The second installment of my trivial adventures in AX10~
(please excuse the exaggerated use of capslock and repeated words, thank you)
Saturday morning went the same way as Thursday, getting in line hours early for Megumi’s panel. Megumi is a such a soft, nice person, and she answered each question fully, including a lot of interesting things about her life and how Macross was so overwhelming and significant to her. I’m very glad she was chosen as one of the singing voices in Macross Frontier, her voice can be recognized right away, and it’s beautiful (I daresay one of the most I’ve heard in my short life) to the unbeleviable point.
This panel ticket-giving system was a lot more organized, giving tickets in an orderly manner starting from the front rows, so nobody broke into a mad crowd. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the autograph session. Learning a lesson from May’n session, LS and I got there right after the panel. Unfortunately there wasn’t a line yet, so we May’n fans were left bunching up in a spot, pissing staff off. They finally decided to make a line before time since we weren’t budging and holy crap it was almost an stampede. Luckily I got a good spot (got in the chained section! whoohoo!) and met LS there. After getting Megumi’s warm smile (almost melted right there) and autograph, we went to line up for Konishi. Damn this one was long. Crazy long. Konishi’s panel line made so many twists and we were almost in the middle of it that I wondered if we would manage to get in at all. Luckily we got some nice spots in the fifth row (I think it was the fifth or fourth) so we had a good spot to look at Konishi.
This was one of the best panels, Konishi was so funny and the interpreter was fast as well, so it felt as if Konishi himself was speaking directly to us. A lot of Hetalia fans got in there, and he started talking like America and Canada when a couple of cosplayers went up to ask questions. I almost fainted, in a well-collected fujoshi manner, of course ^^; He indeed got a lot of “hard to answer” questions, but it made his answers the more elaborate so it was great! When the panel finished, we got our tickets in an orderly way again, but given the amount of people who were there we knew it was gonna be hell on earth for the autographs so we ran as crazy there.This day was truly hell, since I wanted to get both Megumi’s and Konishi’s autographs but their panels and sessions where so close to one another! In the end LS and I didn’t get Konishi’s autographs (really, some more careful planning is due next year) but not everything was lost, since we were told that people with tickets would get priority on Sunday. With that in mind we got in our way to Danny’s reunion in the ESPN bar (or restaurant, can’t remember now ^^U), where I met Wolfheinrich! couldn’t talk with him though, we were all so beat up… let’s hang out more! There was a line to meet Danny, so Sabre and I got in line. I got Danny’s autograph and he gave me one of his business card with Mirai-chan; YES! 😀 He was awesome and I regret not taking a picture with him, but man was I nervous, I was literally trembling head to toes!
After chilling a bit, I decided to split up and head home since I was a complete mess, so I went to the parking lot… but while I was passing by the arcade spot where the TTGL Movies screening was held, I thought “what the heck, won’t hurt to check it out” and got in line, which was surprisingly short when I was there. Everybody received a paper fan with the awesome “Who the hell do you think I am!?” phrase and sat myself (Luckily I wasn’t that far away or on the sides). Konishi came in at the beginning after everybody yelled “ANIKI!” like mad, and welcomed everyone for the screening, and thus the movie started. I have to say only one thing:
HOLY AMAZINGLY AWESOME SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY was so pumped up! Whenever something or someone sexy or awesome happened to appear on screen, everybody yelled, howled and pointed their fingers up! After the first epicly great movie, there was an intermission when people could choose to go home or stay. A lot of people went home (and a lot came in) so I took this opportunity to sit more on the front (a very wise choice, since I was in the middle of a very enthusiastic crowd). Moments later KATSUYUKI KONISHI COSPLAYING AS FUCKING KAMINA came in to host the Cosplay contest!
Five contestants (who by the way looked damn great) receive some prizes handed by Konishi himself and got a big cheer from us the audience. The one who got the most cheers was Leeron, who truly looked awesome (bah everyone looked awesome!) and as he said “the shoes put him in character” which I think were the best part of his cosplay.
He finished with everybody yelling “ore wo! oretachi wo! dare ga to omotte ya garu!” along with Konishi! It was fucking great! After a crapload of flashes going off when photo time began (by the way he also got himself a huge panoramic picture of us the audience and him, all pointing our fingers up), Konishi received a Dai Gurren flag with every millimeter covered with fans signatures and notes. Had I known I would’ve signed it too… Konishi said he would show it to his son in the future and said “look how many fans dad has in America”, so touching! ;_; After that the second movie began and I am very very sorry but have to say this once more:
HOLY FUCKING AMAZINGLY EPIC AWESOME SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If the first movie was epic, the second one BLEW MY FUCKING MIND AWAY. Now everybody was pumped up over 9000 levels, jumping, cheering and pointing to the heavens like crazy! I swear every second was a cheer, every time Gurren Lagann got bigger and bigger people’s enthusiasm and howling got louder and louder. At the end of it my throat was hoarse and I was the happiest moron alive. Gainax had literally taken the TTGL story, changed what could be changed for the better, omitted the extreme corniness and added even more EPIC BADASS to it. The Gurren Lagann movies are the improved, perfected, polished most absolute TTGL product. If watching the series blew your mind, I can assure you the movies will completely shred your consciousness. I am so glad to have decided at the very last second the attend this screening! it certainly raised my mood after the wasted hours in the previous autograph session.
And now… Sunday. Damn this day… was just as crazy as all the others, even though I just stayed until 4pm. First of all I wake up and go to the convention center right away because I was determined as the most maniac person to get Konishi’s autograph. But Fuck. It. All. I look for my ticket… and didn’t find it. I look everywhere, and suddenly I have an epiphany. I put it WITH. THE. FUCKING. LAUNDRY. I couldn’t believe my foolishness and all the way to hyperventilation, I call LS. And right then, I knew I would treasure our friendship and comradeship for my whole humble life. I call him and tell him what happened and he… gives me his ticket. I swear to god and everything that is good that LS gave me his ticket. Just like that, said it looked like I needed it more, holy shit. I felt like a complete asshole and was almost in tears at the same time. Here was a comrade who stayed in line for who knows how many hours the day before and didn’t get an autograph only to give it away to this moron. I really wanted him to get his autograph too, so I went back home asap and searched for the ticket, but alas as suspected it dissolved at the mere contact. I drove back to meet LS for Danny’s last panel, and man he gave me his ticket for goddamned Konishi’s autograph; I couldn’t thank him enough; in fact, Konishi’s is my most precious autograph for the sole fact of LS being FUCKING AWESOME. After the panel I went to the dealer’s hall and looked frantically for anything resembling a disobedient cluster of Konishi fans. Luckily there was a bunch of people who came way early and wouldn’t budge not even for the apocalypse. We were around 4 hours early, by the way. The staff supervising the autographs session learned fast though, and was already placing more and more tape on the floor to make some lines. Us Konishi maniacs got yellow tickets ensuring our place in the improvised line. That way we wouldn’t crowd the already full place while having some peace of mind. I took advantage of the extra time and began hunting for my loot, looking for sales or just about anything that I wanted. I was gonna splurge and dammit I did it.
Luckily I still decided to get in line half an hour early, because ten minutes after I got in my place (#17, yay!) there were so many people with yellow tickets (more than one hundred) and it was impossible to put us all in order in time, it was decided that wherever we were, we’d stay. Even so, I think it was an improvement from previous sessions. I finally got my opportunity to call out “Aniki!” to Konishi, who answered with an “Ou!” and turned me into a retarded putty.
With my treasure in hand I went to get some gundam for a relative, and stumbled upon one of my Japanese language classmates. I didn’t think he was a gundam otaku! I could’ve talked more often with him in class if I had known, lol. Finally met LS one more time since he was supposed to go to the airport at 4pm. We attended a bit of a figure-making panel, but it wasn’t about sculpting from scratch so I was a little disappointed.
We just scrammed and went to the shuttle stops so LS could get his ride although I found out later he waited around an hour for the shuttle (ironically I could’ve driven him there since it’s close by car). And now for the very last time in this con, I went home, got some food and passed out that very afternoon.
After all was said and done, this Anime Expo was my best of the ones I’ve went to as of this day. EVER. I got to meet friends (I wish I could’ve met some more, but the tight schedule…;_;), look at Japanese seiyuus and singers this close (and even exchange a word or two! damn now I know how fangirls and idol otaku truly feel) and all in all had blast after blast of a great time. Can’t say much more; this was one of the highlights of this year… until I go to Yaoi-Con lol 😄
I do wish there had been a bit more organizing. The place for autographs (at the end of the dealer’s hall) was ridiculously small, and there was a very short taped up yellow line, which obviously lead to people just bunching up in the middle, hoping to know where the heck their preferred GoH would give signs. Seriously the only way to guarantee an autograph was to be there 2-3 hours earlier. AX staff got pissed at us for being there beforehand, but with all the lack of information (staff was asking US con-goers what lines where for) and lack of an organized system there was nothing we could do but be there, just waiting for things to happen. I can also understand the staff though; the place was packed wit hso many people! it didn’t look like it half of the time because the place itself is enormous, but yes some more planning for next year (or whenever they bring so many popular GoH) would be very welcomed.
I’ll leave you with some pictures of cosplayers that looked great: