Today’s discussion with Addie and Beryl was pretty interesting, and brought to light a number of things that I wouldn’t have guessed. For instance, that all of the staff and volunteers at ACen, including those who would probably be considered “higher-ups”, were unpaid volunteers; Anime Central, then, is most definitely a labor of love (or obsession/addiction, haha. But I like to think of it as love. ^^). Though I think that the only difference in atmosphere that I felt at ACen vs. Anime Expo, a commercially sponsored Con, was mainly in the dealers room, where there would be HUGE booths for each sponsoring company, as well as the number of panels on “what’s coming up for [company name] in anime” type things, as well as a larger number of advertisements in general (programming booklet etc.). However, the fan interaction, I found is this pretty much the same, which is somewhat reassuring (of the fact that an increased sense of commercialism in the exhibit hall does not equal a different kind of fan-base.)
Haha, oh right. And now I see why ACen has Hentai screenings and Anime Expo does not. (I feel like the “got soap?” phrase might refer directly to people in that room… IN MORE THAN ONE WAY!!11 :P)
Another thing I was unaware of was the Jpop bands in Canada, which brings up some interesting questions of “authenticity” that Sean referred to in class today. If you can have a JPop band in Canada, then what is “Japanese” about Jpop? (Although, to be honest, I’m still not sure what exactly Canadian Jpop is. Do they sing in Japanese…? Do covers of Japanese songs… in english? Half and half?)In a way, this lack of a Japanese origin in Canadian Jpop is representative of the trend of americans to create anime styled series or manga, despite not being Japanese.
I also found Beryl’s comment on anime as having a “simplistic style” (though, as he said, not saying that i cannot be complex), and therefore, accessible to many, as interesting. His belief that anyone could draw in this style, if supported by most people, then, I think, would become a self fulfilling prophesy. (In my personal opinion) it seems like the belief that one can do something, especially something like draw, helps immensely in determining whether or not someone can do something. Also, his comment on how with the internet, “art is in the hand of the people” I think is very true. It’s much easier now-a-days to be exposed to a variety of different styles of art and reference pictures that one probably had to work a bit harder to get a hold of and therefore become more interested in art (because sometimes it just takes one picture to inspire you, but it might takes decades for you to stumble upon it). In addition to this, the art communities available for people to join also facilitate the “art in the hands of the people” idea, as everyone then has a place to put images so that thousands will be able to see it…
One thing that I wished I could ask them was their thoughts on “Jaded anime fans” and their relationships to the conventions.
All in all, an interesting discussion, with a lot of interesting stories.