Friday, March 27, 2015

Texas.



It's been a while, and I've been alone
and you've been the only thing I've known
Born in the South, at home in the North
We could be anywhere you want

Now you're taking me down where you grew up
I wish I had known you when we were young
You figured me out, I know I've said it enough
but waiting is just too much



So cover my skin with your sunkissed light
There's a bonfire burning tonight
We could be all right
Evaline, Evaline, Evaline, Evaline



Picture it now, down the road
Oh just say the word and I'll go
Wherever you are, whatever the coast
You are the one I care for the most

Remember the night we slept on the roof?
I didn't sleep much to tell the truth
Now we're the sand caught in the tide
We laugh until we cry



Won't you cover my skin with your sunkissed light
There's a bonfire burning tonight
We could be all right
Evaline, Evaline, Evaline, Evaline



Pull me closer, hold me tighter
The nights are long but the stars are brighter
Pull me closer, hold me tighter
Take me down, take me down, take me down



Won't you cover my skin with your sunkissed light
There's a bonfire burning tonight
We could be all right
Evaline, Evaline, Evaline, Evaline...
Won't you cover my skin with your sunkissed light
Won't you cover my skin with your sunkissed light
Won't you cover my skin with your sunkissed light
Evaline, Evaline, Evaline, Evaline...

KanColle Anime Is Over, So Now What?



As I wait for my money to arrive so I can finish paying my bill and buy some clothes for Hana R on Pangya Wiki, I quietly reflect on what looks like the first season of KanColle. A second season is in development (can't be an April Fools Joke because it's not on April Fools Day and it was announced after the final scene in the anime), and it received sharp amounts of criticism for the scriptwriting, series direction and the choice of character.



First off, the real-life Admiral of this show, Kensuke Tanaka, is, like the main character Fubuki, a rookie when it comes to working in the anime business. If this was under the direction of Akiyuki Shinbo or Gen Urobuchi or even Mari Okada, we would see a far more convincing series based on experience and track record. Second, there is a reason Fubuki, a generic-based starter/destroyer, is the main character. If a well-known shipgirl like Kongou or Kaga or Tenryuu (who did not appear in the anime at all) or even Shimakaze was the main character, it would divide the fanbase further than it did.



That's why Junya Oota, a.k.a. ZUN of Team Shanghai Alice, does not want to do a Touhou Project anime, even though it would have a Naruto/ONE PIECE length with plenty of arcs and would have a Saimoe leverage stronger than Madoka and Saki combined. There's too many good characters in that series with strong, loyal followings to have it based around Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame, which would be the case by default. Fans will say, "Flandre should be the main!" or "What about Sakuya!" or "Patchouli's not the MC? Blasphemy!" and so on and so forth. Sooner or later, ZUN's gotta realize that making an anime of Touhou will keep the series relevant for a long time and it's already been around for a while.



But enough of that, let's talk about KanColle. Ah, Fubuki. I am starting to have a soft side for Fubuki, even though I prefer Shimakaze and Kongou. Indeed, those two were my badge art for what is currently my most recent Anime Expo staffed to date. But Fubuki has her charms. She refers the Admiral as "Commander," which is a far more intimate, more casual drop of formalities. It's almost like Fubuki treats the admiral like a big brother, and that's fine.



The anime did not improve Fubuki's popularity much; in fact, the fan support for the other characters also remained the same. In Kantai Collection (and this is coming from someone that can't play the game due to geoblock restrictions and having to win a lottery; get a global server going already!), admirals have their ship that they adore, and it affects them if it gets sunk while on event duty or doing some sortie mission because you can't get that ship back.

But it doesn't hurt to see the beauty of the ordinary. I see Fubuki as the Akari Akaza of KanColle. Ready salted, simple and delicious. She doesn't have to go over the top or what not to be awesome. To appreciate Fubuki is like appreciating a good bag of ready salted, kettle-cooked crisps or brown rice without anything placed on it. Or, a bowl of three scoops of vanilla ice cream without any toppings.



The way Fubuki was portrayed in the anime was noteworthy, except for one thing: her second remodel wasn't shown, just her first. Thus, my speculation is that the second season will introduce the second remodel with the black uniform with red trim and the green eyes. I am torn as to which Fubuki I like. Do I go for the first remodel? Or the second remodel?

It's a massive dilemma that will be resolved when the second season rolls around and the remodel is portrayed. I hope the eyes are just palette-swapped for Fubuki's Kai Ni. It's better that way. I don't like them in the style of Yamato, Yuudachi or the Big Seven NagaMutsu combo. So for now, the jury is still out. But it's temporary and unlike some gamers who are calling out the anime in general in an attempt to convince the 2ch Saimoe voters that the race is open now that Saki and Madoka are gone, I liked the KanColle anime and am eagerly awaiting the second season.


Dammit, Commander Izumi, stop staring at me and get back to work RIGHT NOW!

Anime Expo Decides To Go Younger And Inexperienced. Sigh!

All right, so, I've had a rough week this week. Not only did Pangya Global pull out the Hanbok Sets for the remodels on the day I receive my paycheck, but I received this email from Amy Miyamoto, who is the Registration and Exhibits Division Manager. See, I was wondering why I applied for staff in January, and I never received any e-mails or contacts. I had worked the Registration Department for my first three years at the con and wanted to come back for a fourth.

Jo-Ryan, We will respectfully decline your offer to join Registration.  You will remain [in] the open applicants to see if any other departments contact you.    Regards, Amy Miyamoto Registration & Exhibits Division ManagerSociety for the Promotion of Japanese Animation 1522 Brookhollow Dr, Suite 1, Santa Ana, CA 92705Anime Conji - AC | Anime Expo - AX | Project Anime – PA – Los Angeles & Tokyo     

Shortage of staffers...my ass.

While I did say in a follow-up that I intend to reapply next year, one thing that is important when working with experienced convention staffers like myself is that department managers need to be transparent and not withhold important information and conjecture/opinion regarding the direction of staffing a convention like AX. Otherwise, you end up with speculatory conclusions which may or may not be correct, and I don't like to do speculation in these circumstances but I am force to because Ms. Miyamoto did not disclose the exact reasons.

My speculation is as follows: Anime Expo is going younger to save costs regarding housing its staffers. They are going with inexperienced, unqualified newbies who have to pay part of their hotel room, which, unless pointed out, is the Radisson USC. As a veteran staff member, the hotel and perks are free, so long as the room is in good shape and I make a deposit. So by this, it would be more expensive for the penny-pinchers at SPJA to retain my services because I've served a string of cons. I was with them in Anaheim, I was with them in Long Beach. And I was with them when staff was housed at the Westin Bonaventure and the Radisson.

This is not meant to be an affront to SPJA or the convention, for the record. I had a great time staffing this con during my nine years. Good memories, it's forever a part of me, and everyone out there should get the chance to take part in it on Independence Day Weekend. Thank you, AX. But I strongly believe that Ms. Miyamoto or the others should have explained further the future direction of the convention's makeup in terms of staffers so that it will alllow me to make a decision as to whether or not I should do further business with them. I'll give them one more year for them to give me a chance, but if no department wants my services, I have no choice but to cut my ties by mutual agreement.

One of my personal beliefs is that I don't waste my time with people, organizations, groups, anyone who doesn't want my services. I wanted to do 10 years at AX and stop there, but if they wanted me to stop at nine, they could have just said so. They can give me a good reason, I'll consider it, and then my time staffing this con is history. Anyone that I know or work with, regardless of who it is, that doesn't come clean with me and leaves me out of the loop is essentially giving me a slap to the face, and that is something that businesses and companies should never do when communicating bad news.

End true story.