July 7th, 2013 in Anime, Anime Expo 2013 by


Hey, Good AX pics are hard to come by

I haven’t been sleeping well for a while, like the last three years, so it is not uncommon for me to pop awake and lie there, and I dislike doing that, so I get up and do SOMETHING.

I decided that I would get to the Expo early, as the taste of the defeats the day before left a bad taste in my mouth. It was rather soothing to walk about the venue, as there were a few people there and it was a physically cool place to be, which would belie the chaos that would be following.

I got there early, as they were showing some series on the modified schedule and I wanted to catch them. One was “Nyarko-san”, as that was more a reminder of what it was (I am working on a review for that), then “Love Hina”. I tried to watch it a few years ago, but found only a spotty version of it on line that wouldn’t stream properly, so I left it behind. This let me see three shows of it, but they are certainly handling things a bit differently than the manga. I know there will be a shift, but they are really playing down the fan service and upping the amount of physical abuse the male lead absorbs.

I hit up the Vendor’s Room for stickers. Sentai Filmworks was having a contest to collect six stickers for a prize. We thought we had gotten enough “Bodacious Space Pirates”, but we could not find them later on, so I went to see if they had any extras (nope) and I had nothing on me to trade for any. I went back, into the now-burgeoning crowds, to catch “Sweet Blue Flowers”. I was uncertain of the title, but the opening credits let me know this was yuri. But it was so slow-moving, I fell asleep while watching it. Not a good sign. Not “Blair Witch Project” bad (as I fell asleep during that one), but not a good omen either.

I wanted to check out the panel/guest of honor show for George Wada and “Attack on Titan”, but I badly underestimated the amount of interest, as there were over 2000 people waiting in line to see it and Petree Hall did not hold that many folks. It was yesterday all over again. I decided to take in the Rightstuf/Nozomi premiere. Now, they did not say what they were showing, so the line was thin and the room was pretty vacant. What they let us see were the first episodes of “Rose of Versailles” and “Princess Knight”.

The problem with these two shows is that the artwork is really first generation of anime, and had all the reasons I rejecedt anime in the 60s and 70s: that flat, truly cartoony, approach. If you have seen shows like “Basilisk” or “Sekirei”, you have seen some top-drawer animation and art design. These two are very primitive compared to that. I kmow that Rightstuf sunk in a huge amount of money to amass the shows, get the rights and restore “Princess Knight”, but was it worth it? Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be and it is akin to painting an outhouse heliatrope: it looks nice but it still stinks.

Then they had a trivia contest for swag! The question was: “What is Shawn Kleckner’s favorite anime show?” Now, I went to the rightstuf panel the day before and Shawn berated us that if you did not own “The Irresponsible Captain Tylor”, you should stop watching anime immediately. I eventially got her attention and gave the answer and I won. They were so happy that SOMEONE knew a trivia answer and that I got “The Irresponsible Captain Tylor”, which is a title that they sell, so I went up for my prize, which was a DVD of…..”Emma”. Oh, well, at least it’s a prize.

Now, I wanted to see the movie that came after, “The Garden of Words”, but they did a room clear-out and my people in line got cut off from getting in. Crud! Went out to grab lunch, then got in line to Project 21, which was a bar, where events were held, like some bands of note, but I didn’t know them from Adam. Now, you may have heard me complain about how badly disorganized this AX is, but this is both a hot button and sore subject topic with lots of folks. Veterans of AX have noted they have never seen it this poorly run: no one on the staff knows what is going on, the lines are unconsciousably long and out of control (like trying to wind up a fire hose while in use) and waits are interminable.

I also discovered that there were VIP tickets to get into the lounge before the rest of the proles. I met Zach and Jessica, who gave us two spares, so we got in early. The thing is this was the only venue to get the sixth sticker. Or not, depending on whom you talked to. You also had an opportunity for the director to autograph things for you, but that line NEVER budged an inch for the 45 minutes we stood in line. We decided to bail at that point (we had our free drinks) and plan the next line of attack.


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