'The People's Toonami Site'

Author: History

sketch's avatar

April 15th: Toonami Hits Anime Punch

This past weekend I attended the third (well, sort of fourth) Anime Punch: Armageddicon in Columbus, OH, where I got to present my Toonami panel. Not one of my better panels, though...more on that later.

This year the con was in a new hotel: the Crowne Plaza. It was a very nice hotel, although with the large number of attendees this year it got pretty tight in the hallways at several points. There were four video rooms: two regular ones, a bad anime room, and one for documentaries. There was also a decent-sized vendor room, as well as one for main events, a 'noise events' room for social gathering and certain special events, and places for Rock Band, photoshoots, judging cosplay, video gaming, and a section of the hotel restaurant for table top games - which I was in charge of. (Besides being a Toonami Fanatic I'm also the King of Anime Hobby Gaming.)

Anime Punch strives for a few things which sets itself apart from other cons - which is good when there are two other anime cons in your same city and three others in your state. One: they focus on anime. Now if you haven't been to an anime con in the past few years, you're probably asking "Don't all anime cons do that?" and the answer is "No." Second: they aim for more intellectual programing (six of their guests were college professors, or at least speakers who have written academic papers on anime) mixed with weird, off-the-wall stuff (Hentai Olympics, anyone?). Third, their rules are really basic: don't do any stupid stuff, but as long as no one is getting hurt or anything is damaged, let people be.

Now on to the panel.

The panel disappointed me from the start. Some of this I can blame on myself; some on circumstances out of my control. First, I was scheduled during the cosplay contest, which is always one of the top draws at at any con, so attendance might not have been high as it could have been. (I know we at least had more people than the panel before us.) Second, there wasn't the projector in the room like I'd asked for. There was one in the room next door, which they didn't need and said I could use, but I would have had to track down a tech staff member to get the cable to hook it to my laptop. So I just went ahead and started the panel instead of wasting my time. But then the sound system wasn't hooked up, so no mikes. Then add in the fact that I was at the end of my rope at the time. I had flipped out a little bit before the panel on some jerk in the hallway; he was lucky I didn't hit him. Lastly, there were people at the panel who just carried on conversations among themselves, or just didn't pay attention to the main topic. All-in-all, not one of my better panels.

\

Now that the bad is out of the way, let's move on to what we actually talked about at the panel. I had to use my laptop on a table, but while my videos were hard to see and hear they were loved, and sparked off many questions and comments during. (I'd like to thank the Digital Arsenal.) I opened with the original Moltar intro. The love of old school was great.

Topics

  1. The various Gundam series shown on Toonami. Our opinions on a few: SD Gundam shouldn't have been made; G Gundam needed a little defending.
  2. I was asked why Yu Yu Hakusho was canceled, but instead gave the reason for Rurouni Kenshin being cancelled; they looked at me with open mouths and several exclamations of "What?!!"'
  3. The original Toonami line-up. I was asked to name it, but I couldn't name that short.
  4. We went over the different hosts. I showed the few pics I had; lots of love for TOM, not so much for 4.0, though.
  5. The different cool elements of Toonami, like the times they did storyline events, music, and videos.
  6. I ranted on what Toonami was to me and why you can't get the same feeling with just Saturday only.
  7. I mentioned this site and the TDA a few times; maybe someone will show up.
  8. I brought up the article on the shows Toonami has saved.
  9. I talked about IGPX, and tried to explain to everyone why it's one of the best animes ever; had a few fans too. Going over some of the VAs for the series shocked some. (Tom Kenny, anyone?)
  10. Talked about the Transformer series they've shown; someone in the audience talked about the new one.
  11. Deep Space Bass, Black Hole Megamix, and Rare Restored Recut, so you know the music.
  12. I kept mentioning all the different things I needed to do to make this panel even better.
  13. Went over some of the editing on Toonami...which, of course, meant we discussed Tenchi.

I do have to admit that the crowd had more excitement than I was expecting. I got them to give a couple of cheers when I asked for them. It was pretty cool.

Videos

  1. Mad Rhetoric: my favorite of the music videos based on Deep Space Bass tracks.
  2. Advanced Robotics: a request.
  3. The IGPX opening video.
  4. The Ronin Warriors intro: a request for an intro, and I picked this one.
  5. A ReBoot promo.
  6. The Kid's WB Toonami promo; we went over this topic as well.

Besides the panels, I had a short but nice discussion of Toonami with a couple of people in the tabletop gaming area before the panel. I mostly tried to promote the panel to attract them. I got into a couple of interesting topics. Try to guess who I am in the video.

After the video ends, the other guy and I continued our conversation after the others had left. I gave my IGPX spiel again about why it's awesome. We talked about Gundams, which ones we liked, and why. Talked about CCGs and my ideas on making a good one, as well as cast commentaries on anime DVDs, blooper reels, and a bit about the guests at the con.

Well, it's time to start planning for my next cons. I'll be returning to Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA - the home of Williams Street and the place I first had a Toonami panel. Of course, due to constraints it had to be Toonami/Adult Swim, and it was on the last day of the con, but the few who came were amazing and brought a great feeling of energy to the panel. This year the Anime and Animation track has been split in two, so I'm not sure which track I'll be doing it on...I'd love to do a panel on each. Then it's off to Tsubasacon - my home con - where I'll be doing a three hour panel on Toonami, from 4-7 on Friday just like when Toonami itself once aired. Plenty of time to cover all of Toonami and most of it's shows. If you want to run your own panel, remember I'm always willing to help.

Check out more pics from Anime Punch '08 here.

 

Discuss this topic in our forums.