We have been reveling in the work of Hayao Miyazaki, each Thursday night on TCM.
One can almost overlook the Tedster's madness, since he provided the venue for such a treat.
My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa, The Cat Returns, all such wonderful masterpieces! He is so far beyond Disney in story and art. That Miyazaki-san is very conservative endears him even more to me. He wistfully calls Japan back to gentler tradition and honor.
To continue to open an earlier vein, as much as I detest Sci-Fi conventions now, with all their attendant loutishness and boorish behavior, to that precise degree I adore and enjoy enjoy anime conventions and fans. And the stars, as well.
First: the stars. Voice actors, not faces. They are eminently approachable. The SF-con Guests tend to be....Removed and Above It All. Papal, really. You may See them at the assigned Times, and they will Allow you to approach and hand them documents on which they Affix their Imprimatur (often, for coin..."When the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs."), whereupon you are Ushered Away. You may not afterward Go Out and Hoist One with them. They are ushered back to Whence They Came. Later you may hear them speak, often sharing whimsical anecdotes detailing the Stupidity of their Fans, and how the Show was Not that Great, Really. Inspirational.
Not so with the stars of anime...You may SPEAK to them, shake 'em by the hand. They will often buy(!) YOUR wares in the dealer's room, and when you GIVE 'em something in your most up-sucking way, just because you appreciate their work, they appreciate it.
I consider Scott McNeil a buddy...he may consider me a nuisance, but he bears it well. We are on "Sees you, points and grins broadly" terms at cons. This little con, PersaCon
is more like a family reunion, where Guests and attendees can just enjoy! Voice actors really appreciate being appreciated. The artists, likewise. Manga (Japanese comics) and anime artists will often draw summat Just For You...sometimes for coin, sometimes just 'cos!
A HUGE difference with the anime crowd is that they are polite! The con-goers not only like those Japanese cartoons, they also absorb the manners of the culture! Some may be "just for show", but at the very bottom of it all, aren't MOST manners like that? Not hypocrisy, but the surface lubrication that enables us to get along with each other without snarling and biting.I mean, not even Martha Stewart is "It's a good thing" ALL the time. These kids put on their manners, and treat one another- and me- in a more courtly fashion than, say, the average SF con-goer of similar age.
The cosplaying that the fans do is very cool, and oh-so-varied. C'mon people...hasn't Star Wars been DONE TO DEATH? The variety of anime series provides a massive kaleidoscopic palette from which to paint costume masterpieces. You may have three "Eds" from Cowboy Bebop at a con, done with varying degrees of excellence, but you ALSO have half-a-jillion other characters being cosplayed as well. Many beautifully.