Dun-da-dun!!! This will be my first ever convention (of any kind), and I decided to go big by choosing the biggest anime convention that the US has to offer: Anime Expo. I have been to an academic conference, but I’m preeeetty sure that the experiences are worlds apart. For starters, I’m set to throw down some serious cash if I’m able to find what it is I’m wishing to see–with the second season of Moyashimon soon to air, and Fate/Zero garnering a lot of attention at the con, hopefully there will be plenty of plushies, wall scrolls, figures, and BDs for everyone! I honestly don’t really know what to expect, but I’m going in with some tentative plans for these upcoming days.
To really make things special this year, this will be Anime Expo’s 21st anniversary, and to commemorate the event, there will be a 21+ Lounge available every day. There are also scheduled to be quite a few 18+/21+ evening happenings. I’m also turning 26 right before I leave for this extravaganza, so I’m feeling pretty celebratory for both myself and for the con’s adult emphasis. For now, this is what I have planned:
Day 0: Thursday, June 28th
2:30 PM — Arrival, hotel check-in, badge pick-up
I fly into LA on June 28th, and will drop off all my stuff at my hotel before heading downtown to hop into line for my badge. I’m hoping to meet up with some pals from the AnimeSuki Forums so we can kill the waiting time together. With the extra time afterward, I may explore my hotel area which is situated smack in the middle of LA’s Little Tokyo. Curry and ramen, here I come!
6:00 PM — AX Opening Ceremony
AX will be presenting an opening ceremony to kick off this whole event, and I’m just interested in the whole “red carpet” description they’ve placed on it. If it’s too crazy, I probably won’t stay very long.
8:30 PM — Aniblogger Meet-up
zzeroparticle from Anime Instrumentality is hosting an aniblogger meet-up, and I thought it would be a nice opportunity to chat with my blogging peers and see whether or not my imagination matches up with the actual faces :p
Day 1: Friday, June 29th
10:00 AM —Tales of Vesperia FUNimation viewing
ToV is probably one of my favorite video games of all time, and so watching the film is an obvious must. This will be my first time viewing it, and it will most likely be dubbed, but I’m still excited to see Rita get more screen time.
1:00 PM — Fate/Zero finale screening and Q&A with Guests of Honor
This is a maybe since I’m caught between wanting to hit up the Exhibit Hall as soon as it opens for the general public at noon or jumping in line early for this panel. Being as Fate/Zero seems to be the highlight of this year’s convention, forming up a line for this viewing at least an hour early is probably smart. But, I’ve already seen the final episode and I wasn’t really that thrilled with it. If anything, I’d be attending for the Japanese guests, featuring the VA for Emiya Kiritsugu, as well as the director and producer.
4:30 PM — Yuki Kajiura Guest of Honor
It would be nice to see her a bit more up close before the concert, but I really don’t know how these Guest of Honor panels will run. Obviously we’ll get to see her and perhaps hear her speak? I’m a huge fan of her work on garden of sinners and kalafina.
Day 2: Saturday, June 30th
11:00 AM — Lolita Tea Party
Food and entertainment? I’m IN. There will be a breakfast, some games and activities, and interaction with Japan’s Ambassador of Cute, Misako Aoki.
12:00 PM — Tiger and Bunny Panel
Tiger and Bunny was one of my huge surprises for 2011, and Kaburagi Kotetsu, a.k.a. “Tiger”, was also one of my favorite characters of that year. He’s certainly one of the coolest dads in anime!
3:00 PM — Madoka Magika Panel
The lucky early birds in line for this panel will be getting some Kyubey masks/hat thingamabobs. Yeah, I’m not really into wearing that little devil on my head, but I am curious to see the English voice actors.
4:00 PM — LiSA Guest of Honor
7:00 PM — Yuki Kajiura / FictionJunction Concert
This is probably the biggest event of the entire convention, and a mere hour after TicketLeap opened it up for purchase a rumor circulated that the concert was already sold out. The rumor was only magnified by the entire ticket site seizing up in a glorious server crash. Thankfully, everything smoothed out by the next day and I was able to get my Silver-tier seat.
Day 3: Sunday, July 1st
10:00 AM — iDOLM@STER Dance Workshop
I admit, I love me some dancing! The iDOLM@STER was another surprise hit for me when it aired in 2011. I’ve never played the game, but the characters were so fun and lovable, particularly Hoshii Miki. I hope this workshop is well attended so we have a nice group of people showing off their idol abilities ^^
2:00 PM — LiSA Concert
As the singer of Fate/Zero‘s OP theme, and the voice of Yui in Girls DeMo of Angel Beats!, LiSA is an up and coming performer. She also happens to be a super adorable girl whose interviews I’ve been watching these past weeks through Crunchyroll and the AX Live Show. I really look forward to seeing how her first US showing fares for her.
3:00 PM — AX Fashion Show
Another really cool aspect this year is AX’s fashion focus, featuring several names and faces known in the anime fashion world. This isn’t necessarily a sphere I’m really familiar with, but I am extremely curious. I love clothes and accessories, and may just branch out if this fashion show is to my liking.
4:00 PM — Revolutionary Girl Utena viewing
It feels like a bit of a waste to spend too much time watching anime during all the events that are available, but I am really curious about this particular one given it and its director’s reputations. Mawaru Penguindrum was an unforgettable show, for both good and bad reasons, and all the discussion on it convinced me to try out some of Ikuhara’s other celebrated works.
6:30 PM — Total Eclips Screening
I am not actually really that interested in this anime and didn’t even have it on my list of shows to watch for the summer season. BUT! I tend to give shows with a lot of hype at least one episode to win me over, even if I have zero hopes for it. I might as well see it here!
Day 4: Monday, July 2nd
10:00 AM-3:00 PM — Exhibit Hall
I’d like to spend the last day perusing the hall seeing if I missed anything or if any of the panels catch my interset. I may drop by the Figure Collecting 101 or JET panels. I don’t fly out until around 5PM, so I have plenty of time between checking out from the hotel and getting to the airport.
I will of course be frequenting the Exhibit Hall, Artist Alley, and Cosplay areas as much as possible before, between, and after panels and concerts. I’ll also be meeting up with some fellow ISML members, and hopefully Yumeka of Mainichi Anime Yume. If you’re interesting in meeting up, drop me a comment here or shoot an E-mail my way!