So this year, as has been the case for the past four years, I have ran panels at Hamacon. Since it’s the one con that has slowly conned (hurr hurr) it’s way into making me a director for it, it tend s to get a bunch from me. However with Hamacon growing and me pilling more and more onto the director plate, it was getting harder and harder to get panels ready. This year was, theory, supposed to be different. This year we introduced the idea of “Featured Panelists,” where we would bring in some of the best panelists we know to help fill up the schedule. For Hamacon 4 we decided to kick it off with the Anime World Order folks, since they do some of the best. And they did a whole bunch for us this year, that we awesome and amazing. Did that end up with me doing less panels, though?
Of course not!
In fact this year debuted a couple of new things I hadn’t done before at cons yet, which I worked on up until the point of actually putting them on Friday afternoon. Firstly, I decided since we never had a set structure for Opening Ceremonies, I was going to fix that. So I set up images and audio for every director and guest, so we could intro them and let them talk. Sadly, the audio and images didn’t want to sync, so they just got the images (which worked out fine, honestly). The other trick was I wanted to introduce them with some jokey, possibly punny intros as they were announced. I had only written about half of them before I hit the stage so I ended up winging it a good bit. People seemed to like it, however so that worked. Phew!
After that I moved straight into my first new anime panel called Petals and Penguins: the Works of Kunihiko Ikuhara. Kevin joined me on this one as we talked about the guy that brought us Utena and Penguindrum, with some back history and and clips of his shows. We also chatted about what some of his directorial techniques were. It turned out pretty well as a trail run, especially as I had only finish the slides that same morning! Now I just need to fill it out from the rest of cons I’ll be dragging it to later this year.
That night saw the latest version of The Pain Train, my anime hell wannabe where I show ff two hours of goofy clips that I find hilarious and hopefully everyone else does, too. Thankfully they did! The highlight this year though was Neil once again doing something crazy. Last year he took a one off suggestion from me and then went crazy with it, resulting in a pretty great Mass Effect parody. But in 2013 people discovered an awesome YouTube-delivered anime known as Inferno Cop, where a bunch of old pros decided to strip anime down to the bare essentials and replaced the rest with crazy. The minimal animation sparked something in Neil’s glorious mind and he created a cartoon of his own, P Force III. Over the year I helped hone his idea into something he could then later form into something amazing. We have gone ahead and uploaded them to YouTube so you can check it out for yourself.
Saturday was the “easy” panel day for me as I had only one scheduled, the State of the Animes and the Mangas Industry. This was a round-table discussion where I pretty much just started it off and let AWO and our Industry Guest Carl Gustav Horn from Dark Horse say stuff for an hour with me chiming in here and there. Speaking of the estimable Mr. Horn, the guys over at Chainsaw Buffet got an awesome talk with him recorded you should all check out.
Sunday was my two normal panel mainstays at cons, Manga You Should Buy Right Now and Getting Your Anime Groove Back. The manga panel was amazing in that I got more than ten people on a Sunday morning. The anime panel also had a ton of folks, but it kind of had to as it was the last panel in Main Events before Closing Ceremonies. But chances are you are only here for the lists anyways so here you go:
- AKB0048 – Second Season’s on Crunchyroll
- Inferno Cop – Streaming on YouTube
- Initial D 5th Stage
- Kids on the Slope – Streaming on Crunchyroll – Buy on Amazon
- Kuroko’s Basketball – Streaming on Crunchyroll
- Level E – Streaming on Crunchyroll or Funimation | Buy on Amazon
- Little Witch Academia – Streaming on YouTube or Crunchyroll
- Rose of Versailles – Streaming on Viki | Buy on Amazon
- Attack on Titan – Buy on Amazon
- Black Jack – Buy on Amazon
- Blood Blockade Battlefront – Buy on Amazon
- Chi’s Sweet Home – Buy on Amazon
- Flowers of Evil – Buy on Amazon
- Itazura Na Kiss – Buy on Amazon
- Knights of Sidonia – Buy on Amazon
- Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service – Buy on Amazon
- Limit – Buy on Amazon
- NonNonBa – Buy on Amazon
- Paradise Kiss – Buy on Amazon
- Solanin – Buy on Amazon
- The Drops of God – Buy on Amazon