Last minute work schedule uncertainty and unable to find accomendations at the last minute, meant another one day excursion again to Toronto ComiCon. Might you going all out 24 hours is exillerating but after over 2 decades of covering cons, I just can’t go on vapours like I use to. 3:45am departure means little sleep before hand. Packing light enough is always a challenge. As more practice for Anime North I’m trying to carry about the same amount of gear or better in less space and weight. I’m down to three cameras, one still and two Sony Action Cams a single tripod, selfie stick (aka mono pod) and Gorilla Grip camera mount. The laptop is replaced by a PC tablet. 25 pounds of gear reduce to about a third of carried during last year’s Anime North. I’m still not where I want to be with a SD camcorder to replace the now bulky out of date DV camcorder I have now. Plus I’m still on the look out for gadget vest to hold it all so I can forgo the backpack.
So I’m in for another 9 hours of go Go GO!!! at Toronto ComiCon. Stay tune on all (social media) channels for coverage. Who knows, even I might find something more that I just have to have for upcoming cons.
It’s been almost 20 years since I was last at Michener Institute for an anime con. The one SO long ago was my first anime con, Anime North 2. Lots has changed. I hardy recognized the area let alone the building that begat Anime North. It seems fitting that 19 years later I be attending that another number 2 event at the very place that started it all.
Anime Shogatsu is billed as a Japanese New Years event. New Years in Japan is coming of age in Japan. Oddly those who celebrated their 20th birthday come of age at New Years. Being this is my 20th year of being involved with anime in one way or another, it is a coming of age. Many of the animes we grew up with are hitting anniversaries themselves.
Unlike with AN so long ago, I’ve come a long way from taking limited pictures with film. In the end, I had nearly 400 photos and videos on my camera and 3 cameras recording the masquerade. I had positive feedback for webVR I showed to people. A few things didn’t go as planned but each con I learn a little more to make the next better.
Keep an eye on our cosplay page for Anime Shogatsu and hopefully I’ll be back next year.
It goes without saying 2016 was a year we all won’t miss. I doubt 2017 will be any better but we can hope. This year we saw a large departure of celebrities in 2016. A trend I doubt we’ll see ease in 2017. We’re not losing an aging actor or musician… we’re losing a generation of trailblazers who pioneered a new medium. As heartbreaking as it is, it is no different than those who faced similar loses in 2016 with the exception they weren’t famous.
“We’re not losing an aging actor or musician… we’re losing a generation of trailblazers who pioneered a new medium.”
Some new shows and new seasons to shows that were popular are returning. 2017 is looking good in that direction. So what is in store for this site and anime in general for 2017?
Return to the cons
In 2016, I manage to get to many conventions and 2017 will be no different. I was hoping to go to Otakuthon in Montreal but work scheduling trashed my plans. I spent the weekend at Anime North last year. 2017 doesn’t look good with PC leadership convention being held RIGHT beside Anime North. I worry that trouble makers from the states trying to highjack the convention but worry more of having some narrow minded politicians near so many youth. We can ignore them but anime fans are hard to ignore with the costumes.
I have been investing in smaller more portable gear to take and edit on the fly pictures and video. Dragging 30 pounds of gear in 30 degree weather was brutal three days at Anime North. Testing Sony Action cams to record events like masquerade with 3 cameras. It will only be the case of trying out the new gear but I will need to find a lighter replacement for my camcorder.
What is in store for the website?
I’ve been hanging out with game devs regularly and looking into ways to use gaming as a means of story telling. In particular, VR (Virtual Reality) is a possibility with Mozzilla’s A-Frame engine. Nothing definite but I’m looking into it.
Forums or Chat Rooms?
With a new server, the real possibility of the return of forums or something new, chat rooms. If I go with either one, it will require people to use some social media account to login. There will be NO user registrations. It’s to protect against trolls and spammers. What do you think? Is forums dated?
What ever the future holds we will keep on … keep the faith … don’t let the news drag you down! If anything…
“If 2017 is going to be AWESOME than it’s because you, the fans, made it AWESOME!”
Snow is on the ground and the new season of shows from Japan will be starting. With a new season of Blue Exorcist. With the wiki and the website on a new server and issues with short URL finally fixed, we’re good to go, right? Well, not all things work out. The latest wiki doesn’t work with the aging Facebook plugin so all the Facebook markup has to be removed. While that’s being edited out, going in it’s placed is bilingual descriptions of the page will slowly be updated via Google Translate. Not the best translation but enough for brute force needed to get it done.
You figure for a show that was just a dealer’s room with no guests and only 6 hours long that it would be boring. Right? Wrong. I ended taking over 420 pictures plus some test footage with my second Sony Action Cam and a selfie stick to get some over the head and timelapse video. Still it was tiring and lots of walking. Thanks to all I met at the show. Already we’re seeing a spike in new follows on Facebook and Instagram. Galleries are already up on the website, Facebook to follow.
Early morning bus ride with time to kill but any time in Toronto is a breath of fresh air in spite of whatever the pollution index is. Light snow fall only a hint here in T.O. Time for cheer and testing new tech for events in the New Year. Also the site is on a new server so there is bugs but a short 6 hour event will help hash out those bugs for the coming year.
Still hunting for a tech vest to hold my camera gear and tablet as oppose to bulky backpack. Hard given my size but worth while once I find one. Stay tuned for posts and gallery of photos from this year’s holiday event in Toronto ComiCon section.
Natsume has always delivered the feels for other side of existance. This season is no different. I’m sure fans will be pleased either way.
Kiitarou is another story… being only 5 minute shorts, it might be a hard sell to fans of the genre. Sadly no trailer for this anime but then, the show itself is as long as a trailer anyway.
“The visual diary of Kiitarou’s experience with youkai. He’s a boy with a very strong spirit sense, but when he entered a forbidden storehouse, he was kicked out of his home. He soon found a new place to live, where he met a zashiki warashi (house spirit) named Suzu. He and Suzu soon began to attract all kinds of spirit creatures, starting with a nurikabe (appears as a wall that impedes travelers) and mokumokuren (appears as eyes in a torn paper wall). What kind of folkloric creature will he meet next?”
This season is no exception to shows that for all pretenses are similar in plot. SO let’s take a look at Girlish Number and Stella no Mahou (Magic of Stella).
Magic of Stella
“Honda Tamaki is a first-year high school girl who joins a somewhat peculiar SNS-Bu circle that makes doujin (self-published) games.”
“Karasuma Chitose, a college student who aspires to be an idol voice actress, and other young women in the industry.”
Well similarities end with the promo videos. I expect Stella no Mahou to be short skits tied into one episode much like Lucky Star, both 4 koma (comic strip) mangas. Girlish Number started as a light novel project and has blossomed into a manga and anime. Two girlish comedys to look out for this fall. Look out for Girlish Number and Stella no Mahou this fall
Fan Expo Canada was a blast in spite of having to work until 7am Saturday then catching a bus to Toronto. It ended being a 30 hour day counting being up Friday to go to work. This year though, I was able to take in the deals at EB Games booth. Lots was gone by Sunday but I snagged a basic XBox 360 and now discontinued micro console PS TV or Play Station (Vita) TV. Having not really bought any thing new for few years, it was time to up my game.
The PS TV suffers even more than the Vita handheld from Sony’s propriety by having a white list of games. While looking online there is hacks, finding the propriety memory that only works with the Vita systems. Only one place in London had memory, Dundas Discs, and I got 32 gigs for $60. A sweet deal though it’s micro SD counterpart is a 6th of that cost. In reality, one could have an Android micro console using Raspberry Pi 3 for about as much as the PS TV cost all around. I also snagged BlazeBlue ChronoPhantasy for $20 after I tested in store to make sure it wasn’t blacklisted not to work on the PSTV or had to use back touchscreen option. Cool idea when announced for the PS Vita but a trivia option that no other game system picked up on. Nintendo has Dual Screen but only one touch screen.
In reality, I bought both systems to see if I could develop something since I’m friends with many game developers in town. If you have any recommendations for games for PS TV or comments, leave one here or on our Facebook page.