It was another good year for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo(C2E2) and ReedPop. The con that brings multiple people with different fandom loves together is becoming one of my favorites. Anime and Japanese Pop-culture is still my top favorite fandom, but comics and entertainment come in a close second or third. This was my second time attending C2E2 as press and I’m starting to get accustomed to this being an annual visit.
C2E2 faced many challenges this year 2020. The leap year has made many conventions change up the dates of their respective cons. The C2E2 decided to push the con dates up from last year. Last year the dates favored spring break across the nation, which made the attendance an explosion last year. The date being pushed up I did see a drop in overall attendance. We have to mention the coronavirus too, in which case Chicago already had a few cases. The convention took many precautions though with tons of hand sanitizer stations and plenty of hand soap in restrooms. Saturday’s attendance I saw a leap though between the two other days.
Overall, the con was good for Anime Pad. The mixture of fandom was great once again. It’s one of the biggest drives for us to attend C2E2. The Boys and The Umbrella Academy panels were brilliant. Especially The Boys’ panel it was hilarious, informative and just plain brilliant. Karl Urban is a treasure and his pal Anthony Starr follows right behind him in things. Laz Alonzo represents some of the much needed Blerd actors in the entertainment scene. Being one of the first to see the pilot episode months before the show premiered I’m looking forward to season two of The Boys.
I did a few interviews with some guests and touched on all of the anime in attendance. That meant mostly of course Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll was big at this C2E2 again this year. They decided to premiere two titles of their Crunchyroll Originals lineup and part one of the #3 OVA of “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.” They hit home that they are making anime shows in house. I didn’t see a Funimation booth, but they had a representative that held a panel. All they did was show trailers of shows already airing on their site and a few upcoming titles. I felt the anime section was lacking versus last year and it’s one of the things the con said they are trying to work on. It doesn’t help that Sony is stinking up the joint with its acquisition of Funimation.
Tower of God seems to be the anime that will garner a lot of discussion and fandom. We got one huge episode from Crunchyroll that ended right when things got super juicy. The Isekai thriller is about:
Reaching the top, and everything will be yours. At the top of the tower exists everything in this world, and all of it can be yours. You can become a god. This is the story of the beginning and the end of Rachel, the girl who climbed the tower so she could see the stars, and Bam, the boy who needed nothing but her. The journey of a young man as he battles his way through the mysterious Tower, building friendships, discovering the rules that govern this tower, and facing unimaginable terrors, as he strives to find the only friend he’s ever known.
The show is an adaptation of SIU’s WEBTOON series, is produced by Telecom Animation Film, and is set to air April 1. The art style isn’t to my liking but the animation is so well done that it enhances the art and makes this a much see paired with a great story. You don’t want to sleep on this one.
The second original from Crunchyroll was “The 8th son? Are you kidding me?” We got two episodes of this show and guess…. It’s another isekai. This one is more of a typical and plain anime. I’ll watch the show but it doesn’t seem to be one that I have to watch first thing upon its release every week. The show is about Shingo Ichinomiya, a 25-year-old salaryman who wakes up and finds himself inside the body of a 6-year-old boy. But not just any boy, he is the 8th son of a poor noble family. Fortunately, he is blessed with a very rare talent, the talent of magic.
I know C2E2 isn’t an anime convention, but I do hope they can include more anime items. I would say C2E2 was a success just for those two world premieres by Crunchyroll. It was a blast of a year overall and I’m looking forward to next year. They’ve already released the dates for next year and they are pushed back around the middle of March. It’s setting up for another massive spring break attendance for the con.