A/X is one of the most fun weekends of the year, but damn – it’s exhausting. Day 1 isn’t the most packed of the show, but I attended a few events of interest…
The Production I.G. panel was relatively low-key this year, as their main upcoming project of interest for me is Ballroom e Yokouso, and that has a bunch of separate stuff dedicated to it (see below). They did mention a couple of “projects they can’t talk about that they’re in L.A. to discuss”, which I read as more Netflix collaborations but who knows. The first Netflix series is going to be the crime thriller “B: the Beginning” (the B seems to stand for “Bishounen” based on the preview) and it looks modestly interesting.
Maybe the main event for me today was the Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen OVA world premiere (no photos allowed). I’d be lying if I said I was a huge CCS fan, but it was actually maybe the third or fourth anime of any kind I ever saw (in a bad Saturday morning dub), so it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. And judging by the crowd reaction, about 3000 other adults too.
As usual I won’t do a review based on one of these screenings, and I won’t spoil those of you who haven’t read the new Clear Card-hen manga (which includes me). But suffice to say, if you love CCS I think you’ll be thrilled. It’s Madhouse, it’s Asaka Morio, it’s a freakin’ huge timewarp. The nostalgia rush is heady indeed. This is only the prologue and it delivers some major headline moments, too.
The other major event of the day was the “Ballroom” preview panel, featuring the director, A/D. and producer. This was fun, very loose and friendly but ultimately just a teaser for the world premiere tomorrow morning. It’s clear from listening to these guys that bringing competitive dance to life through hand-drawn animation was a huge challenge, and none of them knew anything about the subject to boot. It seems as if they did a hell of a job in that respect (this is I.G. after all), but those swan necks are still a trouble spot for me. We’ll see tomorrow.