Gencon was held again this year at the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Known mainly as a tabletop-gaming convention, Gencon celebrated its 47th year of running this year. The convention has expanded to include areas such as anime and other geeky categories to its schedule and is no doubt, one of the biggest conventions in the Midwest. Last year, the convention boasted an attendance record of 49,000 individuals from all 50 states and 32 countries. This year, the convention had experienced yet another jump in attendees by more than 10% with a unique attendance of 56,614 individuals at the convention.
On Sunday, I was one of the few lucky people in Los Angeles to attend the premier screening of Aniplex's Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, which was sold out. The location was the Downtown Independent Theater, next to Little Tokyo, and doors did not open until 12:15 PM. Since I had to drive and didn't want to risk getting stuck in LA traffic I left early, but to my surprise there was a long line of fans already in line once I had arrived. At first I wasn't sure if I was at the right place, but once I got closer I heard someone playing music from the Fate/stay series and saw a Rin cosplayer. I signed in and got in line and waited for the doors to open. Once they opened, we were allowed inside the lobby, which had posters of the Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works series and people were taking pictures with them along with the cosplayers who attended the event. Aniplex gave every attendee an exclusive "Unlimited Blade Works Memorial Record" lithograph which has Saber, Shirou, Rin, Archer and Kotomine on it along with the locations of the screenings and date at the bottom to commemorate the event.
Shinji Aramaki is a pioneer in 3D Japanese animation. As a director, he brought cell shading to the movie screen with Appleseed in 2004 and followed up with a new and stunning graphical direction for the 2007 sequel, Appleseed Ex Machina. Over the next several years, Aramaki continued to direct 3DCG movies including Starship Troopers: Invasion, and the 2013 adaption of Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
We caught up with Aramaki at Japan Expo USA in California and sat down with him to talk about his most recent work, Appleseed Alpha which pushes the boundaries of animation with photorealistic CG. We also asked him a little about the upcoming 1/6 scale figurine of Briareos made by Hot Toys and got a glimpse into a possible future of the Appleseed movie franchise.
For fans of Japanese visual novel-style games, the name Key evokes a lot of fond memories, magical storylines and endearing characters that often culminate into an cathartic bliss that I personally like to describe as "tear nirvana." Known as the company behind the scripts for tearjerker anime such as Kanon, Air and most recently Little Busters!, VisualArt's, Key's parent company, has finally begun to localize these timeless visual novels into English as part of a collaboration with the localization company Sekai Project.
With the recent release of the kinetic novel Planetarian already under their belt, the next big project for the two companies will be the upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Clannad; the title that is often arguably seen as the company's magnum opus. Take a trip with us as we interview Genki Tenkumo, one of the scenario writers for Clannad, and Yoshikuni Toyoizumi, one of VisualArt's PR representatives, at Japan Expo USA 2014 to discuss the company's plans and their hopes for the English market.
Also known as "Urobutcher," Gen Urobuchi has penned some of the most notorious anime scripts for series such as Fate/Zero and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Famous for taking his audience on a journey full of unexpected twists and turns, Gen has worked on stories across multiple mediums including the live-action Kamen Rider Gamen along with some of Nitroplus' quintessential visual novels Saya no Uta and Phantom of Inferno. His upcoming anime film Expelled from Paradise is slated to open in Japan later this year on November 15. Together with Nihongogo, join us as we learn about the man behind some of the anime world's most nefarious villains, [contract anyone?], as he shares his thoughts on his craft and how he goes from pen to script.
As part of the Lantis Festival 2014 Tokyo Live, it was announced by Jam project member, Kageyama Hironobu that there will be an Overseas tour tour starting in Las Vegas from January 16-17th, followed by a stop in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and one additional city.