Directors of the animated series Voltron discussed the influence of Japanese anime and the future of U.S. animation at a panel during Day Three of Anime Expo 2018 held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, California in July.
Day three of Anime Expo 2018 delivered a bittersweet experience for fans at the downtown Los Angeles venue, providing plenty of fun things to explore but with the inevitable end of the four-day convention less than 24 hours away. Despite that, attendees still put on their best cosplays, enjoyed the exhibit hall and the many discussion panels that were taking place.
One such panel on Day Three of the expo was the “TV Animation Discussion with Voltron Directors.” American animation Voltron, from DreamWorks, is heavily influenced by the Japanese animation style.
Wacom, a company most famous for their drawing tablets, had a representative at the panel who sat down with Voltron Directors Chris Palmer, Eugene Lee, and Rie Koga.
Before working on Voltron, Palmer and Lee worked together on the hit series Legend of Korra and Koga was storyboarding for Sunrise Studios in Japan before coming to the United States.
When asked what the future of anime in the United States is like, with releases like Voltron and Legend of Korra influenced by the Japanese style, the directors were elated to respond that anime inspired shows are most definitely on the rise, noting how Netflix was going as far as to hire Japanese studios to work on exclusive anime series for their streaming service with series like Castlevania and Cannon Busters.
Koga talked about her experience as an animator in both Japan and the United States, highlighting the simplicity of the storyboards she used to draw in Japan versus those in the U.S. which demands for more detail.
She went on to state that she was amazed with American anime such as Avatar: The Last Airbender because of how anime-like it was and how, in the case of western animation, she appreciated the wide variety of styles.
The panel ended with a Q&A session with the audience, live drawing, and raffles on behalf of Wacom, leaving fans excited and ending the lively panel on a high note.
As in previous editions of Anime Expo, cosplay gatherings were popular again in 2018 for both cosplayers and photographers alike.
At the Love Live! cosplay gathering, everyone was eager to take some “class photos,” with a megaphone wielding photographer acting as showrunner as they instructed the cosplayers to gather in respective character, type, and overall groups in order to capture some great photos.
Cosplayers were given three poses for each photo while photographers had only 10 seconds to capture their best pictures of the group. Gatherings typically ended with cheers of celebration for the time spent meeting other cosplayers.
Day Three of AX 2018 wrapped in the Entertainment Hall where over at the Blizzard Entertainment booth, the Overwatch developers laid on plenty of gaming opportunities for gamers and fans at their mini-arcade, and with the hall’s intricate sets designed for cosplayers to take photos at, the space made for a great place to sit down, rest, and play some games with fellow gamers after a long day.
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