AX 08 Day 3/Final Day

So today, was the last day of the adventure. Today my friend, my bro, and myself all went in our army camo. We decided that we would get some shopping done and somewhere along the way we decided that we would start to pretend we were in MGS, well my friend and I that is… my bro ended up watching the Lupin the 3rd movie: Castle Cagliostro. So it was going ok, one of us would sneak up on the other and either tell them to freeze, or throw them to he ground and shoot them with our air pistol. This went on for a while and was going well until I rounded a corner and there my friend was. I had my pistol. I screamed and jumped in time to see him rush me from the side, grab me, swing me, and then finish it with a knee to the side. This was instantly followed by screams of “STOP” and we got in trouble. So that ended the MGS for the day and we went and bought a few more things before leaving for the day. All in all it was a good AX and I can’t wait for Comic-Con in 2 weeks. 😀

Funimation Industry Panel

By Angie Quidim
Adam Sheehan was one of the representatives present for the packed Funimation panel. The excitement filled the air as fans were chanting “Don’t Panic!”  It seemed like the audience wanted to hear about the recent transitions that had occured during the week with Sojitz and ADV. Sheehan had continued to explain how Funimation was adapting to industry changes and demands. Funimation has embraced a new marketing strategy that will cater to the mainstream or “non-anime market”.  Unlike some other companies, Funimation plans to utilize the new technology avaialble out there and will release select titles on Blu-Ray and digital download.

There will be two new acquisitions that will be added to ITunes in late july.  Aquarion and Witchblade will be available for download for $1.99 per episode.  The shows will be available dubbed to the American audience. There also will be Video on Demand downloads for mobile phones, specifically for ATT and Sprint subscribers.  Shows that will be offered to these subscribers are Gunslinger Girl, and Moonphase.  There will a fee of $4.99 a month per episode package and  the first season of Galaxy Railways will be included free.  All episodes will be split into five minute chapters.

Funimation has also created a partnership with Youtube to provide full episodes of the following shows: Blue Gender, Slayers, Peach Girl. Mushi-Shi, and Kiddy Grade.  The are plans to add more series later.

Sheehan annouced that there will be several titles available on Blu-Ray, including two Dragonball Z double features, Afro Samurai, SHINOBI (live action), Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, and Vexille.  In the coming months there will be boxsets of Yu Yu Hakusho season 1, Case Closed season 1, One Piece season 2 part 2 will be released in September, and finally the sixth season of Dragonball Z will be release in the fourth quarter. The Dragonball GT series will be released in quarter four as well (late 2008). Other titles expected to be released in the first quarter of 2009 are Ouran Host Club and Darker than Black.

There were many new acquisitions announced that were announced in previous press releases.  These titles included Save me Lollipop, Big Windup!, Gunslinger Girl, Il Treatrino, Strain:Strategic Armored Infancy, Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Romeo X Juliet, Kenichi, and Heroic Age.  They will also distribute a couple of titles that were previously owned by Geneon.  Geneon will be finishing the dubbing and production on these shows.  They will be released as individual discs but eventually be released as full box sets. 

Funimation recently accquired the distribution rights for 30+ titles previously owned by ADV.  According to CEO Gen Fukanaga they are planning to have ADV finish the production of the newly acquired sereis.

 

I <3 Mega64 Panel

Once again my favorite panel of this year was Mega64’s. I laughed so hard that I may have had to change my pants had they gotten any funnier. I love all of their material no matter how stupid or insignificant it turns out to be. The room they got this year was as big as a warehouse! And they got the attention they deserved. It was an impressive turn out to say the least and I tell you the only people crazier than these guys, are their fans. They’re easy to like though and the cool thing about them is that they’re just like any other person out there. When I spoke to Rocco (I was getting an autograph and gamertag for Metal Gear Online) it was like I had always been friends with him or something. One word to describe them…awesome.

They were available for questions and the fans got the answers they wanted to hear.  This creative group of gius started with just some videos on YouTube and then instant stardom.  Makes you wonder……

Gears, Prinnies, and a couple of revisited Demons

Today went a whole lot better for me. I got a good night’s rest and was ready to tackle the day head on. Once we got passed the crowds and onto the main floor, it was time for some more exploring. In other words, it was time to head to every booth and figure out what I wanted to spend my money on. The one problem I always seem to have with conventions is that I want everything! Alas, I do not have the money for such expenditures. Oh well, at least the panels are free to attend.

I’m not exactly the biggest Guilty Gear fan and when I attended the Guilty Gear Pleasures panel I was made even less into a fan. APPARENTLY, the new games they got lined up are ALL for Xbox 360. That’s just bull! Why no love for the PS3 owners!? That’s ok though, cause NIS has got some awesome gaming coming out this year. Can you say Disgaea 3!? Whoooooooooooo! That got me all hyped up for the release and now I have to reserve it as soon as I get the chance. I thought I would end the day with on more announcement that would cheer me up, but Atlus just decided to suck hardcore. I went to their panel for Shin Megami Tensei and expected them to say something about a new game for the PS3. Instead all I got was a review of all the games in the series and the announcement of Persona 4 on December 9 . Umm, am I the only one that’s tired of Atlus whoring out these crappy Shin Megami games? Wait let me clarify. All the recent games coming out from Devil Summoner and up are crappy. I miss the older ones in the series, the new ones took a direction that I just can’t get into. All in all a good day filled with good information, even if the info is not what I want to hear. And thus I prepare myself for tomorrow which is the last day of the con. Unbelievable that the end is so near.

AX Day 2

So today was the second day of good ol’ AX, and was ALSO the first time I’ve ever cosplayed. I went as Hobo-Phoenix Wright (search google if you aren’t sure who that is) anyway, it was pretty fun. Not nearly as bad as I always thought that it would be. I was also able to meet a person I’ve been playing x-box live games with and chatting online with for a while now, so that was another plus. So anyway, today was panel day, the first panel I attended was the Aksys games panel. They showed trailer videos for Castle Shikigami 3 for the wii, Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles for the DS, Battle Fantasia for the 360, and of course Guilty Gear 2: Overture for the 360. After the videos they made a few announcements about first they talked about a survival horror game they are releasing for the DS, which I should written down since I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, but it sounded interesting. Next up was another DS title called Kurukuru Princess which they said was similar to Elite Beat Agents, only for girls. They then talked about Battle Fantasia and accepted questions afterwards, the main question of the panel was if they would be porting it to PS3 or not, the panel never down right said no, but instead kept saying they were going to try and see what would happen. The next and last game topic was for Guilty Gear Overture, now I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the game, and I’m not the biggest fan when it comes to Guilty Gear, but this game looks really fun. The main questions were if other characters would be appearing in the game, to which the responce was yes, but not in name, if that makes sense. The next major question was if it would be ported to PS3 this time there was no dancing around it, they flat out said no, it was a 360 exclusive. They finished talking about it and said to make sure you pre-order it so that you can get special free downloadable content!

After that panel I went and hung out with other fellow cosplayers then made my way to the NIS America panel. They started it off by showing off Disgaea 3, tey explained that it will be for PS3 and is already insanely fun, and I believed them after watching the trailer. They had the panel members talk about themselves and what not, and answered a few questions, but in MY opinion the Disgaea part at the start was the first.

The next panel was for Mega64, holy crap it was funny. If you’ve never heard of them, search youtube or simply go to Mega64.com Basically they play games then make spoof videos of them, usually about one part of the game. It may sound kinda stupid, but it’s funny as hell in my opinion. So they started off with music and them running aroung dancing, afterwards they all sat down and between panting breathes started their intro video/trailer type thing. They then showed a few videos and opened the floor to questions, the fans are a little weird and teh Q&A was insane. I should have video taped the whole thing because I can’t put into words exactly what all happened. Some of the things were that they would stop everything to ridicule anyone who left, which was funny, and seemed to piss off a few of their fans which their answers, expecially toward the end. To end it all they offered everyone free jerky which ended in half the room storming the stage sending the panel running and screaming, after it calmed down they then signed stuff and let people get pictures with them. I will be visiting their booth and panel at Comic-con in San Diego at the end of the month for sure.

To end the day I sat through the Atlas panel, which was dedicated to Shin Megami Tensei. It wasn’t bad for the most part, they first listed all the games, and mention some of the spin offs. They then went into more detail with only the games that were released here in the states, they told some fun facts about each one that was interesting. They then got to the meat of the panel and showed a Persona 4 trailer and announced a North American release date of December 9th this year. That was enough to send fans into a frenzy of happiness and excitemenet, afterwards they took questions and ended it all by giving everyone who stayed a free Persona 4 t-shirt.

All in all it wasn’t a bad day at all, got to see some cool stuff and had a good time. Tomorrow marks the last day of it all and will hopefull be as entertaining as today.

ADV Industry Panel

By Angie Quidim

An odd silence settled the room as ADV’s panel began.  People expected answers with the announcement of the dissovled partnership with Sojitz.  The room was filled to capacity with many eager fans waiting to hear the words of their favorite distribution company and their fate.  According to Anime News Network “Earlier in the morning, North American distributor Funimation announced through a press release that they had picked up 30 anime titles, all of which had been previous ADV titles. John Ledford acknowledged that their former business partner Sojitz had withdrawn their financial support and management, and several anime licenses.”

With this being said the panel had begun and inquiring minds wanted to know.  John Ledford started with a few pre-written statements; thanking the fans for their support and showing up to the panel.  He went on to state that it was ADV’s 16th year at AX and then let out the bad news.  “It’s no secret that it’s been a very bad year for ADV,” said Ledford.  Surprisingly he let fans know that another Japanese company had come and replaced Sojitz and they had already made preparaions to aquire 30 new titles.  No announcements were going to be made further regarding this until Otakon.  One of the ADV reps said “we’re waiting for the blood to dry.” before the new business partners can be revealed. 

When asked why the partnership with Sojitz dissolved, Greenfield said, “from the very beginning, it was difficult working in their world where everything is run by spreadsheets and so on,” and knew that, “this is simply not going to work out.”

Other things that were talked about was a live-action Evangelion  was still in the works, and that they had proposed the project to three studios. Weta is still on board to work on the movie.

ADV was pretty careful of what they were to say in the panel due to various negotiations and NDA’s.  I hope that all this hush hush comes out profitable for them as the studio literally is hemoraging dollars. 

No titles will be released on Blu Ray as of yet due to the non printing of Blu Ray in Japan.  If those titles were going to be printed on Blu Ray in America, they have to hit Japan first. 

The Manga division had no positive news as it was announced that there would be no new acquisitions next year and although the motivation to continue the current series is there, it was speculated that they may not be able to do so. 

After a short Q&A they rescreened Kiba from Thursday’s panel.

Is it that time Already?

It seems like time just flew by if I’m stepping into LA’s convention center already. I can’t believe it’s AX time again! I’m overly excited for it though and today was just scout out what the layout was for the whole convention. I’ll say this, the registration process went a lot smoother and a lot quicker than last year. It seems as though they have everything in order and not as hectic as it was last year. After getting my badge set up, it was time to see how well this AX turned out. The Exhibitor’s hall seems the same to me. No bigger than it was last year, but at the very least it didn’t get smaller. I’ve seen familiar faces, returning companies, and sadly companies that are MIA. Eh, you win some, you lose some right? I did notice that the artist hall got their own friggin room, FINALLY! Compared to having a crammed up hall where everyone is squeezing through just trying to get to their next destination. Now, you can enjoy viewing all the artists without feeling rushed!

What would AX be without the massive amounts of cosplayers running around? Plenty to see and like, or dislike in some cases, from every anime, video game, or movie that you can think of. After exploring the different halls I decided to check out the gaming rooms. I visited the arcade room first, that was a waste of time. There was nothing that stood out that you couldn’t find in any other arcade. I thought they would have something new in there and at the prices they were charging to play it would be much better to just go to the console gaming room. In console gaming they had a few new games going on. A Naruto game I’m sure the fans are happy about and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They had a couple of unreleased games, including Blazeblue a new game from the guys who brought you Guilty Gear. Other than checking out the main floor, visiting the game rooms and attending a Dark Horse panel (which I will be blogging soon), there wasn’t much I did today. I have to get my convention feet back, so I figured I’d take it slow today. Tomorrow should be much more interesting and exciting!