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The Otakon 2023 Guest Request Thread


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Can't hurt to dream, but I am curious what the process is like for Japanese guests. Like most things in the anime industry, it seems very much based on relationships. While Otacorp had a relationship with Pony Canyon, when Pony Canyon had a show to promote, they sent out the director. The con is friends with Yasuhiro Watanabe, so when Watanabe recommended his VR dev friends, they invited them. This has resulted in some pretty interesting guests in the past, but it does make me wonder how well Otacorp is able – or indeed willing – to reach out beyond that network. When Jim Vowles was on ANNCast a few times back in the early 2010s, the answer seemed to be "both willing and able." Looking at the last few years, I'm less sure about that. I'm not pointing fingers since I have no idea what's going on behind the scenes – just an idle observation.

Now, in my mind, I've got three criterion for my guest recommendations:

1. They'd be interesting
2. They're relevant and would have something to promote
3. Courting them would expand Otacorp's network of relationships

Two headliners immediately come to mind:

Science Saru: Eungyoung Choi, Naoko Yamada, Masaaki Yuasa

To me, these guys are the perfect candidates. Eunyoung Choi is the current president of Saru and the one to approach, both because she's the one who usually does their press tours, and because she speaks decent English. Saru is currently home to two fascinating and popular directors: Naoko Yamada (A Silent Voice, Sound! Euphonium, K-ON!) and Masaaki Yuasa (Eizouken, Devilman Crybaby, The Night is Short – Walk On Girl), who each have both recent and upcoming projects. Choi herself is an excellent director who had episodes of Space Dandy and, more recently, Star Wars: Visions. Moreover, Science Saru as a studio is…well, a bit cursed actually, but they're doing a lot of unusual and highly innovative things with digital toolchains to make anime production more efficient. I'd frankly have some tough questions for Choi, but that's part of what'd make them interesting guests. As studio president, Choi also has connections and friendships all over the industry, so she'd be a good person to have as a friend of the con. In particular, you might also want to look into grabbing composer Ushio Kensuke, who worked a bunch with Yamada while she was at KyoAni as well as Yuasa, and is currently composing the score to the already megapopular Chainsaw Man.

Shouta Umehara, Keisuke Shinohara (My Dress-Up Darling)

Now this one needs explaining. UmeP is an animation producer: he has Miyamori's job from Shirobako. He's super good at it. Everywhere he shows up, he brings along his army of amazing animator friends to work wonders, including on recent shows like My Dress-Up Darling and Wonder Egg Priority, as well as slightly less recent ones like DarliFra and F/GO Babylonia (ancient, I tell you!). Kevin Cirugeda at Sakugablog wrote a bit about him a few years ago. People like him aren't just necessary to make anime, they can also leave a distinct creative fingerprint just by dint of what sort of friends they have. All this means that not only has UmeP Seen Some ----™ that would be fascinating to hear about, he'd also be able to put you in touch with a bunch of other people if you form a good relationship. I suggested he could come with Keisuke Shinohara, director of My Dress-Up Darling, since it's a recent and very popular show, but his recent work at Cloverworks would probably put him in touch with anyone else from their many recent projects. For what it's worth, a friend of mine who works with him often says he's super nice too.

These are the two leads that I think would be the best to pursue, but here's a lightning round of some more guests I think would be interesting:

Mitsuo Iso (director: Dennou Coil, Orbital Children, iconic animator): Very intelligent and thoughtful director and animator whose way of thinking about animation influenced the whole industry, and who has a recent show on Netflix.
Shingo Yamashita (director: Pokemon: Twilight Wings, digital animation pioneer): Also a very intelligent thoughtful animator and director, albeit much newer to directing. Among the first people to come into the industry through the internet
Toshiyuki Inoue (iconic animator, friends with everyone): Like Iso, he's animated famous scenes in many famous anime movies, and has deep insight into all of them.
Yuki Kajiura (composer: SAO, Demon Slayer, Madoka Magica, formerly of Kalafina): Everyone likes Yuki Kajiura, right?
Tsutomu Mizushima (director: Girls und Panzer, Shirobako): ngl I haven't really read any interviews with him, but his insane research-oriented directorial style and sense of humor suggest that he'd be a great guy to have talk for an hour or two.
ZUN (creator, composer: Touhou Project): …yeah I know Touhou is irrelevant in Anno Domini 2022, but I have to list him.

Edited by Nate A.M.
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How about for Japanese Guests ( I know they may be impossible to get)

1) Leiji Matsumoto

2) Hidecki Anno

3) Kenpachiro Satsuma (Godzilla suit actor from 1984 to 1995)

Jim “Kap” Kaposztas

Staff Lounge

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If we're reaching for the stars, Hideaki Anno and Leiji Matsumoto would definitely be up there. Relatedly, it'd be sorta funny to bring Toshio Okada back over, since he visited Otakon during its first years up in Pennsylvania. Rintaro would be another good one, especially since he's getting up there in age and anime industry vets aren't known for living long into old age.

15 hours ago, Nate A.M. said:

Yasuhiro Watanabe

1. lmao good job dipshіt, it's "Yoshihiro."
2. Wait, why is there a timeout for editing posts? Has it always been like this?

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26 minutes ago, Nate A.M. said:


2. Wait, why is there a timeout for editing posts? Has it always been like this?

As far as I can remember, yes.

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You’re right in that Japanese guests in particular depend on relationships.  And these days we continue to reap benefits of lots of outreach and friendships made over the last few decades. I am happy that my successors continue to build on those, and make new ones.

But that is true of US based guests too — agents become much easier to deal with when the guests really want to come. 

I feel very privileged in the friends I’ve made, both on behalf of the con, and personally. And I help out where I can with connections and back door invites.  This year we got particularly and unexpectedly lucky with timing with Japan.  Not so lucky on the cost of flights, though. I hear it was painful and I’m glad I don’t have to manage that budget anymore! :)

This is where I’d begin to tease you, and selectively rain on your hopes.  I’ve been out of the loop for personal stuff, but feel a bit recharged.  But I’m not the guy calling the shots, so what can I tease with?  

Hmm.  There is at least one big guest that we came really close with a few times now — maybe this year will be the year?  I know we have quite a few people interested and in the works, but we are a long ways out right now. And a few old friends have already reached out to see if we want them back, both locals and internationals.  And there are two guests in particular I will be bending ears about.  Let’s just hope the pandemic is less an issue next year.

So don’t worry, things are in the works that should make folks quite happy.  But to say more would be telling.

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Haha, I wrote that post before I realized that you're still involved and reading these boards – now I'm a bit embarrassed. That's interesting to hear though! Here's hoping for next year. I'm sure not being able to bring Shinichiro Watanabe over for an in-person appearance after the other Carole & Tuesday guests were able to take their encore must've been frustrating for you guys.

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Welp, here goes!

Voice Actors/Actresses (Japanese):

Miyuki Sawashiro

Sayaka Ohara

Saori Hayami

Rina Satou

Satomi Arai

Haruka Tomatsu

Sora Amamiya

Nobuhiko Okamoto

Takehito Koyasu

Hikaru Midorikawa

Souichirou Hoshi

Kappei Yamaguchi

Daisuke Ono

Tomokazu Sugita

Voice Actors/Actresses (English):

Crispin Freeman

Colleen Clinkenbeard

Erica Mendez

Spike Spencer

Richard Epcar

Luci Christian

Michelle Ruff

Yuri Lowenthal

Monica Rial

Behind-the-Scenes People:

Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Koji Morimoto

Kazuki Akane

Gen Urobuchi

Mangaka:

Rei Hiroe

Pochi-Goya

Bowalia

Virtual YouTubers:

Kson

Ironmouse

Natsumi Moe

Ryugasaki Rene

Kanade Mimi

Calliope Mori

Kiara Takanashi

Pavolia Reine

Kureiji Ollie

Inugami Korone

Sakura Miko

Omaru Polka

Momosuzu Nene

Takane Lui

La+ Darkness

 

Annnnd there we go!  Do any of these folks (particularly the ones from Japan) have a snowball's chance in H.E. double toothpicks of getting here next year?  Probably not.  But hey, a guy can dream.

Edited by Zeeba Neighba
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Gen Urobuchi is the dream for anime guests, but I think it would be cool to maybe have some Godzilla guests too as the con expands to being a general Asian pop culture con (In a really cool way might I add!) so maybe also people like Shusuke Kaneko for Japanese kaiju stuff and then on the American side TJ Storm has done anime cons before and I think Michael Dougherty would be really cool too.

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I wouldn't count out Kawajiri, given his connections to not just one but two friends of the con. That's actually one I was thinking about too. He's certainly been to the US before.

Rei Hiroe you could probably bribe by driving him out to a range to go shooting with a historical firearms club lol

Grabbing some Nijisanji English folks would be fun, but the East Coast gang is mostly Leafs, which complicates things. Pomu is an American and low-key has almost certainly been to Otakon before. I think Nina might be US East Coast too? Uki definitely is, but most of the other lads aren't even on this continent unfortunately.

Edited by Nate A.M.
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Hopefully Otakon can get Masao Murayama back again soon. I know he's in his 80's now, so his days traveling overseas to cons will probably be winding up soon.

 

Any manga creators. I know they're some of the hardest guests to get because they have the tightest schedules. Other cons have managed to get some in the past though.

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The faerie's guest request list:

Domestic VAs:  Dani Chambers, Aniris Quinonez, Emi Lo, Sarah Weidenheft, Megan Shipman, Macy Anne Johnson, Lee George, Jordan Dash Cruz, Ciarán Strange, Justin Briner, Christopher Wekhamp, Alejandro Saab, Derrick Snow, Clifford Chapin, SungWon Cho (ProZD), Diana Garnet
Domestic non-VAs:  Kevin Penkin, Tyler Walker,
Kuniko Kanawa, Gen Fukunga, Roland Kelts

Foreign VAs:  Daisuke Ono, Saori Hayami, Kana Hanazawa
Musical Acts:  CHAI, Joe Hisaishi

*This list is subject to change.*

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Ray Chase, Max Mittelman, and Robbie Daymond, jointly of live stage show Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying (L.A.V.A.). They were very fun to watch at Otakon in 2018 and it would be awesome to see what they put on in 2023!

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Music: Yuki Kajiura, m-flo, Granrodeo, renewing my request for MONKEY MAJIK

Voice: Yuri Lowenthal, Johnny Yong Bosch, Monica Rial, Jamie Marchi

Other: Toshiki Inoue (who hasn't done a con to my knowledge), Yasuhiro Nightow

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Echiiro Oda (One Piece creator)

EMC Monkeys (YouTubers/Stuntmen/Martial Artists)

The Samurider (Martial artist)

RDC World (YouTubers/actors)

Gabriel Picolo (Character concept artist @_picolo)

Rudy Reynon (Matial Artist/Stuntman @ru_areyou)

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