So once again I was lucky enough to attend the annual Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles, California. Some GoHs this year were Yuki Kajiura, FictionJunction, LiSA, Ryo Horikawa, and many more. Here is a quick rundown of just about everything I did this past weekend.

Day 1 — (Friday) June 29th, 2012

  • Total Eclipse panel w/ Minami Kuribayashi and ayami. This was in promotion for the new Muv Luv anime series that’s currently airing on television. This was a great way to kick things off for Day 1 — although I don’t know why she was looking down most of the panel.

  • Ryo Horikawa focus panel — VA for Vegeta of DBZ. Now here was a guest you know was definitely happy to be there. He spent his Q&A stepping down from the stage and onto the floor with the rest of us. Of course someone just had to ask, “Can you please say its OVER 9000?” [Clip]
  • Yuki Kajiura/FictonJunction focus panel. No photos or video recordings were allowed for this. Kaijura kept her mood professional throughout the whole panel. The other girls seemed to really enjoy the fan gathering. The Q&A portion proved to be interesting; with fans from all different parts of the world.

Day 2 — (Saturday) June 30th, 2012

  • Vocaloid panel “Mirai no Neiro” pt2. Unfortunately I had to miss part 1 the night before. However this presentation included famous Vocaloid producers such as Dixie Flatline, DeadballP, OdoP, and agoanikiP — not all pictured. Each told an interesting story of their arrival in Los Angeles. For me I was the most excited to see Deadball — been a fan since like forever. He even played the video for “Japanese Ninja #1” for us. Amusingly he said he doesn’t remember why he ever made the song.

  • Fate/Zero staff panel w/ Hikaru Kondo and Ei Aoki. Some of the questions were in regards to a possible anime adaptation of Fate/stay night works from them. I liked how Kondo replied, “What is Stay Night?” [Clip]

  • From their autograph session.

  • LiSA focus panel. No photos or video allowed. This was just a mess from the AX staff. Not only did it start late, but they chose the smallest room for her. So many fans had to be kicked out of line. But the panel itself was great. LiSA brought with her an energy that only she can to brighten the room. She showed some clips of current and future projects, some Q&A with fans, and in the end gave away autographed posters for answering some trivia about herself.

  • Yuki Kajiura/FictonJunction concert. No photos or video recordings were allowed once again. This took place in Hall G and not in Nokia Theater — thank you X-Games. But either way, this was the main highlight of this year’s Anime Expo event. It started about 45 minutes late, but I couldn’t complain too much as I patiently sat in the front row for this. Once the show started I was exposed to a nostalgic trip down memory lane as the group performed songs from such anime titles as .hack, Mai-Hime, Noir, and Aquarian Age. Everything was perfect except for one thing. Why no Madlax?! That left me a bit disappointed. But the concert was still a great experience.

Day 3 — (Sunday) July 1st, 2012

  • Madhouse focus panel w/ Takuya Tsunoki, Kunihiko Hamada, and Asaka Morio. This one included the creative team behind Chihayafuru — which they were really thankful that so many outside Japan were watching it. For the Q&A portion, questions concerning Cardcaptor Sakura and Chihayafuru seem to dominate. Luckily another Kaiji fan like myself asked about a possible season 3. Nothing could be confirmed by the team, however it is highly probable. And if so, it would be about mahjong.
  • LiSA concert. This was absolutely amazing! Her energy was enough to just radiate and spread to everyone in the crowd. She sang her rendition of the opening theme to Angel Beats, “My Soul, Your Beats,” as well as tracks from Fate/zero and Sword Art Online. It was definitely a memorable performance. [Clip]

  • Total Eclipse screening. For making us patiently wait 30 minutes after the scheduled time, we were rewarded with the first 2 episodes of the new Muv Luv anime. I can honestly say that I was ultimately satisfied with what they produced. This also allowed Minami Kuribayashi and ayami a chance to perform live on stage for us. They sang new material from the TE series.

Day 4 — (Sunday) July 2nd, 2012

  • Like literally nothing of interest was happening on Day 4. So this was mostly spent at the Exhibit Hall where I went on a bit of a last-minute shopping spree. You can check out the merchandise I purchased down below. But first…

Autographs

  • Everything you see here was signed by Nippon Ichi Software president and producer of various NIS titles, Sohei Niikawa. As he was signing my LE copy of La Pucelle Ragnarok, I asked him of a possible sequel in the works. He told me that there are no plans on the table at the moment, but he does have it in mind. I really hope to see something in the future. Its my favorite NIS game of all!

  • Next is my Kaiji figma signed by the staff at Madhouse. This signature belongs to chief animation director Kunihiko Hamada.

  • This one belongs to Asaka Morio.

  • Lastly I had Takuya Tsunoki sign the right side of the box.

  • Here I had the voice of Vegeta, Ryo Horikawa, sign my Dragonball Z season one DVD boxset. Very nice guy in real life.

  • One of the most important missions going into this AX was to receive Minami’s autograph — I absolutely loved her role as Haruka from KimiNozo. And I just had to have it on the base of my GSC figure. As you can see, mission completed. Also received autographs from the staff of Total Eclipse.

  • This is the Fate/zero artbook I bought at the dealer’s hall. Definitely had to have the staff of the series, Kondo and Aoki, sign it.

  • This one was sorta unexpected. Vocaloid producer agoanikiP, of “Double Lariat” fame, was signing autographs and I had nothing for him to sign. So I just pulled my program out and had him apply his signature right on there. Hey better than nothing.

Merchandise

  • Some things I bought were this Dark Precure extremely rare LE figure from MegaHouse; Lili PVC from Hobby Japan; Rin “UBW” figure from GSC, Ika-musume PVC from Kotobukiya; and an Iori “Night & Day AMC” limited edition figure from MegaHouse — only 500 made. Also shown is the KarenT “Fairy tale & Girl’s talk” CD featuring Hatsune Miku. This one sold out quick there.

  • Other things I bought were some Queen’s Blade related goods such as these old PVC figures from MegaHouse. Seriously am considering to start a QB collection.

Overall I had a lot of fun at this year’s Anime Expo event. Everyone has their reasons for going. For me its for the GoH panels, autographs, concerts, and merchandise. Was it as good as last year’s? No. No comparison. Sorry but nothing will ever beat that Miku concert at Nokia Theater! But I’m still left satisfied with what we had this time around. We may have been spoiled quite a bit these last few AX cons, so I can understand how it is. For next year, I really would like to see more manga authors as confirmed GoHs. Also the concerts need to go back to Nokia Theater again. There will be no X-Games to ruin the fun then so I believe we have a good chance.

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