Saturday, May 16, 2009
Last week in Tokyo I had a nice chat with Takeshi Koike. Koike directed "World Record" for The Animatrix, and has worked feverishly on his first feature film, Redline. (Contrary to many published reports, Redline will NOT be premiering at the Annecy Festival next month in France.)
I reference some of our conversation in my latest column for the Daily Yomiuri, but will use more, together with a review of the forthcoming film and comments from noted screenwriter Katsuhito Ishii in a U.S. magazine feature due out this summer.
Methinks Redline will be something special, and Meknows that MIT professor Ian Condry's visit to Tokyo later this month, with his live anime show, will be spectacular.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Click above for a video podcast (or click here if it looks wonky and incomplete) featuring interviews with cosplayers and a bloke named Kelts at Sakura Con 2009 (the Pacific Northwest's largest anime/manga/J-Pop convention) last month, courtesy of the fine folks at Backroom Comics. Admittedly, it's not my finest hour (or 30 minutes, to be more precise), as I was exhausted by travel and a talk I had moderated moments earlier, but the questions were pleasantly probing and I managed to cleave my tongue from my palette long enough to answer a few.
And below is my latest column for the Daily Yomiuri, reflecting on the crowds and the cash infusion in Seattle as a direct result of this year's Sakura Con. Couple of quick caveats: the 20,000 attendee figure was based upon an estimate available at the time I was writing the column (as I note); the official figures I've seen more recently peg the tally at 16,500-plus per day -- still a record-breaker. Also, the $13 million is from an NBC television report that aired on the first day of the convention. I don't have access to the Seattle city coffers, but suffice it to say that the added income probably didn't elicit sneezes from city officials -- at least not in this economy.
A long overdue and very steep bow to the folks who produced, hosted and staffed Sakura Con. I was absurdly well cared for. Thank you.
As a gentle aside: I've been AWOL on this blog for the past couple of weeks for reasons both personal and professional, as I reacclimated to my life in Japan. I am resurfacing, albeit not without scrapes and scars. Living will do that to you.