Dear friends, fans, and colleagues,
First, I apologize for not being able to make any official statements until now. With confusion by us in change of property management, negotiations, legal battles, personal struggles and tough decisions, it is an understatement when I say it has been a roller coaster for the past few weeks.
As I reminisce on the years that Planet Zero has been opened, I feel blessed for what I have been a part of. John aka ‘Emotiongear’ and I are proud of what we’ve accomplished with PZ and for so many communities of Houston (and in the U.S.) in such a short run. We brought games that people around here have never seen before. We’ve brought guests from around the world. We’ve open the doors for the gaming community with SBO spots, taking some of the best players of the U.S. to compete in Japan against other bests in other counties. We’ve brought so many talents, musicians, artists, models, directors, and even collaborated with companies we have never dreamt we would be working with.
In many ways, we are pioneers, trying to build a center for gamers, anime & cosplay fans, car enthusiasts, business opportunists, and in general, geeks like ourselves, to gather and simply have fun. We didn’t realize what we were up against sometimes, trying to please so many communities. We have dealt with a lot of criticism and even heartache. I guess that’s the risk you take when you have a vision and want to take it to the next level.
The recent article ‘The Rise and Collapse of Yoshinori Ono”, about Capcom’s Street Fighter creative director’s struggles, I can relate.
Ono: “I naturally like interacting with people, talking, laughing, I enjoy Twitter. People always write to me saying ‘Capcom sucks’ or ‘Ono sucks’ and so on. But there’s a positive in that criticism because it means that people care and are interested in what I am doing.”
After many years of stress and pressure from the legendary Capcom franchise, Ono physically collapsed in his home. Rumors spread like fire but he’s still around.
Yes, there’s a price for success or popularity. You will get your fans, loyal ones even, and you’ll get people who simply want to see you miserable and gone. It’s like bullying. Critics with no merit are the bullies, and PZ has had our share of them. To overcome it, you must face your fears, stand up with integrity, and move forward.
So my dear friends, fans, and even my rivals, it is bittersweet for me to announce that Planet Zero Anime Center will permanently close after 6.5 years of business.
It is difficult for us to sustain a business like Planet Zero that requires so much of our time and effort: opening 6 days a week, planning events, hosting parties, tournaments, etc. Moreover, Planet Zero has taken time away from our family that is growing, organizing the largest anime convention in Houston, and plans of building new ventures.
As Yoshinori Ono puts it:
"My aim is to construct a universal community.”
We will move on, continue our dream to create awareness of Japanese culture and its related arts with Anime Matsuri convention. I hope Planet Zero has brought you good times. I hope these memorable moments will continue to flourish in our next chapter. And I hope you will continue to support us in our future endeavors.