Anime Expo Report – Days 2-4

I thought this was adorable

Hi everyone, Day 2-4 of the Anime Expo here~ Friday completely destroyed me. I was running around like mad to try to fit everything in! Saturday and Sunday were much more mellow, and I spent more time in the exhibit hall than anything else. I’m doing all three days in one big post because I’m leaving for Boston in a few, so you won’t see anything from me until Friday/Saturday! PS – This post is 2600 words long. Just a heads up.

Day 2

First up was the Geneon Universal panel. They were pretty solid, and they announced licenses for: Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Hellsing, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, Hakuoki, and High School of the Dead. Tons of cheers for the first four, and some chuckles in Hakuoki when they announced that the selling point (and I would assume a big reason for bringing it to America), is that it “has gained a fanatical female following in Japan”. You can also bet that the High School of the Dead trailer had Gunbuster like physics, with boobs doing strange things. The gratuitous panty shot was also there of course!

I think one of the more surprising announcements made by Geneon is that they were going to release music from Japanese artists on iTunes! Thus far, they’ve got MELL, KOTOKO, Mami Kawada, and others from their music label “I’ve”. They also got fripSide, Elisa, and Maon Kurosaki on board, no doubt because of their anime licenses.

I actually totally forgot what I did for the next hour or so, but I know that I checked out the TOKYOPOP panel, but left quickly because I wanted to get Yuu Asakawa’s autograph. I went 25 minutes early to get her autograph.

And the line was just as ridiculous as yesterday. Well, I just facepalmed and wandered the exhibit hall for a while, until Eri Kitamura’s panel that is. It was nice seeing her and all, but it was essentially the same routine as the other VA panels, where people fanboy/girled, and I got essentially nothing out of that panel. I will say that she did do a lot more character voices though, and she did Yui-nyan twice… But the BEST part about that panel was this:

You have to watch it. That was absolutely hilarious and brilliant.

Immediately after though, it was time for the Megumi Nakajima and May’n concert! No photos allowed and blah blah blah, so no pictures of that. But it was a great performance, with the order going May’n, then a duet, then Megumi, then the last three were duets. Being Japanese, they tried to speak English on stage, and failed in terms of sentence construction with an epic fashion. Trying to convert particles into English is a definite no go! (listen to my this song?) Anyway, they did all the songs from Macross Frontier, and both also sang some songs from their newest Singles (no cheers at all for those songs :P). Each also sang one song from another anime. I believe May’n did the Shangri-La opening, but I couldn’t place Megumi’s song. For the special guest, they brought Yoko Kanno on stage to play the piano for their final slow songs. It was seriously epic. I believe they sang Lion as their closer, though obviously Yoko Kanno didn’t play the piano for that :P

Immediately after that concert was the Right Stuf & Nozomi Entertainment Panel, where they announced Sora no Woto and Revolutionary Girl Utena. You can bet that the Utena announcement was like opening the floodgates. But that panel wasn’t my highest priority. I quickly got out of my chair and ran to try to beat the fanboys to Horie’s panel. Sucks that the line was about double the length of the May’n line though… Some insane fanboying going on in the Horie panel, and no pictures allowed, so uhh yeah. Not much to say about that…

The autograph session was immediately after, and people literally RAN to the autograph room. It was like a stampede, and I’m surprised people didn’t get run over. I just rolled my eyes and went to the exhibit hall to do some more shopping before the Funimation panel… I came back 5 minutes before to catch it… And the line was double the length of the Horie panel. What the hell you’re kidding me. Ridiculous amounts of hype for that.. But it was worth it. They had a solid panel, with some neat statistics such as how something like 50% of fans were 25+, 40% are 18-24, and the largest growing market is 13-17.

But that wasn’t the reason why we came to the Funimation panel, we came to see what they were going to pick up. And its quite a list! Licensing rescues/re-releases: Chrono Crusade, Gantz, Kaleido Star, Peacemaker, Texhnolyze, Ai Yori Aoshi, Armitage III, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Lain, and the entire Tenchi Muyo! series. Simulcasts: Moyashimon Live Action TV, Shiki, Black Butler 2, Sekirei, Sengoku Basara 2, and The Legend of the Legendary Heroes. New acquisitions: Toaru Majutsu no Index, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, Darker than BLACK 2, Shakugan no Shana 2, movie, and OVA, Black Lagoon 3, Hellsing Ultimate, and Trigun: Badlands Rumble.

They also mentioned Hetalia, and this picture was pretty much where my mind in response to the fangirls

Quite a list, and you can bet that Funimation basically stole AX right there. Tons of simulcasts and acquisitions. After that, I caught some of MELL’s concert (hello free tickets!), but I soon headed back for the Aniplex panel. That panel wasn’t too exciting, as they focused a lot on Gurren Lagann, though they also grabbed Durarara!! The first 22 minutes of Welcome to the Space Show can also be seen on their Youtube page.

The second highlight of the day though was this insane Hardcore rave that was held at the Nokia Theater. Apparently it was 18+ only (and I’m 17), but I got in anyway. Alcohol was abound in cups littering the place, so I think it would be really easy for any minor to drink any. I still don’t get why anyone drinks alcohol. That stuff tastes terrible. Anyway, they had a solid DJ line up for it. I got there late, but I only really missed DJ Chucky. I didn’t like No+Chin’s stuff, but DJ Guhroovy and DJ Schwarzenegger were pretty good. Then REDALiCE came on the stage. Holy crap he was the best DJ I’ve ever listened to. His live performance was sooo much better than his CDs, probably because he just selected his best tracks to play. I distinctly remember remixes of Third Eye and of course Bad Apple, though I also remember hearing some IN track (I think it was Lunatic Eyes ~ Invisible Full Moon). But whatever. All that matters is that he is the best DJ ever, and played Taboo Tears You Up as a finale. I had a ridiculous amount of fun just at that. I wish it happened again on Saturday night :(

Day 3

Day 3 began with the Viz Media panel, which I personally wasn’t that interested in, since I’m not really a manga reader. I’m not sure why I can’t get into it, because even though Impz recommended me After School Nightmare, it’s now on permanent hold because I can’t seem to get back into it despite reading 75% of it. Whatever.

Immediately afterward was the Nakajima panel. Do I need to say again that it was completely superficial and dumb? Moving on. I spent a lot of this day in the Exhibit Hall and Artists Alley just shopping around. There wasn’t anything that I was interested in at all, though I did stop by the Konishi panel for a while to see him. No pictures though :(. Anyway, I’ll talk more about my impressions of the Exhibit Hall and Artists Alley in the Day 4 section, because I basically stayed there the entire time. The only thing to mention during this day was that the Nakajima line was just as ridiculously long as May’n’s line. Didn’t even bother :P

Oh, there’s one thing I have to mention, and that’s the contest Funimation held. They had this contest to find three people with Noblesse Oblige shirts on (but they weren’t selling those shirts damn it!), and if you got three cards from them, then you got some free stuff. They gave out clues via Twitter, so I was able to track the first guy down because of that. The second guy said that he was at Nokia Plaza. I spent 30 minutes making about 10 loops around that place to try and find the guy, and I ended up with nothing. After being completely frustrated, I headed back for the aniblogger meet up.

I felt as angry as I would be if I had this job.

It wasn’t a long meetup, but I got to meet some awesome people: Yumeka from Mainichi Anime Yume, Shinmaru from Unmei Kaihen, KylaranAeldin from The Nihon Review, zzeroparticle from Anime Instrumentality, Jan S from Jan Suzukawa, CCY from Mega Megane Moe, three people from AnimeDiet, Ray, Mike, and Rome, and we passed by omonomono as we were walking back to the convention, but we unfortunately didn’t have time to talk. Tons of cool people, and I had lots of fun talking to them. I wish I could have seen Shinmaru in his Persona cosplay, but I did get to see CCY walking around in Keine cosplay, which I definitely saw the previous night at the rave (bento hat yeah!). We ended up chilling out at a food court location, where CCY and I were able to get some Japanese food before the store closed down (everyone else got Quiznos). Somehow CCY was able to live on just pure white rice, which is a mystery to me, but we hung out and chatted for a while. KylaranAdelin was extremely talkative, which was really awesome for just getting conversation started.

The meetup kind of broke up after a while though, and we went our separate ways. I headed to the all ages dance, heard the crappy music, left after 5 minutes, grabbed a free ticket to the Masquerade, and watched the cosplay show. The highlight wasn’t the acts, but the AMVs that won the contest held yesterday. Some very good stuff, and the three winners were an FMA one for Drama, Gurren Lagann one for Action, and a fast food one (playing on the pizza Code Geass thing + McDonalds/KFC craze in Japan) for Comedy. The Comedy one was very well done, and ended up winning best of show as well.

Anyway, I had to leave to catch the subway train before the winners of the Masquerade were announced, so onto Day 4! I really hated that the MangaGamer panel was 18+. After all, they had enough eroge on display in the event hall with little censoring, and Hentai was just laid out for all eyes to see as well. I saw some Mahou Shoujo Ai DVDs, Wordsworth, Hentai Doujins all over the place, etc etc. Also some titles I’d never heard of, though my exposure with Hentai is limited to the popular ones, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t know the vast majority of them. I also saw that they didn’t check ID at all if you bought Hentai DVDs. I was really considering buying a Mahou Shoujo Ai DVD and bringing it home… But I decided against it in the end for obvious reasons :P

Sidenote: If you get people to cosplay popular characters and sing popular songs. No matter how poorly they sing, they will always gather a crowd.

Exhibit 1. Terrible singers, but drew a big crowd.

Day 4

The day began with Danny Choo’s panel, which was fun because he showed a subtitled episode of his show Culture:Japan. Some interesting stuff, especially since the episode took a look at the typical Japanese High School. He also showed some short Black Rock Shooter preview, which I thought looked like crap, but it’ll probably be a big hit anyway with those fans.

The daughters of the Danny Choo panel

Afterward, I basically headed to the Exhibit Hall and Artist alley for the rest of the day. There was a lot of stuff there, but there was a LOT of overpriced crap and a lot of just crap in general, so I had to do some serious weeding out to find good stuff to buy.

First off, the Artists Alley. I personally didn’t find too much interesting stuff there. The problems ranged from poor shading, to mass produced faces, to strange proportions, etc etc. The vast majority of artists also drew stuff that I wasn’t interested in, namely K-On!, BL, Bleach, Naruto, etc. There were some gems there, but I couldn’t justify spending 10-15 dollars on those. There was also one stall where I recognized pictures ripped off of pixiv (or some image board at least), with no credit given. I was really annoyed by that.

On the topic of problems with art, in the exhibit hall there were about three booths set up for artists who drew a lot of stuff. Wow what the hell it was like they were drawing to a formula. Those serious eyes, same shading levels, same faces, all mugshots, etc really pissed me off every time I walked past those stalls, so I ended up avoiding those areas sooner or later.

A lot of the stuff in the Exhibit Hall was ridiculously overpriced. Figurines (not even good ones), were going for something like 60 dollars, and I found some that had price increases of 150% of what I normally see. I didn’t buy anything, though I gave into my fanboyism at one point to buy a slightly overpriced Youmu doujin/artbook (I love Youmu… And Koishi <3… Now that I think about it, they are both rather flat, have white short hair, and mostly portrayed as rather innocent characters… Hmm…) Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s one:

All my stuff. Total price of $172

I didn’t show a lot of the free stuff I got too, but this was the vast majority of my stuff. Starting from the top left and going in rows: Autographed Eden of the East poster by the Producer, Director, and Head Animator of the series, neko-Patchy and Youmu doujins, Toradora poster, Evangelion scroll, Boogiepop Phantom scroll, Eden of the East poster, autographed sketch by a VN artist (name escapes me at the moment and I’m in a hurry), Higurashi VN, Umineko VN, Asuka figurine, Higurashi Kai VN, Abe Lain illustration book, an art book, Rin figurine, Eden of the East Shirt, shirt from MangaGamers, Toradora Set 1, another shirt from MangaGamers.

I spent so much time wandering the artists alley to find all that stuff, and I don’t think I got ripped off for the majority of it (save for the Youmu doujin as mentioned earlier). Overall a good haul, and I had fun :)

Final thing of note was the Charity Auction held after the Exhibit Hall closed. Apparently any sort of autographed item goes for up to $500, and the top item (autographed sketch by Cowboy Bebop artist), went for $4000. The three items before that (other autographed sketches), went for ~$3000. There were a lot of autographed single Toradora CDs, which went for ~100-500 depending on which CD it was. Silky Heart was ~$200, two Pre-Parade CDs went for $500. I missed the first part, but I think a fair estimate of money generated from that auction would be ~$20000. I never knew people would be willing to pay so much for that stuff, or even have money for that.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it. A great first con, and my feet still hurt. I have a huge backlog of anime to watch, my wallet is lighter, and I’m going to Boston and get to walk some more, but it was totally worth it. A big shoutout to all the bloggers I met at the convention! Thanks for putting up with a big rant :P

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15 Comments

  1. Posted July 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I so should’ve went for the t-shirt game. but no time!

  2. Posted July 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Nice coverage~ Those Rozen Maiden cosplayers are adorable (and that’s some sweet swag you got there too).

    It was great meeting you and hanging out. Hope to see you at a future con =D And thanks for always reading my blog.

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, next year we should meet up again. And hopefully our schedules with be more accommodating next year!

  3. iheartcurry
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Yoko Kanno was awesome. When Megumi commented on the piano, I was like, ” Holy Crap it’s Yoko Freaking Kanno”. They sang Triangular as the last song right?

    I went to most of the panels that you went to and BOY do I agree about those questions. Basically asking the same questions with a little variance here and there do not make a great panel. The Many voices of Kitamura was indeed interesting though.

    For the Selecao Game, on the last day they just had the manager there passing out the cards, I was kind of disappointed since I frustratingly walked from Hall to Hall tracking those Selecao down.

    Did you buy the Umineko + Higurashi vns on the last day? They were having a $10 sale on them, successfully selling them like hotcakes.

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Lion was first with the microphone stands, then they took away the stands for Triangular.

      Lol damn I was wondering why there was such a long line to get the Eden of the East swag on the last day. Now I know :(

      I bought Kai on the last day. The three days before, they gave out T-Shirts with Umineko and Higurashi – those are the two non-Eden of the East shirts. I thought it was a good deal~

  4. Posted July 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    The Nakajima song that was not a part of the Macross F show was Kobato’s ED, Jellyfish no Kokuhaku from Kobato. And yeah, the concert was awesome, though hitting both MELL and Macross F meant I was worn out and wouldn’t be able to do anything else.

    I’ll just echo the same thoughts about the Selecao thingy; wish I had time since the t-shirt looks awesome. Guess that’ll teach me to stick around for all the days so the difficulty gets reduced :p

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Oh Kobato’s ED! I knew the tune seemed familiar, but I just couldn’t place it :/

  5. Posted July 6, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    You can get most of the set list for the May’n/Mamegu/Kanno show here:
    http://gabrielarobin.com/3794/megumi-mayn-at-anime-expo-2010

  6. Posted July 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Plain white East Asian rice – Chinese, Japanese and I guess Korean varieties – are delicious! Thai rice and other long grain ones smell good but have no flavor.

    I envy Danny Choo; he’s got money for all these dolls.

    Love the Yaoi flag, lol!

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Sweet rice is awesome! But I’m certain that the rice CCY got was just… plain :P

      I can live without those dolls :P They’re pretty cute though haha

      I thought the Yaoi flag was a Yaoi parade at first lol. Then I realized it was just a single group. They should totally sell those at next year’s convention! :D

  7. Windaerie
    Posted July 6, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Haha. You weren’t kidding about the lines! If I ever go, I’m gonna have to train in patience first….

    The video of Eri Kitamura was cool, but I think my favorite part of it was seeing that TK cosplayer. :D

    Yoko Kanno!!!!! And I am so very jealous of your Eden of the East shirts. ><

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      The autograph lines were just murder. I just rolled my eyes and moved on :P

      That TK cosplayer was awesome. Unfortunately, I never got a proper picture of him damn it!

      And perseverance must be practiced to get the Eden of the East shirt~

  8. Posted July 8, 2010 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    You are a very patient and energetic young man. Btw, were there random people offering free hugs? I went with a couple of girlfriends to the Con in London last summer (alas, was on holiday and couldn’t go to this summer’s one in May), it was our first Con and that was one of the first things that we experienced there. Needless to say I was a bit freaked out by it at first (the young man in question was politely declined)… and then I realised later that half of the kids there were at it! Still don’t know why though…

    • Posted July 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      I saw one person offering free hugs. I just saw the sign in passing though :P I didn’t do it >.>

  9. Panda
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    what the hell… how is it I spent around 300 dollars and I seem to have less stuff then you… stupid impulse buying T_T…

    < was 1 of the many pandas at the convention…
    < also It's a given people are supposed to hug pandas… that's how life works.

One Trackback

  • By Omonomono » Anime Expo 2010 on July 6, 2010 at 10:17 am

    [...] awesome, meeting W-General again is awesome, brofist to Mrvacbob, Misuzu, Canon2D, Animediet dudes, Mystlord, zz, and the rest of these guys. Another round of :brofist: to Jabel and co., Chun "Tsugumi Ever 17 [...]

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