Amidst the star-studded line-up at Anime Festival Asia 2013 in Singapore, recently, we caught note of a very special personality who was making a very quiet appearance. Bushiroad was one of the sponsors and participants at AFA2013, and they were holding events to promote Cardfight Vanguard, a series of trading card games.
As a special event, they held an autograph session with Mr. Masami Obari, a relatively unknown talent who was known there as the man who provided the illustrations used in the ending cards for each episode of the Cardfight Vanguard TV anime.
However, Mr. Obari is actually legend among a different group of fans. He has also worked as mecha designer, key animator, and director for some of the most popular super robot anime since 1988! Some of the more popular titles he has worked on includes the Yuusha Series (Brave Fighters), Fatal Fury animated movie, Super Robot Wars OG Inspectors and more recently Gundam Build Fighters.
We were extremely lucky to be able to spend a few minutes with him and got to him to answer some of our questions.
Popular novelist and screenwriter Gen Urobuchi, who has written dozens of visual novels for Nitroplus, as well as writing spin-off novels for various popular titles from other publishers such as Shogakukan and Type-Moon. Recently, he has also served as screenwriter for original TV anime such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Psycho Pass.
Anime Shrine had the great pleasure of interviewing Mr. Urobuchi during his guest appearance at AFA2013 under the Psycho Pass special feature and he was kind enough to entertain some questions we had for him.
One of the featured anime of Anime Festival Asia 2013 that was recently held in Singapore was Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). One of the special guests was Ishikawa Yui, the voice actress behind Mikasa Ackerman. Anime Shrine had the unique opportunity to attend an exclusive press-only Q&A session with her.
As part of the Shingeki no Kyojin special feature, AFA 2013 also hosted the key individuals behind the production of the Shingeki TV anime. We get down and dirty with the President of WIT Studio (a subsidiary of Production I.G.) George Wada, Araki Tetsuro (Director), Asano Kyoji (Character Designer), and Nakatake Tetsuya (Animation Producer). The gentlemen were kind enough to entertain all sorts of interesting questions from us.
1. When you were first assigned to direct Shingeki, were you expecting it to be a massive hit?
Director: The original manga by Isayama Hajime was already a big hit then, we did expect a large amount of viewers, but we didn’t expect the number of sales for DVD and Blu-Ray to be so high, so it caught us by surprise. It makes us happy.
Anime Shrine had a chance to interview the men behind the popular anime Sword Art Online. Present at AFA 2013 as special guests were producer Shinichiro Kashiwada and director Tomohiko Ito. They answered some very interesting questions about SAO while they were there.
1. With the popularity of SAO, are there any plans for a movie and/or second season?
Director: Producer-san, please answer this!
Producer: We’re still deciding whether or not to go with it. We weren’t even sure if it’s THAT successful but if overall sales looks good, then yes, we might consider it. But don’t take my word for it!
Director: Wow, that’s very optimistic.
During AFA, we had the pleasure of speaking to Daisuki Inc., represented by the Director of Public Relations, Ms. Eri Maruyama. Daisuki Inc. was participating in AFA 2013 to promote an interesting new way for anime fans outside Japan to watch anime.
Daisuki is an anime streaming website based in Japan. It features anime content in the original Japanese audio paired with subtitles mostly in English, but some titles have subs offered in various other languages such as Chinese, German, and French. Its shareholders include publishing companies such as Aniplex, as well as various anime studios such as Toei and Sunrise. These companies joined hands and together they founded Daisuki.
This means that unlike other anime streaming websites, Daisuki offered legal anime streaming to fans outside Japan, for free. Anime streaming has been around for a long time outside Japan, mostly based in America and Europe, but many of them stream unlicensed anime content, making them susceptible to copyright violations.
“The Japanese companies recently noticed that anime is very popular overseas. Piracy has been going on for years and years. Fans just purely want to watch anime, immediately. So they have been watching fansubs – who have been doing a lot of good work and contributed a lot to that popularity. Problem is, it’s also illegal and doesn’t directly contribute any revenue to the industry,” says Maruyama.
We were in Singapore recently to attend Anime Festival Asia (AFA), one of the biggest anime events of 2013!
AFA is the brainchild of Singapore-based events company Sozo Pte. Ltd., and its journey began way back in 2008. In the five years of its growth, AFA, along with its other supporting projects including AFA Channel, J-Live, I ? Anisong as well its Maid and Butlet cafes, have been steadily growing in size and expanding its reach across the Southeast Asian region.
AFA 2013, recently held in Suntec Convention Centre, attracted over 85,000 visitors throughout its 3-day run. The event was spread across two halls – a convention hall, which housed all the exhibits, vendors and sponsors and the stage hall, where all the guest appearances, cosplay competitions and the concerts take place.
During Anime Festival Asia 2012, I was invited by the organiser as well as Production IG for a preview screening of Kamiyama Kenji’s latest full length animation film, RE: Cyborg009. If you felt that the title is familiar, this is because it’s a remake of an old Ishinomori Shotaro’s (of Kamen Rider fame) manga title. Done in full CG with the help of Studio Sanzigen, did Kamiyama-san did justice to this title with this adaptation? Read on then. (more…)
With tomorrow marking the first (official) day of AFA 2012, you might wonder what is in store for you guys. Well you are in luck as AFA has let us in a little bit early to give a sneak peak of what to expect when you come in tomorrow (more…)
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