Was digging around our Anime Expo 2008 pictures, and I almost forgot we spotted an Itasha car (a car usually covered with anime related decals) in the garage of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Anyone else spotted any more Itashas at AX?
Bandai's panel was a bit lackluster. It was mostly about announcing new release titles in the United States, so this will be brief.
The most exciting announcement was Bandai's movement into Blu-ray. They will start by rereleasing Ghost in the Shell 2 and releasing Swords of a Stranger on Blu-ray.
Bandai showed a clip of Gundam 00 announcing that it will air on SciFi Channel on November 17 with 2 episodes a night.
They will be releasing a limited edition DVD version containing episodes 1 through 9, with episode 1-5 on the first DVD, and 6-9 on the second. They will also include volume 1 of the manga, as well as a drama CD adapted into English.
Lucky Star will be released in various versions, with 6 Limited Editions currently announced each containing a tshirt. Most notable are volume 2, 3, and 6 with a swimsuit, girl's school uniform, and a cheerleading printed tshirt.
Other titles announced for release included Ghost Slayer Ayashi, Towards the Terra, My Z-Hime, The Girl Who Lept Through Time, Rocket Girls, Gundam Seed Destiny TV Movies in widescreen, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Gurren Lagann.
Bandai apparently will be releasing all 3 version of the Code Geass manga from Japan including the light novels.
The manga adapted from the movie version of the Girl Who Lept Through Time (not to be confused with the manga that was adapted from the novel) will also be released.
Anime Expo had an array of different panels and events this year. Beside the yearly main events like the Masquerade, AX Idol, or the AMV Contest, they had a different panel not usually seen at an anime convention: the Robot Chicken Panel. An array of hilarious staff members from the show were present to entertain con attendees.
Most of the big names on staff were present at the panel. Head writer Tom Rude was present along with Kevin Shenic, who writes, voice acts and co-produces for the show. Co-creator Mike Fasolo who co-writes also made an appearance. Other members of the panel include animator Kamern Pawlak, costume supervisor Jennet Moppet, and last but not least, director Chris Mckay. The audience was free to ask them questios through the host.
Some great tidbit of teaser material were told to the audience by the staff of the show during the panel. One of the cool thing mentioned was the fact that they are working on a Yu-Gi-Oh! sketch. They have also finished a second star wars special, which is slated for release soon. Talk about a possible sketch based on their experience going to Anime Expo was also mentioned; tentacle porn was mentioned.
Having Robot chicken coming to the panel was a fun side track from the regular anime based panels.
One of the events that I decided to go to this year at Anime Expo was Last Comic Standing. The event is held every year and has grown, but is still not considered one of the main events for Anime Expo. For that reason, it was held at the same time as the Masquerade. I had to choose between the two, and I decided to go to Last Comic Standing. To be sure, I think I chose right.
Last Comic Standing is an event that allows Anime Expo attendees to display their comedic talents to the con with only one rule: all of their jokes must be based on anime, or video game references. This year, eight final contestants brought their own unique style to the event. Members of the comic team Dawkness, a reference from the Chapalle show, Gary the Marciano, and Musta D. Luffy were the hosts.
The hosts were pretty funny and made the event interesting. Hopefully they make Last Comic Standing a main event next year because there were hundreds of people in the panel room. I also hope that they'll also schedule it so it doesn't fall under the same time as another main event, like the Masquerade.
Editor's Note: The Masquerade at Anime Expo this year ended unexpected earlier, with all the skits finishing around 9:20PM, meaning most people were able to attend last Comic Standing if they wanted to. Also please note, this was an over 18 event only for obvious reasons...
Manami: Hello everyone Dewa: Hello Manami: Nice to meet you, this is Jukai. I am the vocalist Manami. Dewa: I am the guitarist Dewa Yoshiaki. Manami: This is the second time we're in America. No matter how many times we come to this city, it is a wonderful place. We would like to spread more and more of Jukai's music to this city, and to this country. So I hope that everyone listens to more of our music. One, two... Both: America is AWESOME! Manami: yay, bye bye!