocaloid producers well known for their songs. The staff list included KagomeP, deadballP, VocaliodP (OdoP), AgoanikiP, and Dixie Flatline. With a cool intro song and hilarious comments from many of the producers, the panel was overall a fun event for Vocaloid fans. Not surprisingly, Dixie’s response from the crowd was the loudest, with a huge amount of cheering resounding throughout the hall upon his entrance and during his brief bit on mic. Even more importantly, there were several new songs shown for the first time ever during the panel.
Tiger and Bunny Panel on Day 2
Shinmaru The Tiger and Bunny panel was clearly aimed at the English dub audience — the majority of the guests were the English voice actors, although the show’s executive producer, Ozaki Masayuki, was along for the ride as well. He gave a few interesting tidbits about the show and the upcoming movies.
At the end of the series, the writers apparently came close to killing Rock Bison and/or Origami Cyclone, but obviously both of them survived in the end. Ozaki mentioned that he was happy the heroes ended up staying alive.
There was also an interesting note regarding all the advertisement in Tiger and Bunny. When Ozaki and others pitched the show to companies, they had synopses for all 25 episodes and a rough outline of screen time that would be allotted to each hero, which would be taken into account when companies actually ponied up the money to sponsor a hero. It’s interesting to hear about that playing out in reality when Tiger and Bunny comments on it in an ironic fashion.
A few details on the Tiger and Bunny movies in production: they are being made at the same time, and the first, which is subtitled “The Beginning,” is slated to come out in Japan in September. Part of it is supposed to recount Kotetsu and Barnaby meeting for the first time, but Ozaki said two-thirds of it will be new animation. That does not necessarily mean it will be new story, but Ozaki mentioned nothing about that.
For those who care about the English dub, the dubbing crew is 15 episodes in, and the show will be released on DVD and Blu-ray next year. The dub will also air on Viz’s upcoming online service, Neon Alley.