Otakon 2013 Brings in Composer Yoko Kanno and Chiaki Ishikawa as Guests

Otakon 2013
Otakon, the annual anime convention held in Baltimore near the tail end of summer, has hit its 20th year milestone and is celebrating that in style! This year’s production has already featured some big names like TM Revolution, the singer who paired up with Nana Mizuki to perform Valvrave the Liberator’s “Preserved Roses” opening theme! But arguably the most sought-after performance will be none other than the Otakon Sunday concert which will feature Yoko Kanno and Chiaki Ishikawa!

Right now, it’s really hard to tell what will go down. According to the site, it says that Yoko Kanno will be performing something called “Piano Me” which will consist of Kanno on solo piano. But beyond that, the details are sparse. As most anime fans know, Yoko Kanno is responsible for composing music to anime writing the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack as well as, more recently, the soundtrack for Sakamichi no Apollon, better known as Kids on the Slope in the West.

Chiaki Ishikawa will also get a chance to showcase her skills as she opens up the concert. For those not aware, Chiaki Ishikawa performed the evergreen opening song to Bokurano, titled “Uninstall” as well as the ending theme to Majestic Prince, through a song titled “Sayonara Tteiu”. In the past, she’s also worked as a part of See-Saw on the .hack franchise.

Given all that’s out there, I’d say that this year’s Otakon experience beats out the Anime Expo experience by a stretch, as fun as the latter was. Because of that, we’ll look forward to seeing how things go down and the impressions thereof!

Little Witch Academia 2’s Kickstarter in Full Swing, Adds Soundtrack Release

Little Witch Academia Kickstarter
If you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in the world of anime Kickstarters, you’ll know that the Kickstarter for Little Witch Academia opened a mere three days ago, but has now succeeded in getting fully funded in a matter of six hours and continues to be going strong as it has now doubled the amount it originally wanted to get funded at as its funding now exceeds $325,000.

For those who aren’t aware of what this Kickstarter is all about, here’s some background: earlier this year, Studio Trigger released an anime short titled Little Witch Academia as part of the Anime Mirai 2013 event meant to showcase new talent amongst Japanese animators. This anime focused on a group of girls going through a Witch Academy not unlike Harry Potter’s Hogwarts where they learn to fly on brooms and perform magic. While it got a warm reception in Japan, fans overseas were really excited about it and left comments on the youtube video of the short saying they wanted more, prompting the director to look into Kickstarter as a funding possibility.

Obviously, with this success on the Kickstarter stage, there will be calls for amazing stretch goals and Studio Trigger has delivered on that front, saying in their latest update that if the Kickstarter reaches over $500,000, those who’ve donated for the Limited Edition Blu-ray will receive a soundtrack!

Now this news should resonate with anime music fans because composer Michiru Ooshima is behind these efforts. Her previous works included the amazing soundtrack to Sora no Woto as well as the original Fullmetal Alchemist and the Tatami Galaxy soundtracks. Suffice to say, with those titles under her belt, her efforts on Little Witch Academia have proven themselves worthy since the music was the next best aspect of it after the animation. So for those looking to get the soundtrack, rest assured it’ll be worth every penny!

Anime Expo 2013 Convention Report is Up

Our coverage of Anime Expo is already up! Although we had previewed Anime Expo a few weeks ago, after 3 days of fun at the annual Los Angeles convention, there’s much to report, from the loot that we purchased, to the people we met to the panels we went to, to even the concerts which were really impressive even if the hype leading into them wasn’t too high.

If you go through to read the post, you’ll find that the best part is easily the opportunity to meet anime director Makoto Shinkai, who was there to promote his latest work titled Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words), which featured an outstanding soundtrack composed by Kashiwa Daisuke, whose piano work, while minimalistic, was very soothing and deliciously introspective on the whole.

So do come by to read of the fun that we had. There were many anime bloggers at the convention and it was really difficult to go anywhere without bumping into someone I knew. On top of that, we hope that you’ll stay tuned, because in addition to this general report of the convention we put out, we’ll also be having the concert reports up in short order. Look forward to that!

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