I am now Registered for Anime Boston 2016!

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I registered online a short time ago. It’s now official. I will be at Anime Boston 2016. Aside from that, being a panelist and possibly being unemployed during that time, nothing else is certain for me between now and then. This will be the first time I will be going to the convention without spending money to cover expenses.

I will create a Go Fund Me page sometime next month to collect donations. The goal is to raise $3,000. That would cover 4 days and 3 nights in a nearby hotel (Thursday to Sunday), transportation, meals, prizes for some of my panels and spending money. Said hotel would be within walking distance of the convention, likely the Midtown Hotel or the Sheraton. Anime Boston has become my vacation every year. I tried to get a hotel room the year before but that ended up not working out for various reasons (LOL). I am also looking to secure a hotel room by the end of January ahead of the big rush in February.

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Moving on, I want to repeat the following panel will definitely be back at AB2016:

  • Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True (90 Minutes): Pretty obvious. This will be my 6th year doing it and my 4th year doing it with my usual team of Copanelists. Like I said at AB2015. I will keep doing the panel as long as I am physically able and the con allows it. The panel will also be made to match the theme as well.
  • Pokemon: 20 Years Later 2.0 (120 Minutes): Due to technical difficulties I ended up cutting half of what I had planned for the panel. I will be bringing it back as promised. If I get donations, there will definitely be another copy of Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire being offered as prizes and yes, there will be Pokemon giveaways for those who bring their 3DS Pokemon games.

That’s it for returning panels. They’ll be easy, fun and are guaranteed to pack the room. The following will be new but relate to the convention’s theme:

  • Persona 4: Dancing up a Sweat (45 Minutes): I’ve actually been developing a Physical Education curriculum using select songs from the soundtrack of the video game Persona 4: Dancing All Night. I’ve been developing it for the school where I worked but since I am transitioning out of working in the classroom, I now have more time to modify it for the convention. The whole thing will be about 30 minutes but I will request 45 minutes so that I will have time for Q&A.
  • School Rumble: Past and Present (60 Minutes): I will play the entire Field Day event from the Anime series (Dubbed), which will take up about half of the panel. The of the time will be spent talking about how much the practice of Field Day has chanced over time.
  • Baseball: Made in America, Played in Japan (30 Minutes): America’s favorite past time is Japan’s national sport. I will talk about the history of baseball in Japan and touch on some Anime that feature the sport as well. If things work out, there may have a special presentation.

That’s it so far. I’m not gonna be lazy this time around and focus more on substance and less on style. Like last year, I only expect two, maybe three panels to be slotted. Several panels that made the cut last year had no business being slotted and many panels that should have been slotted were left out.

While yes, I get it Panels and Programming has to balance old and new content, I also think new panelists should be required to provide a sample of what they have planned to give Panels and Programming an idea of weather they want to slot it or not. Don’t think they’d use the idea for the sake of being fair to the process but that’s my 2-cents. Many longtime congoers were disappointed by the number of old favorites that didn’t make the cut this time around. While it’s easy attribute that to there being a new Panels and Programming head, it’s also true some folks couldn’t make the con this year for one reason or another.

I am also planning on looking into getting some musical talent to perform at my Baseball panel. I have two possible sets of talent, one of which is a family member. The other is a high-porfile band from Boston. Not naming said band as I have some things to look into. Plus I don’t want to give folks the wrong idea.

 

Stay tuned.

 

Thinking of Cosplaying at Anime Boston 2016…

I thought about doing it last year but due to how crazy things were for me around that time, those plans were put on hold. Seeing as pre-registration for AB2016 could come as early as late October, it’s worth thinking about now before things get crazy in the first 3 months of 2016. I originally planned to announce this as a video but didn’t feel the efort would have been worth it.

So who or what would I cosplay? I’ve narrowed it down to these:

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Or this:

 

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Or even this:

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Or finally, this:

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In all four cases, I would be buying the costume. I wanna throw that out there before folks get too excited. For those who don’t recognize the second one, it’s Izanagi from Persona 4. I’m pretty muscular though not ripped though regardless, I’m expecting a tight fit: I’m 6’1″ and weigh 230 lbs. Don’t let my weight fool you: I’m more muscle than body fat, believe it or not.

Even so, I’m leaning toward Attack on Titan or Robin from Fire Emblem since they’re ambiguous and would require the least amount of alterations. For example, I don’t necessarily need to buy a wig for either cosplay. While yes canonically Robin has white hair, in-game it doesn’t really matter since you can customize his (or her) appearance. I also say that because I will be bald and a wig won’t matter =D

Since this will be my first time cosplaying, I will only buy one costume. I plan to buy all the components between December and March: Halloween is next month and that means the prices will go up until after it’s done. It’s called being a smart shopper. LOL. Of course, I COULD just buy the components at Anime Boston but I’d rather take care of things in advance.

I’ve updated my Top 10 Favorite Anime List

Here is the link.

 

For those who want to see the list as it is now, here it is:

  1. Clannad
  2. Death Note*
  3. Attack on Titan*
  4. Persona 4
  5. Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple
  6. School Rumble!
  7. Ah! My Goddess!*
  8. InuYasha
  9. Shuffle!
  10. Ouran High School Host Club*

*  Denotes I also have Manga this Anime is based on

…As you guys already know, I have all of the volumes for Death Note. Come Anime Boston, I will have all of the volumes for Attack on Titan. See the updates for a bit more on each Anime. I think I have written a review for all of them as well and if not, I will get to it after Anime Boston.

I am now registered for Anime Boston 2015

 

…Just wanted to let folks know ^_^

I will now begin working on the powerpoints for the panels I plan to do. For now, I will submit applications for the following panels since the powerpoints for them are either done or will not take more than a single night to make or update.

These are the panels that, if I had to do any of them tomorrow, I’d be good to go:

  • Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True (90 Minutes)
  • Panels: Best Practices (60 Minutes)
  • Persona 4: Pursuing My True Self (60 Minutes)

My Pokemon Panel is about 15% done and that’s basically the demo itself (LOL!). I haven’t started the Tales of Symphonia one yet. I’m saving doing ALL of that one for Christmas Break. I’m gonna do it all in one sitting this time so I have no excuses later XD

This will also be the last time I do my Persona 4 panel. I got Persona Q: Shadow Labyrinth for the 3DS. I get the sense it was one last game for fans of Persona 3 and 4 so…yeah. Ah, well can’t be helped.

Oh, well.

As an added bonus to those who come to my Best Practices panel: I will announce the panels I plan to do at AB2016 ^_^

Online Pre-Registration for Anime Boston 2015 now Live

 

You guys know the drill by now: I preregister as soon as I’m able to so I can Preregister for Panels as well. The cost to preregister is a mere $50 per adult ($18+). Kids are $30 for the wekekend. Do the math depending on how many people wanna go.

I’m not going to make the same mistake I made last year and this time I will have the powerpoints for ALL of my panels ready before the end of 2014. Last year I procrastinated until the last minute and had to withdraw two panels after they were slotted.

I don’t want to put myself in that situation again.

 

As a refresher, these are the Panels I am planning to bring to AB2015 and the amount of time I am requesting:

  • Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True (90 Minutes): It will make its return for the fourth year in a row. See the recap from AB2014 for info on what I have planned for AB2015. The overview of the Anime will be much shorter as there will be more group interaction compared to the last two years. There will also be two themes, one of which is Family and what that means. The other…I’m keeping to myself until the day of the panel!
  • Pokemon: 20 Years Later (2 Hours): The stuff I have planned for this panel…people will be talking about it for years to come. That’s the plan, anyway. There WILL be giveaways for those with X,Y, OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. Look forward to it. There will also be a few video viewings: The first and last episodes of Pokemon Origins and music from the handheld games. Nostalgia Glasses are not required but are highly reccommended.
  • Panels: Best Practices (60 Minutes): I will go over the basics of what it takes to go through the application process as well as some tips for those looking to be a panelist at Anime Boston.
  • Persons 4: Pursuing My True Self (60 Minutes): I’m planning to bring it back again next year for another hour of power. There will be more of a focus on the psychology of Persona, though.
  • Tales of Symphonia: 10 Years Later (60 Minutes): I was supposed to do this at AB2014 so…yeah. In recent years, it’s become a game many gamers are denying they ever loved. Take no shame in loving your games, people! I will also go over the Anime. Should be pretty interesting!

 

I also have a digital camera so THIS time, I can take recognizable pictures of stuff. For the first time in three years, I will also begin saving up some extra cash for AB2015. I have my PayPal Links but since no one has ever used them I’m not going to bother asking for money this time.

The next message about AB2015 I plan to make is to tell you all of my powerpoints for eacg panel is done ^_^

 

Despite the Slow Start, My Summer Anime Marathon is going well

So far I’ve watched Clannad + After Story, Persona 4 and School Rumble in the two weeks since I was was released from the hospital. A short time ago, I started the first season of Ah! My Goddess! on DVD. I’m on track to meet my goal of watching 8 Anime by August 20. After this one I’ll be halfway there ^_^

The next Anime on my to-do list is the Anime I bought earlier this month: Death Note.

After that one, I’ll switch from DVD to the Digital Anime sets I own: Spice + Wolf (Xbox 360), Rosario + Vampire (Xbox 360) and Blue Exorcist (PS3). If I have time after that, I’ll watch Ouran High School Host Club (Blu-Ray) to close out the summer. Can’t wait to get Attack on Titan (English Dub) when it’s eventually released.

Are you watching Anime right now? Comment on the Anime you’re currently watching as well as your favorite Anime overall.

So Anime Boston 2015 is 9 Months Away…

…If someone was conceived today, they’d be born around that time XD

Seriously though, a few recent developments related to my employment status has forced me to research other sources of income in order to make sure I make it to AB2015. I’m two weeks into summer vacation but now I’m planning for things coming up almost a year from now. I’m doing everything I can to make sure I will have the opportunity to keep my commitment to AB2015 but for the first time since I started going to Anime Boston, there is a real possability I won’t be able to pre-register. If you’d like to help me by donating money to help cover the registration fee, shoot me an email at btboston1@gmail.com.

Moving on, I want to go over what I have in mind for AB2015 in terms of panels:

 

  1. Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True WILL be back next year. Also, Nagisa will be my copanelist from now on each year I do this panel. It will also be 90 minutes next year because of some extra content I’m bringing next year including some special videos that I promise will leave none unmoved. In a last-minute change, I will also talk a bit about an extra subject that is sort of a recurring theme in Clannad with Tomoya in particular during After Story.
  2. Pokemon: 20 Years Later is the special 2-hour panel I will be doing next year. I’m pulling out all the stops to make it the most must-see panel of AB2015. There will be music from the soundtracks of each gen, The PokeRap, Battles (Gens 5 and 6), Trades (Gens 5 and 6), a viewing of the very first episode of Pokemon: Indigo League and a special viewing of a scene from the world famous banned Electric Soldier Porygon episode! It will be the biggest panel I will have ever done. Bring your own 3DS!
  3. Tales of Symphonia: 10 Years Later is the panel I was supposed to do this year but didn’t due to my busy work schedule during the last 4 months. We will discuss the fandom, the game, the anime and so on. I will request 60 minutes for what is sure to be an interesting introspective into Tales of Symphonia.
  4. Persona 4: Pursuing My True Self  WILL be back next year. It will be 60 minutes long just like this year but there will be a bit more of a focus on the Psychology of the Persona. Video clips will return but I will use different clips from the ones I used this year.
  5. Panels: Best Practices is a new 60 minute Workshop I’m planning to do next year. In the panel, we will discuss the process of applying to do a panel, planning what you’re going to do and (hopefully) running a successful panel. Much of the panel will be answering questions and feedback from the audience so if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a panelist, it’s worth checking out. Bring a pencil and notebook. You might learn something helpful ^_^

Based on this year’s panel selection process I’m confident my Clannad, Pokemon and Best Practices panels will be approved and slotted in the first two waves. My Symphonia and Persona 4 panels will probably be a choice between the two like this year though I will plan for doing either or both XD

I’m pretty excited about the Pokemon panel in particular. I’ve been a fan for almost 20 years so….yeah. It will be an awesome experience. I will see to it personally. In light of my recent hospitalization, I’ll probably spend the whole summer working exclusively on the powerpoint for my Pokemon Panel. Whew…it will be glorious.

A video sneak peek of what’s to come will be coming to YouTube sometime this weekend =D

 

 

 

 

All Five of My Anime Boston Panels have been Waitlisted

Late last night I got the bulk email from Anime Boston’s Director of Programming and Panels Lou Arruda letting me know all of my panel submissions have been waitlisted. At this stage Lou is trying to slot in all of the Guests of Honor before moving on to General Panels. There’s a full month before the con left but the final schedule is usually set by the week before the con.

I’m confident my chances of getting some of my panels accepted are good. As of this writing only my Ace Attorney and Clannad Panels are good to go. Due to a number of distractions during the past week I failed to get any prepwork done on my Persona 4 and Tales of Symphonia panels. Even though I said five panels I have requested my Fire Emblem application be withdrawn so that I can focus on getting my Persona 4 and Tales of Symphonia panels ready.

Already, I know what panels I’m going to do next year. As of this week you can expect to see these panels at Anime Boston 2015:

  • Clannad and Persona 4: Hearts of Courage (90 Minutes): I’m going to combine both panels into one super panel due to the overlapping themes. Should be interesting with the dueling contrasts ^_^
  • 20 Years of Pokemon: Give us an MMO Already! (2 Hours): It’s arguably the most biggest Video Game franchise ever. The massively fun plans I have in mind for this one…whew. I’m expecting alot of folks to try to do a Pokemon panel next year especially so I’ll really be crossing my fingers on this one. It will also be the first panel I do that’s actually two hours long. It’s Pokemon we’re talking about so filling two hours won’t be too hard: I’ve set aside 60 minutes for trading and battling in two 30 minute blocks. Bring your own 3DS or two!
  • Panels: Best Practices (60 Minutes): I’m going to host an open mic session where those who have run panels either at Anime Boston or at other conventions can share best practices.

That’s it.

The main event next year will be Pokemon just like this year is Tales of Symphonia. Should be fun. When I know which of my panels have been accepted/rejected I will announce it here first!

My Favorite Anime of 2013

Persona 4: The Animation

This should come as no surprise. Persona 4 ties with Clannad for my all-time favorite Anime. The similarities between both Anime is striking: Both are based on a video game (Clannad was originally a visual novel, which is a type of video game in Japan). Both have a main character who creates bonds with most of the other characters (Tomoya and Yu). High School students make up the main cast. Both have life lessons anyone can take from them.

I think Persona 4 the video game is one of those games a fan would play no matter how many times it’s re-released. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Persona 4 ported to the PS4 with the first episode of the Anime for example. The Anime does have a couple original tracks not found in the Anime. This one that plays during the team’s battle with Ameno Sagiri is my favorite:

It’s interesting to note Persona 4 The Animation (I won’t say P4A since there is a game titled Persona 4 Arena that uses that acronym) is not available on Netflix or Hulu Plus. The only way to legally watch it is to buy it. I first learned of the Anime from the trailer included with Persona 4 Golden and bought the whole series via iTunes in September. Then I bought the  Blu-Ray set earlier this week. Speaking of which: I noticed only the Blu Ray release includes Episode 26, which features Yu fighting Margaret and the battle with Izanami. For some reason this episode is not included with the iTunes, PSN and Xbox Live releases of the Anime.

 

 

Review: Persona 4: The Animation

Hopefully some of you saw the review I did of the game this Anime is based on. If not, go see it after you’re done reading this. Unlike most of the Anime based on a video game I’ve seen up to now, Persona 4 (henceforth P4) can be followed by anyone weather or not they’re familiar with the game it’s based on. With the way the Vita version I reviewed is presented, I actually thought the Anime came first (LOL).

Notice I said VIta version. Persona 4 was previously released on the PS3 and the PS2. My understanding is the same team that worked on the Anime and the PS3 game basically built the Vita version from scratch. I left quite a few things out of my review of the game but I am including them here since I’m focusing on the storyline in my review of the Anime.

For starters, the Anime itself is 25 episodes long spanning two seasons. There is an extended cut version of the first episode included with the first season. Now for those who’ve only played the game you may be wondering how much of the game made the cut.

Just about everything did:

  • All of the kidnappings happen in the same order they do in the games. The only change is the space between their rescue and recovery, which is skipped over to when they’re fully recovered.
  • Everyone the player character encounters in the game except Marie (who is exclusive to the Vita version of the game) made the cut and has multiple lines.
  • Like in the game Narakami uses multiple Personas, most notably while fighting Naoto’s Shadow and the final boss (not naming due to massive spoilers).
  • The attendant makes the cut though he isn’t heard from after he’s introduced.
  • Yes, the “Beauty” Pageant made it in, too. (WOOT!)

One interesting (or not?) change from the games presumably done to keep the Shippers happy is they didn’t pair the main characters. Narakami x Rise, Narakami x Ai and Kanji x Naoto were teased but that’s as far as it went. As I mentioned above the Vita version of the game introduces a new character who, once you’ve capped your bond with her gives you an extra ending. She is not included in the Anime presumably because the Vita version came after the Anime was done and The Velvet Room only appeared for about a minute at the beginning of each episode.

They didn’t hold back when they converted the game into Anime. It’s obvious to me they had fun putting the Anime together. Even if you played the game(s) first you’ll fall in love with the characters all over again. Like I said though, the Anime is essentially the same as the game in terms of content. I’d be fine letting a mature 12 year old watch it by themselves though.

Overall I give Persona 4: The Animation a 10 out of 10 for the same reason I gave the game the same rating: Everything together from the music to the storyline is executed flawlessly. Even the “ok, we’re going to skip ahead here” moments are subtly touched on without making a big deal out of it.

For me, the main selling point of both the Anime and game(s) are the lessons learned.

Let’s go over a few of them:

  • Everyone has a side (except Narakami, LOL) of themselves they don’t want anyone else to know about. A tutorial on the Theory of Persona is actually included in the Vita version (as well as the previous Persona games) that goes into detail on what a Persona is and how everyone subconsciously uses one for every single person the interact with. I’m talking about the real word itself, not the game and anime stuff.
  • For just aobut everyone (except Narakami), your most powerful enemy is actually yourself. The boss music in the Anime and games is called I’ll Face Myself for a reason. The characters are facing their own worst nightmare: A physical manifestation of their fears and anguish. For those who defeat their shadows and in turn gain the power of Persona, their Persona takes on the form of how they view themselves as heroes.
  • The characters all have aspects of themselves or their lives they’d like to be free of (except Narakami), hence why they deny their Shadows as a part of them at first. In refusing to accept their innermost thoughts and feelings made manifest they’re nearly killed. After they accept their Shadows as a part of them, yes they gain the power of Persona but more importantly, they’re stronger as individuals because of it.
  • With the Dojimas, Ryotaro was so obsessed with finding the guy who killed his wife he neglected Nanako. Thanks to Narakami Father and Daughter were able to come to an understanding about their feelings for each other and their deceased loved one.
  • Kanji and Naoto both have a complex about their sexual identities. With Kanji, he’s your textbook jock but he like cute things. With Naoto, she’s a girl who pretends to be a boy so she can be the cliche boy detective genius. After they face their shadows they come to accept these respective aspects about themselves.

…Whew, that was very tech-heavy!

Now as to the question of what would happen if I faced my “Other Self”, I’m strong enough to say I’ve been there already and at the moment of truth I accepted reality. Are the stuff about me I don’t want anyone else to know? Nope. The only thing that comes even remotely close on that list I’ve already put out there in both my Fanfics and Original stories.

Let me shrink that last paragraph into 5 words: I have nothing to hide. I’ve already proven it earlier this year. Yes, there are some things that just shouldn’t be shared but you get the idea. If someone else announced them to the world I’d be mad at whoever did it but I’d accept it as the truth. I’m even going to do a video to prove it.

Watch my main blog for ther video sometime next month.