Day 2 of the convention was easily the busiest day, with delays affecting the shuttle system, panels, and especially the concert. I had quite a few activities scheduled for this day, but was unable to make many of them due to the time crunch and the often disadvantageous distances across the center. Lesson learned: don’t even think about trying to attend events back to back. Nevertheless, this first day to myself was amazing in almost every aspect.
Lolita Tea Party
To start off the day, I attended the ticketed event, Lolita Tea Party. I was surprised at how well attended it was; the line stretched far down the hallway and wrapped around to the door. Many of the attendees in line were dressed up in various different lolita clothing, some of my favorites shown below. There was even a wonderful Japanese twist that looked like a cross between a short kimono and a tea party dress. One of the important perks for this event was the offered breakfast, which included various pastries, as well as coffee and tea. My only gripe about the food was that I had expected it to be served more traditionally with curate stands loaded with treats in the middle of each table and actual tea sets. Instead, all the food and beverages were on one long table in front of the stage–the coffee was standard Starbucks and the tea came in packets.
The event and presentation started a bit late and guest of honor Misako Aoki didn’t arrive until near the end. The main activity was a neat pairing game intended to get us all to talk to one another and move around. When we came into the room, we were each handed a numbered ticket. If you were able to find your matching number, you could submit yours for a possible prize. Happily, I was able to find my partner! We unfortunately didn’t win anything, but I appreciated the ice breaker. Eventually Aoki arrived, all dolled up in lolita perfection, and took turns going from table to table for group pictures.
Since the tea party ran so late, I wasn’t able to make it to my highly anticipated Tiger & Bunny panel. BOOOOOOO. I’m still kicking myself for not being able to make it, so I could see the Japanese executive producer. Instead, I headed over early for the Madoka panel. This was a bit of a blessing in disguise since by the time they were ready to let us in, the line stretched over a huge area in the big concrete waiting area. As promised, upon entry we were each given a paper Kyuubey mask, which they asked us to wear for the start of the presentation. I admit, it was a little creepy seeing that many Kyuubeys staring back at me when I turned around to check out the room. Staff used this opportunity to take a group picture of what they claimed to be the biggest gathering of Kyuubeys to date.
We then were presented with the English voice actors for Madoka, Sayaka, Mami, Kyouko, Homura, and Kyuubey. I hadn’t actually heard their dubs before this event, so it was really cool hearing them voice various lines for us. They even had an audience participation event that comprised of each of the VAs attempting to recruit us as magical girls; we had to cheer for the one who we thought did the best job. It comes as no surprise then that original VA for Kyuubey, Cassandra Lee Morris, won, using an auctioneer call that eventually had the audience raising their hands and calling bids.
Yuki Kajiura Concert
The only types of concerts that I have experience with are orchestral performances, solo Classical performances, and musicals. I think it was my excitement for Yuki Kajiura that prevented me from sleeping very well the night before. They had all of us line up outside on the roof, and much like the badge line, it wrapped around a countless number of times. The picture below is one of the line’s last stretch that goes straight into the convention center. When I finally did get inside, I hurried over to my decent silver-tier seat and put my camera away like a goody two-shoes. I’m kind of angry now that I didn’t try and sneak more photos seeing as there are tons of photographs and videos already out of both this and the LiSA concert.
Suffice it to say, my dollars were well spent. I actually wish I had pushed for gold-tier seating, or thought to buy a glowstick. Even though most of us were sitting for the length of the concert, people still eagerly waved their glowsticks to each song. She performed a wide range of music from various anime and her own Fiction and Fiction II albums, including songs from Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, .hack//Sign, .hack//Liminality, El Cazador de la Bruja (I was hyped about this, but I think the people around me didn’t recognize the title), Pandora Hearts, Sacred Seven, and game Xenosaga II.
I think I took the most cosplay pictures this day. My favorites include the cosplay of Blue Exorcist, Hakase of Nichijou, and Wild Tiger from Tiger & Bunny.
Exhibit Hall & Haul
Today’s was a fairly modest haul, with a couple of gaming t-shirts for Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2, as well as an ARIA artbook and a mini figure of Natsume Yuujinchou’s Nyanko-sensei. The TF2 t-shirt is for my boyfriend, and the one of L4D2 for my fanatic self ^^ I also snapped a couple of photos in the Exhibit Hall, first of the Nino Kuni set-up and next of the massive group of cosplayers. There were sooo many photographers surrounding the Madoka group that I had no way of getting close for a better picture. The best I could do was raise my camera high and try and get a lucky shot!