In the meantime, I still have some Anime Expo stuff to report on.
When we last left off, we were about to begin our day of camping out in Live Programming 2, where they were scheduled to have not one but three panels featuring Mamoru Miyano. And since LP2 is one of the rooms that doesn't get cleared out between panels, if we wanted to secure decent seats for ourselves for any of the panels, we'd have to get there at the first one. It always kind of makes us think of Comic-Con's Hall H...
But anyway, we did let ourselves sleep as late as six, then we put on our Kingdom Hearts Donald and Goofy costumes and we made our way over to the Marriott. There was some weird confusion as far as the line was concerned, and frankly I'm still not sure what was going on, but whatever happened, we managed to snag some seats in the five row. And we were right on the edge, which meant that when the camera guy came along filming the crowds from the sidelines, we were right there in the foreground! Of course, I have no idea who's meant to watch that video, so it could mean nothing.
Anyway, the first panel was hosted by Funimation, and it was the worldwide premiere of Human Lost. After waiting a looooooong time for them to seat everyone, the panel finally started! The wild thing was that the MC introduced himself, and we were like, "Hey, we know that guy!" Sort of. We met him when we ditched work to get an autograph at Downtown Disney, and we told every single person we talked to that day that we were ditching work to be there, including him, even though he was one of the guys signing autographs. His name is Charles Solomon, and he co-wrote a book about Disney's Beauty and the Beast with Don Hahn, who was also signing autographs. At that signing, Mr. Solomon mentioned doing interviews with manga artists (I remember now, we were telling the cast member about how we ditched work, and he very politely asked what we do, so we said we translate manga, and Mr. Solomon heard us and asked, "Hontou desu ka?" and that's how it all got started). So that's our very small connection with the MC at the Human Lost panel.
He brought out the movie's director, character designer, and leading voice actor, and they had some Q&A. Let's see what I can remember... He asked Miyano-kun if he used his experience playing Osamu Dazai in Bungo Stray Dogs to help him with his role as the main character in Human Lost, which is inspired by Dazai's No Longer Human. Miyano-kun said no, Dazai in Bungo Stray Dogs is a very different character, so more than that, he read the crap out of No Longer Human and used that for his inspiration. There was some discussion about all the horrible things Yozo goes through in the movie, and how did he approach those scenes. Miyano-kun said that, for example, when Yozo is getting strangled, he would actually strangle himself in order to get the right sound. Then he demonstrated, because he's adorable. (And we said to ourselves, "That's what we do when we need to figure out how to spell choking sounds in manga!" ...Although in the case of one sound effect in Edens Zero, since we were in the hotel and Cecille was with us when we translated it, we had Cecille drop to her knees.)
There were some questions asked of the director and character designer, but I don't remember them, and I apologize. They premiered the movie trailer, which was odd, because we were like, "Dude, we're about to watch the thing." And they said that the movie would be released in the States before it's released in Japan, which apparently is very rare. And we were like, "Heck yeah, it's rare. As in, I'm pretty sure this is the first time it's happening ever." And they talked about the theme song for the movie, which was performed by M-Flo, and then...they brought M-Flo out to talk to us! Tadah! They told the story of how they got involved with the movie, which is mostly just, "We knew a guy." Okay, okay, there was more to it. It was we knew a guy, we kept saying we ought to do something together, and then the timing worked out for this one.
After telling us when we could go get M-Flo's autographs, they started the movie! Ooooohhh... And let me tell you, those visuals were absolutely stunning. Like, wow. Which is to say...we didn't like it. The premise was interesting--medicine has advanced to the point where they can literally bring people back from the dead. Like, when you first see the main character, he's dead. But! the processes they used to make it all work naturally came with a risk. Under certain circumstances--circumstances that are actively catalyzed by the villain--a human might transform into a giant monster called a Lost. They look a lot like the Cie'th from Final Fantasy XIII. And there's a lot of philosophizing about what it really means to be human, like if you're not afraid to die, are you really human, or if you're only maintaining human form because of all those nanobots and whatever things, are you really human, etc. And actually, the plot and characters were pretty interesting, but the action went on forever and ever and ever and ever, and there were some plot holes that I forget about now because my brain doesn't have spare room for movies I don't like (unless they're Disney movies), and then there was a super long fight scene with multiple naked copies of the main girl, and I was like, the director's hobbies are showing a little too much...
It did get me interested in reading the book, though. And the voice cast did an amazing job. Nevertheless, we breathed a sigh of relief when it was over. The sad part, though, is that they told us they would bring the panelists out for more discussion, but I guess because it took so long to seat everyone, by the time the movie was over, they had to end the panel so the next one could start on time. And there would have been a riot if they had to end the next panel early, so we do understand, but after sitting through the movie, it would have been nice to hear more about the creative process.
And that's all for now, because we need to get to bed. So, to be continued...
Today I'm thankful for having a very clear idea now of what the stray cat stowaway situation is, getting to return several Foundables on the way to the grocery store, getting to see Mamoru Miyano try to contain his excitement about standing on the same stage as M-Flo, getting pretty good seats at the panel, and getting to start season two of Miraculous again.