Anime Expo 2013 Detox and Quick Thoughts

Yes, yes, the tank that had everyone fawning. Including me.

Yes, yes, the tank that had everyone fawning. Including me.


For some people, Anime Expo was simply Line Con, where much of the majority of time was spent interacting with other fans, but in long lines, waiting for one delayed panel event to begin or for the chance to meet an elusive guest and obtain a photo op or, better yet, an autograph. For me, this year’s incarnation of Anime Expo was more of a Board Game Con. Making the drive out to Los Angeles for three subsequent days’ worth of anime conning, only to spend a large chunk of that time playing board games doesn’t seem like a prudent use of time or gasoline, but I assure you it was fun and definitely worthwhile. Certainly better than what I had expected at any rate, if my AX Pregame was of any indication.

Part of that preconception was the timing and content. This year’s Anime Expo comes on the heels of a perfect storm of events, both from personal matters that left me fretting more often than not and from the events that don’t quite pander to my tendencies. So if I looked slightly distracted and not totally focused on the convention compared to usual, well, now you have a hint as to why.

Nevertheless, there were many positives to take away from the whole affair. The Aya Ikeda x CARAT concert featured an act worthy of triggering bemusing musical memetry that will be difficult to forget, especially if I ever find myself at a club, staring at a DJ. I’m sure Yu will have a lot more to say about that. Afterwards, I succeeded in meeting up with Cart Drivers Shinmaru and Inushinde along with a good helping of R1CK_D0M and Toastcrust for dinner at ye olde Pantry (and brought with it a chance to catch up with TheSadeee). Tanto Cuore then became the order of the evening with Desu ex Machina dudes kevo and Usny joining us. I had a strong showing, what with my love building and chambering efforts bearing enough fruit for me to win the coveted, prestigious King of Maids award, much to kevo’s dismay, thereby ending the day on a high note.

The next day was one of panels, and though I was late and failed to catch Mari Okada, I was able to get into the Kick-Heart panel and verify that my funding efforts were worth every single penny. Noizi Ito’s panel, on the other hand, was pretty general and decent, though the only black spot on that panel was the shoddy translator. Oh well. At least I was able to bump into Yumeka and eternal, if nothing else. Without much else to do, I was able to meet up with ashye and pointblanket for yet another rousing round of board gaming. That night’s fare consisted of The Speicherstadt, with its hefty dose of economic intrigue that’s best described as a more intense, no-holds-barred 7 Wonders (really!). Our 2v2 game of Innovation turned out to be a wash for my side though, since the draws were less than favorable and my inexperience clearly showed.

Anime-Expo-Makoto-Shinkai

My final day was a lot more interesting than what I would have expected. I didn’t plan on doing anything more than hitting up the Porno Graffiti concert later in the evening. But as I wandered around the Exhibit Hall, I did get a chance to catch Makoto Shinkai on the Crunchyroll stage where Keith Kawamura doing his thing, asking him questions and all that. It was interesting enough and I thought to see if I could somehow get into the Shinkai Meet and Greet at Lounge 21 which I succeeded in doing, with no small amount of help from Omonomono.

The event at Lounge 21 effectively turned into an autograph session, and boy, was I unprepared, what with no shikishi boards in sight. Thankfully, there were free posters lying about and had him sign one of those. I also got a good reaction out of him when I mentioned the name of someone we both knew in common (< 6 degrees of separation, folks!) and that was a great feeling with which to leave the session.

After that, it was Porno Graffiti. I joined folks including eternal and Kurotsuki to wait for the concert to start, and when it did, I began scribbling away. Expect that report out sometime this week, but the short of it is that I had a great time. Exhausted from the concert, I opted to go home instead of engage in more board gaming, and ended my convention experience a day early, using that extra day to do more Animusic Tourney stuff.

Anime-Expo-2013-Loot

People who’ve actually read previous convention reports will know I’m not a big spender, and like years previous, I didn’t go all-out in acquiring material goods. Getting the Attack on Titan Soundtrack at a reasonable price was a no-brainer, but I was most pleased with the acquisition of a Recettear t-shirt. Seriously, how awesome is that? My only regret is not bargaining with the retailer a bit longer, just to keep in with the spirit of the game. Also, what’s with Aniplex and Kinokuniya selling anime soundtracks as though the Yen/Dollar conversion ratio is 70yen -> $1 USD? Get with the times, people!

So yeah. Detox? Most certainly. Quick… thoughts? Probably not.

About the author

zzeroparticle Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

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10 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. SparkNorkx says:

    Aw, I wanted to go but got way too busy…. Nice article.

    • @SparkNorkx
      That’s the benefit of a local convention, I guess, is even if the drive is an hour each way, it’s not so out of the way that I can’t spend a day there.

  2. random says:

    Sounds like you had a good time.

    Still never been to AX but there’s always next year…

    • @random
      If I had my choice, I’d be gunning for Otakon. Yoko Kanno AND Chiaki Ishikawa? If I had personal matters more settled, that trip would be a no-brainer!

  3. Mouse says:

    Sounds like you had a really good time :) I live in the UK so have no chance of getting to that one but Im looking forward to the one near me in two weeks :D

    Ps. Love the T-shirt… :)

    • @Mouse
      Glad you liked it and while the merchandise I pick up is always worth talking about, meeting people I haven’t seen in awhile or interacted only online is the real treat. I don’t think I enjoyed Anime Expo as much as I do now because back then, I really didn’t know anyone. Now? Totally different story!

  4. maskerade says:

    OMG. SHINKAI’S AUTOGRAPH. GIMME.

  5. Yumeka says:

    Glad to hear you had a good time and managed to get Shinkai’s autograph =D I remember seeing you sitting in the other row of seats to the right of me for Noizi Ito’s panel. Glad I was able to bump into you, however brief XD

    I didn’t know you like Tanto Kuroe too. I’ve heard other bloggers like Shinmaru talk about it. My boyfriend likes it too. Though the card game I really love is Weiss Schwarz, which I’m sure you saw being promoted at AX. It’s great fun. Let me know if you ever decide to get into that one. We’ll definitely play ;)

    I didn’t go to any concerts this year…just wasn’t interested in the two they had. Heard they were good though :3 I spent more time than I wanted to waiting in lines this year but at least I eventually got the autographs I wanted so I can’t say it was a waste. More on that when I post my Anime Expo coverage next week =)

    • @Yumeka
      Yeah, I was moving around a lot and compared to previous years, I didn’t meet up with nearly as much people as I’d like. Good to see you around and that you’re doing well however!

      Tanto Cuore… I’d have to say I enjoy it in small doses, though my deckbuilding preference has always leaned more in favor of Dominion. So for me, Tanto Cuore is more of a relaxing exercise since I can act silly and crack maid-related jokes and puns. As for Weiss Schwarz, I’m kind of allergic to collectable card games at the moment. I think Magic: the Gathering and World of Warcraft’s CCG put me through a few mini financial crises.

      I’m not sure about Carat’s performance or Kaya’s, but I can say Porno Graffiti was worth every minute. Almost wish I can hit up Otakon :P

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