As promised, I thought I would recap this year’s experience at the Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits (SGMS) conference that I attended, located in Minneapolis MN. This was my 4th year going and my 3rd year presenting. This year I presented on Studio Madhouse, how they got started and how they evolved over the years. Recently I have been intrigued by the collaboration aspect of animation and studios, so I wanted to trace the roots of my favorite studio, Madhouse. Some of their works include, Deathnote, RedLine, and Summer Wars.
SGMS is an very interesting conference, in the regards that it isn’t like a convention like you may think. Instead, presenters discuss a topic that they have researched and share them in panel discussions that are in similar areas. The presenters range from college professors, to fans that want to share their research with the audience. Personally I tend to share animation based content since I am an animator and enjoy researching it. It is nice to hear presentations about cultural and academic aspects of anime, because quite frankly, anime gets a pretty bad stereotype based of a select few titles of what people may have seen or heard.
Anyways, this year there were presentations ranging from the rise of Kpop music in Japan to the retirement of Miyazaki and even the changes of the word “otaku” through the films of Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue and Paprika). There were some panels on the evolution of fandom, the anime industry and government regulations. The keynote speaker talked about Fukushima and his work to help the area recover since it isn’t an easy solution. He gave a presentation and later he returned in the weekend for a Q/A panel that he graciously went over time with because we all had so many questions for him regarding Fukushima and other cultural aspects.
At night, we also had some film screenings. This year we saw the live action Kenshin film (review next week) and I also watched the screening of Wolf Children, again. The film gets better every time I see it, can’t wait for it to be released.
I am already thinking of topics for next year’s conference and look forward to seeing everyone again soon.