So Batou and I didn’t get into Sakura-con until 2pm because our plane was delayed out of Denver for two hours, and then the shuttle driver skipped our stop. Idiot. Anyways, we got there in time to catch some of Penny Arcade’s panel. Then we spent some time getting a feel for the center and going through the Exhibition hall. There is a really good selection of stuff here, especially if you want swords or cat ears for some reason. Then we met up with Someguy, MissAnonymous and friends for a quick snack, as we hadn’t eaten since basically 8am Pacific time. We snapped some cosplay photos, took a quick video and then headed to the “State of the Industry” panel. Derek Stephen Prince (Voice Actor), Roland Kelts (Author of Japanamerica) and Lilian Diaz-Przbyl (Editor from Tokyopop).
So here we are, at a State of the Industry panel, and not a single person from management in the Anime industry. We have a VA, an author and an editor from a Manga label. It started off positively with Lilian telling the person who first brought up the fact that the Japanese can watch Anime for free on TV in Japan, that it was a “fatuous argument” (fatuous is a synonym for foolish). So she called him an idiot without anyone knowing. But I could rant about this woman for a long time. Then they trotted out the age-old argument that Geneon, CPM and ADV’s issues are all due to illegal downloading, and not, say, bad business practices and decisions.
Lilian basically monopolized the entire conversation with her whining about how these new kids these days with their lack of responsibility, etc, etc. Then when I asked about how they correlated their “OMGEZ downloading!! Industry Crisis!!” arguments with the fact that that morning at Funimation’s panel the Funimation rep said “There is no crisis, we’re doing just fine”, along with the fact that Gonzo just announced simultaneous subtitled releases along with Japanese TV releases online for free via BOST and Youtube. Of course, Lilian said that Funimation licensed DB and FMA and so they’re living the good life, and when I retorted that those are business decisions, not fansubbing issues, she hardly acknowledged it. Then she said that “Gonzo’s an innovator, I hope it works for them”. I then retorted that they’re doing the same thing as fansubbers (ie. giving it away free subtitled online) and she said “no, it’s not the same at all because it’s under the corporate umbrella”. Now that’s what I call a fatuous argument.
Anyways, while not really a “State of the Industry” panel, it was still an interesting conversation. I recorded it, so audio will be coming soon.
Then we went to the guest dinner. I was dressed to impress, so we got waved right in like VIPs, instead of waiting like everyone else, and had dinner and chatted for a couple hours with Jerry, Mike, Robert and Amber from Penny Arcade. Robert is their business manager and Amber runs PAX. They are great guys and that pretty much topped off the day. Then we hit a bar for a bit, caught the 2nd half of the AMV contest and looked in on the “Neko Dance”.
All in all, once we got there we had a great time, and so far are very happy we came. On today’s schedule is an individual interview with Izubuchi Yutaka (RahXephon, Lodoss, Gundam, Patlabor, Jin-Roh…..) and one with Roland Kelts, as well as theOtaku.com meetup and show recording. So if you’re in Seattle meet us at the lounge inside the main entrance at 1pm.