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A rather "Holy Crap" guest is confirmed and I've now gone through two rounds of the press release. When we announce, you'll see why I've been rather cagey about certain responses.

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A rather "Holy Crap" guest is confirmed and I've now gone through two rounds of the press release. When we announce, you'll see why I've been rather cagey about certain responses.

two rounds! how many more? we wanna know!

The bigger the guest, the more people who feel the need to weigh in on the announcement.

This has been *virtually* a sure thing for most of the year, but it has taken this long to get the details worked out and the paperwork in order. It'll be something special, and I think it'll be worth it. :o

So here's where we stand now, for those keeping score:

2 guests awaiting approval of press release, announcement next week.

1 guest with bio in progress (then press release and announcement)

1 guest waiting on bio, should turn around quickly.

1 guest awaiting confirmation

2 guests awaiting response

1 possible guest who I half expect to surprise me

As many as 3-4 possibilities who may prefer to slide under the radar and just show up unannounced. They're coming, but may be incognito.

Also:

* have to turn in unused rooms I'd held

* have to start the schedule build

* waiting on answers for 2-3 big premiers

* at least 2 contests/give-aways to announce

* planning for Anime Expo trip (room & flight secured, sorting out some meetings)

* working out some logistics for feeding my guests (breakfast at hotel or in green room?)

...plus whoever and whatever surprises me at the last minute. (Last year it was a pleasant surprise -- Mr Ishiguro and Mr Kikukawa asked whether we'd be able to squeeze them in.)

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The bigger the guest, the more people who feel the need to weigh in on the announcement.

This has been *virtually* a sure thing for most of the year, but it has taken this long to get the details worked out and the paperwork in order. It'll be something special, and I think it'll be worth it. :D

So here's where we stand now, for those keeping score:

2 guests awaiting approval of press release, announcement next week.

1 guest with bio in progress (then press release and announcement)

1 guest waiting on bio, should turn around quickly.

1 guest awaiting confirmation

2 guests awaiting response

1 possible guest who I half expect to surprise me

As many as 3-4 possibilities who may prefer to slide under the radar and just show up unannounced. They're coming, but may be incognito.

Also:

* have to turn in unused rooms I'd held

* have to start the schedule build

* waiting on answers for 2-3 big premiers

* at least 2 contests/give-aways to announce

* planning for Anime Expo trip (room & flight secured, sorting out some meetings)

* working out some logistics for feeding my guests (breakfast at hotel or in green room?)

...plus whoever and whatever surprises me at the last minute. (Last year it was a pleasant surprise -- Mr Ishiguro and Mr Kikukawa asked whether we'd be able to squeeze them in.)

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Frequently, the big releases will have a west coast premier at AX and an east coast premier at Otakon. Sometimes stuff isn't ready in time for one con but is for the other. But typically we are lined up for at least one fairly big title for each of the industry players present. So far we should have something either brand-spankin' new, or fairly new, from Funimation, Bandai, Bandai Visual, Viz Pictures, Aniplex, and Rightstuf/Nozomi -- and probably at least one thing from all of the other survivors.

Mind you we are unlikely to break Japanese street dates for most things (though we might get a sneak peek or two), so it tends to be the official US releases that are premiering.

This will be both of our musical guests' first convention appearances, and...well, there'll be other news this week, too. :D

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Final tweaks are being made to the press release, which means another fairly big guest will be announced in the next 24-48 hours. My money's on tomorrow night....

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Final tweaks are being made to the press release, which means another fairly big guest will be announced in the next 24-48 hours. My money's on tomorrow night....

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Whew -- just got things set up with the publicist to coordinate announcements. Look for the announcement tomorrow after 3pm ET! Here and on all your major anime news outlets...

Please see other thread for speculation....

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Call me a blasphemer, but I've actually never heard X Japan's music, so I can't say I'm as happy-go-lucky to see them as some other people on here might be. However, I find that all guests (especially when it comes to Otakon's guests) can be interesting and unique; thus, I never judge a guest choice as bad. :)

Besides, it's interesting that you kept on alluding to the idea that getting X Japan would be impossible and astoundingly over-budget, ESPECIALLY with Lollapalooza only a week after Otakon. :)

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Call me a blasphemer, but I've actually never heard X Japan's music, so I can't say I'm as happy-go-lucky to see them as some other people on here might be. However, I find that all guests (especially when it comes to Otakon's guests) can be interesting and unique; thus, I never judge a guest choice as bad. :)

Besides, it's interesting that you kept on alluding to the idea that getting X Japan would be impossible and astoundingly over-budget, ESPECIALLY with Lollapalooza only a week after Otakon. ;)

Yup, it was impossible for us to get all of X Japan and do a full concert.

One day I'll tell the full tale of how this came to be -- once it's all done. :)

My initial thought was "Yoshiki on piano" -- far fewer elements to worry about, massively reduced complication, and something that was actually possible within our budget. (For a few blissful, panic-stricken days, it looked like we might have the entire band.) I'm not joking when I said I had nightmares following the concert at the Tokyo Dome -- there was just NO WAY to come close to the epic nature of that beast and that band, going full throttle.

The only way to make this happen was something intimate, fun, and informal -- which turned out fine because it matched well with Yoshiki's prior experience at Otakon. But the band has had a VERY busy year and there are so many people involved in making something like this happen...the only thing that kept it going was that Yoshiki himself committed to it way back in January. He was as good as his word -- and he brought a friend, and hopefully we'll send them on to their big full-on debut with a huge boost from some of the band's biggest US-based fans. :)

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Call me a blasphemer, but I've actually never heard X Japan's music, so I can't say I'm as happy-go-lucky to see them as some other people on here might be. However, I find that all guests (especially when it comes to Otakon's guests) can be interesting and unique; thus, I never judge a guest choice as bad. :)

Besides, it's interesting that you kept on alluding to the idea that getting X Japan would be impossible and astoundingly over-budget, ESPECIALLY with Lollapalooza only a week after Otakon. ;)

Yup, it was impossible for us to get all of X Japan and do a full concert.

One day I'll tell the full tale of how this came to be -- once it's all done. :)

My initial thought was "Yoshiki on piano" -- far fewer elements to worry about, massively reduced complication, and something that was actually possible within our budget. (For a few blissful, panic-stricken days, it looked like we might have the entire band.) I'm not joking when I said I had nightmares following the concert at the Tokyo Dome -- there was just NO WAY to come close to the epic nature of that beast and that band, going full throttle.

The only way to make this happen was something intimate, fun, and informal -- which turned out fine because it matched well with Yoshiki's prior experience at Otakon. But the band has had a VERY busy year and there are so many people involved in making something like this happen...the only thing that kept it going was that Yoshiki himself committed to it way back in January. He was as good as his word -- and he brought a friend, and hopefully we'll send them on to their big full-on debut with a huge boost from some of the band's biggest US-based fans. ;)

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My team is working on a bunch of stuff behind the scenes.

We were supposed to start scheduling tonight, but I'm about one step behind, so I'm working through that. I'm also trying to help Programming get something awesome going for Thursday. My musical guest guy is working some magic to get a little TV time for Home Made Kazoku. I'm expecting a bio and photo from our director guest, and waiting for confirmation regarding a seiyu. Another perpetual slowpoke is due to FINALLY provide his bio so I can announce him. Oh, and there's a couple more musical folks showing up in another few days.

We'll shortly be announcing something cool regarding our opening ceremonies -- though I suspect you'll have guessed at least *part* of that particular surprise.

And a million little details to nail down. In a few weeks I'm off to Expo for schmoozing and networking. Then I turn 40. Then I get a week off (not really) and then it's Otakon.

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Anyone else now feeling concerned that when it comes to Japanese guests, too much focus (booking wise) is being given towards musical acts than those who work in the anime industry?

I'm not saying that musical acts is a bad thing, and I know that a director and a seiyuu is planned for the convention (not to mention that more announcements will happen in the next few weeks). However, with Otakon 1 1/2 months away, and still no Japanese guest that are anime-focused (rather than musicians), I'm really starting to get nervous here.

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We are heavy on musical guests this year, but that's partly by design -- it's a musical theme this year.

It's been a tough trip for J-guests this year of the non-musical variety; many of them have suddenly got work again, and the timing has been unfortunate, as this blog alludes several times. At least three guests have had to pull out due to work. Which is good for the industry and for the guests, but very annoying for me.

But never fear. There's more coming.

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Oh, yeah, I get it. <_<

I just noticed that there seems to be a whole visual kei/music theme going on here, made apparent by Yoshiki and Sugizo coming over, who are members of a visual kei band. Not to mention that h.Naoto had visual kei styles incorporated into his clothing line, and Mr. Sakurai had a hand in introducing Harajuku's fashion (which is visual kei-esque) internationally.

See? The pieces are all starting to fit into place now. B)

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pffft no mention of being on ANN!!! Thats the biggest news of the week

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pffft no mention of being on ANN!!! Thats the biggest news of the week

It is on ANN as a news article. X-Japan members coming to Otakon is the link to the News article on ANN about it. I think it is the second biggest news story of the week besides the Japanese voice of Ichigo coming to Anime Expo. As a fan and a con runner, I am starting to think AX are really doing too much this year. It seems like 2007 for them when they had all these big guests and it caused them logistical issues.

Having crunched the numbers, and knowing they were in the red last year, I'm wondering where the money's coming from to support these folks.

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I wasn't taking about X's article on ANN! I was talking about why Jim didnt mention, maybe he did if so my bad about being on ANN's PODCAST! Its like the grammys!

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I wasn't taking about X's article on ANN! I was talking about why Jim didnt mention, maybe he did if so my bad about being on ANN's PODCAST! Its like the grammys!

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pffft no mention of being on ANN!!! Thats the biggest news of the week

It is on ANN as a news article. X-Japan members coming to Otakon is the link to the News article on ANN about it. I think it is the second biggest news story of the week besides the Japanese voice of Ichigo coming to Anime Expo. As a fan and a con runner, I am starting to think AX are really doing too much this year. It seems like 2007 for them when they had all these big guests and it caused them logistical issues.

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I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the guests this year. While Otakon has been pretty good abount being balanced for every demographic in the past, this year's guest list is definitely heavily skewed towards dub-fans and the female attendees. While I have nothing against either of these groups, it is a bit disconcerting as there's not yet anything anything that interests anyone that I know personally (there is a very good possibility that we're now a minority, which also would concern me).

What's more, there are not yet any seiyuu announced, and only talk of one possible seiyuu. I'm worried that with how things have gone, this guest will also be female-oriented.

I know this seems to be kind of odd to complain about, but I never did attend cons for panels or the dealer's room, or anything like that. It's always been for the guests. I know I'm not the only one like this, and likewise know I'm not the only one who is concerned.

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"Only one seiyu"?? I'm trying to remember any year where we've had more than one...though at one point we had up to four on offer, only to lose them to actual work.

I think people sometimes forget that it has traditionally been VERY difficult to get seiyuu and manga-ka *at all*. We've been extremely lucky the last few years with some VERY big names. And as i've alluded to, we've had several people who were mostly committed suddenly get hired --which is a good sign because that means new stuff is being made.

Any event like this will ALWAYS lose out to actual paid work -- if the celebrity wants to keep getting paid to do it, at least.

At any rate...

The director is set and will be announced next week. The seiyu we just need a firm yes from and he's set. I have a manga-ka to announce as soon as I get the danged bio & headshot. And that won't be the end of it.

Sorry I've kept you waiting, but it sure as hell wasn't a lack of effort or willing guests!

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"Only one seiyu"?? I'm trying to remember any year where we've had more than one...though at one point we had up to four on offer, only to lose them to actual work.

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"Only one seiyu"?? I'm trying to remember any year where we've had more than one...though at one point we had up to four on offer, only to lose them to actual work.

You're right. I think I do this every year...and I always convince myself that Kugimiya Rie will attend and then let myself down. Every. Year.

Also I believe it was 2007 when Tomokazu Seki and Mamiko Noto attended. That may be the only time, that I can remember.

You're quite right -- I'd forgotten they were both here the same year. I think for some reason I didn't have much interaction with Noto-san. :lol:

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I'm glad to hear we will most likely have a seiyuu attending, and the musical guests are sure to please. My only disappointment is how hard it sounds to gain the attendance of the Japanese side of the industry. When conventions are spoken about being in the red last year, but still signing on a multitude of international guests, things make less sense. Its just sad to hear "our" convention can't do more.

As Otakon grows over the years I'd hope to expect more to amaze us besides the increasing costs. Somehow as we went we got less in certain areas (Main Attractions, Space to move, Anime viewings on schedule, etc...) or at least what Otakon did have wasn't advertised well. I still remember when Otakon was able to show Jet Li's Hero 30 days before the American release date. That really made me want to attend that year. So where have the major allures gone since then? Something that just sticks out, and tilts us fans into deciding to attend. The English dub fans can always expect a good turnout (9 English voice actors confirmed thus far). Mamiko Noto was an amazing guest to have in 2007 considering she played major parts in (Ah My Goddess, Elfen Lied, Hell Girl, Ichigo 100%, Inuyasha, My Hime, School Rumble etc...). It didn't seem to me like she was even advertised well that year leading to one panel of hers I attended with far too many vacant seats.

Takamasa Sakurai and h. Naoto are a good addition, its just too bad they cater to an even more niche crowd here in America.

I thank you for trying your utmost to attract attendees, but I also hope that we may have guests like Mamiko Noto and Kappei Yamaguchi in store for us in the future. Even repeat guests every once in a while would be amazing. My apologies if anything I have said should be deemed argumentative, perhaps my viewpoint is a tad skewed considering the lack of a confirmed seiyuu with the pre-reg date looming. I am appreciative all the same, and crossing my fingers for this year.

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I've been keeping tabs on this thread on and off, and I have to say if it's "an experiment" it's a successful one. I find it very interesting to read about the "behind the scenes" work of a convention as large as Otakon.

Thanks, alabaster, for all your hard work both in this thread and for the con and community as a whole! Here's to another great year.

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Fairly often I hear that cry from some fans: "Why didn't you TELL us you had Guest X? I'm sure if you advertised it they would have had more folks in the room..."

Here is how we advertise for every guest: I tease you guys once they have signed; we issue a press release, I blog about it, it hits the RSS feed, we post it on the website, and we put it in the program book.

It isn't advertising that makes the difference in who shows up for what. We spend thousands on a program book that tells you who is attending as a guest. There is a printed schedule that tells you when and where. These things do no good at all when you don't read them.

Seriously, I've had people complain about not being told that we had such-and-such guest --- I'm not going to drive to 26,000+ peoples' houses and tell them. Some of the burden is on YOU guys to find out who's at the con. It takes so little effort to pay a little attention...hit the website occasionallly and grab the twitter or LJ feed.

But anyway -- we provide the same level of promotion for every invited guest. Vic attracts a small horde of screaming fangirls. Yoshiki auto-summons Japanese fans. Megatokyo at one point could reliably fill a 2500 seat room.

But just about ANY Japanese guest is lucky to fill 500 seats. Which is HUGE for a little con, but slightly disappointing for us.

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Aside from Jim's cryptic clues, and the announcements on the BBS, RSS, site, etc., I know that when the Otakon table is at other conventions we usually do tell anyone who stops by to come to Otakon, details about it, and who we have as confirmed guests so recurring and potential attendees know.

It's not exactly driving to everyone's house but we do try and get the word out when we can. ^^

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I thank you for trying your utmost to attract attendees, but I also hope that we may have guests like Mamiko Noto and Kappei Yamaguchi in store for us in the future. Even repeat guests every once in a while would be amazing. My apologies if anything I have said should be deemed argumentative, perhaps my viewpoint is a tad skewed considering the lack of a confirmed seiyuu with the pre-reg date looming. I am appreciative all the same, and crossing my fingers for this year.

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I now know what Jim Vowles sounds like now. The podcast was very interesting and can't wait until Otakon 2010.

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Mamiko Noto was an amazing guest to have in 2007 considering she played major parts in (Ah My Goddess, Elfen Lied, Hell Girl, Ichigo 100%, Inuyasha, My Hime, School Rumble etc...). It didn't seem to me like she was even advertised well that year leading to one panel of hers I attended with far too many vacant seats.

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I don't even remember tickets that year and I got Mamiko's autograph twice that year. While attending both of her panels.

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Today we finally announced the opening animation for this year, which is one of MANY projects my team handles.

We've got a director with an excellent pedigree, and we've got some awesome folks doing the music -- which will be an original song composed and written just for Otakon.

There's info on the website, but I know one question is: why Production I.G. when we've worked with Madhouse the last few years?

Briefly: we'd intended to diversify anyway, because part of the reason we are doing this is to help us build and strengthen relationships with various partners in the industry. We love Madhouse, and they love us, but they suddenly got very busy and weren't able to commit to it this year. Luckily, the timing worked out well for I.G. and they were interested in doing it.

It'll be interesting from my perspective, because we don't yet have the same special relationship we've had for years with Madhouse, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. (It is always helpful when the guy who runs the studio and acts as creative director is a big supporter like Maruyama.) But we've also worked with Production I.G. on and off over the years, and it's been nice to renew friendships and professional contacts over there.

Once again, this year's theme represents a lot of input from the staff. We're tying it more obviously to this year's "Music" theme, but hopefully there will be plenty of fun references and in-jokes to spot -- they just won't be the focus this time.

Coming up:

1. ANOTHER musical guest's bio is under review and may be our next announcement. Just waiting for the okay on that release.

2. Booking travel for our director, seiyu, and producer guests -- hopefully I'll have the bios by tonight and we can announce this weekend.

3. Confirmed 3 of four additional guests. Director, character designer, producer, and writer (if we are able to bring all four of them), as well as the US Premier of the show they worked on together. Hope to announce early next week.

4. Bio & press release in process for another US voice actor -- it's largely ready to go, so that may be tomorrow.

5. Gotta poke our manga-ka's folks one more time. He should be released soon too.

6. And I've given someone else until friday to get back to me.

So that's 10 or 11 more guests queued up. I just wish they hadn't all taken so long to solidify!

I have to order guest gift bag stuff....and dig out and follow up on several prize-related things, including the HMK contest, which I've been reminded we never announced winners for. Gah! too much stuff in my brain!

I may put up a "Jim Cleans Out His Swag" contest or two next week as well -- I gotta thin out some of the stuff I have accumulated already this year!

Meanwhile, I have to start thinking about my goals at Anime Expo next week...among other things, I'll be meeting up with some of our guests and many of our industry friends.

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Yeah, I've been following Hiro on twitter and he was dropping hints about this in the past month. Really looking forward to the music video now :lol:

But I gotta ask: will Otakon's opening animation be ever available to the public? I think those are awesome, and they deserved to be shared... Will this year's be the exception??

2. Booking travel for our director, seiyu, and producer guests -- hopefully I'll have the bios by tonight and we can announce this weekend.

3. Confirmed 3 of four additional guests. Director, character designer, producer, and writer (if we are able to bring all four of them), as well as the US Premier of the show they worked on together. Hope to announce early next week.

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Today we finally announced the opening animation for this year, which is one of MANY projects my team handles.

We've got a director with an excellent pedigree, and we've got some awesome folks doing the music -- which will be an original song composed and written just for Otakon.

There's info on the website, but I know one question is: why Production I.G. when we've worked with Madhouse the last few years?

Briefly: we'd intended to diversify anyway, because part of the reason we are doing this is to help us build and strengthen relationships with various partners in the industry. We love Madhouse, and they love us, but they suddenly got very busy and weren't able to commit to it this year. Luckily, the timing worked out well for I.G. and they were interested in doing it.

It'll be interesting from my perspective, because we don't yet have the same special relationship we've had for years with Madhouse, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. (It is always helpful when the guy who runs the studio and acts as creative director is a big supporter like Maruyama.) But we've also worked with Production I.G. on and off over the years, and it's been nice to renew friendships and professional contacts over there.

Once again, this year's theme represents a lot of input from the staff. We're tying it more obviously to this year's "Music" theme, but hopefully there will be plenty of fun references and in-jokes to spot -- they just won't be the focus this time.

Coming up:

1. ANOTHER musical guest's bio is under review and may be our next announcement. Just waiting for the okay on that release.

2. Booking travel for our director, seiyu, and producer guests -- hopefully I'll have the bios by tonight and we can announce this weekend.

3. Confirmed 3 of four additional guests. Director, character designer, producer, and writer (if we are able to bring all four of them), as well as the US Premier of the show they worked on together. Hope to announce early next week.

4. Bio & press release in process for another US voice actor -- it's largely ready to go, so that may be tomorrow.

5. Gotta poke our manga-ka's folks one more time. He should be released soon too.

6. And I've given someone else until friday to get back to me.

So that's 10 or 11 more guests queued up. I just wish they hadn't all taken so long to solidify!

I have to order guest gift bag stuff....and dig out and follow up on several prize-related things, including the HMK contest, which I've been reminded we never announced winners for. Gah! too much stuff in my brain!

I may put up a "Jim Cleans Out His Swag" contest or two next week as well -- I gotta thin out some of the stuff I have accumulated already this year!

Meanwhile, I have to start thinking about my goals at Anime Expo next week...among other things, I'll be meeting up with some of our guests and many of our industry friends.

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Geeeeeeezz, how many more awesome guests are we going to be able to play with for 2010?! It's all good news though, and those OPs have been nothing short of fantastic, so I'm eager to see what Production I.G. brings.

Else, you got my interest in the proposed swag cleaning sweepstake(s). Would anything Star Blazers related might be offered??

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Today we finally announced the opening animation for this year, which is one of MANY projects my team handles.

We've got a director with an excellent pedigree, and we've got some awesome folks doing the music -- which will be an original song composed and written just for Otakon.

There's info on the website, but I know one question is: why Production I.G. when we've worked with Madhouse the last few years?

Briefly: we'd intended to diversify anyway, because part of the reason we are doing this is to help us build and strengthen relationships with various partners in the industry. We love Madhouse, and they love us, but they suddenly got very busy and weren't able to commit to it this year. Luckily, the timing worked out well for I.G. and they were interested in doing it.

It'll be interesting from my perspective, because we don't yet have the same special relationship we've had for years with Madhouse, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. (It is always helpful when the guy who runs the studio and acts as creative director is a big supporter like Maruyama.) But we've also worked with Production I.G. on and off over the years, and it's been nice to renew friendships and professional contacts over there.

Once again, this year's theme represents a lot of input from the staff. We're tying it more obviously to this year's "Music" theme, but hopefully there will be plenty of fun references and in-jokes to spot -- they just won't be the focus this time.

Coming up:

1. ANOTHER musical guest's bio is under review and may be our next announcement. Just waiting for the okay on that release.

2. Booking travel for our director, seiyu, and producer guests -- hopefully I'll have the bios by tonight and we can announce this weekend.

3. Confirmed 3 of four additional guests. Director, character designer, producer, and writer (if we are able to bring all four of them), as well as the US Premier of the show they worked on together. Hope to announce early next week.

4. Bio & press release in process for another US voice actor -- it's largely ready to go, so that may be tomorrow.

5. Gotta poke our manga-ka's folks one more time. He should be released soon too.

6. And I've given someone else until friday to get back to me.

So that's 10 or 11 more guests queued up. I just wish they hadn't all taken so long to solidify!

I have to order guest gift bag stuff....and dig out and follow up on several prize-related things, including the HMK contest, which I've been reminded we never announced winners for. Gah! too much stuff in my brain!

I may put up a "Jim Cleans Out His Swag" contest or two next week as well -- I gotta thin out some of the stuff I have accumulated already this year!

Meanwhile, I have to start thinking about my goals at Anime Expo next week...among other things, I'll be meeting up with some of our guests and many of our industry friends.

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Yeah, I've been following Hiro on twitter and he was dropping hints about this in the past month. Really looking forward to the music video now :)

But I gotta ask: will Otakon's opening animation be ever available to the public? I think those are awesome, and they deserved to be shared... Will this year's be the exception??

2. Booking travel for our director, seiyu, and producer guests -- hopefully I'll have the bios by tonight and we can announce this weekend.

3. Confirmed 3 of four additional guests. Director, character designer, producer, and writer (if we are able to bring all four of them), as well as the US Premier of the show they worked on together. Hope to announce early next week.

!!!! man crossing my fingerzzzz

Last year's is available on Otakon's official Youtube channel, along with other official stuff like our TV commercials, messages from guests, and other stuff. We'll get a link posted soon to the main site....meanwhile here's a link.

<object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object>

The 2008 animation, awesome as it was, made lawyers nervous, and we had to agree to limit showings and NOT host it online. Too many cameos from well-known characters that were a little too close to the official designs. We're slowly working to get the blessings of various involved parties, but I hope that one day it'll get out there.

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Wait -- ANOTHER musical guest? Am I totally missing something here? (obviously... YES)

Not all of our musical guests will be performing. The one I'm referring to will actually be doing something else fairly cool, though.

There are two concerts this year -- Yoshida Bros on Friday, and Home Made Kazoku on Sunday. They will each do a panel on Saturday (most likely) and an autograph session, plus they'll each appear after their shows to sign the stuff you buy.

We're going to be doing something with VAMPS as well, though we don't expect them in person.

So yeah, at least one more musical guest to announce, a few special events and industry appearances, a couple of cool give-aways....and that'll about do it for musical guests. The musical theme for this year is definitely going to be felt!

But that said, that's certainly not all we've got on offer.

OH! One of the things I have to give away is a poster and memory book from MORNING MUSUME.

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Wait -- ANOTHER musical guest? Am I totally missing something here? (obviously... YES)

Not all of our musical guests will be performing. The one I'm referring to will actually be doing something else fairly cool, though.

There are two concerts this year -- Yoshida Bros on Friday, and Home Made Kazoku on Sunday. They will each do a panel on Saturday (most likely) and an autograph session, plus they'll each appear after their shows to sign the stuff you buy.

We're going to be doing something with VAMPS as well, though we don't expect them in person.

So yeah, at least one more musical guest to announce, a few special events and industry appearances, a couple of cool give-aways....and that'll about do it for musical guests. The musical theme for this year is definitely going to be felt!

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Last year's is available on Otakon's official Youtube channel, along with other official stuff like our TV commercials, messages from guests, and other stuff. We'll get a link posted soon to the main site....meanwhile here's a link.

<object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object>

The 2008 animation, awesome as it was, made lawyers nervous, and we had to agree to limit showings and NOT host it online. Too many cameos from well-known characters that were a little too close to the official designs. We're slowly working to get the blessings of various involved parties, but I hope that one day it'll get out there.

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Briefly...

Yes, I expect this one will go on Youtube as well.

Expect that musical guest announcement today!

Also just got word that another old friend is returning....look for that announcement soon as well.

SNARK:/

Gosh, it seems like only a month ago Expo began piling on guest announcements. Oh wait, it was a month before their con too when the floodgates opened. Maybe it's because, like us, they were waiting on replies up until the last possible minute....

/SNARK

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Briefly...

Yes, I expect this one will go on Youtube as well.

Expect that musical guest announcement today!

Also just got word that another old friend is returning....look for that announcement soon as well.

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SNARK:/

Gosh, it seems like only a month ago Expo began piling on guest announcements. Oh wait, it was a month before their con too when the floodgates opened. Maybe it's because, like us, they were waiting on replies up until the last possible minute....

/SNARK

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Two more guests to announce tomorrow. One is a returning fave, the other a newbie. :)

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Whew. Expo. Dang.

I'm not going to go into much detail about our trip to Anime Expo, but it is a useful one for Relations reasons. If nothing else there are a large number of voice actors in that area, and most companies that come to Otakon also hit AX.

Together with ANN, Sakura-Con, and Funimation, we usually throw a little off-site party for the industry. That's one of our best chances to talk to a large number of guest and industry and press contacts, and it happens at a location where I'm not slammed, so I actually get to enjoy it a bit, too. Mostly, for me, AX is a big pile of meetings and attacks of opportunity, with a bit of time with far-flung friends and a few moments of awesomeness mixed in.

During that week, in addition to walking at least 10-12 miles per day (according to Bob's pedometer), I managed to get some stuff done for the program book, review the storyboard and animatics for the opening animation, sort out several travel issues, and deal with a bunch of little issues here and there. It was, as I said, a busy week.

For those paying attention, I promised some guests this week, and I'll deliver at least two announcements in the next two days. Here's the current "to be disclosed soon" tally:

1. Three Japanese guests (a director, a character designer, and a producer)

2. Two or three US-based voice actors

3. Three additional Japanese guests (shh, a surprise).

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Whew. Expo. Dang.

I'm not going to go into much detail about our trip to Anime Expo, but it is a useful one for Relations reasons. If nothing else there are a large number of voice actors in that area, and most companies that come to Otakon also hit AX.

Together with ANN, Sakura-Con, and Funimation, we usually throw a little off-site party for the industry. That's one of our best chances to talk to a large number of guest and industry and press contacts, and it happens at a location where I'm not slammed, so I actually get to enjoy it a bit, too. Mostly, for me, AX is a big pile of meetings and attacks of opportunity, with a bit of time with far-flung friends and a few moments of awesomeness mixed in.

During that week, in addition to walking at least 10-12 miles per day (according to Bob's pedometer), I managed to get some stuff done for the program book, review the storyboard and animatics for the opening animation, sort out several travel issues, and deal with a bunch of little issues here and there. It was, as I said, a busy week.

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