Big Wow '12: Toshio Maeda

Toshio Maeda is legendary. He is the man who is basically responsible for the creation of the erotic horror genre of manga and anime. If you don't know that is, you don't want to know. His most famous, or perhaps infamous, works include Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend, La Blue Girl, and Demon Beast Invasion. Yes, Toshio Maeda, the master of tentacles, was at Big Wow.

This is the safest photo of Toshio Maeda that I can show you.

Toshio Maeda was never at any show I've been to in all my years of attending conventions, so it was strange to see that him at such a smaller con like Big Wow. He was selling off lots of his original artwork from his various manga work at the show, so fans could get a chance to own a very rare piece of art. The art was not cheap, but for a man who is such a legend, it wouldn't be. For those that couldn't afford his original art, he also had other, cheaper items. He would also gladly sign whatever you brought him and was humbled by his fans.

I was waiting to meet him and a stereotypical creepy-looking otaku was in front of me. He was purchasing one of Maeda's original pieces and commented on how much he loved Maeda's strokes while pointing to the face of Mido Miko, who had some, let's say "stuff," on her face. Way to raise the bar there, random otaku guy. There are ways to compliment an artist that aren't so blazingly creepy. I'm certainly an otaku, but I'm pretty confident that I don't come off that creepy. At least I hope I don't. Anyway, Toshio Maeda is an incredibly polite man and his English is rather excellent. His wife was also there, assisting when she was needed. Throughout making my numerous rounds at the Big Wow floor there I always saw at least one fan at his booth.

It was kind of amazing to meet the legendary Toshio Maeda. Given when Big Wow was this year, I'm surprised that he also isn't on Fanime's schedule, which is just the next weekend. He would have even more fans ready to meet him there at a more dedicated anime convention. I'd be interested to see if Big Wow can get him back next year, because I know there are people out there that wanted to meet him, but were unable to this year.

- Shawn - 5/22/12