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Anime Expo 2006 July 9, 2006

Posted by milkmandan in Anime.

Anime Expo 2006 Logo

Anime Expo 2006 was probably the most productive anime convention that I have ever been too.

The highlights of this years convention for ‘me’ was CLAMP, Koge Donbo, Geneon Panel, ADV Panel, Broccoli Panel and of course my workshop. My brother, some of his friends and I hosted a workshop based on the ‘Art of Glowsticking’. A free-form dance based around glowsticks; if you did not know.

Anyways, to start off here is some news that I know everyone has been waiting for.

Fate Stay Night– フェイト/ステイナイト (Fate/Stay Night) as we all know has been licensed by Geneon ages ago. But the big question of ‘when’ Geneon would release the first volume DVD was still in the dark before Anime Expo. Straight from the chief producer’s mouth for フェイト/ステイナイト (Fate/Stay Night), the release date for the first DVD (Vol. 1) will be released and available in stores November 14th. I asked her personally, so unless Geneon decides to delay it, expect Vol. 1 in your local online/retail anime shop soon. To my surprise, not many people knew about Fate/Stay Night. When the release date was announced at the Geneon panel, there was not much of a response. Which shows that most people are still driven by what is given to them. The ability to find new shows on their own is probably a thought too immature, but thats okay, since Fate/Stay Night didn’t have an impressive ending that is worth spreading.

Pani Poni Dash!– ぱにぽにだっしゅ! (Pani Poni Dash!) finally has gotten recognition and was licensed by ADV. I do not know the exact date when ADV acquired license rights, but it was either during Anime Expo or one week before Anime Expo. To my surprise they even brought along with them the first episode completely subbed. They premiered it in Video Room 2 during the ADV Preview time-block. During the ADV panel a question came up concerning all the text, cultural references and parodies that Pani Poni Dash! contained and how ADV would handle all that in their DVDs. Their response was that they would supply two subtitle streams as well as a special section in the menu that would further describe the parodistic jokes. So all was well. I was very happy to hear that ADV would take Pani Poni Dash! seriously and hopefully create a DVD set for the fans. *Along with Pani Poni Dash!, Jinki:Extend was also premiered. So we can expect good things from ADV.

Shakugan no Shana– 灼眼のシャナ (Shakugan no Shana) much like Fate/Stay Night was released quite early by Geneon. Now the release date for Shana has been previously announced a while ago. You can already pre-order the first DVD on numerous online DVD stores. The main thing that bothered me about this release by Geneon was the fact that they had changed the title art of the series. The english version seems to be more artsy fartsy, they have a sword crossing over completing an “N”. This bothered me in the way that I thought they changed the title art inside the Opening of the series. If anyone has seen Shakugan no Shana, you are a fool to not agree with me that the this series holds one of the best Openings (visual and audio). So, to find out if Geneon had screwed this title up, I decided to pay a visit to Video Room 2 during the Geneon Preview. To my surprise, they had kept the opening title clean! Major ‘pogi points’ to Geneon for this. My only qualm with them is that they chose a crappy font to display the text of the director and what not. That’s about it for Shakugan no Shana. Let us hope Geneon includes Shana-tan into the DVDs, or there will be hell to pay for.

Erementar Gerad– Geneon recently released エレメンタルジェレイド (Erementar Gerad, I will keep to it’s pure original name). It was released a few weeks before Anime Expo. I am very disappointed in the way they changed the name. Bad bad Geneon. Geneon also announced their license over エルゴ プラクシー (Ergo Proxy). I am not too excited, mainly because I’ve only watched 1 episode, but none the less they got a good title and can expect their DVD set to be done very well. Geneon also recently released Vol. 1 + Boxset of Kamichu! Thank you Geneon for producing such a high quality boxset. This boxset is made of wood not cheap cardboard, although at times I think if i dropped the Kamichu! boxset on my hard tile floor it would end up snapping and shattering into a million pieces. So I don’t know if this wood box is a good thing or a bad thing. At least Geneon is being creative with their boxsets. Something ADV, Funimation and others are lacking. Along with Kamichu!, Erementar Gerad and Ergo Proxy, Hellsing OAV is coming as well. I could never get into the Hellsing fan-base as the anime is just completely over-hyped by Crispin Freeman.

Eva Live Action – ADV panel didn’t have too much fresh news except for the Pani Poni Dash! announcement. This is probably old news, but ADV is working on bringing the Neon Genesis Evangelion Live Action! Movie to the states. My memory from Anime Expo is fading, but I did hear something like a new boxset for Evangelion is being produced, with even MORE extra crap and commentaries. But I forgot, so don’t hold me to it, and don’t thank me if its true. Like all ADV panel, they give free stuff. ADV somehow has the ability to pump out boxsets, DVDs, plushies, and CDs at the cost of pennies (*hint* outsourcing). They ALWAYS have free crap everywhere. They gave out over 20 boxsets and DVDs over their panel and over their Exhibit Hall booth, they threw out plenty of Menchi plushies and Mechazawa plushies. But that’s about it. This company has too much for too cheap. It bothers me at times, but none the less their DVD sales are utterly amazing.

Rozen maiden– Broccoli Japan/TBS Special Panel was a good panel. They announced a new Di Gi Charat TV series, which is going to be released a while from now. We only saw a short short video, and it appears that Dejiko and everyone else has grown up. I get the feeling that Broccoli is hinting towards more of a mature audience now and more of a series story, instead of comedic events. Big step for Broccoli, lets hope they do it right. This panel was sort of a shock to me. The director and president of TBS, said the following, “Hello, I am the President of TBS, you may know TBS as the company that produces shows such as REC, AIR, Binchou-tan…” And the WHOLE FREAKING room is silent. I look around and everyone has a “what the fuck” look on their face. And he says, “No one has heard of these titles?” I raise my hand saying, “Yes I’ve heard of them, I’ve watched them all and enjoyed every single one!” Everyone else is silent, and then he says, “I guess those titles haven’t been released here yet.” Yes I am an anime elitest but seriously, that just shows that your average hardcore anime fan, still is a complete total idiot and does not search out new shows for themselves. Only sticking to what the american corporations can feed them or what their friends deem ‘good’. Where is the spirit for the fucking underdog?

Clamp 2And finally in other news, I was a winner from the CLAMP private autograph session! Did I get lucky? No, it was not pure luck, it was both luck and perseverance. So, like everyone I sat in line waiting for CLAMP at around 9:00AM. Sitting with Chris (a buddy I met up from Hongfire), we waited together. He went to shop around the Artist Alley while I waited in line. After a few hours of waiting I noticed the people around us all have these red tickets. Now I remembered that to get an autograph from CLAMP you had to win the raffle/ticket drawing. So I ran around the room looking for a staff member. I found one and asked him where I could get a red ticket. He told me to look for 3 people holding big reels of red tickets. I spent the next 5-10 minutes looking for these 3 people, finally I found them somewhere near the end of the line. I got my ticket and returned to my spot in line. Sitting there with Chris, we both prayed for divine intervention, and hoped that God would hear our cry and plea for this special moment and win us a personal autograph from CLAMP.

Skipping along the boring parts, and like every other expo, we did not being seating for the CLAMP panel until 2:30pm. The seating was suppose to start at 1:00pm. Not to bash on Anime Expo staff and admin but they really messed up on this one. So the panel started late and CLAMP was not given as much time as they probably needed. Their panel was not great either. They did not talk about anything new, nor did they admit to the fact that the only driving force that they have is to please fan-girls with Yaoi and manga books containing homosexual themes. We saw pictures of their studio and their private work areas, but that’s about it. Some dumb pre-prepared questions were asked and then the panel was over. The 4 CLAMP girls left and no one saw them ever again. Except for me and 220 other lucky winners.So they announced that the winners will be randomized through a computer, and the lucky numbers will be posted at the Info Desk. Splitting up with Chris, I met up with my brother and friends. We walked around a bit, and got our AMV creator tickets. Although I did not make it into the finals, because I submitted a video I was eligible for an AMV creator ticket. Which merits me to sit in best section of the Main Hall during the AMV contest.

During this time, I also paid a quick visit to the end of the Broccoli panel. Hoping to inquire about the rules and courtisy guidelines for the Koge Donbo autograph section. I quickly discovered that I could get a priority ticket enabling me to be ‘guarenteed’ a signature from Koge Donbo. So, I ran down to the Exhibit Hall and over to the Broccoli booth. To get a priority ticket I had to buy the newest Koge Donbo manga (Yoki Koto Kiku) and the Chocola Selection Artbook. To my luck the manager of Broccoli (a very sweet lady btw), remembered me from Fanime Con and allowed me to get a priority ticket by only purchasing the new manga.Now Koge Donbo is another story…on with CLAMP and how I got a ticket.

So I got my AMV contest ticket, and after a quick dinner at Denny’s, we returned to the Anaheim Convention Center. By this time, the drawing was complete and the winning ticket numbers was posted. I did not win. The number RIGHT next to mine won. After doing some simple math i discovered that the raffle was not randomized, but rather randomized at in the first set, and then every 3-4 numbers after that one was chosen. A pretty crappy raffle system if you ask me, but I did not complain and I went to the AMV contest.As I was sitting down to my surprise I found 2 tickets for the raffle left over in the Main Hall (from the CLAMP Panel). Apparently someone had ripped their ticket in half and left one half on the seat. I picked it up, feeling a little bit of sentiment. The exhibit hall was already closed, and even if the ticket I picked up was a winning number, I would not have the ability to go to Del Rey Manga Booth to claim my CLAMP Autograph ticket. So with my hopes given up, I enjoyed the AMV contest. If anyone is wondering the AMV contest results are here:

Respect to Kevin Chiou for creating the best comedy videos (period).CLAMP ticket

So leaving the AMV contest, I went back downstairs to check the info booth. To my surprise, the ticket I held in my hand was a winning ticket number! Excited and worried that someone else probably already turned it in, I could nothing else that day, except go to the AMV creator after party. Met some cool people and some funny people. I left earlier, and went to sleep in my room.When I woke up, the first thing I did was rush over to the Del Rey Manga booth and check to see if the number I held was already turned in. !~HOORAY~! The number was NOT taken! After sheepishly handing them my ‘half’ ticket, they checked the number with the list and CROSSED the number OUT with black sharpie pen. With a silent evil laugh, I walked away from the booth holding my special CLAMP autograph ticket.Damn was I happy, but this day was not over yet. Sunday was a very busy day for me. On Sunday I got ALL my autographs taken care of.

For a minor recap, I arrived in Anaheim on Friday to pick up my pre-registration badge. Anime Expo was very very good at this. There was practically no line to pick up badges. The time consuming part of getting our badges was ‘walking’ across the convention center to get to the registration booths. Congrats Anime Expo Administration for finally doing it right. Friday, was rather boring, we checked into the Sheraton Hotel. Their internet was slow, they did not have a hard-wire connection, they only relied on a hotel-wide wireless network; so it was damn slow. I spent the rest of Friday walking around, checking out the rooms and re-familiarizing myself with the convention center. That night, I did some promoting for our workshop at the dance.

So Saturday came about, big day. It was AMV contest day, CLAMP panel day and minor shopping day. Most of what happened Saturday is posted above. Anyways, Sunday rolled around. The Geneon panel was today as well as the Koge Donbo Autograph Session.So, holding my priority ticket, I went to the Broccoli booth to ask about courtisy rules.Dejiko Clock “What type of material would Koge Donbo we allowed to sign on and what type of pen she was going to use, and if photo/videograph was allowed.” Finding out that she would sign practically anything with her work on it (perferrably), I decided that this was to be a special occasion, so looking around the Broccoli booth I found a Limited Edition clock with Dejiko in the background. Excited, I bought it, but along with it I had to buy the new Chocola Selection Artbook (AGAIN). So now I had two Chocola Selection artbooks. As time came for the signing of Koge Donbo (I was at the front of the priority line), I handed Koge Donbo the clock (taken apart of course, so she could write ON the paper of the clock art and not the glass). The manager sitting next to her asked me if I had made the clock, I laughed and said no. Koge Donbo signed my clock, personalized the signature with my name “Ben” on it and drew a mini-Genma on it. Extremely happy, I walked away to pack away my prized possesion. The value of that clock, at that moment, shot up so I had to make sure it wouldn’t get damaged. Returning to check out other fans getting signatures, I found tons of other people digging out their clocks as well (for those who did buy the Limited Edition clock). SERIOUSLY, STOP WASTING MY FLAVOR. I guess in this world, everyone just wants to be trendy, whatever.

CLAMP private autograph session was pretty much explained. All winners would be given a shikishi prepared by CLAMP and we would have each of the artists sign it. I was assigned to autograph session 2. I started waiting 1 hour before hand. When time came, we were lined up in groups of 10 to enter the room. No more than 20 people could be in the room at one time. Some pretty tight security. CLAMP Autographed ShikishiOf course no photo/videograph was allowed, and we could not approach them in any way. There was orange tape all over the floor, we had to walk a certain path and could not even reach out to shake their hand. Nothing. No physical contact was ever allowed. Apparently, CLAMP had hired “private security and bodyguards”. Although it was freaky to see so much secuirty, I got my shikishi signed and personalized (you can see my name in Hirigana) and I thanked the artists for their inspiration and dedication (NOT). It was cool to see CLAMP, and I guess I should still be happy that I was one of the lucky 220 that won their autograph. And No, I WILL NOT SELL my shikishi.

This is all for the first part of my blog, I will add a video and picture post later. Along with a commentary. I am still editing my Raw footage.




1. A.C. (Shamensyth) Arciaga - July 11, 2006


If I live somwhere near there…

I could have done to AX-2006 too.

I just have something about Pani Poni Dash! and ADV Films…

Remember how they dubbed Elfen Lied? o_o


The Neon Genesis Live Action Movie…

I hope it also turns out good. ^^


You’re pretty lucky to have a Private Authograph Session. ^^

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