Once again I was accepted as a member of the press for Anime Central 2019, and I’ve finally prepared my press report. No full transcript of my interviews will be posted(some will be incorporated into later work and others I’ll leave for my fellow members of the press to discuss) but I will give a quick recap of them before moving onto other traits of the con. If you’re not interested in reading all of what’s below, I’ll cut to the chase: as with last year, ACen 2019 was well-organized and enjoyable, absolutely remaining my favorite convention experience.
Primarily, we interviewed the staff of Shield Hero alongside the staff of Revue Starlight. The Shield Hero session began with Kevin Penkin, wherein he went in-depth about his method and increasing popularity. Highlights of this portion include the fact that, while he was given great amounts of room on Made in Abyss, leading to a more experimental soundtrack, his specifications for Shield Hero were much more specific, making the job easier while simultaneously giving him less room to play around, a situation he seemd ambivalent about.
Once director Takao Abo came on, we began discussing the show more broadly. Abo seemed primarily interested in his show’s place in the isekai genre, seeing it as a uniquely dark work(while Shield Hero is darker than most isekai anime, and played a role in the development of the darker works in the genre, it’s no longer particularly notable for its tone as web novels go.) Furthermore, he focused on the importance of highlighting the girls’ cuteness; anyone who’s seen discussion of the series would know how important that is, so he certainly accomplished his job in that sense.
Moving on, we attended a session with members of Revue Starlight’s main cast, including director Tomohiro Furukawa. First of all, to get a bit personal, I must mention that Furukawa claimed to have seen my and Lachlan’s live reactions to the show, which is such an amazing thing that I can’t fully comprehend it even 3 weeks later.
To get back to the actual topic at hand, a heavy theme of this session was the way the anime’s production interlapped with the broader franchise. According to Furukawa, they actually had quite a bit of choice in establishing the anime’s plot and characters, in spite of the fact that these decisions had a ripple effect on many other properties. Another focus was on the animation and production of the series; the point was made that much of the animation was quite difficult given the intricate designs of the girls, and Furukawa brought up the fact that the music was consciously integrated into the shows scenes, something which shows up in the final product.
Outside of these press interviews, the convention was full of interesting things to do. One of its better features was the fact that it managed to pull Japanese guests; nothing is more boring than a con whose only major guests are dub actors, at least in my opinion. The panels with Kinema Citrus staff, alongside other events of the like were valuable, containing information not discussed in the interviews themselves, such as the background behind Revue Starlight’s character designs. Anime Central 2019 was once again an impressive convention and I hope they can continue to bring over