Anime Expo 2014

So this past weekend has been spent on my yearly Anime Expo trip, and I could definitely say it was a largely enjoyable experience.  Truth be told, I enjoyed this year’s more than last year’s and while it may not have been perfect, the more enjoyable events certainly made it worth it and I had a great time overall.  My anime watching has been slowed quite a bit with Thursday through Sunday being spent on AX but it was definitely worth it, behind though I may be.

Day 1

Well, I guess technically AX started on day 0 for me with a 4 hourish wait in line to get my badge.  It was a long wait, though I had friends to pass the time with and I knew I wouldn’t have to cut into my expo time on the first real day of the convention.  Apparently there were technological difficulties and whatnot so that left the line stagnant for a while, though eventually it did begin to move and after lots of random discussions and hours passing I was able to successfully retrieve my badge.  So fast forward to the first day, I arrive at the expo at around 11 and meet up with the rest of my friends.  After a bit of planning and waiting around, I head off with some of my friends to the Kazuki Nakashima panel.  For those who aren’t aware, Nakashima was responsible for writing Gurren Lagann (my favorite anime) and Kill la Kill (which got a lot of attention at this year’s AX), and also worked on Nodame Cantabile Finale, Oh! Edo Rocket, and Re: Cutie Honey, though I have not watched any of those myself.  So I get to the line about an hour in advance, though after some waiting the workers say that the panel has been pushed back to Saturday, a bit disappointing for me but it gave me some time to explore the exhibit hall.  Ultimately, however, I do look around a bit but that day I did not purchase anything, waiting to spend my money for another day and see what else there is for me to buy.

In any case, my group of friends go outside to eat lunch and as it happens, Anime Expo has a Gatchaman Crowds truck selling ice cream.  Luckily, AX attendees are able to get one free cup of ice cream and I was able to enjoy some fabulous green tea ice cream.  Speaking of which, Gatchaman Crowds was all over Anime Expo this year, which surprised me a lot considering it doesn’t strike me as an especially popular series and I had also just finished watching it weeks prior to AX (I really want to write about it, but with that huge backlog of series……one day, one day).  A big part of it is definitely Sentai Filmworks, which licensed the series and had a bunch of Gatchaman Crowds stuff around, and when it comes out I definitely wouldn’t mind purchasing it, though I hear Sentai neglected to localize the 13th episode (the director’s cut of episode 12, which explains a great deal more about some rather confusing aspects of the ending) and that’s worrying considering just how much that episode contributes to the ending’s execution and coherence.

Much of the time after that was pretty dead for me, I’m honestly not sure if I went back to the exhibit hall or just sat around waiting with my friends but around 4:00 I went over to Anipiano 2014, which I’d been very excited for in the months prior.  Having met Ishter and Animenz at the fan meetup around my spring break, I was really looking forward to the concert.  Sadly, Animenz injured his hand due to intense and extended practice and got tendonitis and was thus unable to attend, which was truly a shame, though recently he recovered so that was great to hear.  Just prior to Anime Expo, I saw on Facebook that those who bought a VIP ticket could receive a free one, and I had gotten mine as well as a friend’s prior so I was able to get 2, though sadly we only ended up using one as one of my friends joined us to go to Anipiano but the others were more interested in some of the panels at Anime Expo.

I also feel the need to point out that, as I mentioned in my anniversary post, Ishter recommended me Gatchaman Crowds back at the fan meetup and that’s the only reason I got around to it when I did, so it was pretty neat how the timing worked with all the Gatchaman stuff at AX.  When I got to the VIP meetup, I told Ishter about how much I enjoyed Gatchaman Crowds, and for those of you who haven’t watched it yet, it’s definitely a worthwhile series.  I’d like to ramble more about it, but there’s already a lot for me to go on about as is so I’ll have to save that for another day.

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So those who got VIP tickets received the signed piano booklet with some of Ishter’s exclusive sheets shown in the picture, and that was definitely neat for me.  It contains Tabi no Tochuu (OP for Spice and Wolf), Colors (OP for Code Geass S1), My Song (from Angel Beats), Dear You (from Higurashi, though I’m not sure if it’s from the anime or the VN, I personally don’t remember it from watching through the anime), Vogel Im Kafig (from Attack on Titan), and Odds & Ends (Miku song by Supercell). I looked through the sheets and it’s some pretty intense stuff, I saw a lot of notations that I don’t recognize at all and it looks pretty advanced.  I do want to give these a try but I’ll definitely have to ask my piano teacher about some of the material on these sheets because there’s so much I don’t understand, though it’ll definitely be a great learning experience getting through all of these.

In any case, the concert itself was very enjoyable.  Anipiano started with Raj Ramayya, who performed songs from Cowboy Bebop and Wolf’s Rain (which I haven’t seen yet), and even did a “depressing version” (I think that’s how he described it, it was something along those lines at least) of the Pokemon theme.  He was later joined by Steven Blum and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, who voiced Spike and Julia from Cowboy Bebop, though I watched Bebop in sub so I’m not too knowledgeable about that (and I do intend on watching Bebop in dub sometime in the future considering how much praise it gets).  I am familiar with some of their work in other dubs though, primarily Naruto since I spent much of my childhood watching Naruto in English.  Following this, voice actress Christine Marie Cabanos (who voices Shiemi from Blue Exorcist, Azusa from K-On!, Madoka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Minori from Toradora, though I haven’t watched any of these dubs yet so I’m not familiar with her work at the moment) and her band Ten Year performed some songs.  Following this, Ishter himself began performing and just as during the fan meetup, I was amazed with his playing.  He began with a Certain Scientific Railgun medley, though I have yet to watch any of the Toaru series so I did not recognize those songs.  I believe all the other songs he performed afterward were from anime I’ve seen, however.  I know he performed songs from Angel Beats, Code Geass, Fate/Zero, Guilty Crown, Kill la Kill, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Spice and Wolf, and Sword Art Online before finishing off with both OPs for Attack on Titan.  I don’t remember if he played songs from other series but I know some from all of those showed up in some form.  There are some songs I wish he would’ve played (something from Gatchaman Crowds would’ve been amazing and I would’ve loved Bios from Guilty Crown) and it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t do any fabulous piano duets with Animenz this time around, but his performance was still absolutely stellar and I was once again amazed with Ishter’s fantastic piano playing.  I hope that sometime in the near (or perhaps far, if things don’t go as nicely) future that Ishter can return to LA, and with Animenz at that, to do another great performance and showcase whatever new transcriptions he gets to once that time comes.  Not sure when (or perhaps even if) it will happen but it would truly be something glorious and I’m definitely eager to find another opportunity like this.

By the way, here are a couple Youtube videos with some Anipiano footage.  The first was posted by Ishter and shows him playing My Soul, Your Beats while the other one is a video I found while searching on YouTube with some of the songs Ishter performed along with Christine singing.

 

In any case, thus ends the first day of Anime Expo for me.  I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that my friends went to the Ami Koshimizu and Ryoka Yuzuki panel while I was at Anipiano, and reportedly it was quite fabulous.  I was banking on my friends seeing Gen Urobuchi since I really wanted to go to his panel and couldn’t because of the Anipiano schedule conflicts, though unfortunately my friends didn’t either.  Urobuchi’s panel was in the same room as the one they went to and took place right after, but the rooms were cleared out and (understandably) there wasn’t enough room for them to go in by the time the panel was done as the line was too big.  Seems pretty frustrating that my friends couldn’t get in at all because of that, I guess it’s understandable the rooms would be cleared out (though that’s not always the case at cons, something I’ve often used to my advantage) yet that’s a pretty awful way to learn how these things go and I wish that could’ve been communicated to attendees in some form so they wouldn’t miss out on something they really wanted to see.

Day 2

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So begins day 2, and luckily for me I don’t have anything pressing too early so I explore the exhibit hall once again.  Still picky about spending money, however, my money supply remains unused and I head off to the Production I.G panel once I’m done exploring the exhibit hall.  There were some trailers for some of their ongoing and upcoming series, including Kuroko no Basket (well, not sure if I can really say ongoing for this since they showed S2 stuff, but S3 is on the way), Haikyuu!!, Ace of Diamond, Psycho-Pass New Edit and S2, Ghost in the Shell: Arise, and Ao Haru Ride.  There was also footage for the new movie Giovanni’s Island as well as mentions of screenings in theaters and even at Anime Expo too, though I didn’t get around to watching it at the expo.  Since Production I.G always has a panel at Anime Expo, it was mentioned that perhaps other studios such as Studio DEEN or Bones may be willing to have panels with some of their new work in future years of Anime Expo so that would be pretty neat.

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Not too long after the Production I.G panel, I headed off to one of my favorite parts of Anime Expo this year, the Kill la Kill event.  The guests who attended the event were Ami Koshimizu (voice of Ryuuko), Ryoka Yuzuki (voice of Satsuki), Kazuki Nakashima (writer), Yousuke Toba (producer), Sushio (character designer and chief animation director), and Eir Aoi (performer of first OP).  The KLK event was packed with quite a lot to enjoy, and one of the first things that happened was the premiere of the first episode of Kill la Kill’s dub.  I’m not all too familiar with dubs and primarily watch my anime subbed, but I must say that they did a pretty solid job with the dub casting for the series.  The voices sounded very fitting and quite close to the Japanese cast (something the voice actresses also remarked themselves) and while it may be too early to say how the performances compare overall, I felt it was a very good job on the whole and it certainly seems like the rest of the dub will be great as well.  Guess I can say there’s another parallel with Gurren Lagann (which had a dub I enjoyed a lot, though I do still prefer the Japanese voices a bit) beyond the presentation and creators now.  In any case, it was really neat to hear what the guests had to say about their work on the series.  They were a pretty lively bunch and you could tell from how they interacted that they had a lot of fun working on KLK and that they had a lot of love for the series.  Koshimizu mentioned that she was fond of Ryuuko as she respected how honest and determined she was and that she made sure to get what she wanted.  Yuzuki noted that Satsuki was a difficult role for her to perform and I noticed that her regular voice is higher and much less intimidating than the grand presence KLK fans have come to know with Satsuki’s personality in the series.  She mentioned that she herself had doubts about her own performance and wondered if she was truly a good Satsuki, but just like in the series with the characters, the Elite Four’s voice actors were very supportive and encouraged her all the way, believing in her to the end.  And indeed, her work on Satsuki is quite commendable and brought a lot to her character in my eyes as well.  Both Koshimizu and Yuzuki got to recite lines from the series as well.  I don’t know for sure if this was Ryuuko’s line but I feel like it was the following: “This is a keepsake from my father. And this Scissor Blade was left behind by the person who murdered him. Now, you’re going to tell me who this Scissor Blade belongs to, Satsuki Kiryūin!”  As for Satsuki’s, I can say with certainty she recited her speech from the beginning of the series, saying, “Fear is freedom! Subjugation is liberation! Contradiction is truth! Those are the facts of this world! And you will all surrender to them, you pigs in human clothing!”, with Yuzuki humorously repeating the “pigs in human clothing” part.

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Following this, Eir Aoi’s concert began and that was amazing stuff.  One thing that was neat about it was the fact that everybody in the audience received the glowstick in the picture above.  It’s pretty neat because you can switch to a bunch of different colors (aside from the blue in the picture, it has red, green, white, orange, purple, pink, and yellow), but that wasn’t all.  All the glowsticks were controlled during the concert so that different sections (or sometimes even the entire audience) had specific colors at certain times so it was pretty cool looking around at the audience and the masses of colors surrounding me.  Apparently they’re the first ones to reach the United States, so it’s awesome to have one and it’s nice to know that I have a spare glowstick I can bring in case I find another concert that I can use one for.  As for the concert, it was really good and I’m so glad I got the chance to see Eir Aoi perform.  A couple years ago I saw LiSA in concert at Anime Expo as well and thoroughly enjoyed that.  Funny how I heard the first Sword Art Online OP at that concert before watching the series, and the trend repeats again as Eir Aoi performed the new OP for the second season prior to my watching (as sadly, I’m still pretty behind on the new ongoings this season, having only seen the first episode of Tokyo Ghoul).  I absolutely adored Crossing Field and upon hearing Innocence (SAO’s second OP) later on, I really hoped that I would get the opportunity to hear that in concert, and indeed I got that opportunity and it was truly beautiful.  Aside from these songs, I know she performed Aurora (which I believe is one of the openings for Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, and is such a good song that I wouldn’t mind watching the anime just for that), Avalon Blue, Memoria (first ED for Fate/Zero), Sanbika (insert song for KLK), and of course, Sirius (first OP for KLK).  I know there were others but sadly I wasn’t familiar with them.  More than anything though, I was really surprised when she performed ambiguous (second OP for KLK) because that wasn’t originally her song.  I can’t say it bothered me though as I enjoyed it a lot (particularly because I have much more love for the second OP than the first) and it was really refreshing since I really wished Garnidelia could’ve come to perform that song beforehand.  I had a great time with the concert and I was really glad that I got to hear both SAO openings in concert because those are among my favorite anime openings in general (and I honestly have a great deal more love for those openings than the series itself).

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Ah yes, and here’s a picture I found online of the drawing that Sushio made during the event.  It was really neat seeing how his progress went throughout, though ultimately the finishing touches were made when the Eir Aoi concert was taking place.  Sushio was a really entertaining individual and the audience chanted “Sushio! Sushio! Sushio!” multiple times both at this event as well as the panel the next day.

After the greatness that was the KLK event, my friends were hoping to go to the Sword Art Online S2 premiere.  One friend that didn’t go to the KLK event held a spot for us, though by the time we got out, the line was full and nobody could get in.  Nothing too heartbreaking since the episode was online the day or two after, though it would’ve been a pretty neat way to spend the next couple hours.  I asked him about it afterward though and he told me that there were terrible miscommunications regarding lines and that multiple lines formed before the premiere, complicating things a lot and almost preventing him and a bunch of others from getting in.  Luckily the group he was with was able to see the premiere in the end, though apparently it followed a great deal of frustration, confusion, and some people raging more than they should’ve.  Following this, I went to the entertainment hall with my friends and played a bit of BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma and Persona 4 Arena.  Can’t say I did too well since I’ve never played a BlazBlue game before in my life and I’ve only played Persona 4 Arena a few times, but it was pretty enjoyable I suppose.  After a bit of playing, I decided to go home and thus ends the second day of Anime Expo.

Day 3

And so I’ve reached the halfway point of the expo (perhaps more so given how short the last day is).  I start by once again taking a trip to the exhibit hall and, surprise surprise, I actually DO find something to buy.  Well, just one thing, but that one thing is something very significant indeed.

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I feel like I’ve mentioned this before at some point during my blogging (though I’m not entirely sure where or how much) but I’ve been on the hunt for the second Fullmetal Alchemist light novel for the longest time.  I got my hands on volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5 a while back, but I just couldn’t find 2 and this was really frustrating for me because I read through the first one yet couldn’t read the rest because I didn’t have 2.  Well, I suppose I could’ve given the novels don’t necessarily seem to be one entirely linear plotline, but I’m an obsessive person that just can’t go out of order like this, and so I have yet to read through 3-5.  Well, as you can tell by the picture, I have at last found volume 2 at a manga booth, and I rejoiced quite a bit indeed.  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten my hands on the more exclusive items on my list that I can’t so conveniently find online so this was a real treat for me.  A small yet oh so significant purchase indeed.

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Following this fabulous purchase, I proceeded to wait in line for 3 hours to see K: Missing Kings.  3 hours is a pretty troublesome amount of time to wait (and in retrospect was probably more than truly necessary) yet I didn’t want to take any chances.  My Anime Expo 2013 experiences taught me the dangers of being too slow about getting in line for a premiere when I failed to make it to the Blue Exorcist movie premiere.  I intended on getting in line an hour in advance and a friend of mine went 2 hours prior, but neither of us were able to get in.  Considering I just finished K, the thought of something of this sort happening again was not at all pleasant for me and I was thus determined to wait a bit longer to ensure getting in.  Luckily for me, 3 hours was more than enough as I not only got in successfully but also ended up with a really good seat to watch the movie.  K is fairly popular but certainly no Blue Exorcist among the anime fandom so I suppose it’s only logical that it wouldn’t be quite as crowded, and that definitely makes me happy because it meant I didn’t have to worry so much in the long run.

Anywho, so regarding the K movie.  I might as well go on about K in general as well since my huge backlog pretty much means I won’t be putting the review up here for a very, very long time.  So K is a series I wanted to watch for a while because the premise seemed intersting and the visuals were pretty nice, along with the fact that a lot of people compared it to Durarara!! (a series I really enjoyed) and the fact that the movie was gonna premiere at AX was a great excuse for me to get around to it.  As expected, the ideas presented were really intriguing and there was definitely some worthwhile content from the series overall (though to my surprise, it was hardly like Durarara!! at all, there are a few parallels as far as setting and the various factions of the story but other than that it really isn’t close to it as far as development or structure).  However, as is often the case, 13 episodes is a very limiting amount, and while I did enjoy K overall, I couldn’t help but be disappointed in how little the anime got to display in the long run.  The characters felt largely undeveloped and there was a lot of potential that simply wasn’t explored.  Still, the world itself was very interesting, there were lots of other aspects to explore, and while the plot did suffer a bit from pacing issues and lack of detail overall, there were certainly some interesting twists and seeing how things progressed was certainly enjoyable.  K would probably be something along the lines of a 7/10 for me.

As for the movie itself?  Personally I enjoyed it more than the TV series, but I must warn you in advance that there is a multitude of factors that contribute to higher enjoyment on the whole.  I didn’t anticipate too much from the movie because I was a tad disappointed by the TV anime, my expectations were also lowered by the fact that it is a movie in and of itself (and would thus be unlikely to have the capability of bringing development a full-length anime could anyway), a 3 hour wait (a decent portion of which was spent in the sun) makes it pretty easy to enjoy just about anything in comparison, and finally the feels in the movie hitting really hard because of the events near the end of the anime.  To be honest, I don’t know if I could say with certainty if it’s “better” or “worse” than the TV series (personally I’d say most people would enjoy it at about the same degree, as it’s unlikely to shift your opinion of the overall experience dramatically) but I enjoyed it more than the TV anime and even putting that aside, I feel it is a worthwhile installment because it adds a bit more to the series as a whole and, better yet, brings a very big possibility of the rest of the series continuing (which would make me very happy at this point).

The basic idea is that Kuroh and Neko are looking for a certain someone (those of you who finished K know who that is) and one day come across Anna and Rikio from HOMRA being chased by a suspicious figure. Kuroh and Neko hope that Anna’s powers could be used to find said character but alas, her powers haven’t been properly functional as of late. Nonetheless, Kuroh and Neko decide to help them out but discover that the Green Clan is responsible for trying to take Anna (which isn’t really a big spoiler given how quickly this is revealed in the movie). I don’t want to give too much else away (particularly because it will be a while before the movie will get its BD release and subs online) but the story displays how the K world progresses and shifts following the dramatic conclusion and expands just a bit on some of the clan and character interactions too.

My expectations were fairly low going into the movie so it was pretty easy for the movie to meet (and personally, surpass) my expectations. In retrospect it was far from being an intricate or complex plot and it was pretty short in the long run, yet I felt it did a really nice job of following up the TV story. In particular it shows how the Red Clan members have been doing after the TV series (Yata in particular gets a great deal of screentime), introduces a character very relevant to Kuroh’s past, and more than anything, sets the stage for a very likely continuation of the story. Considering the nature of what happened in the end of the anime, there were some extremely emotional scenes (some of which certainly made my eyes water) and it was really moving seeing how some of the characters responded to it all. I can definitely say the badassery is in full function too though, as the fight scenes are as great as ever and some scenes are nearly as intense as the more dramatic scenes in the TV anime (though perhaps not quite to the degree of the anime conclusion) and the movie really does establish a larger sense of scale, but it doesn’t get to carry it all out as it is suggested that such a thing is to be left to a sequel (season 2 perhaps?).

The characters are largely the same as they were in the TV series so if you liked them there you’ll like them here, though if anything I’d say Fushimi was depicted in a more sympathetic light in this movie as compared to his more psychotic and twisted tendencies in the series. Everyone else basically gets more moments of the same types as in the series (both in terms of badassery and hilarity, and it must be said that there is indeed much hilarity from the movie as well), and even dead characters do get some screentime (once scene in particular involving them left a powerful impression on me, and once the movie’s out to the rest of the world it’ll be pretty obvious which one I’m talking about), though there aren’t any magical revivals or anything along those lines. Some characters get some absolutely amazing moments (one of whom I can’t say because the big impact is seeing just who that character is and their relevance to how things progress following the TV series) and from the looks of it there’s more to expect from the cast individually and with their interactions in the installments ahead.

In any case, K fans have been left on a cliffhanger once again, though if the series plays its cards right, season 2 (or whatever is ahead) could be something really good.  The series has established a good deal of potential, and while there’s no guarantee it can act on it all even with another season, I feel the movie did what it needed to do and if nothing else, it’s given me a good deal of hype for the rest of the series, something I wouldn’t say the TV anime did given it was a good but hardly a great watch for me. Personal enjoyment contributed a lot to my own experience with the movie and I can’t say that everyone else will enjoy it as I did but anyone who did like K to some extent really should watch this movie once it’s out, I feel it’s a worthy successor to the series and set the foundation for interesting things to happen. With many of the mysteries surrounding the main TV anime story revealed, the story can focus more on the clan conflicts that I enjoyed and I think that could really make season 2 enjoyable for me.  Overall, K: Missing Kings would probably be something along the lines of an 8/10, it was really enjoyable for me and if any of you are K fans, rest assured that this is a worthy (if a bit short) sequel and that there is definitely something to enjoy.

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And it looks like with that I spent a lot of time rambling about the K movie, perhaps too much but since it will probably be months until it’s out for the rest of the world, I think it’s fair to spend some time writing about it and I hope it was worthwhile reading through that.  Before I’m done on K though, there were a couple guests who came to the event as well.  First was Masakazu Morita, who voiced the movie’s new character Yukari Mishakuji.  I’m not too familiar with Morita’s work but he did a fantastic job in portraying his character.  He noted prior to the movie that Yukari spoke using feminine language (and indeed, Yukari’s pretty high on the fabulous scale as far as the K series goes) and that his fighting is something along the lines of a dance of sorts (and this is very true, especially with the visually dynamic presentation K’s action has).  After the movie was done, there was also a short performance from the band Angela, who performed the opening for K.  Sadly, they only performed two songs, but it was still great all the same.  I’m not entirely sure about the first song (it might have been the ED to the K movie, which I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to because I was too fixated on the hype over what I just finished watching) but the second song was, as expected, the OP for K, and that was very enjoyable.  It’s too bad that the performance couldn’t be longer but it was a really nice way to end the premiere and I had a good deal of fun.

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You’d think that after all that writing the day’s done, but there’s still one more thing for me to discuss.  Since Kazuki Nakashima’s panel didn’t take place on the first day, it was moved to this day, though it ended up being a Kill la Kill panel with Yosuke Toba and Sushio as well.  The panel was pretty much Q&A, and sadly there isn’t a whole lot I remember in particular since I don’t retain a lot of the Q&A stuff afterward.  As for what I do remember, there are a few bits.  Some people asked about the pairings in KLK, I know one person asked whether Ryuuko x Mako or Gamagoori x Mako was official.  The guests said that KLK was meant to focus more on strong friendship than romantic relationships (though with some of those Gamagoori Mako interactions, that seems a bit suspicious to me) and that things of that nature are left to the fans, though Sushio very comedically mentioned that his ideal pairing would be Sushio x Mako.  One person asked about the color scheme of Mako’s attire at the end of the last episode (I imagine those of you who have finished KLK understand what I’m referring to and I can’t elaborate because of spoilers), though the guests said it was nothing more than a coincidence.  Another person asked about Satsuki hearing Junketsu as Ryuuko could hear Senketsu, though the guests said that this was not the case.  However, they joked about making a special episode with Senketsu meeting Junketsu at the cleaner’s and giving Junketsu a speaking role with the voice of Char Aznable from Gundam.  I’m sure there’s a lot more I forgot but those were the highlights, or at least the things that stood out to me the most.

After that, more BlazBlue playing!  Can’t say I got much better, but one of these days I do plan to get the games (largely because the anime disappointed me a lot and I heard the games did a much better job with the story) so hopefully then I can improve.  After that, day 3 ended as well and so AX approached the end.

Day 4

So finally it is the last day of Anime Expo.  There are a few things to talk about but this day was pretty uneventful compared to the rest, as one might expect.

Day 4 actually started out earlier for me than the rest since I had to wake up earlier to get in line for a Vocaloid panel.  The Vocaloid panel focused primarily on some  Vocaloid composers and their new work.  There were videos for new songs from Wataame, Utata-P, Kagome-P, buzzG, and sunzriver, though one of them (I believe it was sunzriver) was ultimately unable to make it to AX.  Sadly I didn’t catch the name of most of the songs (I believe Kagome-P’s was DQN Style 2 and it was sung by Rin, though the rest I don’t remember clearly or just didn’t see the name to begin with) and it seems most of them haven’t been put online quite yet to begin with either.  There was a part 2 for the Vocaloid panel as well, though sadly I didn’t go as my time in the exhibit hall was quite limited this year and I wanted to go back there one more time to check everything and make sure i could nab anything I wanted to buy.

And so I returned to the exhibit hall in pursuit of things to purchase.  I was contemplating buying Saya no Uta but it was $25 (which I believe it was the entire weekend) and it’s cheaper on Rightstuf so I decided to hold back on that.  I did make a few other Blue Exorcist purchases though.  First and foremost, I got the following two keychains:

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These are keychains of Izumo and Shiemi, two of my favorite characters in Blue Exorcist (just under Rin).  I contemplated buying these at earlier conventions and actually bought keychains for Rin and Yukio at Pacific Media Expo last year, though I decided to hold off on getting more.  Well it seems this year was the time for me to get more as I bought the other keychains I wanted to get before.  In the end, I also bought these:

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I was hoping to find these for cheaper, but it seems I wasn’t so lucky.  The Blue Exorcist DVD sets were $70 each, and with that I spent a pretty hefty $140.  They were pretty much the same price as online (okay, technically Rightstuf had them for $69.98, but a 4 cent difference isn’t gonna do much for me, especially since I’m not entirely sure about their policies as far as tax and the like, which actually might not have applied now that I think of it….) so I decided to buy them sooner than later in the end.  Perhaps I should take the chance to buy Aniplex stuff at PMX instead of AX next time around.  I bought the Durarara!! DVDs for cheaper at PMX a couple years back whereas the Aniplex booth was unwilling to lower the prices any further for Blue Exorcist knowing that was the cheapest they would be sold.  I guess there’s no guarantee I’ll be lucky enough to get lower prices at PMX next time around either but I’m really hoping I’ll be successful because those Aniplex prices are painful for my just out of high school and still without a job money supply.  I’ll probably find an on-campus job at college or something like that, but who knows how much that’ll help my wallet.  In any case, I really do want to support some of those series (and of course Aniplex happens to get a lot of the big mainstream series, and a bunch of things I really enjoy) but it’s hard when those releases have frightening prices compared to Funimation or even Sentai.  There are some things I’m willing to support (and if anything it was the frequent reads of my Blue Exorcist review on here that led me to buy the DVDs, or who knows how long that would’ve taken) but I can’t say I’m eager to go buy all the Aniplex stuff as is.

Anyhow, following that was a long period of waiting and eventually my group going over to wait in line for the Closing Ceremony.  Once again I came face to face with the atrocious thought of a line out in the sun, but luckily after a bit we got to go inside and avoid the heat.  Conveniently, while everyone waited for the ceremony to start, one of the big screens showed someone playing a game called Rogue Legacy and it was actually pretty entertaining seeing how things went.  It was quite amusing how the audience (me included) cheered as the player succeeded and sighed when the character ended up dying and it was some pretty intense stuff while it lasted.  After this, the closing ceremony began and there were goodbyes from a number of guests present as well as some videos from others who could not be present for the ceremony.  With the conclusion of the closing ceremony, AX 2014 finished and once again I found that my tiring yet enjoyable convention experience has finished.

And wow, I ended up writing a dangerously large amount for this, so if you read all the way to the end I must congratulate you on your effort.  This feels significantly larger than the rest of my convention posts and it took me a very long time to actually write all of this out, but I hope it was worth going through.  I’m actually not sure if I’ll be able to go to Anime Expo 2015 because of a possible schedule conflict but I’ll have to see how it goes and hope that things will turn out well.  Until then, guess I’ll just have to wait for PMX and see what other things are ahead for me.  This was pretty awesome stuff and I hope that I have more to look forward to from cons in the future too.

  1. You should check out Wolf’s Rain. I enjoyed the series, apart from it having four recap episodes in a row.

    • I definitely want to give it a try when I get the chance. I don’t know a whole lot about it, so I’m not even sure if it’s the type of series I’d enjoy, but it’s one I’ve heard about for years now so hopefully I can watch it sooner or later.

  2. Looks like you had fun :p

    “Following this, I went to the entertainment hall with my friends and played a bit of BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma and Persona 4 Arena.”

    Arc System Works for entertainment? *thumbs up* I only played BlazBlue myself though (and even then, I haven’t started Chrono Phantasama) and I also haven’t play Persona 4 Arena. Also, my skills sucks😡 I will most probably be embarrassing myself if I’m challenging with other people, lol.

    The concert looks really nice though, and that’s actually a pretty good lineup of songs.

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