Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Anime Life: Spring '08

Well, I've been able to keep decently regular postings but nothing to be too proud of. Thankfully though, since I've been relatively on top of new releases, shows and manga, you all are still visiting. Maybe you're not coming back, but my stats show a number of google there way to a review, and hopefully hang around to check out what else I've written.

With that in mind, I have to apologize a bit because this post will be a bit more introspective. Not sappy or emo-y, instead I just want to catch you up with what's going on, and what will be going on, in my anime life. To start with apparently someone else decided the name "The Anime Life" was a good idea, and now there's a www.TheAnimeLife.com. I wish them the best of luck and I'll have to check out their site more in the future.

Perhaps more importantly to me I just finished my 20th Tokyo Tower show! That's right, 20 weeks of me bumbling together to play for Chattanooga, and anyone else who wants to stream me through the web, 2 hours of J-Rock/J-Pop/Anime/Game music goodness. I must say I've met a lot of cool people doing the show, and just knowing I'll meet more in the future is more than enough inspiration to keep me going. Of course, I've also greatly expanded my own musical knowledge and taste, which is something I've always strived for. I remember downloading every track on the Oricon charts for 2 months to try to catch myself up with what's hot in Japan. Now, while I still do this to a lesser degree, I believe I know have become my own cache of J-Rock knowledge, and with the help of friends, bloggers, and my own research skills I feel that I truly provide Tokyo Tower listeners with a diverse yet enjoyable blend of quality Japanese music. Of course, they (or you) know that better than I do.

I will say one part of doing the radio show, something I'd hoped would happen, that is very awesome is that I'm now slowly connecting to more Japanese artists. Two artists so far that I've connected with, aside from The Captains, would be Yuga Krita and F.size.free. Yuga is a solo artist who is a premier sitar player, and is fairly new on the music scene promoting himself and his music through MySpace. F.size.free, who I also met on MySpace, is an up-and-coming band in Japan that play a style of new-wave rock, fused with Japanese sensibilities, which I have come to throughly enjoy! Eiji, leader of F.size.free, was nice enough to send me one of their CD's, and they have since been requested on my show, so I can't help but hope that maybe as they work on becoming bigger in Japan I can, in my own way, help them out here in the U.S., where they hope to tour. Since most of my conversations with these artists and others are through Google Translate the process can be slow going, but I have always loved connecting with musicians, and I'm glad to be able to do this in my current position.

Speaking of, if you know of any cool Japanese musicians I should play on my show, or try to connect with in some fashion, then feel free to send me a message here or at tokyotowerfm@gmail.com. I also will be doing album reviews here and on the show's MySpace, www.myspace.com/tokyotowerfm, so feel free to request album reviews too!

Stepping aside from my musical anime life, which now seems almost daunting, I'd like to enter my Convention phase. As you may know, I've only been to 2 anime conventions thus far, Daigacon and AWA 13, and I truly enjoyed both of them. I also went to ConNooga, another cool convention, and while that was a multi-fandom convention, I had a pleasent time there as well, connecting with friends, and making new ones too. All of that though builds up for what will truly be a great time I'm sure this weekend at JAMPcon. I've been excited about this convention for awhile, and after every volunteer meeting I've attended, I just get more and more ready to go to the con already! Of course, I can't do that, but still I'm excited. Frankly, I do not know whether I'll have an official position or not, since I am only quasi-volunteer still I believe, but I hope to cover the convention for the radio show and, if at all possible, get Illich and Samantha to at least do some promos for the show, but maybe interviews if I get truly gutsy (which I'll put on the show and here.) Of course, I'm also looking forward to just hanging out with some of my friends, both local, and not so local since I do not get to see them often enough. So all in all, excitement all around and I know I'll have an all too lengthy post for you to read about sometime shortly after the convention.

I should probably add here, with less detail and gusto, that I also hope to attend at least two other conventions coming up in the near future. The first convention is MTAC, or the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention. I met some of the staff of MTAC both at Daigacon and at ConNooga, and Niko, community relations director of MTAC, was nice enough to do a drop for the show. While I live 1 hour from Nashville, and have for years, I just hadn't had the fandom, nor the friends to go, and while I may only be able to attend one day, I still am really hoping to go, especially since voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch, who does Ichigo from Bleach, and Renton from Eureka among other characters, will be in attendance. Finally West coast meets East coast I say, so I'm definitely looking forward, should I go (90% sure?), to MTAC.

Of course, the more far off convention I have planned is AWA, and frankly I haven't looked up anything on the convention yet, because I'm assuming there's not much information out yet, but I just know I had a lot of fun last year and I plan to this year too.

Now, as busy as my life may seem with all that, I also attend our local library's monthly events titled "Anime @ the Library" where we watch either a volume of an anime show, or a full length anime movie. I have only been able to attend a couple, sadly I missed the Mushishi one, but the radio is sponsoring these events, as did my predecessor Johnny Otaku. However, any obligation aside I've met some cool friends at the library too, including Brian who hung out with me at ConNooga, and I just like watching anime with others, so after JAMPcon I know I'll be ready for a nice relaxing, anime watching Saturday at the library.

Well, thankfully I can't come up with any more going on in my so-called anime life, because even though the actual time taken up is short, I think my time writing about it has become very long indeed. So, I promise some reviews coming up, hopefully of the album variety, but for now I'll let you relax after the trek this blog post has become. [I will say for those of you following this closely, except for the Taste of Chaos Tour I was unable to attend sadly, my predictions have pretty much come to pass and maybe have even been exceeded :) )

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