...Okay, yeah, that reference may be a little dated. Anyway, this is Raitzeno, just home from day 1 of Naka-Kon, an anime convention in Overland Park, Kansas (in the Kansas City metropolitan area, since many of you have probably never heard of it). Today was basically a scouting day for me and my fellow panelist, Protonstorm; we weren’t repping Ani-TAY with our branded t-shirts yet, just grabbing badges and scoping out the rooms our panels are set to take place.

We got press passes this year! They’re cute. :3

We did attend a very interesting panel: “Practicing Japanese Through Watching Anime”. We initially came to laugh at it, but the panelists introduced themselves as JET alumni, which changed the tone immensely for the better. The JET program sends native English speakers to Japan to teach English, where they in turn learn Japanese through immersion. It’s a well-respected program in concert with the actual Japanese government, and the speakers today definitely did their program proud.

They started off with why attempting to learn Japanese solely from anime doesn’t really work, and quickly transitioned into ways to use it as supplemental material to make learning the language fun and approachable. They touched on many other useful tools for learning Japanese, including electronic flashcards, live-action dramas, and online tutoring. They also answered a LOT of questions, on everything from kanji to calligraphy to edutainment video games.

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Protonstorm also briefly checked out a concert by Aya Kamiki, an award-winning Japanese pop artist. It was pretty cool, even though we were unfamiliar with her songs! (We also discovered that his phone camera is vastly inferior to mine, as you can see here. :p) After that, we sat down and did some planning for the panels tomorrow, then split off for the night- he’s attending the dance party, and I dance like I have five left feet and three hernias.

We’ll be back tomorrow, where I’ll hopefully be taking a ton of cosplay photos, and we’ll have some pictures and maybe even audio/video recordings from our panels! See you then!