Anime World Order Show # 32 – Otakon 2006 Report with Zac "Answerman" Bertschy

Our special guest this week is Zac “Answerman” Bertschy from Anime News Network! We spend the episode giving our con report of Otakon 2006. Clarissa is woefully absent from this recording, but she’ll be back next time. If you’re lucky.

Introduction (0:00 – 3:45)
I guess Jeff Nimoy sounds like Wolfwood as his regular speaking voice. Daryl quickly introduces this episode since he thought there was a pre-recorded intro for this episode but there wasn’t. He actually had acute bronchitis at the time this segment was recorded, so that’s why his voice sounds kind of off. Thanks to your generous support, we have successfully met our donations goal, so we’re getting some brand new audio equipment! For not other reason aside from because Mur Lafferty and Rob Walch told us to, we’ve ordered one Alesis Multimix8 USB mixer and two M-Audio MobilePre USB preamps. We’ll order the third preamp after JACON matches the up to $250 that they so generously offered to do, but it’s not like we’re going to be battering on their door saying “hey, where’s our free money?!” especially when you consider that we don’t actually KNOW how to use any of the equipment yet! Alternatively, we could get another $40 in donations and that’d cover the cost of the final preamp right now, but you guys have already done way more than enough, WAY faster than any of us would have imagined.

The Otakon 2006 report constitutes the rest of the show. Here’s time markers denoting when we start to talk about certain subjects. Does Zac’s voice sounds similar to Alan Chaess to anyone else?

4:45 – What Gerald and Zac expect out of Otakon each year, which ultimately kicks off an East Coast vs West Coast anime fandom feud

8:05 – Getting to the convention and the hassles involved therein…for just Daryl: he referenced The Way of the Gun casually, a movie nobody else likes but him

12:00 – The hell on Earth that is badge pickup and why Baltimore totally sucks: Daryl references the Kentucky Fried Movie once more as well as The Twilight Zone

16:02 – Gerald talks about going to dinner with other podcasters Thursday night, an event Daryl mostly missed because he was one step away from reliving Judgment Night, but Daryl was there just long enough to make most everyone else there despise him, resulting in this rather severe joke. Several people have tried similar initiatives over the years, and all it does is remind Daryl of how depressing it is that even Mike Jittlov is more lovable than he. Worry not, he follows the credo that Toki spoke unto almighty Kenshiro: “turn your sorrow into anger, and move on…”

17:45 – Press access, how unnecessarily difficult it is to obtain at Otakon, and how Otakon’s the only anime con where we still had to pay to get in even as press since let’s face it, we’re not really press that MATTERS…not quite yet, anyway!

23:40 – Badge selection, why it sucked, and why Daryl and Gerald are out of touch with reality

Promo: The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast (27:20 – 28:07)
Not only did Paul donate the largest single amount to us out of everyone who sent in donations (Daryl’s good friend Jason donated just as much, and between the two of them that pretty much covered most everything), he has a podcast where he has VOWED to talk about Highlander 2…WITH HIS MOM. After having already reviewed American Ninja with his mom as well as Godzilla vs the Smog Monster, the next logical step is for the two of them to review Zardoz together.

28:08 – Signs at conventions and the thankful lack thereof at Otakon

30:58 – The con guide, con mini-guide/map/schedule, and how useful/accurate these actually were

37:00 – Staffers at Otakon, the recent trend of anime cons having trouble getting their volunteers/staffers to actually SHOW UP for their shifts, and our dealer’s room experience

46:43 – Panel stuff: the toy collecting panel that was contradictory in its message, the Gainax/Ghibli/Studio 4C panels that we were hoping would have been more, and the awesome sentai panel as run by the guy who hosts the Rangercast podcast. We’ve been told that the people from TV-Nihon have declared this guy anathema because he had the BRAZEN NERVE to show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers at a sentai panel, and according to them “POWER RANGERS ISN’T SENTAI, RAAAAGH!” as if to suggest that they must have all gotten into that terrifying fandom by watching Spectreman on TV right as it came out or something. As a result, they plan to do all they can to ensure he doesn’t get the sentai panel next year. If this is indeed true, then that is absolute, total crap. Also, the reason so many people think Gerald has a weird accent is because he pronounces “schedule” as “shed-ule” unless he deliberately thinks not to.

53:00 – Cosplay stuff at Otakon and how most of it wasn’t anime-related

Promo: Fast Karate for the Gentleman (54:05 – 55:03)
Now that Daryl has admitted that he steals his jokes from this podcast, more people are listening to it and are able to realize that he was telling the truth for once. It is only fitting that this promo be played right after one more such joke was stolen.

57:03 – The Older Otaku panel that was run by people about our age…hey, wait a second!

1:00:18 – The Madhouse panel and the Mecha Anime Trivia panel which Gerald won – find out how Gerald hates the concept of giving things away that he doesn’t like or need to begin with, Zac reiterates his love for Anime Expo, and Daryl uses HIGHLY OFFENSIVE anti-Semitic remarks and Mel Gibson’s recent antics for comedy, thus earning this podcast the wrath of anti-defamation groups everywhere!

1:03:35 – I Can’t Believe You Haven’t Seen This! panel, Your Favorite Anime Sucks, and how Otakon had pretty darn good video room scheduling

1:06:20 – Zac tells us about what REAL press do at anime conventions (sobriety optional)

1:07:43 – The state of industry panels at anime conventions

1:09:58 – Panels that Otakon didn’t expect quite so many people to attend: the Kingdom Hearts panel, the 4Chan panel which Gerald and Zac didn’t like, and the Oldschool Anime panel which nobody liked

1:15:56 – Zac offers up an idea that is GUARANTEED to make someone FILTHY RICH if they actually implement it

1:18:00 – The podcasting panel as hosted by GeekNights and the Anime News Network panel which Zac was on; Zac plugs some of ANN’s future (probably current by now) contests and promotions

1:27:30 – What appears to be the official Otakon response to the various con gripes, and our final thoughts

Closing (1:36:12 – 1:37:55)
The hissing that Daryl was talking about probably disappears once he sets the sampling rate to 22050. Next week, Clarissa will be back as we answer listener emails with Dave Merrill, former Anime Weekend Atlanta con chair and Anime Hell grand poobah, as featured in the documentary Otaku Unite! which is now available on DVD. Dave is officially Smarter Than Us and is someone that Daryl has always aspired to be like, but comes up short time and time again.

Anime World Order Show # 31 – Anime Festival Orlando Report with Erik Reiss

This week we deviate from the typical show format and devote an episode to giving our con report on AFO 2006, with our special guest via telephone, AFO vice president Erik Reiss. We talk about what went right, what went wrong, and why the search for THE TRUTH might have died for good at this convention!

Introduction (0:00 – 12:42)
Yes, Quinton Flynn’s hair really is just like in that picture. It contributes to his Beatle-esque aura. Tricia writes in to let us know that we’re the WORST PODCAST EVER (not to be confused with the Greatest Movie EVER podcast) and that the manner in which Gerald pronounces certain words betrays he’s not American. George writes in to tell us all about anime fandom in Greece and how terrifying it is, which makes us really want to hear these Greek anime dubs now. Finally, Max has a voicemail for us where he talks about how our bonus futanari discussion causes people to hate the handicapped and Daryl mentions how Mad Bull 34 is more than sophisticated, it’s super sophisticated. Supasticated? Perhaps.

Within a week, we have received about $175 in donations for the purpose of buying a mixer board and preamps so that the show can sound better. This is absolutely unprecedented since we assumed that we would get nothing. JACON has graciously offered to match all donations up to $250, so if you’ve got some spare change in that Paypal account or whatever, send us a few bucks if you feel like it. It all adds up. Hmm. Maybe we should come up with some sort of prize drawing incentive thing for the people who donate.

Con Report: Anime Festival Orlando 2006, Friday (12:42 – 33:54)
AFO’s the best! Around! Erik joins us via phone, and hopefully he’s audible to everyone since he doesn’t talk all that loud. We talk about what the responsibilities of running a convention are along with what makes AFO unique from other Florida anime cons, the joy of smacking down fangirls who complain that her “hugs for $1” sign got taken away by staff, and what happened on Friday. It involves Daryl getting hit in the face with a stick.

Promo: Otaku Generation (33:54 – 34:16)
Daryl ran into Alan and Jefferson momentarily back at Otakon, and he won their first Guess the Character in the Envelope contest, where he won a Lisa Furukawa Ray CD as well as some OG bumper stickers, pins, and the like. Say, maybe WE should consider getting some stuff like that!

Anime Festival Orlando 2006, Saturday (34:16 – 53:30)
For what may have been the first time ever in Florida anime con history, the fanfiction panel was NOT canceled. We talk about panels: what goes into approving them, the ones we did, and ones we attended. Also, THE TRUTH either died on Saturday or was seriously wounded. Does the soul still burn, or has everything been said? You tell us.

Anime Festival Orlando 2006, Sunday (53:30 – 1:21:43)
Topics covered include Gerald’s panel on giant robots, Project Cosplay, and we read some comments from message boards that will hopefully be construed as constructive criticism towards making the next AFO better.

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate For the Gentlemen
Apocalypse Zero is one of the finest anime ever created, and everyone is encouraged to purchase the manga. Why, just listen to Dave and Joel talk about how wonderful it is!

Closing (1:21:43 – 1:23:46)
Next week, it’s our Otakon report with our special guest, Zac Bertschy who writes the Hey Answerman! column over at Anime News Network! Unfortunately the episode is terrifying since Clarissa forgot to be at that recording (she wasn’t actually at Otakon herself, but still) and Daryl was trying hard to tough his way through the bronchitis he’d contracted but hadn’t yet received medical treatment for. He didn’t really succeed.