Philcon 2012 is now less than 2 weeks away! Our friends at the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society have been busily making final preparations for their 76th annual convention, and Zenkaikon is very happy to be working with them to put together a jam-packed schedule of programming for the anime track!
We are very excited that Uncle Yo will be joining us for the Anime Track @ Philcon this year. He’ll be presenting his signature stand-up on Friday evening, and participating in several panels on Saturday. We are also very grateful to FUNimation Entertainment, who gave permission for all of the great screenings that will take place.
While the final programming schedule is yet to be released, we wanted to give you a preview of what we hope you’ll join us for. First off, here is the programming you can expect as part of the Anime Track:
Ancient Anime: Let’s watch cartoons before the audience was born! Heck, let’s watch cartoons from before the PANELISTS were born! A look at really REALLY old anime, as in ranging from prewar to wartime propaganda to the first feature length anime film and the foundational classics of modern anime. Cartoons in Black and White!
Anime & Manga in the New Media Age: The rise of the Internet and digital publishing has had a profound effect on all media industries, the anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comics) industries not excluded. From piracy to legal streaming, from iTunes to e-books, and the recent fears around reverse importation, we look at how the industry is adapting to the new media age, and theorize about what we can expect in the future.
Anime for the Non-Expert: Curious about anime but don’t know where to start? Looking for series recommendations? How about places to purchase anime or legitimate places to watch it online? In this panel, we’ll answer all the above inquiries, and audience questions as well.
Anime One Night Stands: Not all shows go on forever like Inuyasha. Some are short enough to have a plot. Join Uncle Yo for a review panel on some of his favorite thirteen-episode anime — some funny, some dramatic, some girly, some manly, some old, some new, some badass, some cute. (Presented by Uncle Yo.)
Awesome Animation Not from Japan: Japanese animation has taken the world by storm, but Japan isn’t the only country producing cool and compelling animation. In this panel we’ll take a trip around the world to discover some of the great animation other countries have to offer.
Final Fantasy 2.0: Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series of sci-fi/fantasy video games is one of the best-selling franchises of all time. Come learn about how the series got started, the people behind the series, how they changed video games as we know them, where the series is currently, and more.
From Astro Boy to Naruto: The Anime that Captured our Culture: The Anime that drew us in. Gateway anime that affected Americans (and much of the West) on a grand scale from what we watch to what we create.
History of Anime Opening/Closing Themes: Anime music is a significant industry in Japan, with series accompanied by multiple soundtrack albums. Many themes are performed by established Japanese musical acts, while some anime voice actors have established their own musical careers. Come see the origins of some openings and closing themes, how the art form has progressed, and where it stands today.
In Their Own Words: The Business of Voice Acting: Many anime-related panels focus on the content and characters of anime. But what about the people who bring them to life and give them their unique voice? A candid look at the voice acting business, from cattle call, to audition, all the way to the recording booth. All this and more from the mouths of the professionals themselves. (Moderated by Amy Howard Wilson, the voice of Nova in Starblazers.)
Mahou Shoujo Evolution: Join us for a panel that takes a look at the history of the evolution of magical girl anime. From Mahou Tsukai Sally to Sailor Moon to Puella Magi Madoka Magica we will discuss how the genre got its start, its pop culture influence, and how it has changed over time.
Most Heinous Monsters & Villians in Anime: (18+) A look at some of the most reviled villains in anime. The bad guys we love to hate (and sometimes secretly just love). This panel is for attendees ages 18 and up.
Robert Kauffman Screening and Q&A Session: A local artist and animator, Robert Kauffman, screens his original animations, and answers your questions.
Samurai in Love: (18+) A presentation and discussion of the history of real love between men in feudal Japanese culture, which has helped to create a longtime foundation for the acceptance of ‘shonen ai’ stories in modern Japan. This panel is for attendees ages 18 and up.
Science in Anime: When most people think of sci-fi anime they think of legendary giant robots, but some sci-fi anime gets the science more right that you may think! Learn why knowing what time it is tells you where you are courtesy of “Summer Wars”, and why there is no bigger maudlin tearjerker in fiction than General Relativity!
Speak Sci-Fi in Japanese: Language doesn’t have to be difficult or boring — especially if you want to learn how to pilot your own starship or travel through time! Come join us for bilingual sci-fi jokes, games and prizes.
Surviving a Mecha Attack: Geek Comedian Uncle Yo presents his parody of public safety announcements on how to protect yourself from giant, bipedal robots.
Vampires in Anime: A look back at the different vamps, nosferatu, and dhampyr in anime. Where they came from, what their powers are, and why they’re so much cooler than anything that sparkles!
Zenkaikon & Delaware Anime Society Meet & Greet: Come join the staff of the local anime convention, Zenkaikon, and the members of the Delaware Anime Society as we meet, greet and chat live and in the flesh at Philcon 2012! Learn about the origins of the two groups, some insight into how anime cons and clubs are run, and throw us some questions! Zenkaikon is one of the fastest growing anime conventions in the area. The D.A.S. has monthly meetings at two locations in Delaware (Dover & Wilmington) and one location in Philadelphia, PA. All club chapters are free to join and have many fun activities including parties, mini-conventions, trips and more!
SCREENING: Eden of the East (eps 1-4): (17+) Akira Takizawa wakes up naked outside the White House with no memories. He’s got a gun in one hand, a cell phone in the other, and doesn’t know if he’s a good guy or one of the worst. He doesn’t remember the phone gives him instant access to ten billion yen and a woman who can make his most outlandish requests a reality… Whatever it is he’s tangled up in, Takizawa’s definitely in deep — and that’s not even scratching the surface.
SCREENING: Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance: (PG-13) In the earliest battles against the monstrous Angels, young Eva pilots Shinji and Rei were forced to carry humanity’s hopes on their shoulders. Now, with the deadly onslaught of the Angels escalating and the apocalyptic Third Impact looming, Shinji and Rei find their burden shared by two new Eva pilots, the fiery Asuka and the mysterious Mari. Maneuvering their enormous Eva machines into combat, the four young souls fight desperately to save mankind from the heavens — but will they be able to save themselves?
SCREENING: Fractale (eps 1-4): (14+) In a near-perfect society, humans enjoy virtually anything their heart desires by simply staying connected to Fractale – a centuries-old technology on the verge of collapse. One day, Clain, a teenage boy who collects antique electronics, saves a girl on the run from dangerous pursuers. She disappears in the night, leaving only a pendant full of data behind. Suddenly Clain’s quiet life turns to chaos when he’s caught between the religious order determined to save Fractale, and the Lost Millennium – who want to destroy it.
SCREENING: Haibane Renmei (eps 1-4): (14+) The Haibane, enigmatic youths with halos and flightless, grey-feathered wings, live in a sleepy town surrounded by impenetrable walls — only the crows may come and go. Reki, an older Haibane, discovers a new cocoon, from which Rakka emerges possessing no memories except that of her dream of falling. Renowned artist Yoshitoshi ABe’s animated masterpiece, Haibane Renmei is an experience that challenges audiences to confront and question the concepts of sin and redemption.
SCREENING: Serial Experiments Lain (eps 1-4): (14+) From acclaimed artist Yoshitoshi ABe. We’re all Connected. The world around us, made of people, tactile sensation, and culture has begun to blur with the wired world inside the computer, of images, personalities, virtual experiences. The day after a classmate commits suicide, Lain discovers how closely the two worlds are linked when she receives an e-mail from the dead girl: “I just abandoned my body. I still live here…”
SCREENING: Steins;Gate (eps 1-4): (14+) The microwave is a time machine. Okarin proved it. The self-anointed mad scientist nuked bananas into some gelatinous version of the future. Or maybe it was the past. Doesn’t matter. No one thought he could do it, but he did it anyway. He sent text messages through time to people he knew. To his friends. Some of them female. Pretty. He should have been more careful. He should have stopped. Tampering with the time-space continuum attracts unwelcome attention. Clandestine organizations of nefarious origins take notice. SERN. Always watching. Okarin knows; he can feel their eyes. That’s why he started the top secret Future Gadget Lab. To stop them. You should join. We get to wear lab coats, and it’s dangerous. Danger is exciting because it’s deadly. The microwave is a time machine.
SCREENING: Summer Wars: (PG) From the visionary directory of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2007 Japanese Academy Award winner Best Animated Feature) comes the story of an ordinary family going to extraordinary lengths to avert the impending cyber apocalypse! Kenji is your typical teenage misfit. He’s good at math, bad with girls and spends most of his time hanging out in the all-powerful online community known as OZ. His second life is the only life he has, until the girl of his dreams Natsuki hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiance at her family reunion. Things only get stranger from there. A late-night email containing a cryptic riddle leads to the unleashing of a rogue AI intent on using the virtual word of OZ to destroy the real world. As Armageddon looms on the horizon, Kenji and his new family set aside their differences and band together to try to save the worlds they inhabit in this near-perfect blend of social satire and science fiction.
Of course, the Anime Track isn’t the only thing to enjoy at Philcon. As the nation’s oldest science fiction convention, Philcon has a variety of panels, workshops, and other programming related to literature, art, television, film, anime, comics, science, gaming, cosplay, music, and other topics of interest to fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.
Here is a small selection of other programming we think our members might be interested in:
Deadly Dinos & Killer Kaiju: The Art of the Giant Monster: What’s the best way to portray gigantic monsters, whether a T-Rex, a Dragon, or Godzilla? What are some of the best examples out there?
Avengers vs. The Dark Knight: Marvel & DC on Film: This past summer, both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. (owners of DC Comics) had major films released. What are the differences in the way they handle their properties? Why has Marvel seemed to have so much more success than DC in putting their characters on the screen? And will we EVER see a Justice League movie?
Adventure Time! The Best Sci-fi/Fantasy Show You Might Not be Watching: A post-apocalyptic future, an evil wizard, a beautiful princess of super science, monsters, robots, and a brave young man and his canine partner to save the day… This is the world of “Adventure Time with Finn & Jake”, and this isn’t just a kids show! (…and we haven’t even mentioned the bass playing Vampire Princess)
Cosplay on a Budget: It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford custom shoes and corsets – this panel is about using the resources within your budget to achieve awesome effects. For example, using costume pieces double as clothes you can wear to work!
Star Trek: The Next Generation at 25: In 1987, Paramount Studios took the chance on creating a sequel to the original Star Trek, with a completely new cast, and distributing it as a syndicated show (something unheard of at the time). Since then, it went on to become the most successful of the Star Trek shows. We look back at TNG, and how it changed TV SF.
50 Years of the Doctor: Doctor Who is the longest running and one of the most popular science fiction show on TV. Come explore 50 years of Doctor Who and its upcoming 50th anniversary in 2013.
Ninja, Pirate, Monkey, Robot: The 10th Anniversary! In 2002, we ran a panel at Philcon where each panelist would represent one awesome archetype (the Pirate, the Ninja, the Monkey, or the Robot) whose very presence in a story makes that story even more awesomely cool! Each year, we’ve presented the panel, changing out one character, and over time it’s become one of Philcon’s most popular panels! Now, for the 10th anniversary, we go back to our roots. Come watch our panelists and moderator embarrass themselves for your entertainment, and YOU get to choose who wins!
Dungeons & Dragons: Edition Wars: Description: What is the best version of Dungeons and Dragons? Is it 2nd, 3rd, 4th? And what about the upcoming 5th Ed., or D&D NEXT? Or
maybe the original didn’t need to be changed at all. Whether you played ChainMail or Pathfinder, there will be something for you here. In this panel we go in depth into our favorite RPG and discuss (and argue) about everything from the Red Box to Healing Surges.
50 Shades of Earl Grey: The Steampunk Movement: Steampunk is more than just slapping some gears on your clothes and accessories. It’s a literary sub-genre, a fashion statement, a maker society, and (for some) a way of thinking about the world. Our panelists look at what makes Steampunk… well, STEAMPUNK!
There will also be a vendor and artist hall, a tabletop gaming lounge, an art show, a Friday night dance, and the Saturday night Masquerade.
If you’re planning to attend, you can still pre-register for a full weekend membership for $50 through this Sunday (November 4th). There are discounts for students, children, teens, and military. More info and at-door rates are listed on their website: http://2012.philcon.org
We hope to see you there!