Anime Expo 2012 Day 3 & Day 4

Total Eclipse producer Yoshimune Kouki and the lovely ladies Kuribayashi Minami (left) and ayami (right).

This year was much more difficult to plan our scheduling for panel attendance and coverage because so many panels had been changed around and delayed that people were complaining non-stop. Luckily, we got in a few interesting things for Day 3, while Day 4 involved most of us traveling back to our homes before the convention actually ended.

Introduction by Kylaran

Total Eclipse Screening on Day 3

Eternal The Total Eclipse screening panel was straightforward (after a lengthy delay), with a synopsis of the show read by producer Yoshimune and musical performances by Minami Kuribayashi and ayami. The screening was positively received; though it’s hard to take gruesome deaths and genocide seriously in a public screening with hundreds of other fans, the shock factor of the second episode seemed to catch viewers off-guard and the combat held our attention. As someone who has yet to play the MuvLuv games, it’s only the shock factor that stood out to me in the first two episodes, but I expect that plot will become more engrossing with later exposition.

Mirai no Neiro Panel Part 3 on Day 3

Kylaran Continuing the latter portion of the first panel that was delayed and cut short, this day’s features included a large number of new songs and messages from their producers. In fact, the line was so long for this panel people were crowding the walls and back to get in; staff eventually had to turn away a good number of people for safety reasons. Some of the Ps were watching from the back, and people who were lucky enough to recognize them got to get some autographs on the spot. I saw one guy chase down Dixie Flatline for a signature.

Unfortunately, I decided to give up my seat and move to the back so some lucky girl could sit at the front, so I couldn’t get down the names of what was shown.

AX Dance on Day 3

Eternal I was only there for an hour for DJ Wildparty on Sunday and I’m not familiar enough with his songs to know what his set consisted of, aside from a godly Nexus remix. Unfortunately, not having Club Nokia for this convention forced the party to be held in the significantly smaller Petree Hall, resulting in an hour-long line at midnight and a subpar venue (carpet is an odd surface to jump on). Still, the music and energy was present, and Japanese guest DJ Wildparty of Club Mogra fame played a solid set of both Western tunes and good old anime songs. That said, my friends and I only managed to get in through press/industry/premier privileges and I suspect the line was also bad for the other days.

MangaGamer Panel on Day 3

Eternal The panel ran into some scheduling trouble and started late, cutting the Q&A session short. Bamboo did find the time to announce the company’s upcoming releases, ranging from several nukige—games focused largely on the sexual aspects of adult visual novels—from Softhouse Seal (Visual Novel Database link) to the infamous Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteiru. Harukoi Otome, a game by Baseson, the company behind Koihime Musou, was also announced for this winter. ef – the first tale finally received a release date of July 27, but they mentioned that the second game’s release is a long ways off, especially considering minori’s recent financial trouble with the commercial failure of Supipara (Visual Novel Database link). The raffle was a step up from previous years as they gave out not only the raffle box but also Bamboo’s water bottle, with the cap signed (somehow) by voice actress Tamiyasu Tomoe. Fans were clamouring for her water bottle as well of course, but no such luck. Perhaps the highlight of the panel was seeing ex-Nihon Review writer Akira ask Tamiyasu’s opinion of people who tell her that they “enjoy” her games, to which she replied in English “Thank you very much!” (Official MangaGamer Tweet).

NIS America Panel on Day 3

Shinmaru NIS America ran a lively panel where the company showed off some of its upcoming games. First up was Legasista, a dungeon crawler RPG due for the PlayStation Network in August. Its main draw is vast customization: not only are players given many options for skills and whatnot when leveling up, but they can also customize character sprites and apparently draw their own art for the game.

Next up was Mugen Souls, a PlayStation 3 RPG taking place in the vast reaches of outer space, where the player is a self-proclaimed goddess who seeks to conquer seven worlds in a small galaxy. There’s lots of customization here, too, but another big draw is the outlandishness of the game’s visual style and battle system. At various points, the player character inflicted damage on things as small as single enemies and as large as the galaxy itself.

NISA also has a Western-style fantasy game coming out on PSN in August and Steam later in the year, Clan of Champions. The game features three warring factions — humans, elves and orcs — who seek magical relics. Again, character customization is a big part of the gameplay.

There was also a new original title for the iOS announced, Character Chowdown, which is an educational game about a mascot character who eats kanji, hiragana and katakana, and through this the player can learn these characters. NISA also announced that characters from its famed Disagea series will be available to play in the game.

The final game showed off was The Witch and the Hundred Nights, a PlayStation 3 action RPG coming out in 2013 that is again heavily customizable, with a combat system allowing for many combos and weapon switching in mid-attack. There is also a moral system in the story where players can choose to help NPCs on side quests or kill them, which will have tangible effects on the main storyline.

NISA also answered a few audience questions. Some of the tidbits: They’re working on a localized version of Atelier Ayesha, there are plans for Disagea 5, and they are planning releases for the PlayStation Vita.

Music and its Impact on Notable Anime Scenes on Day 4

Shinmaru Our own zzeroparticle and his Anime Instrumentality compatriot, Yu, held a panel on the final day of the convention on the topic of background music and its impact on anime scenes. Sometimes it helps establish setting, others it amps up energy for a fight scene, and still others it contributes to the entire tone of a work. The examples used for all three were interesting and well-explained, and ranged from the obscure (for a general audience, anyway) to the instantly recognizable.

The crowd, which filled a fair portion of the room, seemed more enthusiastic and appreciative as the panel went on, particularly once they got examples they could identify, such as the beginning of Ouran High School Host Club (its use of classical music establishes an upper crust tone) and the infamous potato chip scene in Death Note (the bold, chaotic music puts on an over the top mood).

In all, a well run, solid panel on a subject many might think about in passing while watching one of their favorite anime scenes.

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