Anime Expo 2016: Prologue

Anime Expo isn’t over yet, though I may skip this last day as I’m exhausted, backlogged and it’s definitely a wind-down schedule.  I just wanted to check in quickly with a few thoughts.  I have a ton of material both for here and the Notaku Youtube channel, including an interview with Tsurumaki-sensei and Shintani-san from FLCL, but it’s going to take a while before all of it is ready for prime time.

  • It was a blast, a real testament to how massively popular anime, manga and gaming is in the U.S..  It was also one of the most poorly managed events I’ve ever been involved in.  Policies exist but most of the staff don’t know them or choose to ignore them.  Generally it seems to be a combination of well-meaning but powerless volunteers, and paid contractors that are genuine A-holes drunk on abusing helpless otaku.  A/X really makes one appreciate how well things are organized and run in Japan (like Comiket).
  • I saw two premieres at A/X – Shinkai’s new film Kimi no Na wa and the first two episodes of Mob Psycho 100.  Unfortunately I really can’t blog either, given that they haven’t premiered even in Japan yet – I just don’t think it would be right to share details.  I can say both are excellent and I don’t think fans of either will be disappointed.  The second ep of Mob Psycho was spectacular, and as for Shinkai, well – anything I say at this point would be a spoiler except that it was gorgeous as fuck (duh).
  • Shinkai’s English is surprisingly good.
  • I met two studio founders, from P.A. Works and Bones.  Very interesting stories there.
  • Tsurumaki was a gentleman and a fascinating interview, and Shintani (in Haruko kimono) adorably wacky.  I have a great story about her I’ll share later.  I’m marginally less pessimistic about FLCL 2-3 after the announcement that Sadamoto and The Pillows are on-board, but only marginally.
  • I had no idea Beat Takeshi was going to be in the live-action Ghost in the Shell.  Wow.

Much more to come later, so stay tuned.



  1. s

    “the second ep of mob psycho 100 was spectacular”…wow that’s high praise…now i really cant wait to see it.

  2. s

    oh and im so happy to hear sadamoto and the pillows are gonna be on the flcl sequel……..however im in the same boat as you that im still concerned

  3. M

    That live-action Ghost in the Shell is still going to be a hot mess, Beat Takeshi or not.

  4. Y

    Any word on US release date for “Kimi no Na wa”?

  5. R


  6. Can’t wait to read more from you about AX 🙂 I haven’t gone back to AX for about two years now, and I’ve heard that while some things have improved, like registration, others just keep getting worse and worse. I’d like to return since they usually have fantastic guests, but can’t be bothered if they keep growing without adequate organization.

  7. N

    I remember reading a few years back about Shinkai moving to England for a while, and at that time his English was very poor. For some reason, I’m really happy to hear that he was able to make good progress with the language.
    And I’m also excited like hell about Kimi No Na Wa.

  8. What are your thoughts on Scarlett Johansen cast in the lead role (Major) of GITS? I’m assuming Japanese people must be up in arms.

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