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

After grabbing some additional stickers for “Garden of Words” (in a vague attempt to swap for the Pirates sticker and get the prize), we split up.

The daughter wanted to go to an Art Fight Competition. It was kind of like who could draw ‘the fastest the bestest’ type of thing. The wife was willing to wait in with me to catch “Psycho-Pass” in another long, unwieldy, interminable line. When we got into the venue, we were told that we would only be seeing two episodes, as there “was a problem in getting the third show”. This is the concern with modern technology. They are getting some kind of satellite feed or whatnot, but it doesn’t always work and there is no physical disc to turn to.

The show, set in the future, (yes, we know, it’s ALWAYS set in the future, except when it is set in the past) tells the tale of a society that if your psycho level passes that which is unacceptable (I assume that it might be over 100, or even 9000), you are to be taken in for a kind of rehabilitation, unless it is so high and you are so bad, we might as well kill you. In that sense, it reminded me of “Minority Report”: you haven’t done anything wrong, but you are still guilty.

We follow a newbie to CID on her first assignment on the first day. She is working with people who, by all rights, should also be killed as well, as they are way over the limit, but, you set a fox to catch a fox. It is an interesting show, but it is physically dark and hard to see what is going on, unless we are making the suggestion that things are always occurring in the shadows. It might be a good show, but the feed crapped out in the second episode, so we couldn’t even get two full shows out of it. Depressing.

I stood in the last line of the night. I had to make a decision as to what I wanted to see, and I opted for “Ecchi for Everyone”, although I never found a description for it. It was either this or “Is it Hentai?” The panel was somethnig different, but this was the worst organized line of all I stood it as no one knew where the line was or when we would be going it or why the halls were so badly clogged. The panel, however, turned out to be far different.

This was for Project H, a company that brings hentai to the US. I was more interested in the history than the content, as they explained why hentai is censored. Who ever heard of censoring smut? There is something about people having sex, but all you see are these ‘white sabers’ where certain body parts are to be located, but now becomes terra incognita. I learned that the company gets the art censored by the parent company who owns the original artwork. Some will send along the originals, but it’s a legality issue. Japan is afraid that it will get imported back INTO Japan, where young males will see what was actually to be in those white voids and the Japanese seem to be rather queasy about that. Canada is the same way with ‘porn’ (a rather slippery term at best).

The company is coming up on two years producing and they showcased the titles they have released and, oddly enough, what they will and won’t show. For example, they will not publish stories regarding rape or incest (although other companies are not as courteous on that angle). The strange aspect is that they were looking for almost anyone to help. They could release more titles, but they lack the manpower, especially in translators. Can you do Japanese to English? You could get a cut of the action for your work. The crowd was boisterous and rambunctious, but the folks on the panel were serious about needing help. They were also thinking of having HentaiCon (as there is nothing like it out there), but I cannot imagine how to market something like that. Sure, I’ve seen billboards for the Exotic-Erotic Ball, but it’s still a tough sell in anyone’s book. And if I had been fast enough to get to the panel table, I could have gotten swag, but how do you explain to the wife why you have a copy of “Outrageous Pink”?

The problem was, at the end of the current day and nearing the conclusion of the convention, staff patience now runs the gamut from frayed to openly hostile and we had the latter, as they really pushed on people to get out for the next panel to come in. There is no need to be loud and bossy. Hey, the panelists even asked for us to come up and speak with them. Has AX even outgrown the LACC?

Although I did feel better about things, compared to yesterday, I still got the feeling that this was not an event nearly 25 years old, but something that is two or three years old. A whole new staff has come in, completely overwhelmed by needs, requirements and the sheer amount of people. I understand the need for crowd control, but I shouldn’t have to give up two shows to catch a third, or not getting all that was promised to me.

That is a shame, as this is an entertaining and marvelous venue. It shouldn’t have to suffer sophomore pangs of uncertainty and doubt, but there you go.

I hope I can get some sleep tonight. I have to think about checking out, not only from the convention, but my hotel room as well and I know there is going to be changes to the schedule.

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