Virtual conventions are a boon for anime fans, given that most of us are still stuck at home due to the current pandemic. All The Anime held a 2-day virtual-only convention on YouTube, aptly named Cloud Matsuri. Cloud Matsuri was hosted on both the official website and the All The Anime Youtube Channel and featured panels from several companies from the anime industry. In this report, we’re going to tell you about the events that unfolded on Day 1 of Cloud Matsuri!
All The Anime started the convention with a panel about their anime offerings. All The Anime is a company known for releasing “Ultimate Editions” of anime, which contain unique collectibles. The line-up for their upcoming releases included the Ultimate Edition for B the Beginning; Collector’s Editions of Code Geass Lelouch of the Re;surrection, Kimetsu No Yaiba’s 1st season , K 7 Stories, Planetes, Bartender, and the Ultimate Edition of the much-anticipated Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The next panel featured an online film festival named Screen Anime, which is the next venture of Anime Ltd. Screen Anime will show 4 films every month based on a common theme. The first month’s films are Sci-fi and the line-up includes Promare, Wolf’s Rain, Penguin Highway, Paterna Inverted, and Wings of Honnemaise. The June features are focused on the theme of Extraordinary High School Life and the line-up includes: Your Name, Weathering With You, Fireworks, and Anthem of the Heart.
One Piece Stampede had a panel with three of the cast members -Christopher Sabat, Ian Sinclair, and Patrick Seitz -where they fielded questions asked by fans through social media. Some of the highlights were Brook’s voice actor Ian mentioning that One Piece is his go-to anime to watch when he’s sick, Christopher stating that he and Zoro both have a bad sense of direction, and Patrick giving tips on how to become a good voice actor.
The Studio Orange panel came next and gave us an interesting interview with the members Eiji Inomoto (Founder) and Kiyotaka Waki (Land of the Lustrous Producer). Inomoto mentioned that the Studio’s name does not refer to the fruit but it was a play on words for orenchi which means my place in Japanese, turned into orenji (Orange).
Waki mentioned that he was intrigued about joining Studio Orange when they asked him to take part in the Land of the Lustrous project since they really did seem to be starting from scratch in terms of fully producing a CG anime. Inomoto mentioned that, without Waki, Land of the Lustrous wouldn’t have been possible. Inomoto mentioned that overseas fans’ reactions to the series have been positive and that he’s ecstatic that overseas fans seemed to understand Studio Orange’s sensibilities from it. When asked about what made them decide that BEASTARS as their next project, Waki mentioned that the idea for it happened before Land of the Lustrous was aired. During the production of Land of the Lustrous, they had difficulties with animating the hair and facial expressions, so they jumped on the BEASTARS project to improve on said opportunities.
The next segment was an interview with BEASTARS director Shinichi Matsumi and producer Hyuntae Kim. When asked what got them into animation, Matsumi stated that when he was younger he wanted to make fantasy films, but soon realized that it’s very difficult to do the type of film he wanted in live-action films and therefore shifted his focus to animation. Kim stated that the works that were very memorable to him were Mirai Shounen Conan, Hayao Miyazaki’s works, and a lot of Hong Kong Noir films. One of the most interesting things to note about BEASTARS is the stop-motion animated opening theme. Kim mentioned that he wanted to do something different for the opening as they were already using full CG for the series. He mentioned this to a director he admired (Kato, the director of Tatami Galaxy’s OP), who suggested that they use stop-motion. On characters that they relate to the most in BEASTARS, Kim related to Bill the tiger the most since Bill is always true to his feelings, while Matsumi mentioned that Legosi was relatable since he grappled with issues Matsumi dealt with when he was in high school.
The next panel involved one of the most prominent women in the Japanese animation industry, Eunyoung Choi, the CEO of Science Saru. This was her first interview in English after she became the CEO. When asked what makes Science Saru different from other studios, she stated that the studio’s staff roster is very diverse, very young, and flexible in terms of technology. She then proceeded to talk about her experiences in the anime industry. It was surprising to hear that she was interested in pursuing a business of her own before becoming an animator. With a 2-year experience of handling her own business, she’s not a stranger to the business side of things as CEO of Science Saru. Since she’s trained in both Japanese and Western-style animation, she can provide a unique perspective. Her experiences in the UK also allow her to be a mediator in their very diverse studio. She mentions that it really was only during the past 5 years, that Japanese animation started to veer away from very traditional hand-drawn animation and it became more commonplace to use computer programs for animation.
The next panel with Crunchyroll showed their spring line-up with shows like Princess Connect! Re:Dive and My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (HameFura). They also introduced Crunchyroll games, anime-based games for mobile phones, which include RPG Grand Alliance and an Overlord game.
Due to a technical error, a large part of the Eizouken panel was not viewable and had to be moved to Day 2 of Cloud Matsuri.
And that’s it for the first day of Cloud Matsuri. We also covered Day 2 of Cloud Matsuri where the Manga Planet and our sibling service futekiya panel were featured so please look forward to it!
Did you attend Day 1 of Cloud Matsuri? What did you think of the panels? We’d love to hear about it on our Twitter account!
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