Anime Expo 2014 Detox and Quick Thoughts

Anime Expo has this odd way of taking what should have been a manageable schedule and throwing enough wrinkles to make for a packed weekend. And no, I’m not just talking about the huge crowds or the never-ending parade of logistical problems either.

Everything I had going on, both for work and for fun, had me on my feet the entire time. If it wasn’t a press conference or an event that I was interested in covering, then it was simply reaching out to the anitweeps to meet up, say the hi and hellos, and catch up if I’ve met them previously or put a name to a face if I haven’t. And with all the people to see and things to do, Anime Expo was pretty good at keeping me busy and occupied. It’s certainly better than being bored out of my mind, which can be a danger when you account for my narrow interests in certain facets of the anime fandom.

So when evaluating con-related activities that I was interested in, Anime Expo’s options were pretty good. In terms of concerts, you had Eir Aoi stepping it up (but I wasn’t able to make that, sadly), the duo of Angela putting on a mini-live, a group of rockers called Ani-On who tossed together some anime theme songs at Lounge 21, and the rePlay Symphony of Heroes delivering a solid performance. And there was also the AniPiano2014 concert, which technically wasn’t a part of AX, but was watchable in spite of certain elements that I’ll get into later. Angela came with the mediocre K: Missing Kings movie that succeeded in getting fangirls to gush and squeal when their favorite characters popped up on screen, but that was a danger I was willing to face.

The press events proved to be eye-opening experiences as well. I was able to hit up Yutaka Yamamoto (Yamakan), Eir Aoi, and the two Kill la Kill seiyuu, Ami Koshimizu and Ryouka Yuzuki. Of the three, Yamakan’s Q&A was the most enlightening as he went back to his candid form. As for the Kill la Kill girls, my lack of familiarity with the series meant that I was more of a fly on the wall than an active participant, though there were some interesting tidbits to draw from that. Lastly, my interview with Juilliard cellist Eru Matsumoto was quite fun. Originally slated to be a press roundtable event, plans for that were scuttled when I was the only person to show! Still, that allowed me to parlay the roundtable into a 1 on 1 interview where we mostly chatted about classical music and Japanese who are involved in classical music. The whole atmosphere made it informal and I think that worked out for the best. Stay tuned for the writeups.

As for meeting people, this year felt a touch less urgent compared to previous years, but I was able to catch up with a whole lot of people, from the usual crowd of gendomike, kevo, Usny, Shinmaru, Toastcrust, omo, Yumeka, and Inushinde, to new faces like bobbierob and normalmar. Beyond trawling the Exhibit Hall, we made a special trip out to In-N-Out (because animal style makes everything better) and generally had a blast reliving awesome albums like Pun-colle and anime in general by listening to a randomized playlist of anison in the hotel room. No Tanto Cuore for me this year, but I was good with that since there was much Terra Mystica elsewhere to close out the day.

As is the case every year, Anime Expo Exhibit Hall trawling results in me accumulating things. Unfortunately, my music acquisitions were non-existent this year and the same can be said for figurines and artbooks. What I did buy tended to be functional and practical, hence, two Steins;Gate playmats, and a Legend of Zelda polo that shows enough of my nerd cred without it raising too many eyebrows at work (assuming my reputation hasn’t been tattered already! And yes, I imagine some of you guys read this.). I also managed to stay below a 3-digit dollar figure, so there’s that benefit to be proud of, even if it meant losing out on a pretty decent Kan-colle wallscroll. Oh well. At least I got some Free! for free!

Anime Expo Loot

For all the crowds and all the work that now sits piling up at my desk, Anime Expo, with all its pains and logistical faults, did turn out to be enjoyable. If there’s anything I can take away from the experience, it’s that perhaps, I haven’t become too cynical or too much of an old fogey to enjoy the long weekend that’s been a part of me since 2002.


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.

6 thoughts on “Anime Expo 2014 Detox and Quick Thoughts

  • July 9, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Man, you’ve been going longer than even I have! That’s pretty impressive. (I’ve been attending since 2004.)

    • July 11, 2014 at 12:02 am

      Well, I guess when you normalize it for age, then you’re not that far behind. Now it comes down to one of us stopping this anime con nonsense as we age, but when that happens or who’ll be the first to stop is anyone’s guess!

  • July 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I’m surprised you were the only one to attend Eru’s panel. Man, I wish I could have gone but sadly there was a major conflict in my schedule…I think it was an autograph session but I’m not entirely sure. It would have been so cool to have been one of the few people in the room so I could have asked her a lot of questions. I thought she was great in the re;play concert.

    So as far as the AniPiano concert I assume you mean that group that came on at the end after Ishter was finished? I left as soon as they came on…haha.

    • July 11, 2014 at 1:57 am

      It wasn’t a panel as much as it was a pseudo press conference where people with press badges could show up. But yeah, I wasn’t able to hit up the fan panel she did, so never got a chance to see what she had to say.

      Yeah, I left my Anipiano seat about 3 songs in after the last group started playing, mostly to lurk around and say hi to Ishter at the table where he’d be signing. Managed to get in 30 seconds of conversation, mostly thanking him for that interview he did about 6 months ago.

      • July 11, 2014 at 9:09 am

        Ahh OK I thought you were talking about thepanel…I was like What?! No one even showed up to her fan panel? Still weird that no other press members showed up.

  • July 11, 2014 at 11:32 am

    If you read my con coverage, you probably saw that I took it easy this year and mostly went to casual events and just hung out with friends rather than run around to panels and autograph sessions like I did last year XD I kind of wanted to check out the rePlay Symphony of Heroes concert if it wasn’t on the last day and didn’t conflict with my Pokemon tournament =/ Glad I didn’t miss out on seeing angela though. I wasn’t totally sure they were even having a concert and would have missed their mini-one if I wasn’t waiting outside the movie screening room for my friend XD

    Despite spending a lot of time this year just chilling, I forgot to check out the Press lounge and Lounge 21 XP Oh well, next time.

    I’m glad I got to run into you however briefly. We’ll try to hang out a bit more next time!


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