At long last I have found the time to post my annual Anime Expo 2013 convention report. I hope the old adage “better late than never” applies!
So there I was once again at that one US anime con that occurs every 4th of July weekend out here in Southern California. There was quite a considerable amount of guests at this year’s event that I was very eager to see and meet. But you know, it didn’t look that way for many others in the months prior. Going by the comments on both Facebook and Twitter, those who were planning to attend AX were for the most part disappointed by the early guest line-up. Names like Kaya, Starmarie, Dan (no no, not gonna go there), Ram Rider, etc., were not exactly the big-names we have come to expect from a con who in the past has given us such GoHs as Yuki Kajiura, Kalafina, Megumi Nakajima, and Hatsune Miku. It wasn’t until late May/early June when AX began to reveal real notable figures such as Noizi Ito, Porno Graffitti, Mari Okada, etc. So why wait until the very last minute to announce your most important guests when there are those who have to make travel arrangements and stuff? I don’t know. For me its always been about the GoHs, their panels, and concerts that determine whether I’ll attend a convention or not. I remember someone (mod?) saying on the AX forums that its suppose to be a “social” thing or whatever and that the popularity of the guests shouldn’t matter. I guess to each their own because I can do that any other weekend. This experience is more of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (Miku concert @ Nokia Theater!) and we’re lucky enough to become a part of it. But yeah, what AX should do is try announcing their lineup earlier as they have in the past. There’s no reason to hold back. We’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out next year.
Anyway, I just had to get that out of the way first. Ahem. Now lets begin this image heavy report!
Waited in line to try it out myself. Already platinum’d the import version so I wanted to show off my mad skills *catface*
Some merchandise that was sold there. Loved the Shirahoshi design in the back.
More anime designs from the show.
Here in line at the Aksys Games booth waiting to try out Blazblue Chronophantasma. Console version isn’t even out yet in Japan. But a playable beta version was here for us to try out!
If its fighting game related, you know I’m all over it. This is the Lab Zero Games booth where new Skullgirls character Squigly is playable.
Man there sure were a lot of food trucks at AX this year. Complete list here. Took a shot of this one because I just loved the name.
A contest was held prior to AX where 50 random people would be selected to attend a special Little Witch Academia fan event. I was lucky enough to be chosen. The whole thing took place on the 3rd floor at the JW Marriott hotel. Along with getting up-close and personal with the staff, we were treated to a short documentary called, “How the Magic Was Created: Little Witch Academia Work Log” — which will also be featured on the Blu-ray release later this year. Let me tell you I really felt the emotion those five young animators felt from their hard work during production. From laughing at their reactions to the workload, to feeling sympathy when they struggled in meeting deadlines, these animators should feel proud of making such an outstanding anime project.
He also provided us with a live drawing session, demonstrating the different techniques he uses. Panel video found here.
In the pit area for the Porno Graffitti concert (sorry no video allowed) at Club Nokia. This was the place to be. These guys performed such an amazing show. They had the entire audience clapping along with their music, pumping their fists, jumping up and down, and even laughing during their MC segments. The live was so full of energy that I’ll definitely never forget anytime soon. Only thing I regret is not bringing a towel.
My Nameko fan signed by Vocaloid producers KagomeP, buzzG, Dixie Flatline, UtataP, and illustrator Wogura. You’re probably saying,”WUT?” Well its all I had with me because I had no idea they were having an autograph session the day before their panel. But hey I got to meet my hero KagomeP. When I showed him the fan his exact works were, “you like Nameko?! I like Nameko toooo~!” Dixie Flatline said, “Nameko looks really macho.”
EP of Yuki Kaai’s “innocent girl” signed by producer KagomeP. I got this autograph after the “Mirai no Neiro” Vocaloid panel was over. I met up with him downstairs where we got to chat together a bit. He told me how seeing the CD brought back a lot of good memories and how it was one of his proudest works. Since all I had was a pen (a pricey one at that) on me, he used that to sign the single. But he forgot to give it back! Its cool though if he keeps it. We already follow each other on Twitter, so there’s no words to describe just how awesome this man really is.
My copy of “SRW 2ndOG” game signed by Kazuhiko Inoue. He does the voice of Yanglong so I had to get him to sign it. This game was easily my pick for most favorite of 2012. Looking forward to Masoukishin III later this summer.
“Kodomo no Jikan” anime artbook signed by screenwriter Mari Okada. I asked her since the manga just recently ended if there were any plans for a new OVA. She said there isn’t anything planned but would love to work on the series again in the future. One can only hope!
Ah these next ones were received on the final day of AX. The Skullgirls cast were nice enough to arrive and hold their own autograph session at the Lab Zero booth. This is a Valentine poster signed by her voice actress Laura Post.
This limited edition poster was sold for charity where some proceeds would benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Here is mine signed by MikeZ (producer), Kinuko (Art Designer), Joshua Tomar (announcer), Rich Brown (Big Band VA), Cristina Vee (Cerebella VA), Christine Marie Cabanos (Filia VA), Sarah Williams (Peacock VA), Laura Post (Valentine VA), and Lauren Landa (Squigly VA)
Time for some merch. Believe it or not I didn’t get that many figures this year. Because most of what the dealers had on sale I already own! No joke. Last I checked I had over 600 figures in my collection. Which makes me realize, I really need to start reviewing some. Will work on that. Anyway here are 3 nendoroids — Maiko version Madoka, Yukata version Miku, and Sakura version Miku — that were sold at the GSC booth.
If you were at the Aksys booth and saw this Platinum/Valkenhayn 7-foot banner there passing by, well its now hanging in my room. I was just lucky enough to win it. If you recall in 2011 I won an “Arcana Heart 3″ banner from the same booth. Both look so awesome hanging on my walls right now~. However someone earlier won the Rachel Alucard banner that I really wanted. They didn’t even show up on the final day of AX to pick it up. I don’t know who you are, but if you’re reading this, you better take good care of her! I know I would’ve *sadface*
You know now that I think about it, this AX was actually better than last year’s. I mean I got to get a decent amount of exclusive items, meet a lot of incredible guests, and lose myself in two amazing concerts. Sure there were periods of having to wait in line for 2-3 hours under the scorching hot sun for those autographs, but it was so worth it in the end.
Well I had fun and am fortunate enough to share my experience on the blog. Will next year’s con deliver as much as this year’s? Not worrying about that too much now. All I want to do really is sit back and rewatch Aya Ikeda’s Precure Medley performance one more time. That nostalgia~