Anime Expo (AX) is a four-day anime convention held annually in Los Angeles, California. It is the largest anime convention in North America, with AX2016 attracting over 100,000 attendees (more than four times the attendance we had at Sakura-con 2016). I hadn’t attended Anime Expo since AX2011 (Mikunopolis LA), but this time it was announced that there would be a huge concert called Anisong World Matsuri featuring many popular Japanese anime music artists performing (such as JAM Project, T.M. Revolution, etc.) as well as TeddyLoid, so it was a definite must-go for me. I had also made a second batch of hand-made Fate/Grand Order cards that I was going to be handing out while cosplayed as Gudao, so I was looking forward to the Fate photoshoot and meeting fellow TYPE-MOON fans as well. I had also made a few new Dollfie Dream friends at Dolpa LA 2015 last year and would get another chance to hang out with them again. Last but not least, I going to be attending the con with a couple of friends that I hadn’t met up with in a long time plus the lovely cosplayer Bridget and a few of my MMO guildies who I had never met before, so it was bound to be a fun time.
Because this was a four-day convention, there were a LOT of things to do and I took a LOT of photos, resulting in quite a long blog post which I’ve broken up into non-sequential sections:
Part 1 (previous post):
Part 2 (this post):
The other photoshoot we attended was the Fate cause most of us are Fate fans. I was a bit sad that at the largest anime convention in North America they would organize it as the “Fate” photoshoot rather than the “TYPE-MOON” photoshoot. No love for Tsukihime/MELTY BLOOD cosplayers (one Sion did show up though!). I guess CANAAN and Zveda Plot weren’t too popular either. One of these days I’ll meet an Arcueid cosplayer, one day…
One thing I have to mention is that whoever chose the photoshoot spot did not choose well :( Far more cosplayers showed up than there were space so we actually had to relocate to the stairs area beside our designated area. Unfortunately the stairs area also made for a terrible backdrop and lighting due to the building’s shadows. Getting a group photo was also impossible. Here’s some photos of the gathered crowd.
Fate/Apocrypha – Achilles (Rider of Red) and Mordred (Saber of Red). Expect to see wayyy more F/A cosplayers in 2017 now that they’ve announced an anime adaptation. And by more I mean a bunch of Mordreds, Jeannes and Shirou Kotomine. If we’re lucky, there might be a Siegfried or two. A Frankenwaifu would be nice too.
Don’t forget Illya. Just in time for some quality family bonding time.
Jeanne D’Arc Alters. Cosplayer LennethXVII is the one on the right (wish I could have gotten more photos of her but she left pretty early, apparently frustrated at the bad photoshoot setup and organization)
The Archer class really is made up of archers!
(lets just pretend Billy The Kid isn’t there)
Iskandar vs Gilgamesh was probably my favourite scene of Fate/Zero
Lets all do the Carnival Phantasm dance!
#Handing out FGO Cards
In the weeks before AX2016, Tsukikira and I spend a good amount of time putting together a few decks of hand-made FGO cards to hand out at Anime Expo. Most of the cards were handed out right after the Fate photoshoot, but a few of them went to cosplayers that I ran into/took photos of and a few to FGO players who saw my reddit post and managed hunted me down during the con (sonicxsam got a one-off Lancelot mailed to him for sharing his awesome Lancelot cosplay, JakLegendd got a one-off Rin dango CE for his help with collecting the ascension artwork screenshots, and Tsukikira got a custom Archer Rin for his help making the cards). Here’s the photodump of all the happy gold card owners, may your rolls be just as good!
Here’s me and Tsukikira being swamped by Gudako/Gudaos
Seeing all these happy faces of fellow TYPE-MOON fans was well worth the effort!
There were two BJD meets listed on the schedule (one on Friday and one on Sunday) but I was only able to attend the first one due to schedule conflicts. Volks USA actually had an official booth at Anime Expo so two of their staff (Volks USA’s general manager Hideyoshi Shigeta and someone from the Volks JP branch who was head of product development, forgot his name) actually sat down with us at the DD meet and talked with us. I’m 90% sure my talk with Product-Development-Head-san lead to the recent Saber Alter Santa DD as one of the topics that I discussed with him at length was the popularity of Saber in the DD community and the business opportunity for Volks to do a new TYPE-MOON collab given the recent success of Fate/Grand Order. One of the other topics we talked about was the need for a Megurine Luka DD and that she should be an M-bust, so if Volks does introduce a Luka DD in the future, you’re welcome xD
My favourite natural photo of Arc. Next time I’ll probably also bring Rem as well. Lily, on the other hand, will probably never leave the house due to her fragile ponytail that I really need to buy an official replacement for.
Afterwards a few of us hung out at Wolfheinrich‘s apartment and had a mini shoot
Ever since seeing the best of the best at Comiket 86, it’s become harder and harder to get impressed by cosplayers at anime conventions in North America. Nevertheless, I still do end up taking a handful of photos of cosplayers that I find impressive, unique, or just happen to conveniently be standing still while I’m walking around. Here’s the photo dump
Squirtle Squad (and a mother Pikachu???)
Loot! I wasn’t originally planning on buying anything but still ended up going home with a bunch of random stuff. Here’s the group shot of all the SFW stuff
Touhou stuff! Danmaku!! card game box, Yukari poster, and a copy of Touhou 8 (Imperishable Night) and Touhou 9 (Phantasmagoria of Flower View). Originally wanted to get a second copy of Touhou 7 (Perfect Cherry Blossom) and have ZUN sign it for me but ended up missing both the Zun panel AND not getting tickets for his autograph sessions. So I guess it worked out fine cause now I have a copy of Touhou 7, 8 and 9.
Anime Expo 2016 souvenir booklet plus shot glass. I realized later that I didn’t actually have any shot glasses at home, so it actually gets used now when one of my friends comes over and makes mixed drinks.
And here’s the 18+ NSFW loot:
If pictures say a thousand words, then videos must be encyclopedias! Unfortunately most of these are pretty shaky videos taken from my hand-held camera. You can probably find better videos on YouTube but in either case, here’s the ones that I have and uploaded. Click on the thumbnails to view the videos on Flickr.
Maids from the Akihabara branch of maid cafe chain maidreamin doing a cute dance
Lia performing ”Bravely You” (Charlotte OP) for the half-time show for the Masquerade
Snow Miku (2014 ver) dancing to ”shake it!”
Minami Kuribayashi and Yoko Ishida performing a duet cover of ”God Knows” (Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) while I jump up and down like crazy
TM Revolution performing ”HEART OF SWORD” (Rurouni Kenshin ED3). I actually tried hard to keep my hand steady for this one.
TeddyLoid playing a remixed version of ”D City Rock” (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt)
TeddyLoid playing a remixed version of ”Scanty & Kneesocks Theme” (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt)
TeddyLoid playing a remixed version of ”ME!ME!ME!”
DJ I-have-no-idea-who playing ”Rewrite” (Full Metal Alchemist OP4) while a NSFW gif plays on screen
And that’s it for the long blog post. I was originally thinking about splitting it into multiple parts rather than just 2, but then I realized the longer I’d spend trying to think of how to write it, the higher the chance I would just procrastinate again, so I just went ahead and wrote it all. And by “write” I just mean “add contextual comments to the photo dump :P Since Anisong World Matsuri is coming back again to Anime Expo 2017, there’s a fair chance I will attend again this year as well (but might not since I’m also planning another Japan Trip, probably in August for Comiket 92).
Flickr General + Concerts + Videos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157671081704195
Flickr Kill la Kill Photoshoot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157671081704165
Flickr Fate Photoshoot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157671081704125
Flickr FGO Cards Handing Out: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157671081704115
Flickr Dollfie Meets: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157671081704175
Flickr Cosplayers: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157671081704185
Flickr Loot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/albums/72157670670767260
MyFigureCollection Part 1: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/31741
MyFigureCollection Part 2: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/31742
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