Tokyo Diaries – Pictures at an Exhibition (Anime Japan 2014)

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Plus mecha…

You may recall my reporting from last year’s Tokyo Anime Fair and Anime Contents Expo, the rival con that was established in protest over Ishihara and Bill 156.  Well, Ishihara is gone (though now exuding his stink in national politics, trying to out-fascist Abe Shinzo) and while I don’t think all is forgiven, mutual financial interest has won the day and the two events were combined into one mega-con, “Anime Japan“.

Without a doubt this was a bigger event than either on their own – TAF especially was a bit derelict after the split – but the good thing about Comiket is, after you’ve survived that there’s really no crowd in Tokyo that will seem too big.  You’ll always find yourself saying “Well – it’s no Comiket”.  So while there were areas that were packed (like the Aniplex booth, as always) on balance it was pretty doable.  There was even the nice bonus of a postcard view of Mount Fuji on from the Yurikamome Line on the way to Odaiba, though it was gone before I had a chance to whip out the camera.

Without a doubt the highlight of the day for me was a screening of the premiere of Mushishi Zoku Shou.  There were of course no subs, and sadly the screening area was sandwiched between two extremely loud soundstages with idol-type stuff happening, so it was hard to hear.  What I can report is that there was no OP (may be added later), and thematically it tied into the series premiere, revisiting the notion of the ever-filling sake cup.  The story revolves around the son of a sake brewer (who I think is played by Honjou Yuutaro – Ao – but I’m not sure) who can see Mushi, and a gathering of Mushishi in the woods.  Happily there was no CGI that I could see, and the production values and art looked up to the usual Mushishi standard.  Perhaps the most exciting thing was that Nakano Yuto was on-hand, and gave an interview after the screening.  He doesn’t look any more like a seiyuu than he sounds like one.

The pictures mostly tell the story of the rest of the day.  Hiro Shimono was emceeing one of the stage events, again demonstrating that he’s utterly a natural at that sort of thing.  No Madhouse booth, sadly – they seem to avoid cons, for some reason (though their retail store in Asagaya opens next week, and I’ll be reporting in) – and while Satelight had a huge booth and Thomas Romain was there according to his Twitter, I missed him.  I was gratified to see a very prominent presence for Yowamushi Pedal (though not as prominent as Haikyuu!!), and a lot of young ladies sporting Yowapeda swag.

Afterwards, tired as I was I decided to finally check off a box that’s been nagging at me since I’ve been here and check out the life-sized Gundam statue at Diver City.  It’s on Odaiba so you’d think I’d have stopped by on one of my trips out there, but Odaiba is so big that walking between places takes forever, and the train is ridiculously expensive ¥240 for one stop) that I’ve never mustered the will to do so until now.  And I admit, it’s pretty impressive up close.  I also realized that the adjacent Venus Front shopping center is a flat ripoff of the underground shopping complex at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas, right down to the fountain (though that’ not a bad thing, as it’s a pretty nice place to kill some time).

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  1. t

    just awesome.
    great pics. yowamushi pedal keep gaining popularity in japan, so lovely.
    and those AnoHana stuff…I wanna see the movie ;-;

    and THAT Gundam…huge. it's not first I see one in pics..but still, great pics of it.

    in the last two days there are so much news regarding new anime – psycho-pass 2, LH S2, hanamonogatari, cencoroll 2, expelled from paradise, anoNatsu, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and more LOL. so being there in Anime Japan it's like double celebration 😛


  2. Yeah, the avalanche of series announcements with big names attached and sequels (you didn't mention the Kuroshitsuji Circus Hen) has been huge in the last week (this event a part of the reason).

  3. e

    Where there any Creamy Mami events? I was so surprised to spot her in the Exposition poster ( bottom left, poofy-haired idol majokko of goo'ol' Studio Pierrot )
    But I must say among all the group of images I zeroed on Renton . That pose. That scene. That episode. Ah <3 .
    Also Saint no Saji crossover at the top right corner of the first Creator Wall pic. LOL. <—- copy of this fountain? Next to the Gundam? The daring of this pastiche is leaving me speechless. And just a tiny bit amused.

  4. That's the fountain, though the copy of the shopping center is indoors, next door to where the Gundam is.

    No Creamy Mami events that I saw. Yeah, I love Jesus and "Buddha" giving each other the eye there…

  5. w

    Wow, exhibition looks awesome. I'd love to go to one one day (or even just a con..) See anything to pique your interest in some of your less anticipated spring series?

    Also, nice Gundam backside shot. Giving the fans what they want 😉

  6. F

    Was there a trailer of Baby Steps available at the con?

  7. Not that I saw, no. Slightly irritated at the lack of one by now.

  8. F

    Oh, that's disappointing. I guess we're really not going to get anything until that special airing on Friday at the earliest.

  9. Here's a little quiz for you: Who can name all the characters in the first Anime Japan poster?

  10. m

    Lets see… from top left:
    Anime Tenchou from Animate
    Sakamaki Ayato from Diabolik Lovers
    Ryoma Sakamoto from Bakamatsu Rock
    Nobunaga from Nobunaga the Fool
    Hibiki Tachibana from Senki Zesshou Symphogear
    Marika from Mouretsu Pirates
    Miho Nishizumi from Girls und Panzer
    Black Jack
    Senjogahara from Koimonogatari?
    Ledo from Suisei no Gargantia
    Hijikata Toushirou from Hakuouki (so many otome game characters)
    Creamy Mami
    Eren Jaegar from Shingeki no Kyojin

  11. m

    The Raccoon should be Rascal from Araiguma Rascal ;P

  12. Impressive. Was that unaided?

  13. Z

    Creamy Mami, Black Jack, Eren, Ledo, Keroro Gunsou, Animate Tenchou, Hitagi crab girl from Monogatari, Mouretsu Pirate girl (no idea of her name), generic bishie#1, generic bishie#2, generic moe girl#1, generic moe girl#2…

  14. m

    Well most were unaided but since I never finished bakemonogatari I had no idea where short hair Senjogahara came out (looks like it's actually hanamonogatari) and had to google name of main character from girls and panzer and the raccoon one.

    Had no problem with the otome ones though since I've played all the games! *laughs awkwardly*

  15. i

    Speaking of Gundam, have you heard about the franchise's 35th anniversary announcement?

  16. Yeah, two projects that seem interesting. I actually quite like GBF – it's very fun and agreeably daft – but I'm not what you'd call a knowledgeable Gundam fan. Some of the jokes in GBF go over my head, and it seems as if the 35th projects are going to be of the "reverential and for hard-core fans" variety.

  17. i

    Heh no worries. If you're wondering what jokes or references they used in each ep, you can read up the reviews on MAHQ.

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