Zenkaikon Anime Convention, Lancaster, PA

April 25-27, 2014, Lancaster County Convention Center

Philcon 2013 Preview: The Anime Track & More!

Mon, 10/28/2013 - 7:54pm

Philcon 2013 is now less than 2 weeks away! Our friends at the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society are busily making final preparations for their 77th annual convention, and Zenkaikon is very happy to be working with them to help put together a jam-packed schedule of programming for the anime track!

While the final programming schedule is yet to be released, we wanted to give you a preview of what we hope you'll join us for. (Of course, keep in mind that final schedules are subject to change.) We'd also like to extend a big thanks to Aniplex, Sentai Filmworks, and FUNimation Entertainment, who gave permission for all of the great screenings that will take place.

First off, here is the programming you can expect as part of the Anime Track:

An International Game of Telephone: A Timeline of Japanese Cross-Cultural Trade
The "Anime Anthropologist" Charles Dunbar presents a look into the aspects of culture borrowed and re-interpreted by Japan and the United States. Focuses on music, art, genre, fashion and entertainment elements traded between the two cultures since the Meiji Restoration.

Anime Armaments & 'Toon Tactics
What does the Colt.45 have over the almighty Wave Motion Gun? Why does the German Panzerkampfwagen tank trump the RX-78 Mobile Suit Gundam? How can Judo possibly beat the feared Musabetsu Kakuto Ryu martial arts style? The answer is simple…REALITY!! Strap on your flak-jacket and bring a helmet as we showcase and discuss the all-too-rare accurate depictions of military hardware, tactics and strategy in animation.

Anime for the Non-Expert
What is this "anime" thing? Curious about it but don't know where to start?  Looking for series recommendations? How about places to purchase anime or legitimate places to watch it online? In this panel, we'll answer all the above inquiries, and audience questions as they come up.

Bad Anime, Bad!
The pain! Oh dear God, the pain!! How could you ever allow these shows to see the light of day?! Do you think sanity is overrated? Want utter oblivion to be your best friend? Strap yourselves in for the worst of the worst the animation industry has to offer! We take no responsibility for any psychological damage or spontaneous combustion during the panel. You have been warned!

Dead Like Us: Shinigami and the Japanese Idea of Death
The "Anime Anthropologist" Charles Dunbar presents a look into the concept of the Shinigami and how it is influenced by Japanese religious and cultural ideas.

From Astro Boy to Naruto, The Anime that Captured Our Culture
Throughout generations there have been Gateway Anime that introduced many people to the fandom of anime. Whether you broke your teeth on StarBlazers or Sailor Moon, we'll cover as much Anime as we can starting with the godfather of all anime in the west Astro boy and moving well beyond Naruto to today's Gateway Anime.

In Their Own Words: The Business of Voice Acting
Many anime-related panels focus on the content and characters of anime. But what about the people who bring them to life and give them their unique voice? A candid look at the voice acting business, from cattle call, to audition, all the way to the recording booth. All this and more from the mouths of the professionals themselves. (This panel will be moderated by Amy Howard Wilson, the voice of Nova in Starblazers.)

Kickin' It Old School - Star Blazers Style
Come and share your memories of this classic anime series with Amy - the voice of Nova in "The Quest For Iscandar" & "The Comet Empire" - who will also share tips and advice for breaking into the wild and whacky business of voice acting!

Kowai: Ghosts, Yokai and Japanese Monster Culture
The "Anime Anthropologist" Charles Dunbar presents an exploration of ghosts, monsters and horror within Japanese mythology, folklore and modern media.

More Awesome Animation Not From Japan
Japanese animation has taken the world by storm, but Japan isn't the only country producing cool and compelling animation. Back for our second year, in this panel we'll continue our trip around the world to discover even more great animation other countries have to offer with stops in Italy, Mexico, China, Russia, and elsewhere.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Anime Memorable Scenes
The Science Fiction and Fantasy scenes that stick with you years after you viewed the anime, for better and for worse. Some of the most memorable scenes from various anime, both obscure and popular.

Science in Anime
When most people think of sci-fi anime they think of legendary giant robots, but some sci-fi anime gets the science more right that you may think!  Learn why knowing what time it is tells you where you are courtesy of "Summer Wars", and why there is no bigger maudlin tearjerker in fiction than General Relativity!

Totally Subversive Toons
We all remember when cartoons were nice and safe for kids...or were they? Sift through the subtext and you can see how shocking and tradition-defying they were, and still are to this day.

Vampires in Anime
A look back at the different vamps, nosferatu, and dhampyr in anime. Where they came from, what their powers are, and why they’re so much cooler than anything that sparkles!

Yamato 2199: The Greatest Remake?
A look at Yamato 2199, the remake of the anime classic Space Battleship Yamato (known in the USA as "Star Blazers"). Learn how it not only features high-quality animation and smart sci-fi, but also corrects a whole mess of oversights, continuity errors, and deus-ex-machinas from the original series. Ever had a fan favorite show, but in your head you imagined how this or that little detail could be made better? 2199 basically does that for a whole legion of fans who kicked anime fandom into the high gear in the late 70s-80s. Bonus: We'll also have some juicy tidbits on YamatoTour 2013, wherein your panel hosts made the pilgrimage to Japan to attend the theatrical premiere of the final chapter of the 2199 saga!

Zenkaikon & Delaware Anime Society Meet & Greet
Come join the staff of the local anime convention, Zenkaikon, and the members of the Delaware Anime Society as we meet, greet and chat live and in the flesh at Philcon 2013! Learn about the origins of the two groups, some insight into how anime cons and clubs are run, and throw us some questions! Zenkaikon is one of the fastest growing anime conventions in the area. The D.A.S. has monthly meetings at two locations in Delaware (Dover & Wilmington) and one location in Bryn Mawr, PA. All club chapters are free to join and have many fun activities including parties, mini-conventions, trips and more!

Screening: Another
[17+] Mei Misaki was cute, athletic, and one of the most popular girls in her school. Why should a little thing like death change that? Now, twenty-three years after Mei's mysterious demise, a new transfer student discovers that not only is his school's student body one corpse short of a full roster, but that some secrets never leave high school. What's more, all of this may somehow be tied to his own family past.

Screening: Chaos;Head
[13+] Takumi is an anime-obsessed recluse with a thing for two-dimensional girls. His dirty little cyber secrets land him in real-life trouble after a chat room encounter with the mysterious General leads him to the scene of a gruesome murder. In the blink of an eye, Takumi goes from a caffeine-addicted gamer to a paranoid murder suspect caught up in something called the New Generation madness. As the world constructed around him begins to unravel, Takumi will discover that nothing - not even his own life - is what it appears to be. Welcome to Chaos Head. Can you survive reality?

Screening: Cowboy Bebop
[13+] The year 2071 A.D. Driven out of their terrestrial eden, humanity chose the stars as the final frontier. With the section-by-section collapse of the former nations, a mixed jumble of races and peoples came. They spread to the stars, taking with them the now confused concepts of freedom, violence, illegality and love, where new rules and a new generation of outlaws came into being. People called them Cowboys.

Screening: Last Exile
[13+] It's the dawn of the Golden Age of Aviation on planet Prester, and retro-futuristic sky vehicles known as vanships dominate the horizon. Claus Valca, a flyboy born with the right stuff, and his fiery navigator, Lavie, are fearless racers obsessed with becoming the first sky couriers to cross the Grand Stream in a vanship. When the high-flying duo encounters a mysterious girl named Alvis, they are thrust into the middle of an endless battle between Anatoray and Disith, two countries systematically destroying each other according to the code of chivalric warfare. Lives will be lost and legacies determined as Claus and Lavie attempt to bring peace to their world by solving the riddle of its chaotic core.

Screening: Oblivion Island: Haruka & the Magic Mirror
[7+] 16-year-old Haruka is on a mission to find her mirror - a precious childhood gift from her mother that mysteriously disappeared. While following a strange fox-like creature in the woods, she tumbles into a mystical world where once-cherished toys and treasures go when their owners neglect them. Join Haruka and her new friend Teo on a roller coaster ride of adventure as they contend with the island's greedy ruler, who wants the mirror for his own evil plan!

Screening: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
[13+] "Has a loving family and best friends, laughs and cries from time to time..." Madoka Kaname, an eighth grader at Mitakihara middle school, lives such a life. One day, she has a very magical encounter. She doesn't know if it's by chance or by fate yet, but this meeting will change her destiny. This is the beginning of a new story of magical girls...

Screening: Sword Art Online
[13+] In the year 2022, next-generation game Sword Art Online (SAO) is the world's first true VRMMORPG. A virtual reality helmet known as "Nerve Gear" has been developed, making Full Dives into a virtual dimension possible. SAO has generated worldwide buzz, and on its official launch day, one player, Kirito, immerses himself in its virtual world. But Akihiko Kayaba, the developer of SAO, proclaims the following to all players. "This game is inescapable unless all levels are cleared. And in this world, 'Game Over' is equivalent to death in the real world."

Of course, the Anime Track isn’t the only thing to enjoy at Philcon. As the nation’s oldest science fiction convention, Philcon has a variety of panels, workshops, and other programming related to literature, art, television, film, anime, comics, science, gaming, cosplay, music, and other topics of interest to fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.

Here is a small selection of other programming we think our members might be interested in:

Pirate, Ninja, Steampunk, Dragon!
The legend continues!  Our annual fan-favorite panel, where each of our panelists takes the role of one archtype from SF/Fantasy, and sets out to prove to us why their character type is so much cooler than any of the others!  This year, it's the perennial classics, Pirate and Ninja, versus the newcomers, The Steampunk and the Dragon!  Trash-talking, fun, and laughter will abound as we determine which archtype really IS the best... at least until the next time this argument comes up!

Graphic Novels 101
What are the essential texts?  What should be on everyone's graphic novel reading list?

On the Doorstep of Smaug
The second Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug, arrives in theaters in December. What can fans expect from the film? How has Peter Jackson modified Tolkien's source material, and have his changes improved or detracted from the original story? What is it about these movies that keeps fans coming back for more? Join the panelists as they discuss the penultimate film in Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth series.

The Legend of Korra
The sequel to Avatar the Last Air Bender: The legend of Korra is in it's 2nd season. And it's a hit with fans old and new. Has Nickelodeon caught lightning in a bottle twice? And does that mean there are lightning benders?

Roleplaying Games from East to West
Role Playing Games have always come from two different worlds. The Jrpg (Japanese Role Playing Game) and Wrpg (Western Roleplaying Game), we will talk about both Worlds from where they started to where they are going! We'll look at this phenomenon from Gygax to Sakaguchi, we will explore the Dark Soul of Hidetaka Miyazaki to the Dragon Shouts of Todd Howard! Come join us in our adventure!

Appreciating Diversity in Cosplay
Sure, everybody loves it when a character looks like they just stepped off the page or out of the screen, but what about those who have done an amazing job on a non-traditional take?

The Annual... OK, the FIRST Philcon Imaginary Spelling Bee
So you call yourself a fan eh? Say you're hardcore? Know the answer to a trivia question before Hugh Casey even finishes asking the question? I got one thing to say to you. How's your spelling? Because from Oz to The Neutral Zone, from Hogwarts to Earth 2, from Mordor to Hill Valley, with side stops to Calahan's, a School for the Gifted in Westchester, and a ship named Heart of Gold. Remember it's all about the letters, and how they go together.

The Old Dr. Who Episodes Time Travel to the Fiftieth Anniversary
It appears that 106 episodes from the days of the first two Doctors - William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton - have been found in Ethiopa. Find out what delights await you once they are aired.

The Summer of Science Fiction
2013 had an impressive line-up of genre films, from Star Trek Into Darkness and Elysium to Man of Steel and The Wolverine. Did this summer's blockbusters fulfill our geeky needs? Discuss with the panelists the pros and cons of this summer's movies and which ones you would buy on DVD.

There will also be a variety of other panels and workshops, an vendor and artist hall, a tabletop gaming lounge, an art show, a Friday night dance, and the Saturday night Masquerade.

If you're planning to attend, you can still pre-register for a full weekend membership for $50. There are also discounts for students, children, teens, and active duty military. More info and at-door rates are listed on the Philcon website.

We hope to see you there!