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Tokyo Int'l Anime Fair: Day 2
by Evan Miller on Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:35 pm
The Rush: Picture a convention where people aren't just hanging around chatting. Instead, they are all rushing to get somewhere for some kind of a meeting. That's TAF - a constant rush of activity. I've never felt so exhausted at an anime-related event in my life, and I'm not alone; there are people from all corners of the anime industry here running around and attending 12+ meetings a day. Many thanks to Shawne Kleckner for stopping to joke with us for a while.

Popular Displays: Studio 4°C has one of the nicer looking booths at the fair, but half of their promotional efforts are going towards a Second Life style game called Tokyo Zero Ward. Although Gainax has devoted their entire booth to the Gurren Lagaan franchise, you have to like their freebies, which include pins with flashing eyes and a cafe-esque area with FREE coffee. Chi's Sweet Home plush toys and magnets are everywhere, and the Detroit Rock City booth has you walk through the mouth of the main character to get in. As for the most impressive display, I think I'm giving my nod to NTV's exhibit for Mamoru Oshii's Sky Crawlers, which is equipped with a huge system of surround sound speakers for watching the trailer.

Speaking of Sky Crawlers: Although Ultraviolet Code 044 stole the headlines on Thursday, it's pretty clear that Oshii's project is the most anticipated of the year. The NTV booth dedicated to the film is always busy, and although there's lots of impressive stuff on the horizon, Oshii's long awaited return to anime is easily the most significant.

Other new stuff: From TV Tokyo, Soul Eater and the new Golgo 13 look pretty good. NTV should have a lot of success with RD, while Library Wars should continue the success that Fuji TV has had with their "Noitamina" block of anime programming. The other networks? We'll see what happens...

Weirdest Convention Haul Ever: I've ended up with some weird stuff at cons before, but Friday was special. My haul included some Chi's Sweet Home magnets, a book about Japanese hip hop that someone gave me after I took a pic with him and Golgo 13, and a monkey with a square head. It was a busy day, but every time I look at my square-headed monkey, I'll remember just how much fun it is to be a nerd.
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