El Ken, on 16 May 2011 - 11:20 AM, said:
Might I inquire as to what your gauge for a good guest list is? You mention quantity, but quantity of what kind of guests? Are you looking for VAs? Manga-ka? Direction? Studio/Production? Musical? Gaming? Cultural? Fashion? American? Japanese? Virtual (thought I'd throw that in there because of the AX Miku thing)? Feel free to say the list is lacking, but I can't make it better if you don't tell me how it is lacking. And if you have suggestions, hit up that sub-forum.
I know this wasn't directed at me, but as someone else who thinks the list this year is lacking, I figured I may as well answer this question as well.
ACen is a big con. It regularly makes the AnimeCons.com list of the top 10 biggest anime cons in North America, usually even within the top 5. Last year only two cons surpassed it on the entire continent; Anime Expo and Otakon (of course New York Anime Fest would've taken the 3rd slot if it hadn't merged with New York Comic Con, but my point stands regardless). But when you look at the other cons on the top 10 list for 2009 (since I can't seem to locate the 2010 list for some reason), there's something I notice. Except for ACen and arguably A-Kon and Anime Boston, every con on this list has a very diverse guest list proportional to its attendee count. Here's a breakdown:
Sakuracon had approx. 19k attendees this year. Their guest list included a solid list of American VAs and other industry people including a writer, several DJs, a mangaka, 2 fashion guests, a few seiyuu, and two bands.
Anime North hasn't happened yet and is generally a few thousand attendees smaller than ACen, but it already has a solid lineup with a fair amount of seiyuu, as well as American talent, both VAs and otherwise. It has Helen McCarthy, as does many of these cons. Helen McCarthy is someone that I've been begging ACen to get for years now.
Fanime is also towards the end of the month and it's historically been much smaller than ACen, but already the majority of its guest list is comprised of seiyuu and even a couple directors.
Anime Weekend Atlanta is the smallest con on the list, and last year even it had Shinji Aramaki, a VERY high acclaimed designer.
I personally would like to see ACen put more focus on the following:
-Japanese guests. Any sort of Japanese guests. My personal preference is more on the side of getting manga-ka and directors, but seiyuu, musical guests, and offbeat guests like Ms. Snider for example are also of high value to me. (and with that said, I DO think that this year was a step in the right direction with Ms. Snider and the three Hetalia guests, but given how big ACen is, I still think we can do much better)
I will not stop bringing her up until this one happens. Also other guests like her; the 'intelligentsia' of anime fandom, if you will. Writers who write about anime and manga would be an incredible asset.
-When it comes to American voice actors, bringing in voice actors to do more than talk about their personal careers is more valuable to me than miscellaneous "big name" VAs like Vic Mignogna. What I like to see is when a con brings in a set of American VAs that all worked on a big show and puts them all in a panel together to talk about that show. Lately a lot of cons have been getting the American VAs for Hetalia and having them talk about it. I'd love to see that and more things like it at ACen.
. This one is my biggest concern. It's fine and dandy for people who are really into J-fashion when ACen brings in a bunch of fashion guests, but for those of us who could care less, it means the guest list is disappointing. If people are really into a certain show and ACen gets seiyuu from that show, it's great for fans of that show, but if those seiyuu didn't do much besides that show, people who didn't like it or didn't watch it won't care. This was my major complaint with last year's "big" announcement of those Soul Eater seiyuu. I looked them up and most of them hadn't had major roles in anything but Soul Eater. So for people who hadn't seen Soul Eater like myself or that didn't like it, that announcement was horribly disappointing because that was the "big" announcement that year. But if ACen were to get, say, one or two really big seiyuu that had played major roles in a considerable amount of series, a director or mangaka that's mostly know for one or two relatively popular works, a slew of American VAs that all worked on a different majorly popular show, a moderately popular band, an offbeat Japanese guest of some sort, and someone like Helen McCarthy? That would satisfy a lot more people.
Also note to anyone who reads this; please, don't think I'm bashing ACen in any way. I love this con a lot and it'll take a lot more than a disappointing guest list to change that. However, because
I love this con, I want it to be the best it can possibly be, and I really don't believe that this is ACen's best.
South Korea likes breasts.
Ukraine has breasts.
She has them in spades.
If South Korea and Ukraine were to hook up...
Then South Korea would never have a shortage of breasts ever again.