It’s July 3 and your friendly neighborhood Animanga Nation Editor-in-Chief is writing this to you in the Los Angeles Convention Center where the annual AnimeExpo (or AX) is taking place for 4 glorious anime-filled days. Thursday was Day 1 and let me tell you that the place was packed with Otaku and I have to say I was proud to see a sea of cosplayers and anime and manga fans out there.
If you never been to one of these you should put this on your list of things to do seeing as there is lots to see and do. Anime fans will find sneak peeks of upcoming anime series ready to be released on our shores for the first time. There are also panels for those in the industry side including a panel for those who think they have what it takes to be a English dub voice actor (like Steve Blum) as well as discuss is disturbing bit of news that reveals that anime sales have gone done steadily.
Personally, it doesn’t feel like anime is heading for a decline seeing as the expo will filled with hundreds of fans showing their support for their favorites from Naruto to Desert Punk. Speaking of Naruto, we would like to spend July focusing on all things Naruto. I know we kind of dropped the ball on our BLEACH coverage but seeing as this month sees the release of Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel and Naruto, Volume 30 (well, that was already out on sale but expect a review very soon).
Don’t worry, we’ll cover other things not involving everyone’s favorite orange ninja as well. We have to seeing as we have two new members of our crew who want to push out more anime and more manga reviews and news just for you. Kiki Van de Kamp, our Dutch-born writer lives and breaths anime and manga. She swears she saw Kiki’s Delivery Service about 100 times mainly because the character’s name is Kiki. No, actually, she has a fondness for one of animation’s most brilliant creators and who can blame her.
Then there’s Ai Kano, our Japanese-born and Chicago-raised writer who has shelves and shelves of manga in her room. It’s funny but we have a writer who looks like BLEACH’s Orihime and now we have one who looks like Rukia. I mean, if they held a Rukia Look Alike contest here in the Expo she would win hands down. I know because I met and talk to just about every Rukia in the place (although this one girl came really close). Anyway, Rukia – I mean, Ai, has her hands full here at the Expo since she’s joining me to cover a few panels.
Ok, I have to run. There’s a Shoko Nakagawa panel I have to run to an word around the press room is that she’s going to sing one of her songs from her first full length album “Big Bang!” Plus, she’s like really cute and stuff. She you out in the Expo … I’ll be the one singing along the loudest.