The Gameslave Podcast - Episode 216

Our interview with Taliesin Jaffe is posted in the podcast feed.  We talk about Hellsing, roleplaying, and the future of anime.  You should give it a listen.

The Professional Gamer - September 28, 2015

Hello, fellow geeks and other interested parties.  I've finally got that tough project done and am enjoying my reduced workload.  I may still be using most of my lunch time for running (and hence not getting in my usual reading time) but I'm still having a lot of fun with my other activities.  Read on to see what I've been doing.


Playing: I haven't had a huge amount of free time for video games this week, but I did spend some time playing Guild Wars 2 after I'd had enough with work last weekend.  Sometimes, I feel like GW2 is the methadone to the heroin that is World of Warcraft.  At least I'm avoiding an expensive habit.

Watching: I've nearly finished watching the Good Eats episodes that are available on Netflix.  All that remains is Pumpkin Pie! But, I also found out that the latest Doctor Who Christmas special is now available, so I will be watching that very soon.  And, I watched the latest episode of Steven Universe: "Catch and Release".  I have a lot of feeling about this episode.  I feel like this is our first chance to see Peridot as more than a threat/annoyance; and that's a really good thing.  I'm also glad that Steven's constant kindness to her seems to have paid off in some degree of trust.  Also, sounds like there is some spooky stuff going on with Earth, and some sort of experimental gem  thing may blow the whole planet up.  We can only hope that the Crystal Gems will be able to avert disaster.

That's all I have for this week.  Come back next week, and I should have a bit more for you to read.  If you haven't already, have a listen to our conversation with Laurissa and Crystal about their experience at Nan Desu Kan 2015.  Have a great week, and game on!

NDK 2015 - Day 3

The Nan Desu Kan organizers have certainly done a great job in their first year at this new hotel.  Generally speaking, lines seemed to be more manageable, walking around was easier, and the hotel facilities were well laid out and well maintained.  We would all like to thank the NDK Staff and Board of Directors for putting on another great convention.  As usual, Sunday is the slowest day for me at Nan Desu Kan.  I had an opportunity to interview Taliesin Jaffe, so you can look forward to that audio in the next few days.

So you want to run an Anime Convention? with Kevin McKeever

I attended Kevin's panel about how to start an anime convention.  He started out the panel with a big reality check.  "So you want to run an anime convention?  Why?"  Kevin went on to discuss some bad reasons for trying to run your own convention: 1) revenge, 2) hopes for easy money, 3) wanting to run the masquerade.  Basically, if any three of those are your primary reason for starting a convention, it is not likely to work out and you should probably give up before you lose a lot of money.  He then discussed some of the realities of starting a convention.  There is a lot of work that has to happen before a convention can start.  It is like taking on a second, full-time, un-paid job.  Eighteen months is the bare minimum to put together a small convention, at an out of the way chain hotel, with only a couple of invited guests.  The cost for this small convention would be about $50,000 and the convention would not likely be able to make that back in the first year.  And the convention is only likely to take off if there is a demand in the market for it.  It is also necessary to for some type of corporation (either for-profit or non-profit) to run the convention.  In order to best decide which type of incorporation, the prospective convention head needs legal advice.  On top of all this, many cities have at least one anime convention, and many also have a Comic-Con.  So it can be hard for a small, new convention to get a foothold in many markets.

That's all that I have for the weekend.  For those of you who were able to attend NDK, I hope that you were able to have as much fun as I did.  And for those who weren't able to go the convention, I hope you have enjoyed my photos and reporting.  Goodbye Nan Desu Kan, we'll see you again next year.

NDK - 2015 Day 2

I've had a great second day here at Nan Desu Kan 2015.  Per usual, I started out the day finalizing my interview questions, and then went down to the open areas of the hotel in order to spot some cosplay and costumes.  Everyone has done such a great job with their costumes this year, and it has made the people watching into such a fun activity.


Aniplex Industry Panel

Aniplex again had a panel at NDK, and discussed a lot of their recent and upcoming releases.  Their list of anime currently available on disc included Fate Stay Night, Aldnoah Zero, Persona 4 Golden Animation, Irregular at Magic High School, and Expelled from Paradise.  Current streaming content includes Durarara X2, Charlotte, Classroom Crisis, Wagnaria, and God Eater.  Upcoming releases announced are largely later volumes of the series above, plus Sword Art Online and Tsuki Monogatari.  Aniplex will produce an English dub of Your Lie in April with Patrick Seitz as the director.


Funimation Industry Panel

Funimation has certainly been busy this season, with over 20 simulcast running during the summer season.  Michiko and Hatchin is now available on their S.A.V.E. line, so if you have put off purchasing it, now would be a good time.  Series now available for purchase include Hyperdimension NeptuniaFairy Tail Part 16, Ben-toD-Frag, One Piece Season 7 Part 1, and .hack//GU Trilogy.  I'm interested in Ping Pong the Animation, a series by director Maasaki Yuasa, whose previous work includes Tatami Galaxy and the "Food Chain" episode of Adventure Time.  The movie 009 Re:Cyborg will be a retelling of the classic Cyborg 009.  There also seems to be a theme of young women encountering down on their luck gods and spirits with series such as Noragami and Inori Kon Kon,  Funimation will re-release Fullmetal Alchemist on Blu-Ray with a very fancy collectors edition on September 15.  Season 2 of Space Dandy and Tokyo Ghoul will follow shortly after on September 22.  Finally, Mamoru Hosado's latest film, The Boy and The Beast is slated for a theatrical release in 2016.  Hosado's previous works include Summer Wars and Wolf Children, and I am therefore extremely excited to see this new movie.


The Ultimate Hellsing: Ultimate Panel

Jonathan Klein (series producer) and Teliesin Jaffe (series ADR director) discussed the ins and outs of 15 years of work on the Hellsing series, including both the original TV series and the more recent OVA.  Most of the panel was presented as a series of annecdotes relating the various challenges that the English language adaptation faced, such as us of Arucado versus Alucard for the main character, casting difficulties (people still complain about the British cast's "fake" accents), and some of the work they did to beef up the Ultimate series soundtrack from the original stereo mix to a full 5.1 mix (they added some cannon noise to Alucard's guns to give them more oomph).  Some say that suffering is necessary for art, but I feel Klein and Jaffe may have been dished more than their fair share.


Funimation Dimension W

Dimension W is a manga series that has been running in Japan since 2012 and currently has 8 volumes published.  In the panel, Funimation Conventions Manager Tara McKinney announced that Funimation will be on the committee that produces an anime series based on the Manga.  In Dimension W, humanity in the near future has found a solution to our current energy crisis by creating "Coils" that are capable of tapping energy from another dimension.  The main characters are Mira, an android, and Kyoma, a detective who is also somewhat of a Luddite.  Production stills and the trailer show some very promising animation with a mix of 3D CGI and 2D work.  As part of the panel, we were able to speak with series producer Uchiro Matsaka via Skype.  The series is currently in production and will begin simulcasting in January 2016.

I also interview Dr. Alisa Freedman today.  Look for podcast audio to be available in the near future.  And I am about to head to the Kevin McKeever's "War Stories from the Convention" panel.  But, since that is an 18+ panel, I doubt there will be anything that I can share with you.  Have a great night, and game on!