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Is it just me or is this year's Otakon programming uninspiring? Too many old shows on the program (e.g. Macross 7, Bubblegum Crisis, Lost Universe etc.). Understand the need to strike a balance but the con risks becoming irrelevent as a retro anime con at this rate. I'm happy to see Vampire Knight and Allison to Lillia on the schedule but where are all the other hot new shows like Macross Frontier, Soul Eater, Blassreiter, Rebuild of Evangelion, Slayers Revolution etc. I don't mind watching these shows in the native Japanese without subs in one of the smaller rooms during late night programming and I know many others will agree with me. After all, one of the joys of going to Otakon is to see all the new shows coming out of Japan. Comments from the con organizers would be much appreciated.

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Slayers Revolution is screening on Sunday. There are plenty of 2007-2008 anime screening and atleast 2 series that aren't coming out for a month or two screening that I can notice (Episode 4 of Hellsing Ultimate, comes out around Mid-September, and Casshern Sins that airs in Japan in October.) There are still 2-3 slots that are TBA for video content, and honestly I'm surprised that Otakon is screening Macross stuff with Harmony Gold's contracts (which might be a reason Macross Frontier isn't airing). In my opinion, its normally harder to find older shows than it is newer shows, with the internet in existance. Almost every new show you can find online the same day it airs in Japan. Older shows are normally more difficult to find, unless they just got remastered or reaired.

While there are shows I would love to see aired at Otakon (Kamen Rider Kiva, Macross Frontier, Legend of Galactic Heroes), its not like they can cater to everyone's desires in programming. Everyone going has different tastes and it would be impossible to please everyone.

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Is it just me or is this year's Otakon programming uninspiring? Too many old shows on the program (e.g. Macross 7, Bubblegum Crisis, Lost Universe etc.). Understand the need to strike a balance but the con risks becoming irrelevent as a retro anime con at this rate. I'm happy to see Vampire Knight and Allison to Lillia on the schedule but where are all the other hot new shows like Macross Frontier, Soul Eater, Blassreiter, Rebuild of Evangelion, Slayers Revolution etc. I don't mind watching these shows in the native Japanese without subs in one of the smaller rooms during late night programming and I know many others will agree with me. After all, one of the joys of going to Otakon is to see all the new shows coming out of Japan. Comments from the con organizers would be much appreciated.
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Is it just me or is this year's Otakon programming uninspiring? Too many old shows on the program (e.g. Macross 7, Bubblegum Crisis, Lost Universe etc.). Understand the need to strike a balance but the con risks becoming irrelevent as a retro anime con at this rate. I'm happy to see Vampire Knight and Allison to Lillia on the schedule but where are all the other hot new shows like Macross Frontier, Soul Eater, Blassreiter, Rebuild of Evangelion, Slayers Revolution etc. I don't mind watching these shows in the native Japanese without subs in one of the smaller rooms during late night programming and I know many others will agree with me. After all, one of the joys of going to Otakon is to see all the new shows coming out of Japan. Comments from the con organizers would be much appreciated.

The reason is that a big convention like otakon cannot 'risk' showing something unlicensed. They are only allowed to show whatever the production and licensing companies will allow, which is episodes 1-3 of generic anime whatever that came out 2 years ago.

If you are interested in having cons show this kind of anime, plz come to our totally unlicensed panel, described here: /index.php?showtopic=15483">http://board.otakon.com/index.php?showtopic=15483

(it was hidden away in the abyss of the chit chat board by a nameless mod :( )

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Is it just me or is this year's Otakon programming uninspiring? Too many old shows on the program (e.g. Macross 7, Bubblegum Crisis, Lost Universe etc.). Understand the need to strike a balance but the con risks becoming irrelevent as a retro anime con at this rate. I'm happy to see Vampire Knight and Allison to Lillia on the schedule but where are all the other hot new shows like Macross Frontier, Soul Eater, Blassreiter, Rebuild of Evangelion, Slayers Revolution etc. I don't mind watching these shows in the native Japanese without subs in one of the smaller rooms during late night programming and I know many others will agree with me. After all, one of the joys of going to Otakon is to see all the new shows coming out of Japan. Comments from the con organizers would be much appreciated.

The reason is that a big convention like otakon cannot 'risk' showing something unlicensed. They are only allowed to show whatever the production and licensing companies will allow, which is episodes 1-3 of generic anime whatever that came out 2 years ago.

If you are interested in having cons show this kind of anime, plz come to our totally unlicensed panel, described here: /index.php?showtopic=15483" target="_blank">http://board.otakon.com/index.php?showtopic=15483

(it was hidden away in the abyss of the chit chat board by a nameless mod :P )

It was moved because that's where it belongs.

And you're right -- we have to actually get permission to show what we show, because to do otherwise is illegal, and we DO have at least four or five studio heads wandering the convention, as well as law enforcement.

And you know, nobody wants to get sued out of existence, or ruin our ability to get guests and premiers, over a crappy fansub slapped together hours after the show aired in Japan.

But hey, you go right ahead and promote theft and naivety. Good luck setting up a convention of any size with no financing.

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mebbe some of you misunderstood me but i said screen the show as it was aired originally in japan, not a fansub or bootleg. they're already selling the blu-ray disks for macross frontier!!! how hard would it be to get permission from bandai to show it at the con. this would boost their sales when they localize it for the us. imho a programming mix of 40-60% 2008 shows, 30-40% 2007 shows, 10-30% older shows would be perfect. look at it this way, they don't showcase last years games at E3 do they?

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mebbe some of you misunderstood me but i said screen the show as it was aired originally in japan, not a fansub or bootleg. they're already selling the blu-ray disks for macross frontier!!! how hard would it be to get permission from bandai to show it at the con. this would boost their sales when they localize it for the us. imho a programming mix of 40-60% 2008 shows, 30-40% 2007 shows, 10-30% older shows would be perfect. look at it this way, they don't showcase last years games at E3 do they?
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mebbe some of you misunderstood me but i said screen the show as it was aired originally in japan, not a fansub or bootleg. they're already selling the blu-ray disks for macross frontier!!! how hard would it be to get permission from bandai to show it at the con. this would boost their sales when they localize it for the us. imho a programming mix of 40-60% 2008 shows, 30-40% 2007 shows, 10-30% older shows would be perfect. look at it this way, they don't showcase last years games at E3 do they?

Getting Bandai's or any other company's permission for recently as-aired shows might be a bit harder than you think. Unfortunately, it's never as simple as "if you can buy it, you can show it publicly". A lot of it will depend on regional licensing and distribution agreements that they have set up. For example if company A created and distributed a show in Japan, but sold the licensing & distribution rights to company B for the US, now you have to get company B's permission. Of course company B might not want to let you show a raw Japanese version of the show, and heck they may want to take a year or two to make a sub/dub version and just leave you hanging until they are ready to sell their version. It gets even more complex if company A is in negotiations with company B, or hasn't even thought of negotiations yet. In which case they may just say "no" so they don't ruin an existing or potential negotiation position. What's even more interesting from a legal standpoint is if company A says "yes", then sells the distribution rights to company B, then company B comes at you after the sale saying "no".

So with all of this going on, you end up with a built in 1-2 year lead time to legally show the newest shows here in the US. This doesn't mean it can't go faster (or slower, or never), but with the market as it is currently it doesn't look like it will speed up any time soon.

Beyond that you also run into the real costs of buying and shipping disks from Japan (which could be avoided by web distribution, if it's available); providing: players, projectors, speakers, screens, etc...; finding locations to screen them; and dealing with any necessary contracts. It is feasible to have a lot of this stuff donated by participants, but depending on how much you need, how cooperative your participants are, and how lucky you are; you may find yourself in a crunch at a critical time.

Of course, there is the draw power of the raw Japanese shows. Something that was surprising to me is that proportionally the demand is not that large. Yes there are people who would be interested in something like this, but the numbers are not as large as one would think. Then again, it doesn't seem like you would be using this as your key feature as much as accenting the other programming you have, so you may not run into the problem.

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We were originally going to have a raw screener of Coyote Ragtime Show a few years back, not long after it aired in Japan, and what happened is this:

1. The show was in negotiations for US distro, which meant that they couldn't commit to provide it to us.

2. Our video crews reported to us that the draw in all video rooms was down across the board, but (shock of shocks) the attendance isn't remarkably better for shows that people haven't heard of yet.

3. They got cold feet worrying about the bootleggers

We are encouraging Japanese companies to bring stuff in the raw and show bits of it at industry panels, much as Madhouse often brings neat stuff. Part of the Pony Canyon thing this year is an outgrowth of that; Romeo X Juliet last year was supposed to be of that variety.

The fact is that the industry is evolving, but the bottom line is they must be able to make money on their products. Those obsessed with getting the latest stuff hot off the presses are unfortunately downloading and fansubbing --- there is no way to satisfy them with "latest and greatest" because the ones that are really hardcore about it are watching shows hours or days after they air. And the vast majority of people will watch dubs over subs anyway.

And the price of cooperation on MOST things is that we can't just engage in guerrilla tactics and show whatever the heck we want.

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