Friday, January 29, 2016

My Plans for the 2016 Anime Expo

I just bought a premiere pass for Anime Expo 2016, which is located in Los Angeles, California. The Anime Expo starts on July 1st and goes on through the 4th. Since I bought a 4-day premiere pass, I plan on staying for the entire duration of the expo.

For those of us who have been to conventions, we all know how places like this are. Packed full of people. Cosplayers left and right. Exhibition halls filled with awesome artwork. Panels. Booths. Concerts. Events. The works. Anime Expo is like that and more. For a fan of anime, going here is like stepping into the halls of heaven - if heaven was filled with a bunch of chicks dressed in skimpy cosplay. While calling this place heaven might be misleading - there are no golden toilets here, after all - it doesn't change the fact that the Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in the USA. While I've been to Phoenix Comicon, this will be my first time traveling to a convention outside of Arizona, and it will be the largest convention that I've ever gone to. I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

However, while I fully intend on enjoying myself here, I'm not just going to Anime Expo for fun, games, and looking at sexy women in cosplay. I would have bought a simple 4-day pass for that instead of the premiere pass. No, my reason for want to go to the Anime Expo is much deeper. The panels. For those of you who've been to a comicon, you'll know that there are panels where famous people, artists, authors, animators, movie directors, etc. etc., talk about their plans and what they want to do. I want to get into one of these panels and speak directly with someone who works in the anime industry. The premiere pass grants me early access to panels, and I plan on abusing that ability to get into a panel early and hopefully speaking with people who work in the anime industry. The reason I want to do that is simple. I'm hoping to figure out what I need to do to turn the American Kitsune series into an animated series.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, but many anime have been adapted from light novels. The Irregular at Magical High School, A Certain Magical Index, Absolute Duo, Toradora, Baka and Test, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, The Devil is a Part-Timer. Even as far back as the late 80s and early 90s, there have been numerous anime that were originally light novels. Some of you might know of the anime Slayers - a series about a powerful sorceress named Lina Inverse and the crazy shenanigans that she gets into. Yeah, that was a light novel before it became an anime. What about Vampire Hunter D? It's a tale that follows D, a dhampir who travels across a post-nuclear Earth. Technically speaking, it's a novel series and not a light novel series, but even so, it's a 26 volume book series that eventually got its own anime adaptation. While a lot of anime snobs complain about light novel adaptations, the fact is that adaptations based on light novels have been around for decades. While some of these anime haven't been very good (some people can debate that Infinite Stratos was a good anime, but I have never liked it or Maken-Ki), the same can be said for every anime, whether it was adapted from a light novel, a manga, or is an original animated series. Good and bad is not conducive to the source material, but to how well the anime was directed.

I'm sure some people will make fun of me for wanting to turn my book series into an animated series, but I think there's a lot of potential to make this a good anime. American Kitsune is like a parody of all the anime that you've ever seen. If I had to say what sort of anime this would be, I'd say it would be like taking Gintama and combining it with To Love Ru and Rosario+Vampire. Much like Gintama, this series parodies many other anime, but it still maintains it's own unique story. Like To Love Ru, it is filled with fanservice and slapstick humor - and boobs. Lots and Lots of boobs. And, just like the Rosario+Vampire manga, the story evolves, taking a stereotypical protagonist and slowly developing him into someone who isn't quite so stereotypical of the shonen harem series.

Also, for those of who you who are going to tell me that Tsukune Aono is a pansy, please read the manga. While anime Tsukune is, indeed, a pansy of epic proportions, manga Tsukune becomes a Badass with a capital B. The second season of the manga is so much more incredible than season 2 of the anime that I have honestly tried my best to erase the anime from my brain. I'm honestly disappointed in how the anime butchered their second season, turning what should have been an epic battle between Tsukune and his girls versus Fairy Tale into a boring comedy that re-used the same jokes from season 1. I might have enjoyed the first season, but that doesn't mean what worked in season 1 will work in season 2.

Anyway, there you have it. I'll be going to the Anime Expo this year. I don't know if I'll dress up yet, but since I'm gonna be there for four days, I'm thinking that I probably should cosplay at least once. If anyone is going to be heading there as well, drop me a line. Maybe we'll see each other!

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