Anime Expo 2008 – Entry 1 of 2


Coming off of last year’s miserable convention as well as the SPJA’s inability to actually be organized, I entered this year’s Anime Expo with disturbingly low expectations. It didn’t help that this year, I wasn’t all too enthused about the guests of honor unlike last year when Hirano and Co. made an appearance. But I still went nonetheless and set my bar really low with the hopes that there wouldn’t be a repeat of last year’s waiting in line for 3 hours fiasco and that the convention would actually be enjoyable this time around.

How AX2008 Fared (Part 1 of 2):

So after arriving at the convention hall around 7am on Friday morning, the lines had already begun to form and once the registration gates opened, we moved in pretty quickly and also got out rather quickly as well. Gone was the need to go through a cumbersome process just to get the badges printed out. This time, they had a handy machine that scanned a barcode on the confirmation email and sent that information to another machine to have the badge information printed automatically. I probably managed to get in and out within the span of 15 minutes. Needless to say, this was a massive amount of improvement compared to years past.

And it’s off to the arcades we go! The AX messageboards indicated that there would be no Melty Blood Act Cadenza there which made me pretty unhappy because of the losses I took last year. But as I went into the arcade, lo and behold, the messageboard goers lied and there it was: a Melty Blood Act Cadenza machine. I did manage to get a few games in and succeeded in beating 2 people before getting my face smashed in by someone playing Nero and by another person playing Neko-Arc (Yes, I’m still seething over that one. My lack of playing Melty Blood definitely showed there.). Oh yeah, and I was maining Shiki Tohno the entire time because I’m still a scrub. I also tried a game of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, but for some reason, I was really off that day (or maybe my opponent was just really good) and lost pretty badly though the second round was much closer than the first round due to the back and forth.

After wasting enough time at the arcades for about an hour, there was a block of time when I stood in line to get tickets to the Yoko Ishida/Jyukai concert held at the Nokia Theater and after that, it was to the Exhibit Hall. There wasn’t a whole lot there to catch my attention aside from the Nippon Ichi USA and the XSEED booth, which had some pretty awesome looking posters. The booth for Aksys Games was also rather interesting because they had a playable version of Guilty Gear II Overture out as well as one for Battle Fantasia. I also got a good look at Tales of Vesperia and the animation for that was definitely very nice. Alas, time was running short and after a quick lunch, it was off to the Yoko Ishida/Jyukai concert!

For those who remember it, the SOS-Dan concert last year was terrible both in the quality of the singing as well as the scheduling. None of that happened this year and it’s an understatement to say that my expectations were completely blown away.

The show started off well enough with Geneon doing some previews of some shows it had planned to bring over stateside and some of those were rather nice even if I did ponder about whether they’d be able to make a reemergence in the R1 DVD market. One of the noteworthy things included Hellsing Ultimate which was pretty much a story revolving around Alucard and Co. fighting off Nazi zombies. It’s bloody and violent and is all that you really ever expected out of a Hellsing show anyhow, so I suppose expectations were met. Another preview followed, this time of shows that are out in Japan including Allison and Lillia (which I approve of), Nabari no Ou (which I heard was ehhh), Kamen no Mad Guy (ecchi comedy with a GAR.. maid… guy), and some other series whose title I have no idea though it looks like it’s derived from a dating sim with some supernatural elements to it (the girl the main character comes across can manipulate electricity or something). Overall, not too terrible in terms of picks but not overly impressive either. There were better series in the Spring lineup as you’re probably very aware.

In due time, Yoko Ishida’s concert began and from the very start she managed to entrance the crowd with a medley containing some of her anime-related works. I was able to recognize most of the songs contained in that medley even if I couldn’t place the anime series in which they appeared. Of the songs that I could come up with, White Destiny (Pretear), Sugar Baby Love (Sugar: A Little Snow Fairy), and Towa no Hana (Ai Yori Aoshi). There are probably more that I missed, but nevertheless, that was a great way to start things off. The next song to come up was predictably enough, Open Your Mind from Ah My Goddess (TV). A brief moment where the emcee played for time so that Yoko Ishida could prepare her next pieces took place and after that, it was Para Para time. The next medley featured a lot of anime mixes including Let Me Be With You (Chobits) and You Get to Burning (Nadesico), but the next song that really took the cake was Cruel Angel’s Thesis (Neon Genesis Evangelion) which seemed like it came out of nowhere and shocked me to the point where I was absolutely stunned, and then left shitting bricks. Basically, Yoko Ishida’s performance was excellent and I was definitely pleased with what I heard. Her voice was pretty good and she made very few mistakes unlike Aya Hirano last year (Note to fans: Aya Hirano is terrible with live performances). Her performance made the registration fee for AX worth it! Definitely something not to be missed!


That’s it for now! Tune in sometime tomorrow for my review of Jyukai’s performance as well as a summary of what transpired afterwards (including my ill-gotten loot) as well as an overall opinion of what I thought about AX 2008.


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.

0 thoughts on “Anime Expo 2008 – Entry 1 of 2

  • July 6, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    ::grumble:: 7am on a friday morning… ANAL RETENTIVE @#$@%@#$@#$. my day was ruined because of that… RUINED!



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