This Week in Pinball: Texas Pinball Festival Recap


I must confess I never got through Akira. It bored me so much I walked out of the last 30 minutes. Ghost in the Shell was okay, but the Stand Alone Complex series was better than the original (season 1 vastly better than season 2 if we need to be even more particular).

I’m sure most people who claim to like anime would be able to cite Akira (though whether they watched it is another matter). A safer “legendary” pick would be Neon Genesis Evangelion (you can argue it’s still timely since they can’t seem to stop re-working the thing over and over and over and over… it’s like George Lucas is overseeing it!). Or anything by Miyazaki.

I’m not a big anime fan. I’m naming things I know (and thus arbitrarily considering them “mainstream” and widely known). So if I’m sputtering out ideas then I’d also suggest Full Metal Alchemist.


Not sure what CS means, but today’s anime fans, and I mean the ones still currently into anime and watching the latest ones, have little interest in anything made before the animation went digital. The people still enjoying Akira today, for the most part, are either older anime fans, fans of film and/or animation in general, or people just up for anything. That is, they’d be the people you’d expect to be going out of their way to watch movies from the 1980s.

You can check the trends on sites like MyAnimeList or some pirate sites I’d rather not name as I don’t want to encourage traffic there, but these sites track viewer counts. Of the top 100 anime, most of them are anime either made in the past 10 years or had been on the air within the past 10 years. The few that manage to remain relevant after that long (like Death Note, Darker Than Black, or Neon Genesis Evangelion) are rare, but are also the ones most likely to have a number of wealthy fans. (NGE in particular–there were some cars that sold for literally US$1 million each, and they were sold out in a matter of hours.)

Heh, I can tell you’re not a big anime fan because you didn’t realize “Fullmetal” is one word in the title. (I kid. But fans of that series will get real mad if you don’t correct it in a hurry.)

Currently, the rights to Evangelion are in chaos, as Gainax (the studio that made it) has recently filed for bankruptcy. In the process, Gainax sold off the rights to its shows to various companies. The thing is, under Japanese law, creators always get the final say, and they’ve since scattered to different companies (or have passed away, which is another major obstacle to getting the licenses to Japanese franchises, especially old ones). If I recall correctly, Hideaki Anno, the producer and creator, currently works at Studio Khara, and most of the others still alive work at Studio Trigger. Khara and Trigger are on good terms, but the fact remains that with Gainax no longer in a position to make deals, these people have to be hunted down one by one (though Khara owns the rights overall, so I think you only have to go to two studios). I get the strong feeling that Anno will veto any pinball machine made of Evangelion though, considering there have been very few video games based on Evangelion relative to its popularity. (By contrast, My Hero Academia, in two years, has already had at least four games either set in its universe or containing characters from it. Black Clover just got a video game and it just debuted a few months ago.)

(For the record, there is an imitator on the airwaves right now: DARLING in the FRANXX, though it’s really more like Evangelion if it was produced by horny teenagers.)

Most people who claim to like anime would at least be passingly familiar with Akira, though only a minority would be interested enough to watch it. As I explained above, there is a sort of old vs. new rivalry, as was explained and mocked in Vice & Luna’s “Invasion of the Old-Timers, Part I” (currently ongoing).


Cool Shimmer, obviously you’re very into that world! Some of the newer stuff you’ve named I’ve heard of but don’t know anything about. Probably folks that are within 10-15 years of my age, 35, would have heard of ghost in the shell and Akira, even if they had no other anime touchstones.
Mmmm, even if we pretend it was an original theme, though, a pinball machine about a teenager with a cool bike and a friend that turns into a giant monster would be cool. Especially in light of TNA, which is original but doesn’t strike me as being particularly high concept.


Well, Ghost in the Shell is popular and mainstream enough to have had that live-action movie starling Scarlett Johannson last summer.

By the way, if you or anyone else wants to know, as of the time I’m typing this, these are the top 24 shows streamed on Crunchyroll, which is by far the most popular legal source to stream anime. (There is one exception though: RWBY is not an anime, but is an American-Canadian co-production. It is very popular in Japan though, and would also make for a good pinball machine albeit you’d have to market it strictly to on-location operators.)

  1. Dragon Ball Super
  2. Boruto: Naruto Next Generation (this is a spinoff of Naruto)
  3. One Piece
  4. Black Clover
  5. Overlord
  6. Naruto Shippuden
  7. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
  8. Hitori no ____a - The Outcast (I think this place has a swear filter…)
  9. Gintama
  10. Hunter X Hunter
  11. DARLING in the FRANXX
  12. Citrus
  13. My Hero Academia
  14. Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
  15. A Place Further than the Universe
  16. Bleach
  17. Naruto
  18. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
  19. The Silver Guardian
  20. Pop Team Epic
  21. RWBY
  22. Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
  23. Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
  24. Record of Grancrest War


a One Piece machine would be cool but definitely a different demographic than AC/DC :slight_smile:


To be fair, NONE of the series on that list really shares much overlap in demographic with AC/DC (with the possible exception of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which has a lot of references to the band with characters and powers named after them directly as well as their songs and albums…though there are plenty of viewers not familiar with AC/DC and thinks the series invented phrases like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”).


Supreme Pinball Machine

  • What is Supreme?
  • Is this Good or Bad for Pinball?
  • Features and Info


Saturday Special Edition!!

Interview with Ben Heck:

  • Why He is Leaving Spooky
  • Alice Cooper Nightmare Castle Preview
  • What is Next for Ben Heck



  • Iron Maiden and Deadpool Rumor Roundup (coming Thursday)
  • Ben Heck Leaving Spooky Pinball
  • Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Preview
  • Stern Code Updates and FIRST LOOK at Guardians of the Galaxy topper
  • Manufacturing Plans for the Rumored Kingpin Remake
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Live on Twitch with the JJP Team
  • Pinball Bulbs - Advertisement
  • The Big Lebowski Update - Dutch Hopes to Begin Manufacturing in April/May
  • What is the Hardest Shot in Pinball?
  • Supreme Pinball Machine
  • Victory Laps - End of Post Bonus
  • MATCH! Next Game…What is Coming Up on TWIP


This Week in PINBALL

  • Iron Maiden Coming?
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Deluxe Review – Interviews with Eric Meunier and Keith Johnson – from SDTM: a pinball show
  • Charlie Emery Interview with the Head 2 Head Pinball Podcast
  • Guest Writers NEEDED
  • Thunderbirds Distribution and Pricing
  • New Code – Total Nuclear Annihilation and Batman ’66
  • Zidware Claims – deeproot Pinball
  • Pinball Bulbs – advertisement
  • Scott Danesi Interview with the Pinball Players Podcast
    Total Nuclear Annihilation Storyline SPOILERS
  • Pinburgh Sold Out in under 45 Seconds!?
  • Houdini Pinball Upgrade Updates
  • Victory Laps – End of Post Bonus
  • MATCH! – Next Game…What is Coming Up on This Week in Pinball
  • Upcoming Games and Rumors


I would assume we have enough people here on this forum which could discreetly drop some potential timeframe for Iron Maiden? :wink:



  • Star Wars Topper and Shooter Knob Updates
  • Keith Elwin Interview with The Slam Tilt Podcast
  • Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle - More Hints from the Spooky Pinball Podcast
  • Alice Cooper joins the Pinball Profile
  • Pirates of the Caribbean from Jersey Jack Pinball
  • PAPA 21 Being Pushed to 2019?
  • Pinball Bulbs advertisement
  • IFPA: National Winner, Women’s World Pinball Champion, Pin-Masters
  • Thunderbirds Updates and Kiwi Pincade 2018
  • Victory Laps - End of Post Bonus
  • Match! Next Game…What is Coming Up on This Week in Pinball
  • Upcoming Games and Rumors


EXCLUSIVE EXPO 2018 Cancelled, Replaced by Pinball Palooza? Interview with Rob Berk.

The Chicago Pinball Expo has been run by Rob Berk and Mike Pacak for 33 years. They have now split. Rob will be starting a new show called Pinball Palooza. It is not known what will become of Pinball Expo.


Will this take the place of Expo on the Circuit calendar?


The Power100 Championship has been . . . well . . . I don’t exactly know yet :slight_smile:

Paging Trentaur on what he plans on doing with all of this.


To clarify the headline, “EXPO 2018 Cancelled, Replaced by Pinball Palooza?” is supposed to read as one big question.

From some Facebook posts made by Mike this morning, it sounds like he is planning to still hold Expo October 17-21. So two pinball shows in Chicago in the fall.


Yes two shows. If pinball palooza materializes who knows.


Hopefully @trent jumps ship and brings the Sternament to Schaumburg.

Or, hey, just hear me out… PINburgh… SCHAUMburg… c’mon midwest, let’s do this. I would personally bring a bank of four games for that.


Mines well call it SternBurgh Sternament as they own the circuit. What’s next?


Stern doesn’t own or operate the events on Stern Pro Circuit, but don’t let that stop you from this weird generalization.