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I just want to thank the Otakon staff for all of their hard work again this year. Many of the guests are heavy hitters and here we're expecting a few more? Thank you Otakon, I know this year is going to be amazing.

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Well it looks like you showed them down in LA last weekend. I know you don't want to go too much into the thing, so in brief, what were your impressions about how the 'Expo was run this year?

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Well it looks like you showed them down in LA last weekend. I know you don't want to go too much into the thing, so in brief, what were your impressions about how the 'Expo was run this year?

There were problems I saw that should have been easily avoidable, and they are well aware of them now (or sure SHOULD be). There are internal issues that really hampered their ability to get stuff done. Many of their problems are entirely self-inflicted, and I still think that they need to work on transparency.

I believe that at least some of their leadership are really committed to fixing the mess and building on the good, but they took a real blow to their senior leadership due to the walkout and even if the attendees didn't feel too much of it, it was blindingly obvious to me just sitting in Ops for a while, or talking to staffers, or watching them deal with crises. Their staff, by and large, are very much like ours and bust ass pretty hard to make it work for the attendees, but communication was poor. Read some coverage of their BOD open meeting -- they didn't *have* a con feedback panel this year, a mistake that they were forced to acknowledge -- and you'll see the sort of thing I'm talking about.

In the end, it's not for me to solve their problems, which is a massive relief on a personal level, and a rational call on a professional one. I probably know about more specific issues than I should. If they want my honest opinion on specifics, I'll give it, but I've said about as much as is appropriate here in public.

My biggest frustration with AX, to be honest, is that I think of what *our* organization could do with the location, facilities, and resources that they are blessed with. That Nokia Theatre is an excellent venue and is designed for what they use it for, and I'm more jealous of that than I am that they scored Kanno-san -- but I told them that in person, so it's not like I'm talking behind anyone's back.

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Nokia Theater is amazing for the stuff they're doing. Those high definition projectors......... They are like 4K? :o Totally orgasmic.

I'm still recuperating from AX, and yeah, things were not as bad as I initially imagined. I had fun, and that May'n/Mamegu/Kanno show is one for the history books. I went to Kanno's Tanabata Sonic show last year (the most awesome thing ever) and the AX show was basically channeling a tad of that. And it worked out really well since the three of them performed with each other quite a bit during the past year or two. I'm thinking a lot of people at the show had no idea what kind of awesome they were getting to see though...

And yea, seeing how there are a few seiyuu guests that made weekend turn-around trips to AX because they save a day's worth of time versus going to the East Coast was kind of :3 But I guess that's why I went to AX this year lol.

Anyway. Glad to see you got more Japanese guest surprises up your sleeves! We still have a few weeks to go :o

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Well it looks like you showed them down in LA last weekend. I know you don't want to go too much into the thing, so in brief, what were your impressions about how the 'Expo was run this year?

My biggest frustration with AX, to be honest, is that I think of what *our* organization could do with the location, facilities, and resources that they are blessed with. That Nokia Theatre is an excellent venue and is designed for what they use it for, and I'm more jealous of that than I am that they scored Kanno-san -- but I told them that in person, so it's not like I'm talking behind anyone's back.

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Well it looks like you showed them down in LA last weekend. I know you don't want to go too much into the thing, so in brief, what were your impressions about how the 'Expo was run this year?

My biggest frustration with AX, to be honest, is that I think of what *our* organization could do with the location, facilities, and resources that they are blessed with. That Nokia Theatre is an excellent venue and is designed for what they use it for, and I'm more jealous of that than I am that they scored Kanno-san -- but I told them that in person, so it's not like I'm talking behind anyone's back.

But, I'm guessing that unfortunately there isn't any venue of a larger scale in the remote area that is any larger than the venue you already have been using? :o

Nope. The arena is it for the 5-7k seating range.

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Mmmmm, now I'm really excited to see the latest OP. I don't know if my mind deceives me er not, but didn't Eminence play here a few Otakons ago?

Else, I also looked back at the Open Board Meeting they had, and it validated a lot of the serious issues the 'Expo created and/or faced. In the great words of Chef Ramsay, You were spot on, Jim.

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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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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).

Excuse myself for trying to sound smart here, but I think we can safely conclude that the director, character designer, and producer are Mr. Masunari, Mr. Ishihama, and Mr. Ochikoshi, respectively. If we can then conclude that Mr. Sinterniklaas is one of the US-based voice actors and Mr. Smith is the manga-ka from Japan, then (correct me if I'm wrong) that leaves:

1. Two (max.) US-based voice actors

2. Two additional Japanese guests

(My apologies for not necessarily knowing where Mr. Beagle belongs. :P )

I, myself, just like to keep a running tally in my head~ :lol:

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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).

Excuse myself for trying to sound smart here, but I think we can safely conclude that the director, character designer, and producer are Mr. Masunari, Mr. Ishihama, and Mr. Ochikoshi, respectively. If we can then conclude that Mr. Sinterniklaas is one of the US-based voice actors and Mr. Smith is the manga-ka from Japan, then (correct me if I'm wrong) that leaves:

1. Two (max.) US-based voice actors

2. Two additional Japanese guests

(My apologies for not necessarily knowing where Mr. Beagle belongs. :P )

I, myself, just like to keep a running tally in my head~ :lol:

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Oh, you kids. :P

There will be a guest announced tomorrow, which is coordinated with another company.

I'm sorting out a few things for the remaining J-guests and the remaining voice actor. Probably next week for them.

No, I wasn't counting Felipe as a J-guest, though I was counting him as a manga-ka. Got iffy there for a bit but we are sorting out his schedule finally.

In other news: scheduling is BRUTAL. Six of us doing it live via IM tonight for about 4 hours...still ain't done. And this is like 10 hours in for me before tonight.

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Oh, you kids. :)

There will be a guest announced tomorrow, which is coordinated with another company.

I'm sorting out a few things for the remaining J-guests and the remaining voice actor. Probably next week for them.

No, I wasn't counting Felipe as a J-guest, though I was counting him as a manga-ka. Got iffy there for a bit but we are sorting out his schedule finally.

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In other news: scheduling is BRUTAL. Six of us doing it live via IM tonight for about 4 hours...still ain't done. And this is like 10 hours in for me before tonight.

I'm sure that crafting that schedule MUST be difficult. In fact, simple question, but has this one been more difficult than previous schedules for whatever reason or are all of the schedules this demanding as you say (perhaps, it varies from year-to-year)? :o

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In other news: scheduling is BRUTAL. Six of us doing it live via IM tonight for about 4 hours...still ain't done. And this is like 10 hours in for me before tonight.

I'm sure that crafting that schedule MUST be difficult. In fact, simple question, but has this one been more difficult than previous schedules for whatever reason or are all of the schedules this demanding as you say (perhaps, it varies from year-to-year)? :ph34r:

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I generally put all guest and industry stuff on between 10 and 6. A few panels are the exception (Voice Actors After Dark, for example), and in some cases the industry peeps *request* a nighttime panel. Bandai did, for example.

Oh, and the guest I was think was this friday? Is NEXT friday. sorry about that!

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Ooh, a Bandai night panel. That usually means mischief. I still have my Lucky Star serafuku shirt from 2008. Never worn it outside... or inside... but I have it.

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Ooh, a Bandai night panel. That usually means mischief. I still have my Lucky Star serafuku shirt from 2008. Never worn it outside... or inside... but I have it.

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Anyone else have a feeling that one of the final two voice actors will be a Funimation-based actor involved with a certain title that they'll be releasing this fall?

I'm pondering this because three of the Funimation guests attending Otakon this year have been announced to play a major role in the dub of said title (and I have a feeling that the other Funi guests announced so far will be doing so as well).

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Anyone else have a feeling that one of the final two voice actors will be a Funimation-based actor involved with a certain title that they'll be releasing this fall?

I'm pondering this because three of the Funimation guests attending Otakon this year have been announced to play a major role in the dub of said title (and I have a feeling that the other Funi guests announced so far will be doing so as well).

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Anyone else have a feeling that one of the final two voice actors will be a Funimation-based actor involved with a certain title that they'll be releasing this fall?

I'm pondering this because three of the Funimation guests attending Otakon this year have been announced to play a major role in the dub of said title (and I have a feeling that the other Funi guests announced so far will be doing so as well).

Well, since Jim had said that the guest is "coordinated with another company", I'm really betting on it being a VA from Bandai; even if that particular guest spoken of isn't at all a VA in general, I'm still hoping that there will be someone from Bandai coming. After all, Bandai IS coming with their own booth in the Dealer's Room and industry panel, so it would be off-putting to have them absent on VAs; meanwhile, FUNimation is the one bringing in the vast majority (as they usually do at every convention they attend, of course).

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Anyone else have a feeling that one of the final two voice actors will be a Funimation-based actor involved with a certain title that they'll be releasing this fall?

I'm pondering this because three of the Funimation guests attending Otakon this year have been announced to play a major role in the dub of said title (and I have a feeling that the other Funi guests announced so far will be doing so as well).

Well, since Jim had said that the guest is "coordinated with another company", I'm really betting on it being a VA from Bandai; even if that particular guest spoken of isn't at all a VA in general, I'm still hoping that there will be someone from Bandai coming. After all, Bandai IS coming with their own booth in the Dealer's Room and industry panel, so it would be off-putting to have them absent on VAs; meanwhile, FUNimation is the one bringing in the vast majority (as they usually do at every convention they attend, of course).

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Anyone else have a feeling that one of the final two voice actors will be a Funimation-based actor involved with a certain title that they'll be releasing this fall?

I'm pondering this because three of the Funimation guests attending Otakon this year have been announced to play a major role in the dub of said title (and I have a feeling that the other Funi guests announced so far will be doing so as well).

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Anyone else have a feeling that one of the final two voice actors will be a Funimation-based actor involved with a certain title that they'll be releasing this fall?

I'm pondering this because three of the Funimation guests attending Otakon this year have been announced to play a major role in the dub of said title (and I have a feeling that the other Funi guests announced so far will be doing so as well).

I completely thought the same thing. Given what we've heard of the dub and what I can see about the guests (How both Todd and J. Michael are newer to the funi scene and have been doing fairly large roles), one can guarantee that these two AT LEAST have a major role in Hetalia. Add that to the fact that three voices have already been announced, I would assume we'll get one or two more. It gives us almost the entire main cast of the series.

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Id be extremely happy if one of them was Liam O'Brien. Why you say? Because Patrick Seitz and he are my two favorite voice actors.

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My bad, guys, I misremembered the date. 16th is the guest that required coordination...

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My bad, guys, I misremembered the date. 16th is the guest that required coordination...

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I'll have more info after tonight's session. Most of the big/difficult-to-schedule guest sessions are plugged in, next is to adjust a few conflicts and finally we layer on the autograph sessions.

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can't wait until this friday :P

Ooh, a Bandai night panel. That usually means mischief. I still have my Lucky Star serafuku shirt from 2008. Never worn it outside... or inside... but I have it.

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Uh so, I know I've posted on this before. But, given that the Hetalia dub has been releasing a voice actor a day/we are 4/4 for the Hetalia cast... Has anyone thought that this coordinated guest release may very well be Italy's dub voice? Given that Friday should be the last role announced and we haven't heard a hint of it yet... It seems there is some sort of underlying factor there, although perhaps I'm just reading far too into it. Either way, I have to thank you again Otakon for getting so many actors from a VERY (and soon to be even more) popular series. Take your time on all the hard work, because I am so pleased with this guest lineup (both Japanese and English). Thank you, sincerely.

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Uh so, I know I've posted on this before. But, given that the Hetalia dub has been releasing a voice actor a day/we are 4/4 for the Hetalia cast... Has anyone thought that this coordinated guest release may very well be Italy's dub voice? Given that Friday should be the last role announced and we haven't heard a hint of it yet... It seems there is some sort of underlying factor there, although perhaps I'm just reading far too into it.

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Uh so, I know I've posted on this before. But, given that the Hetalia dub has been releasing a voice actor a day/we are 4/4 for the Hetalia cast... Has anyone thought that this coordinated guest release may very well be Italy's dub voice? Given that Friday should be the last role announced and we haven't heard a hint of it yet... It seems there is some sort of underlying factor there, although perhaps I'm just reading far too into it. Either way, I have to thank you again Otakon for getting so many actors from a VERY (and soon to be even more) popular series. Take your time on all the hard work, because I am so pleased with this guest lineup (both Japanese and English). Thank you, sincerely.

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Uh so, I know I've posted on this before. But, given that the Hetalia dub has been releasing a voice actor a day/we are 4/4 for the Hetalia cast... Has anyone thought that this coordinated guest release may very well be Italy's dub voice? Given that Friday should be the last role announced and we haven't heard a hint of it yet... It seems there is some sort of underlying factor there, although perhaps I'm just reading far too into it. Either way, I have to thank you again Otakon for getting so many actors from a VERY (and soon to be even more) popular series. Take your time on all the hard work, because I am so pleased with this guest lineup (both Japanese and English). Thank you, sincerely.

Italy's dub voice has already been announced as an Otakon guest. It's obviously Todd Haberkorn. And France is obviously J. Michael Tatum. So we're actually 6/6. ^_^

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The main reason I have for believing that Todd is Italy is that the Amazon.com page for the Hetalia DVDs used to have him, Christopher Bevins (Japan), and Patrick Seitz (Germany) listed as the main actors. I noticed this before the other two were announced, and I thought it could be a decoy, except they changed it and now it lists Daisuke Namikawa as the main actor. Also the Happy Thoughts Museum song sounds a lot like him.

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I had thought that Todd may be Italy, but then I was second guessing myself. Given that England already came out this morning it's pretty clear you're right. So we have Todd as Italy. I also am pretty sure that America is Mike now, given we could hear him in today's clip. Ok Otakon, you're 4/5, so that's not too bad. And who knows, Scott may just show up after all.

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Okay, I think the schedule is 99% set.

So of course, suddenly we hear from certain industry folks at the last minute, wanting to be involved, offering premiers, requesting panels.

For future reference, industry friends, the time to engage with us is about 6-9 months before con...

Meanwhile, here is the list of as-yet unannounced guests:

1 - US voice actor (a newbie) -- coordinated with a company

1 - US voice actor (prior guest, big shows) -- late addition

3 - Japanese guests (musical, will perform briefly) -- something cool to be announced next week.

And what I'm working on currently:

- A chance to request a song from Yoshiki & Sugizo

- An awesome give-away

- Finalizing details for last guest

Also, with my assistant section chief, admin assistant, and travel coordinator

- Reviewing schedule

- Planning out guest arrival & departure schedule with travel agent, sorting out van schedule

- Resolving hotel and food plans

- Putting together individual guest itineraries and commitment schedules

Also, with the musical guests team:

- Finalizing backline, tech, and special requests

- Checking for prizes owed

And then in the coming week:

- Buy supplies

- Print a crapload of stuff

- Sort out interpreter assignments

- Sort out handler assignments

So if I get a little cranky or uncommunicative, you know why. Work is kicking my butt, and I come home to another 4-6 hours of con stuff per night.

In other news, I just blew a bunch of money on a set of Doctor Who action figures (all 11 Doctors!). And I turned 40 this past weekend, spending it hanging with my family and some friends, as well as Adama & Starbuck from the newest Battlestar Galactica....

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A very happy post-birthday, Jim. Enjoy your Dr. Who dolls. :D

And thanks for all your work! You deserve the biggest birthday party in fandom.

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Okay, I think the schedule is 99% set.

Meanwhile, here is the list of as-yet unannounced guests:

1 - US voice actor (a newbie) -- coordinated with a company

1 - US voice actor (prior guest, big shows) -- late addition

3 - Japanese guests (musical, will perform briefly) -- something cool to be announced next week.

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1 - US voice actor (a newbie) -- coordinated with a company

Hmmm... This is quite an up in the air one, no clue.

1 - US voice actor (prior guest, big shows) -- late addition

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There's some news about X-Japan on the website....you might get them to play your favorite song, or win tickets to Lollapalooza.

Y'know, just 'cuz.

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3 - Japanese guests (musical, will perform briefly) -- something cool to be announced next week.

Oh? Well well well! This is unexpected! It's a trio and they'll perform briefly...

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It is the day of the coordination. We wait warmly while it is being prepared??

I guess if history is any indication, otakon's news announcement is likely to come in after whoever they are coordinating :3

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It is the day of the coordination. We wait warmly while it is being prepared??

I guess if history is any indication, otakon's news announcement is likely to come in after whoever they are coordinating :3

It's posted.

The guests Funimation's been helping with are indeed the Hetalia cast -- Almost all the main characters, and the one that's missing will be there in spirit via video.

They didn't want to spill ALL the beans on the rather fun reveal of their cast. :lol:

Todd Haberkorn: Italy

Patrick Seitz: Germany

Christopher Bevins: Japan

China: Clarine Harp

Russia: Jerry Jewell

France: J. Michael Tatum

U.K./ Britain/ England: Scott Freeman

(America: Eric Vale)

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