If Anime Expo didn’t have a musical component to it, the convention might as well be an offline meetup of folks I talk to online. I’m interested but not raving-fanatic about meeting voicecast members or anime producers/directors, so aside from attending LiSA’s panel (I wasn’t able to make Kajiura’s panel due to work-related reasons), this year’s Anime Expo was far less exhausting since I wasn’t on my feet, running around, filling up my notebook with interesting tidbits. I guess two concerts rather than four helps too.
So really, the commonalities of being an anime fan make Anime Expo a good excuse to socialize and catch up with people I’ve either never met or haven’t seen in a year. Funny how that tinge of familiarity never seems to wane. Either way, the Day 0 dinner event was a good starting point in that it gave a bunch of anime Twitterers and blog writers the opportunity to mingle and talk about metatastic developments in the sphere, in the latest anime, or conducting silly polls like which is the best of the worst of Haganai’s cast of characters (Sena won by a surprisingly slim margin, I believe). I also learned a bit about party planning and given the circumstances and people’s subsequent reactions after all was said and done, I felt pretty satisfied though I do regret not being able to make the rounds and talk to everyone as much as I’d like. If this happens again, I’ll know how to keep the ship sailing smoothly. Also a big prop to Akira for taking over while I wolfed down my food.
Anime Expo Day 2
Day 1 consisted of me returning from work and doing un-con-ventional things like going to a hotel and getting into a game of Tanto Cuore where I grossly devalued a certain card, failed to upgrade my currency units (calling it Love still feels strange) and become the King of Maids. I left after one game, though apparently the rest of the guys (of course it’s only guys) played all the way into the wee hours of the morning. I’m certainly not maid-ing this up.
Anyway, after 5-odd years of somehow missing out on the Anime Expo trivia contest, I was finally able to make it. Unfortunately, my dreams of getting up on stage in front of the crowd and abusing the buzzer system like I did back in the day were quickly dashed when I found out that the format was more along the lines of asking the audience to raise their hands and getting called upon. How lame! What made it worse was that questions weren’t prepared beforehand and that the host apparently just pulled out his smartphone, jumped straight to Wikipedia, and began drawing questions from there. Oh well, at least I was able to win a t-shirt, share some snarky remarks with newly-minted Cart Driver, Shinmaru, and then got out of there, both of us, when the host asked for someone to do a Sailor Moon song and dance as it was still early in the morning and we didn’t want to go blind or deaf just yet.
The next noteworthy event was to see what Ei Aoki and Hikaru Kondo of ufotable had to say about Fate/Zero and Kara no Kyoukai. The crowd for that was pretty enthusiastic and despite not having a lot of skin in the game, I still found that panel to be enjoyable. My quick thoughts based on the notes I scrawled while there:
- A lot of fans tried to pry out answers regarding Heaven’s Feel, which is understandable, but getting a straight answer, based on my experiences, was not going to happen. So when people pried too hard, Kondo feigned ignorance about knowing anything about Fate/Stay Night which made for some chuckle-inducing stonewalling as I watched the people asking the questions try their damnedest to wrangle out some answers.
- Omo ended up asking a question about the Hourou Musuko opening animation sequence and how weird it felt. The animation had a feeling of emptiness, but the music used during that scene was very upbeat, and it was understandable why there could be such a dissonance when those two are paired together. The director, Ei Aoki, gave a pretty good response in that the song was a little bit too happy, so to set expectations for the anime given the subject material, the team opted to go with something a bit more melancholy. Also, a great post idea if I ever get around to writing one: instances in which the opening animation is at odds with the music.
- There was one fan that was clearly from the novel adaptation 100% faithful purist camp and asked why some trivial detail in Fate/Zero was left out. I’ll bet he hated Lord of the Rings because Tom Bombadil was left out and they never depicted the Scouring of the Shire. Jerk.
The LiSA panel and the Yuki Kajiura concert closed out the night and I ended up walking back to my apartment to plan the next day’s mad schemes.
Anime Expo Day 3
Not that there was a huge amount of mad scheming going on. This day turned out to be pretty light and I took advantage of it to head out into the Exhibitor’s Hall to poke around and kill time before the LiSA concert. There was a moment where I bumped into Yumeka right before the concert and we chatted just a bit before we separated and dashed off to our concert seats. After that, more panel planning. The In-N-Out dinner with kevo this year would sadly elude us, but I suppose that’s part of my conniving plan to get him to come back next year.
Anime Expo Day 4
Given the state of my finances, I, once again looked to purchase just one item because you can only do so much on a school budget. After hemming and hawing between t-shirts, figurines, plates, dishes, and coffee mugs (can you just imagine eating your sloppy joes off of an anime character’s face?), I ended up only buying one thing and it was this Himari figurine. From an economics point of view, I probably could have gotten her for cheaper by playing those UFO catcher games while I was in Japan, but eh, the price wasn’t outrageous and I was happy overall.
So after all that, Anime Expo was easily a blast and a large part of that goes to all of the people I met over the course of those five days. Big shoutouts to Nihon Reviewers Kylaran (who narrowly missed out on a Catan victory after getting ganged up on) and eternal, the maid crew of calaggie, Inushinde, Toastcrust, and Canon-chan, the Anime Dieters gendomike and Monsieur LaMoe (the latter of whom I talked to at a Vocaloid booth in the Artist Alley), Twitterers AmoirSP, Kurotsuki and his merry band, zaockle, Mon0rers Tsundelicious, To_aru_Oni, Exciel. Of course, Alex Leavitt, satanslandlady and Marina from Anime B&B. More people whose name is Alex (moy and Alex Strange), more people who share my first name (Teknyx), Blitzwing, and Icystorm. And does TheSadeee count for giving me some helpful site advice? Oh and flomu who didn’t go to my panel and is therefore, unable to criticize me like he did last year (but he did like the Kajiura concert, so all is forgiven)!
Oof, I know way too many people. That’s what makes the Anime Expo experience great though!