Panels Listing

Guest Panels
18+ Guest Panels
Fandom Panels
18+ Fandom Panels

Guest Panels

C.R.A.Z.Y.O.T.A.K.U.
Love all things anime? Want an unforgettable convention experience? Want a chance at winning a great prize? If your answer is yes to any of these, this event is for you! With events involving video games, anime, manga, acting, luck, pocky, and much more, there is something for everyone! C.R.A.Z.Y.O.T.A.K.U. is back once again with all their original games, general mayhem, and plans for world domination! Miss this event and miss the otaku experience itself!

Five of the Best Anime English Dubs You Have Probably Never Heard Of
Everybody can say how great Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Hellsing sound in English, some even say they sound better than the Japanese. But English language anime producer/director Jonathan Klein searches deep in the vault to find five anime titles you have probably never heard of, and more importantly, never ever listened to in English. Discover some rare anime gems, some that are now out of print, and see why these dubs are worth taking a listen to. Those who attend the panel will have a chance to win and take home some of these anime titles on DVD.

Gaming Life: Geek Pride w/ Matthew Mercer
Come join Matthew Mercer for a panel discussion on growing up a hardcore gamer, then transitioning into a career in his geeky hobbies. Talk games, tabletop dice-rolling, stories, victories, tragedies, and the positive elements of the ever-growing geek community.

Great Anime Openings
Anime openings demonstrate some of the best that anime has to offer. SOMETIMES they’re even the best part of the show. Let the Anime World Order Podcast show you around the openings to some of our favorites, new and old, and discover something new to check out!

Kill La Kill:Spot the References, Beginner’s Edition
The makers of Gurren Lagann went and did it again, producing a hit modern series that, while reverential to the past, wasn’t bound to it. Once again there are plenty of “Easter egg” references to classic Japanese animation and pop culture that, while unnecessary to understanding what you’re seeing, can enhance your viewing or lead you to discover new favorites. Daryl Surat of Otaku USA Magazine and the Anime World Order podcast (http://www.animeworldorder.com) won’t have time to point out everything, but he’ll do his best regardless. NOTE: minor spoilers.

Knotz Your Every Day Panel
Hi there! My name is Michele Knotz and I’ve been a voice actress for about 10 years now, but you know what? Enough about me! What about you? Yeah, that’s right! YOU! I’m tired of sitting at the front of panel rooms blabbing about my career. What do YOU have to offer ME? How can YOU entertain ME? Can you sing? Can you draw? Can you create awesome cosplay costumes? Can you tell jokes? Can you act? Can you dance? Can you beat box? If you come to my panel and show me what you’ve got I will have a prize for you! Feel free to bring music, props, anything you’d like! That’s why this is Knotz Your Every Day Panel. I’m not going to talk about my life and entertain you. I want you to tell me about your life and entertain me!

Making the Cartoons Talk
Learn the details of the Voice Over adventure within the booth from Matthew Mercer’s experiences running from anime, western animation, web, and all points in-between!

Notable Directors of Anime Who Aren’t Hayao Miyazaki
Sure, everyone knows Miyazaki, but there are many other excellent directors out there that you should know about. Come to this panel to find out more and expand your knowledge!

Worst Business Decisions
Sometimes, anime companies will make decisions that will befuddle and astound, even to those with little training or understanding of business. Often, these are no fault of the American companies and are decisions that the Japanese make that we have to live with. Come and and listen to a trained MBA with decades of time spent in anime talk about some of the worst business decisions that anime companies have ever made.

Richard Epcar’s Famous Outtake Panel
Richard shares some of his most favorite, hilarious and slightly inappropriate outtakes from his voice acting on Lupin the Third, Noein and Bobobo-bobobo!

Sci-Fi in Anime
Science fiction has been around in anime since its  beginnings, but like sci-fi itself, it has evolved and changed a great deal over the decades. Let the Anime World Order Podcast take you through the history of sci-fi in anime, where it has been and where it’s going.

There She Is Official Fan Panel
The official fan panel for the Korean animation series and web sensation There She Is! This one and only official event of its kind will not only show the entire series, but unveil insight about the making of the series and the creator himself! Come and have your heart moved as you watch the epic tale of two lovers taking on an unforgiving world that seeks to destroy everything they stand for!

Short Anime
With so much media and so little time, introducing new fans to anime is harder than ever. Among existing fans, the “first volume test” and “3 episode test” has given way to the “1 episode test”…if that! Sound like your life? Fear not, for there IS a solution: short anime! Daryl Surat of Otaku USA Magazine and the Anime World Order podcast (http://www.animeworldorder.com) has assembled an introductory collection of “bite-sized” Japanese animated works, ranging from artistic anthology pieces to surreal comedies to original animated music videos. If you want to see the widest variety of what anime has to offer in the shortest amount of time, this is the way to do it.

The Ultimate Hellsing Ultimate Panel (13+)
Come celebrate the release of Hellsing Ultimate OVA Volumes 1-8 (now available on DVD and Blue Ray from Funimation) with the English language producer, Jonathan Klein. Jonathan has 13 years worth of stories and anecdotes from working on the Hellsing franchise, all the way back to the original Hellsing TV series in 2001. See clips from the series and OVAs. Answer trivia questions about Hellsing to win great prizes. If we are lucky, maybe Jonathan might have some information on the final two OVA releases! Please note due to violent content and language it is STRONGLY suggested that kids under 13 attending this panel should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Video Game Voice Over
Matthew Mercer helms a grand discussion and Q&A regarding the voice over side of the Video Game industry! Talk shop, projects, experiences, funny stories, and more!
Voice Directing for TV Animation, Anime and Videogames
Learn from the experts on what goes into directing voice actors on your favorite TV animation, anime and videogames.

18+ Guest Panels

Please note that photo IDs will be checked for age verification and are required for entry into the following panels.

After Dark with Matthew Mercer [18+]
Come ask the questions only the veil of night allows, and prepare for hilarious stories, embarrassing moments, and beware for there may be a twist!

As The Otaku Grows
We have grown up with anime, blissfully unaware of what it truly was. Now we are full sized otaku and our eyes are wide open to all things anime! Come relive the past, talk about topics, and play some games the way only adults can! What does Taishi have in store for you this year? Come and find out!

History of Hentai [18+]
The world of hentai is not limited to DVDs, manga, and those games with lots of clicking. Adult anime and manga go back as far as the existence of the genre itself, from Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, propaganda work of the 40s and 50s, avant garde work of the 60s and 70s, home videos of the 80s and 90s, to the world of the Internet today. Join the panel be surprised and amazed by the works and people involved with them.

How to Burlesque [18+]
Think you can shake it with Cosplay Burlesque? Come visit our workshop and learn the ‘what is’ and the ‘how to’ of burlesque. The lovely ladies of Cosplay Burlesque will teach some basics as well as a short routine you can try out on the dance floor! 18+ please, come early and dress for dance!

How to Burlesque: Boylesque Edition [18+]
Think you can shake it with the boys of Cosplay Burlesque? Come visit our workshop and learn the ‘what is’ and the ‘how to’ of burlesque. The guys will teach some boylesque basics as well as a short routine you can try out on the dance floor! 18+ please, come early and dress for dance!

Ikki Tousen Returns: Iron Fists! Swords of Steel! School Uniforms of Tissue! [18+]
Come celebrate the release by Funimation of anime’s quintessential fanservice and fighting anime, Ikki Tousen Great Guardians & Xtreme Xecutor! Jonathan Klein, producer of the English versions of Ikki Tousen Season 1 and the producer and director of Ikki Tousen Seasons 3 and 4 discusses his 10-year adventure of working on this show. He’s got lots of stories. See preview clips of favorite scenes. Win prizes for your Ikki Tousen knowledge.

Meet and greet / Q&A [18+]
Meet the performers of Cosplay Burlesque! Stop on by and ask questions with your favorite performers in a relaxed setting. 18+ please!

Fandom Panels

[.AsserT-ReVenge.] Prop making Workshop and Q&A
Want to learn how to craft props? Interested in improving and learning new techniques and crafting methods? [.AsserT-ReVenge.] is an experienced group of cosplayers and prop makers that want to help the cosplay community improve their crafting skill and achieve the ability to complete their dream cosplay.

20 Recommended Manga for Grown Ups
The Spiraken Manga Review recommends 20 mangas for the 20+ year old that is tired of reading high school harem series and/or Moe comedies. With topics like wine tasting, medical drama, teaching, and even politics, these manga series will make you feel proud to be a grown up that reads manga. Please note that these do not include porn titles!

2D Animation 101
Have you ever wanted to learn how to create your own animations? Well now you can! This panel will show you the basics of computer animation using flash. Come learn some basic 2D animation techniques that can help you in making your own animations.

A Complete History of Manga
Manga did not originate with Sailor Moon, or even with Astro Boy — in fact, the origins of manga can be traced back to ancient Japanese temple picture scrolls. Join us for a walk through history as we begin with those scrolls and follow manga through its evolution up until modern times, touching on important milestones such as the advent of the giant robot story and the first boy love (shounen ai) comics along the way. The panel is accompanied by a picture slideshow displaying all works discussed as well as actual books from our historical manga collection. Whether you are a historian or an anime fan, you’ll come away from this panel with a new understanding of your favorite art form.

A Decade of Anime Fandom: A Retrospective
So much has happened in the world of anime and manga in the last 10 years! Some good, some bad, some even noteworthy! Come be nostalgic about Anime Forum sites, old school Toonami, and early convention experiences! Come relive the last decade of Otakudom.

Adult Swim Revolution
Hey there. It’s us again! We missed you too. Yup, still watching Adult Swim. Let’s get together and talk about the good, bad, and so-so. There will be plenty of clips and witty banter; should be fun. You can talk and converse with us too, but do try not to throw tomatoes if you don’t like something. That’s poor use of tomatoes.

Advanced Wigs
More complicated wig techniques will be tackled in this hands on discussion. Tricks such a foam core and stubbing will be explained as well as creating your own wefts. Find out what tools to buy, products to use, and what to expect when tackling that new big wig project!

Aliens vs. Mermen- A Look at Soubi Yamamoto
Join us for a look at this different avant-garde bishonen anime written and directed by Soubi Yamamoto, and find out more about it!

American Animation
There is a wealth of terrific animation out there. A bunch of it happens to be American! If you’re looking to broaden the scope of your viewing, or if you already have some favorite American animation you’re looking to discuss, then this is the panel for you. Along with new and old, we’ll also discuss and show some things that aren’t even out yet. And yeah, some Canadian stuff might even sneak in; they’re part of America too!

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 Judō possibly beat the feared Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū 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 Con Survival 101
First time at an anime con? Or are you coming back after a long break, and just want to freshen up on your anime survival guide? Well this is the place for you. We will get down and get ready for anime con survival, with a bit of comedy involved. We will teach you the dos and don’ts of being a happy convention dweller!

Anime Figure Collecting 101
Jealous of the huge anime figure collections you see pictures of online? Find out how to jump right in at this panel! We’ll teach you about the different kinds of figures there are, how to find them, and how to protect yourself against bootlegs.

Anime Game Show Super Show
Test your anime knowledge, luck, and skill as we play some of the greatest game shows of all time, anime-style! Gamble on how well you know anime fans and play your cards right on CARD SHARKS. And face off against the rascally Whammy in a battle for big bucks on PRESS YOUR LUCK. It is 60 minutes of fun, excitement and fabulous prizes. Let the games begin!

Anime In Western Animation and Comics
When the “Anime Boom” took off in the West almost two decades ago, there was no denying the outrageous influence it had on American pop culture. So much so that Western cartoons such as Teen Titans, Avatar the Last Airbender, and Code Lyoko exploded in popularity. This panel will explore the realm of “Western Anime” and explain how anime became so popular in America, and how some of our favorite shows growing up are the product of its influence.

Anime Poetry Slam
There is tons of talent that can be found sprinkled throughout AnimeNEXT wherever you go; artists showcasing their work, performers participating in the Masquerade and Burlesque show, and more! To contribute to the stars of AnimeNEXT, I would like to introduce a poetry competition, otherwise known as a poetry slam. The participant will stand in front of a live audience and present their original pieces in a time limit of 2-3 minutes. The theme of their work should follow their passion in Japanese animation, graphic novels, video gaming, web shows, etc. Once all the contestants have performed, the selected judges will review everyone’s presentation and the winner will be announced. More extensive rules and guidelines can be found here: http://my.poetryslam.com/i-poems-performance

Anime To Make You Smile
Cheer up, buttercup! If you want some suggestions for anime that makes you feel good and happy, this is the panel for you! We will be recommending lots of series and a few movies that make even big, burly men smile. We’ll show you some of our favorite video clips, and you can join in the discussion and make suggestions of your own!

Anime Under the Radar: The Roaring Aughties Edition
We are back again! The years 2000-2009 were a booming period for anime, and most fans have a shortlist of favorites made during this era: Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, Monster, etc. But many other productions were made that for one reason or another did not make the “Top 50” list of many critics’ retrospectives. This panel will discuss some of the other series or films made during this heady time that received little love yet are well worth another look.

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? Do you 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!!

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
This panel will provide an overview of the well-known mahou shoujo series, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. This panel will be longer than the last as it will provide more updates, more information and more discussions. There will be Sailor Moon history, plot twists, characters and anything that can be discussed about the sailor-suited heroines. But be careful as there might be spoilers for those who have yet to read or watch the series. So in the name of the Moon, come join us!

Build-a-Bozu Workshop!
Feel like adding a little sunshine to your day? Teru teru bozu, traditional Japanese dolls, have been used for hundreds of years as good luck charms to attract sunny weather. In this fun and relaxing workshop, you’ll learn how to easily make and customize your very own teru teru bozu to your heart’s content, with a collection of fabrics, paints, and craft supplies so diverse that you might want more than one (which is okay too!). Bring your creative spirit, but leave your umbrella at home!

Closet Cosplay 101: 2nd Edition
Back by (kinda sorta?) popular demand, the infamous Closet Cosplay 101 panel returns! Think before anybody in your household throws out anything, especially if it is something plain. Got jewelry that you’ve outworn, think is ugly or just don’t feel like wearing anymore because it’s not your style? It could be someone else’s style (in anime at least). Need a cape? Bed blanket! It’s anything goes in the world of closet cosplay, and this panel is here to help those who have a limited convention/life budget find an outfit/character that suits them and have a blast with it, whether you get recognized for it or not.

Collecting Original Japanese Animation Art
Collecting American animation art (Disney, Don Bluth, etc.) has been actively collected for some years, but the same potential lies in cels and sketches used to make important anime series. When a show was wrapped, Japanese studios often released the original art onto the auction market, so cels, original production backgrounds, and original key animators’ sketches are much easier to obtain. This panel will survey original animation art that can be found on the market, including those for classic cel-based series and the newer CGI-based anime, and show how collecting these artifacts enhances one’s appreciation of anime as an artform. Strategies for gaining and maintaining animation art will be covered.

Contemporary Japanese Literature
Avid fan of light novels but want to read something a little more dense? Do you read books that have more text than pictures? Big fan of Haruki Murakami but need to know where to go next? Check out this introductory crash course to the world of contemporary Japanese literature. Recommended for everyone that loves reading books, especially the depressing ones!

Couples Anime
Have your last five relationships ended because you showed your ex-girlfriends Wicked City? Have you forced your date to watch Hetalia, and then wondered why he never called you back? Come find out how to introduce your special someone to the wonderful world of anime, without them running away…

Creating Manga from Start to Finish
Want to make a manga, but unsure where to start? Have great characters, but not sure how to arrange the panels in your story? Just want some tips on how to use digital screen tone or draw different kinds of eyes? This interactive panel covers all the aspects of creating a manga or graphic novel, including (but not limited to!) character design, figure drawing, drawing faces and eyes, thumbnailing, action poses, script writing and page layout. Topics are flexible, and all skill levels welcome!

Disabilities in Manga and Anime
Nunally is so cute and helpless in her wheelchair! Hikikomori are hilarious with their crippling social anxieties. Back for another year by popular demand, this panel will explore how anime series approach and explore a large range of disabilities.

Don’t Be Afraid
Don’t be afraid, or do! In this panel we will take a look into the world of Japanese horror. We will focus on anime, movies, and games, and take you into the worlds of these horror icons and behind the scenes, learning about why these things are scary, and the motivation behind them.

Exploring Dystopia in Attack on Titan, Walking Dead, and Fahrenheit 451
This panel will focus on the dystopian theme that runs through the anime Attack on Titan, the Walking Dead comic book, and the novel Fahrenheit 451. It will also include comparing and contrasting the key elements of each dystopia in the three works.

Food! Meals and Manners
Ita what? Gucci huh? She put what in his mouth? An exploration of Japanese food, meals, and manners! Come hungry for knowledge!

Gentle Strength: Heroism in Revolutionary Girl Utena and Puella Magi Madoka Magica
An exploration of compassion and courage: what makes a heroine? Are these traits any different than for masculine heroes – and how do the strong ladies of Revolutionary Girl Utena and Puella Magi Madoka Magica save the day? Do they save the world after all? Come find out!

Giant Robots for Everyone!
If you think giant robots are kind of neat and you’d like to know more, then look no further! Join us as we discuss great mecha anime that will bring out your inner giant robot pilot. From Mazinger and Gundam to Escaflowne and Gargantia, we’ll explore the variety that this genre has to offer.

Great Anime We’ll (Probably) Never Get
We have access to so much anime nowadays, but we can never truly get it all. Whether it’s because of licensing issues, a predecessor failing, or simply because it’s not “fiscally viable” there is a few metric tons of perfectly fine anime that we’ll probably never get here in the United States and Canada. While this panel won’t go over every one of them (what, you don’t want to spend the entire con at one panel?), think of it as an introduction to a side of anime that you might never get to see on a normal basis.

History of Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy: one of the most famous and successful RPG series in not only Japan and America, but the world. There are a total of 15 games in the main series (including two MMOs!) with spinoffs and side games. The deep themes match the equally deep connection people have with this series. We’d love to take people down the memory lane of nostalgia and explore all of these games, from the humble beginnings of Final Fantasy 1 through 6 right up to the ones coming out soon for the next-gen consoles!

How to Learn Language & Culture Through Entertainment and the Arts
Join Steven D’Onofrio and his cast of KuNu cats teaching the audience all about Japanese language and culture in a fun and unique way with art and entertainment!

Import Gaming 101
Unhappy that Jump Super Stars, Senran Kagura, or the latest Super Robot Wars never came over to America? Let’s make that Japanese exclusive available for you! This panel is your guide on learning the how, where, and why on importing video games to play in the comfort of your own home. We’ll be covering retro to modern gaming, and of course the must-have games that we never got.

Internet Voice Acting
Want to improve your skills as an amateur voice actor/actress? Wanna talk to some dudes (and a chick) with experience in Internet voice over? Not interested in actually doing it, but just wanna learn more about it? Whatever your reason, these folks are here to assist. Join Nowacking (of Queens Blade Rebellion, Pokémon ‘Bridged, Dark Swamp, Hellsing Abridged, Attack on Titan Abridged, and more), 1KidsEntertainment (of Pokémon ‘Bridged and Dark Swamp), xJerry64x (of Pokémon ‘Bridged, Dark Swamp, and Yu-Gi-Oh GX Abridged), and PurpleEyesWTF (of Code MENT and None Piece) as they answer questions, show videos, and share helpful tips and tricks for being behind the microphone.

It’s Toku Time!
Henshin! Take a look into the spectacle that is tokusatsu in this one hour panel covering Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and many more shows and games. Discover the source of the Power Rangers and become a part of the toku phenomenon that has been around since the 50s.

Japanese Children’s Games
We play traditional Japanese children’s games such as Daruma-san ga koronda, which is similar to red light green light, Fruits Basket, which is similar to musical chairs, and Kagome Kagome, which is like Ring-A-Round the Rosie. An all ages panel that’s fun to play and watch. Parents must stay in the panel room with their children.

Japanese (Not So) Children’s Games
A slightly more physical panel as we play the same games as traditional Japanese Children’s Games but in this panel we add fan favorite Fruits Basket Elimination!

Japanese Children’s Games…The Revenge
In case you can’t get enough of JCG, this panel is nothing but Fruits Basket Elimination with some Daruma-san (also known as The Doll Fell Down) sprinkled in.

Japanese Commercials and How They Sell Products
Ever wonder how those crazy Japanese commercials sell products? So did we, and that’s why we researched it- to share the knowledge with you! Come join us as we take apart Japanese commercials and discuss how they appeal to the public.

Japanese DIY Candy Demo!
Who doesn’t love Japanese candy? Millions of people tune in to watch people complete these Japanese candy kits like Popin Cookin on YouTube. At AnimeNEXT, we can bring you a live demo! It’s an experience to know that you can make your own candy with just water sometimes. We will be showing simple kits as well as more complex ones. Cola, grape, and ramune are very popular flavors in the world of Japanese candy, and they can fizz, pop, and crackle too!

Japanese Indie Rock: More Songs About Buildings & Food
Last year we talked about some of the most influential bands in the incredibly diverse and fascinating world of Japanese indie rock music, but we just barely scratched the surface! Whether you were with us then or not, come back this year to check out more amazing artists. We’ll introduce you to each band with brief facts and information, and then play a music video so you can hear them for yourself! We’ll have a particular focus on artists available on US ITunes, so most of them will be easily accessible for newcomers! Come enjoy some amazing music!

Japanese Music You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Big J-Rock fan? Do you like Japanese music but don’t know what band to check out next? Increase your music hipster-cred in this genre and discover some amazing tunes that will blow your mind and ears away!

Japanese Pro Wrestling
Are you a longtime fan of US pro wrestling but sick and tired of WWE? Then it’s time you looked towards Japan, where pro wrestling has a decades-long history of excellence. A real sports presentation, it includes highly athletic men and women alike putting on displays of greatness! Cringe at the strikes, marvel at the aerial acrobatics, and take in what is undoubtedly the best wrestling in the world today! Whether you like New Japan, Dragon Gate, or joshi, we’ve got you covered, and if you don’t know what any of that just meant, we’re here to educate and introduce you to what wrestling should be in 2014!

Japanese vs. American Horror
Ever wonder how American horror differs from Japanese horror? We did, and so we bring you this compare and contrast panel where we will be discussing what makes Japanese horror films so popular and scary, versus what makes the American version of this genre so scary to us. We will also briefly focus on horror manga based off of some of the movies discussed.

Jojo’s Posing School
Start your day right with Jojo’s Posing School! We’ll teach you an array of fun and crazy poses inspired by the iconic series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, while we learn a bit about the classic hit manga and the influence it’s had all across the world. You, too, can ORA ORA ORA your way into being refreshed and making your boring stretches look kinda cool!

Journey to the Stars
Since the days of Jules Verne there has been numerous works that tell the journey of us—humanity—venturing out into the stars. Join Xan from the Spiraken Podcast Network and Vinnie from All Geeks Considered as they explore the anime and manga which takes us on this journey. Anime classics like Space Battleship Yamato, current series like Space Dandy, and a few hidden gems will be discussed in this examination of what awaits us among the stars.

J-Pop Explosion!
Do you love J-Pop? Or are you just curious? Either way, this panel is for you! Our panelists will guide you through some of the hits from today and yesterday, giving you information about the groups you see along the way. The panel concludes with dancing and socializing!

JRPGs and What Makes Them Great
A look into the world of JRPGs with franchises such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Persona, Tales of, Super Mario RPG, and many more!

KanColle: Waifu Battleships Kill Aliens Dead
Airplanes, tanks, giant robots… it was only a matter of time for Japan to explore battleships – and by turning them into cute girls at that! But, as much as you might be rolling your eyes now, this one is different because this wasn’t something Japan expected to become as big as it did. It started as a simple cash-in for military otaku and eventually morphed into a full-fledged phenomenon that has struck the mainstream market with a tidal wave of memes, merchandise, and moe. It’s time for you to find out about the latest, greatest, most ubiquitous thing to hit anime, video games, and even military fans that YOU have (probably) never heard of!

Kimono for Guys
Kimono aren’t just for girls! Garen is back for his second year to teach you about the differences between men’s and women’s kimono, historical background on who wore what how, and how your average 19th century Japanese guy got dressed. If you’re planning to cosplay a kimono-wearing male character, or just feel like dressing up spiffy, this is the panel for you.

Lightning Returns, Final Fantasy XIII and Video Game Orchestra – A Music Production with SQEX and Masashi Hamauzu
VGO, a “Rockestra” formed with a symphony orchestra, choir, and rock band, is known for its unique and live rockestral concert production. VGO’s repertoire for live shows covers music from extraordinary video games, including Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Halo, Legend of Zelda, God of War, etc. VGO’s recent music productions include Lightning Returns, Final Fantasy XIII, which was released in Asia a few weeks ago and in North America on February 11. VGO has engaged in music production with Mr. Masashi Hamauzu, composer of FFXIII, and will premiere the rockestrated music from the original soundtrack! We look forward to performing and sharing this great music at this year’s AnimeNEXT.

Lolita 101
Come step into the frilly world of the Japanese street fashion called Lolita! This panel will give you a brief overview of this fashion full of frills and lace. Some of the things covered will be Lolita coordinate basics, terminology, and brands.

Lost in Adaptation
What happens when mediums change? Why is it that your favorite manga made a terrible anime? Or that your favorite video game made that horrible movie? Why on earth did that awful show make a great comic? Come join us as we explore the ins and outs of adaptation and how small tweaks can lead to huge changes. A product of Substandard Science.

Godoka and Man: The Politics of Gen Urobuchi
What do magical girls, ancient heroes, future cops, and giant robots have to do with political thought? The answer is more than you might think. Since exploding onto the scene with Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Gen Urobuchi has consistently made waves across the anime world. Come join in a presentation and discussion of the political themes apparent in his works. Anime fans and politicos of all stripes are welcome!

Mamas of Shoujo Manga
Love Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket and Loveless? Come learn about the fabulous ladies behind these titles that have shaped manga for women and girls alike.
Martial Arts Fight Scenes V: The Ladies
Possibly more than any other genre, Kung Fu movies have a long and storied history of strong female characters. This panel will celebrate these heroines of action cinema and the amazing actresses who bring them to life, laying the smack down on everyone from arrogant would-be suitors to corrupt government officials.

Mecha: Giant Robots Fighting For Your Entertainment
Mecha has been a solid genre of anime since the early 1970s. The genre took off into what we know today with the success of such classics as Mobile Suit Gundam, Macross, and Robotech. This panel examines how awesome it is to see giant robots fighting other giant robots, aliens, monsters, or more! We will explore the history of the genre, starting with its early beginnings and moving to classics as Evangelion and more modern series. Come revel in the epic win that is giant robots!

Moon Magic in Tokyo: Exploring Japanese Culture Through Sailor Moon
Whether you’re a raving “Luna-tic” or an aspiring “Moonie”, this panel is for you! Sailor Moon is an iconic magical girl with a 20-year history of inspiring anime fans. Beyond the entertainment value, this series provides insight into Japanese culture, particularly during the 90s. The panel will discuss traditions, geography, folk tales and cultural norms explored in Sailor Moon, and will focus on three major themes: tradition and westernization, science and mythology, and fictional characters in the real world.

Need Input!: A Panel for Cosplay Research
Kat the Red needs you for some zany research and cosplay inquisition! An award-winning veteran cosplayer, Kat attends conventions all over the country, and in this panel she is in search of answers to an assortment of questions: Why do people cosplay? How do cosplayers choose their characters? What do participants in this phenomenon absorb from their transformations into anime and video game characters? These and other questions will be asked and then answered by you – the cosplay community of AnimeNEXT! Whether you want to contribute in the QandA session or fill out an anonymous statistical survey, your feedback is appreciated! In the pursuit of a Masters degree in Cosplay Studies, Kat the Red needs your input! Come contribute to the study and research of cosplay!

New Anime for Older Fans
So. You finally got those young whippersnappers off your lawn and want to sit down and watch some anime – but you have no idea what to watch! With 20+ new shows a season it can be hard to know what to pick. We have a list from the last few years that appeal to an old school audience while having all the benefits of modern animation. You are not alone – there are plenty of older fans who want to watch new shows but don’t know where to start. This is a great way to learn about series that might be initially dismissed or are unknown, and show older fans that there is usually at least one good show per season.

Off the Beaten Track in Japan
Have you ever wondered what Japan is like outside of Tokyo or other major tourist spots? Here is a chance to see some parts of Japan that you don’t often see on the normal tourist trail from someone who has been there!

Otaku On A Budget
Love conventions, but hate how they eat away at your wallet? Join Natsuki Shinaito of NaruNatsu.us as she shares tips and tricks on saving every penny you can while living the crazy Otaku lifestyle. If you’re looking for a panel full of laughs, giveaways, raffles, and games, come on by! This isn’t your everyday college lecture!

Princess Tutu: A Queered Fairy Tale
Princess Tutu (Studio Hal, 2002-04) has gained and held a strong fanbase since its release. This series, which describes the rebellion of fairytale characters against the demented undead storyteller who tries to control their destinies, is typical of many series and books that adapt old folktales for a contemporary audience. This panel will apply concepts from new folkloristics, queer studies, feminism, and Jungian psychoanalysis to deconstruct the multiple narrative layers of Princess Tutu and suggest reasons why its message resonates with so many Eastern and Western viewers.

Philosophy of Pokemon
Think Pokemon is all about catching ‘em all and being the very best? Think again! This panel seeks to unravel the philosophical secrets of this world and bring you to a new level of Poke-understanding!

Poetry in Anime: The Power of Words in a Visual Medium
Japan has a rich sense of literary tradition. The dense poems of this island nation have been written, spoken, and chanted for ages for use in everything from courtship and spiritualism to politics and philosophy. Much has changed within the nation, and with it the poetry of its people and how it is delivered. Join Ink of AniGamers.com as he points out instances within the relatively new medium of anime where the ancient power of traditional poetry is leveraged for humor, introspection, and drama.

Pokemon: The ‘Bridged Series
Pokemon ‘Bridged takes your favorite childhood show and violently injects it with low-brow, bottom-of-the-barrel humor (and silly voices). Join Nowacking, 1KidsEntertainment, and xJerry64x as they discuss Pokemon, as well as the parody they create together on YouTube.

Post Apocalypse Manga: Surviving the Wasteland
Oh no, are you ready to survive the apocalypse? This panel will show you how to survive…actually, it will show you how the post apocalypse is portrayed in different manga series. With examples from Akira, Fist of the North Star, Battle Angel Alita, Attack on Titan, and many others, Xan of the Spiraken Manga Review and his co-hosts discuss the lengths people may go to survive and why it is such an intriguing subject matter to write about.

PV Power Hour 2: Stop Making Sense, Japanese Music Videos
PV Power Hour 1 was a Japanese music video explosion, but if you thought that was all the fabulous music and mind-bending craziness Japan had to offer, you’re WRONG, bucko! PV Power Hour 2 asks Japanese music videos to stop making sense, and they are all too happy to comply! Come check out the zany, the crazy, and the general mind-trip that are PVs, as we bring you new and old artists alike. J-rock, J-pop, indie, even J-rap are all covered. If you don’t find something you like, it is probably because you don’t have ears, and that’s a bigger problem than we can solve. The video lineup will be all new, so whether you attended last year or not, come join us for some more amazing music!

Real Anime Food
Have you ever watched an anime and found yourself drooling at the food? This panel will go over how to recreate two popular anime dishes, as well as discuss different cooking/planning techniques. Come by if you love to cook and love anime!

Running a Successful Anime Club
Interested in starting an anime club? Check out this panel hosted by teens and adult volunteers from the Village Hidden in the Clovers 4-H Club! Find out what it takes to organize effective meetings, inspire adult volunteers, and encourage club members to explore Japanese culture through anime and manga. The panelists will share experiences in planning educational trips and fun leadership activities. We will also highlight ways to incorporate the love of anime into cultural learning and teambuilding, while discussing solutions to the challenges faced in running a club.

Sasuke/Ninja Warrior Impact in the USA Market
This panel will discuss the retrospective history of the long-running TBS Japan obstacle course show Sasuke. We will look at its impact on American culture when Ninja Warrior first aired on American television, as well as the current state of Sasuke as of 2014 and its relationship with its NBC counterpart, American Ninja Warrior.

See You Space Cowboy: An Examination of Cowboy Bebop
Enter Cowboy Bebop, one of the most influential and widely-regarded anime series in the history of the art. There is a massive amount of influence from Western films, Hong Kong Kung Fu, cop dramas, and more. There is also a large amount of fan theories on the ending and even the entire series! This panel looks to explore the deep themes and many musical/cinematic influences of this awesome, amazing anime along with why it has been so successful and continues to be popular and well-regarded 16 years after it first aired.

Super Mario Super Panel: A Tribute
This is a participant-based panel. We will screen episodes from the Super Mario Super Show from seasons 1-3 (heckling is encouraged). We also play Mario-based games, though these are not specifically geared to the show, but rather the franchise as a whole. This year we will have a special tribute video for Lou Albano (Mario, 1933-2009) and Danny Wells (Luigi, 1941-2013).

Tales of NEXT
Curious to know what’s NEXT at AnimeNEXT for the “Tales of” series? Have a burning question about a particular game in the series? Want to share any overwhelming experiences? Tales of NEXT will share our knowledge and our goods of all things “Tales of”, from the original Tales of Phantasia to the upcoming Tales of Zestiria, and more to come! You can also win great prizes, including games and Blu-ray movies! Longtime fans and newcomers to the series are encouraged to learn and share!

Terrible Manga Dojo: Being a Better Otaku Through Hayate 2
Have you become an Otaku god (or goddess) yet? Did the 156,804,000 Yen Panel send your powers levels over 8999+1? You might need a second lesson to reach the stars like Galaxy Express 999. The path to greatness is hard but by the end you will be able to name all the Precure series as well as every Nanto Sei Ken style. Train to be that powerful using the super otaku manga Hayate the Combat Butler. I will go though some great scenes and explain what you just might have missed in hopes of turning the audience into akihabara royalty.

The Abridged Series Panel
Join Nowacking, 1KidsEntertainment, and xJerry64x (of Pokemon ‘Bridged and Dark Swamp), as well as PurpleEyesWTF (of Code MENT and None Piece) as they discuss internet anime parodies, answer questions, and demo videos.

The Art of War: Martial Arts, Anime, and Philosophy Combined
The Art of War (AoW) is a community of fighters and enthusiasts who strive to show and teach our love for martial art/fight, animation, philosophy, survival, and more. Our skill is your skill and your skill is ours to share with our community as we discuss and better your techniques.

The Colorful World of Kenji Nakamura
Explore the unique vision of anime director Kenji Nakamura!

The Golden Age of Weekly Shonen Jump: A Visual History
From roughly 1983-1996 there was one manga magazine that ruled over all others: Weekly Shonen Jump. It hit 6.5 million copies sold per year at its peak and no other manga magazine could even hope to equal it, let alone surpass it. Join George from The Land of Obscusion for a look at the titles that defined this “Golden Age” of Jump, both visually and contextually, and see what remnants of this era remain strong to this day.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Anime
A live review in which Peter Williams (Peothra) Freddy Jimenez (Chimera Loli) and Mr Grills (Zero Master) take a look at several different anime and break down what makes the anime good, bad, or simply ugly based on animation style, story, and character development.

The Hayao Miyazaki Panel
Everyone has heard about him, now it’s time to praise and recognize the greatness of Hayao Miyazaki’s career. We will view clips and discuss all the feelsy moments of great animation hits like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, and the new The Wind Rises, as well as other glorious Miyazaki movies that created our childhoods.

The Heart of “When They Cry”
Covering 07th Expansion’s Higurashi When They Cry and Umineko When They Cry series, this panel covers themes of fiction, belief, love, and magic in each and what they uniquely say about these subjects: for good or for ill.

The History of Vocaloid
Vocaloids, the cute virtual idols we all love, have become increasingly popular in the anime community and among cosplayers. But do we really know what Vocaloid is? Have you ever wondered how Hatsune Miku, the Kagamine twins, and their friends really burst out the addicting, catchy tunes we know and love? This information panel will shed light on the process from computer screens to projection concerts and everything in-between.

The How-To of Marker Art: A Workshop
This workshop will show how to use alcohol-based markers for effective illustration purposes. We will cover marker techniques, thumbnailing ideas, application of markers, and best working surfaces. Important: It is recommended attendees bring a line drawing with them completed beforehand that is ready to color.

The Insane Manga Challenge part IV: A New Hope/ Insane Anime Challenge
Do you want to win free prizes? Do you want to prove you’re smarter than your peers? Do you want Internet celebritydom?! Why not prove your smarts, win free stuff and test your knowledge at Spiraken Manga Review’s Insane Manga Challenge Strikes Back! This trivia game show pits players against each other with categories like “Akira Toriyama WHO”, “Anime Vs Manga”, and “Manga Cliches”. Anything can happen. Audience participation is recommended/required!!

The Secret History of Yaoi and Yuri
We’ll be looking at Heian literature and art to find the earliest mentions of what we would now call yaoi or yuri. We’ll trace these elements from magazines for girls of the early 20th century to the shoujo manga revolution of the 1970s to explain all the most popular tropes of yaoi and yuri manga and anime.

The Women of Mobile Suit Gundam
Gundam is not just about the boys! This panel will focus on the significance women have in Mobile Suit Gundam and the Gundam universe as a whole. We will look at characters such as Fraw Bow, Sayla Mass, and Lalah Sune. References to literature as they are relevant to the series will also be discussed.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Scenes
Remember that show that fans talk about but no one has a copy? Or that movie that keeps getting referenced in a dozen different series? Our panel of experts (AKA geezers) have assembled scenes from spectacular, yet nearly forgotten shows that captured the hearts and minds of animators and fandom alike. Who knows? You might find a new favorite of your own.

Touhou: A World Within Our Own
Welcome to Gensokyo, a magical world hidden within our own, containing your wildest imaginations – from terrible monsters to alternate dimensions to prepubescent girls firing mountain-crumbling lasers out of handheld devices that fit perfectly in their pockets. Some might argue that such a chaotic, yet fantastic world is without sense, that it could only be reserved for the insane…come find out for yourself!

Tokyo S.O.S.! 60 years of Godzilla!
From Tokyo in 1954 to the mega city of 2014, Godzilla has reigned as King of the Monster for 60 years, leaving ruins of cities in his wake. Presented by the Tokyo S.O.S. Podcast, we will show clips from Godzilla’s greatest hits and discuss the best and worst of his reign. So join us as we celebrate Godzilla 60th birthday and pay tribute to the KING OF THE MONSTER! Presented in conjunction with the Absolution Network.

Toonami: A Celebration of a Generation
From its initial launch in 1996 to its rebirth in 2012, Toonami has defined a generation of animation fans in America. Come join the Absolution Network for another year as we review 18 years of animation excellence, from its beginnings with Moltar showing Voltron, Thundercats, and The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest to TOM and the Toonami of now showing the likes of Sword Art Online, Blue Exorcist and Black Lagoon. Come celebrate the past, present, and future of Toonami!

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

Troubles of Translation: Translation and Localization 101
This panel will look at translation (English and Japanese), using animation, manga, and video game examples. Localization issues and the differences between translation, interpretation, and localization are topics that will also be covered.

Vertical 2014
North America’s premiere publisher of eclectic manga and J-pop prose returns to AnimeNEXT for their sixth year. And this year…well, we’ve got nothing new to announce. Seriously. But we WILL have a powerpoint and be answering questions, despite being most likely drunk and tired. Expect to see Vertical’s marketing director squirm under the bright lights and deflect the barrage of heavy-hitting questions that can only be produced by AnimeNEXT’s manga literati!

Visit Japan even on a Budget!
Learn how to plan a two week trip to Japan for Under $2500 – or less! Let FLR show you how!

Wigs for Beginners
A basic Wig 101 course for those of you new to the world of wigs or wanting to learn more about them in general. Come get a hands on experience of the anatomy of wigs, fiber discussion, how to wear a wig, and some simple styling tricks and tips. Advice will be given on places to purchase, tools and accessories, as well as storing and maintenance.

Yaoi vs. Yuri
Every genre has its own stereotypes, but yaoi and yuri are two similar, yet opposite genres tend to be viewed very differently by the author, audience, and critics. Join us as we discuss the similarities, differences, and stigmas attached to these popular genres!

18+ Fandom Panels

Please note that photo IDs will be checked for age verification and are required for entry into the following panels.

Ecchi to Hentai: What’s the Difference? [18+]
The panel is going to be a comparison and debate about what is the fine line between hentai and extremely ecchi anime and manga. Clips will be shown.

Girl’s Guide To Hentai [18+]
Think hentai is just for the boys? Think again! This panel provides a brief overview of fierce females in hentai as well as some hilarious blasts from the past. There’ll be trivia and prizes as well as more racy fun than you can shake a tentacle at!

Insane Manga Challenge Adult Edition -Triple The Impact [18+]
Want to win free prizes, gain Internet notoriety, and are over the age of 18? Why not test your manga knowledge at Spiraken’s Insane Manga Challenge Adult Edition: Triple The Impact, now with more naughty questions, bizarre images, awesome prizes (including a rare Tezuka manga up for grabs) and insanity! Players are pitted against each other in categories like “Questions of DOOM”, and “The Japanese Salaryman’s Power Fantasy”.

Sake Tasting Panel [21+]
One of the most popular 21+ panels returns to AnimeNEXT 2014 for the fifth year running. Learn about the varieties of sake, such as Honjozo-shu, Junmai-shu and Ginjo-shu for example. Learn why Nigorizake is cloudy. Learn what choko and tokkuri are.
Important: This panel is only open to attendees that are 21 years of age or older. You must sign up for this panel at the main information desk in the Garden State Exhibit Center. Attendance is on a first-come first-serve basis and there is a $20 charge for the panel… and oh yeah, you do actually get to drink the sake if you are eligible for attendance!

Would You Rather: Anime Edition [18+]
Would you rather pick Charmander, Bulbasaur, or Squirtle? Now, can you defend your choice? Great! Can you do so in a room full of people with minds full of silliness and naughtiness? PERFECT! Come on in! Back by popular demand, this panel is being presented by Mac, AKA Waldo, and the other members of Substandard Science! Our panelists will come up with questions in which you get to tell us which side you choose and why, all the while reveling in the silliness of the panelists and your fellow attendees! As an 18+ panel, adult language is to be expected! (Warning: Flying candy may also occur).

Panels and panel locations are subject to change. Updates can be found at our info desks or by checking our Guidebook on any web enabled smart phone.