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NYCC2010 NYAF2010: Day 1 Impressions

Friday was, unfortunately, fairly uneventful. From walking the floors of the show room to attending FUNimation’s sneak peek, very little actually happened. As a first-time con-goer, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, though what I got definitely wasn’t whatever that might have been.

FUNimation Sneak Peek: The FUNimation sneak peak started late as there was some confusion on when the panel started. As such, a truncated preview followed. We saw quick clips from Birdy The Mighty Decode (part 1 available on October 26), Corpse Princess (currently available), Eden of the East (complete series available October 19, movies sometime in 2011), Hetalia Axis Powers (season 2 available on October 26), Oh! Edo Rocket (available November 16), the live action Robo Geisha complete with pseudo-dub (available November 16), and Sengoku Basara (complete series available October 12). After the rush to get through these titles, the sneak peek was over. 

Anime in Academia: After a brief history on the most important academic works covering anime and manga (especially Osamu Tezuka), the discussion focused on how scholars can approach the study of anime and manga, but remained mostly in the theoretical sphere. It was a hard topic to get into, even as an academically-minded person myself. There was discussion of studying anime in a sociological framework as opposed to the more common literary track. While interesting, the discussion would have benefitted from more concrete examples of academic works and why they are important—to scholars and fans alike. The question of why fans should care about anime and academia crossing paths was left without a definite answer, which was a disappointment.

Aniplex: Aniplex had the best showing on Friday. Their panel was the smoothest and most professionally run. They had a slide show discussing current and upcoming projects with key plot and development points as well as clips for each. They also announced three additional voice actors for the Durarara! dub and release dates for each of the three planned releases. In addition, a complete set of Read or Die, including all 26 episodes of the television series and three OVAs in a simulated Japanese release on Blu-Ray. The panel then discussed their fall 2010 projects. Togainu no Chi and Oreimo will be streaming on Anime News Network. Star Driver, the highly-anticipated series from BONES which will see its US premiere on Saturday, currently has no streaming plans though Aniplex hopes to set up something. 

Mardock Scramble: The First Compression: Aniplex held its worldwide premiere for its newest film, Mardock Scramble, the first of three films based on award-winning science-fiction novels by Tow Ubukata (he also wrote the screenplay). Ubukata was present at the screening and, through an interpreter, shared his hopes that the audience would relate to his protagonist and be moved by the dark, emotional tale. He joked that he would be able to tell the production crew where the American audience laughed, earning further laughter from the audience. The film itself lasted about 60 minutes and ended on a cliffhanger to be resolved in the novel, which is to be translated and released by Viz Media in 2011. ID was required to enter the film, as it was not suitable for audiences under 18—and for good reason. Dark, gritty, and gory, Mardock Scramble is a film that audiences will not soon forget, whether it’s for the prostitute heroine with a dark past that seeks peace within herself or the golden mouse she teams up with after her life is saved from certain death. The film, which will be released theatrically in Japan in November, is a must-see once it becomes available for Western audiences.

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