“Tadaima” from Anime Expo 2017

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Hey everyone! I’m back from Anime Expo 2017, and as a staffer who had spent an entire 6 days there from June 29 through July 4, it’s been quite busy!

This is my third year on staff, so if you were there and stopped by the Ticketing Office at some point, you probably saw me in one of the featured costumes shown here!

AX2017-cover

Some of these are repeat cosplays I’ve worn at past conventions, namely Prof. Shūichi Ginkgo of my very own Professor Ginkgo Chronicles (far left) and Umetarō Nozaki of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (far right). But the newest to the lineup is the yukata (center left) that my family got me a couple months ago, and Osamu Mikumo of World Trigger (center right) that sadly I couldn’t wear last year because it came through the mail exactly a day after AX2016 ended (just my luck)! Well not this time!

Osamu Mikumo

You know you love him!

Seeing how I am working at Anime Expo, it’s hard to find time to get a glimpse of everything the venue has to offer! However I did get a chance to enjoy a few things this year that sadly I don’t always have picture proof that I was there (sorry!)

The biggest highlight for me was getting to see Miss Monochrome’s US debut concert. As you probably know from my review of her anime series, Miss Monochrome is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. To this day, I found that doing my homework and taking the time to research that review is one of a few times that I’ve actually changed my opinion about a series upon writing about it, so getting to see the android super idol live in concert plus Yui Horie, 17 years old (oi oi!) was very special to me personally.

I was so excited to see her that I did forget to snap one photo of her in concert (that, and photography was technically prohibited), so unfortunately “pics or it didn’t happen” is more like, uhm… didn’t happen? At least I got one picture of the introduction.

Pre-Concert

“Down in front!”

Since I did come in my yukata at least once, I felt it appropriate to attend the workshop “How to Wear a Traditional Japanese Outfit,” presented by Hiroshima Kimono Asobi. Not that I was there to show off a yukata (because seriously? that’s casual wear) but I did get to witness modern kimono prints inspired by Evangelion, and the debut showcase for an exclusive manga print kimono designed by manga-ka Shinji Hiramatsu!

Now to be fair, there was one step upon putting on my yukata that I had neglected, which I relearned from the demonstration, and that is to tuck in the chest area tighter before putting on the obi (I was wondering why it felt looser). That, and I was wearing tennis shoes, seeing how I was working about 8 hours that day, and wasn’t about to wear anything open-toed!

Needless to say, standing next to these two models was a very phenomenal, yet humbling experience.

Kimonos

Now it’s easier to spot all my flaws!

I also got a chance to catch an interview with Studio WIT President George Wada and Director Norihiro Naganuma, as they are hard at work on their Fall season premier of The Ancient Magus’ Bride. In fact, the first 3 episodes for the upcoming TV series were featured at Anime Expo, before any Japanese release! Sadly, I didn’t see them for myself, but I did get a few pointers about Wada and Naganuma-san’s visions for this incredible series.

I haven’t covered the OVAs for the series yet, but given some of the information they passed on to the rest of us in the audience, I now have a direction by which I would like to approach talking about it. Definitely looking forward to the anime when it airs this Fall!

The Ancient Magus Bride panel

Spoilers? Eh… you’ll find out.

Last but not least, I did get a chance to see my friend Bree present her research at one of the Anime/Manga Studies Symposiums. I’ve actually written a piece specifically for her research publicly on this blog, so her work does have significance to some of the stuff I do as a blogger here.

Bree’s research (and she is allowed to correct me if I make a mistake in reflecting her studies) involves how fans have used transformative fanwork to better represent LGBTQ identities that are more often than not neglected in media we love. Although there are hints of certain characters who might identify as queer, it is extremely rare to find such characters being represented by members of the LGBTQ community. By using fan art, ‘fics, etc., fans have found a medium to help identify their own strengths and personalities within characters they love, to better understand themselves, and in turn, help their readers also understand the struggles that we are going through.

I will admit that my own involvement with the LGBTQ community straddles the border, what with identifying as asexual or questioning my sexuality, and I’m not exactly the loudest person from within that community either. However, I do find that reparative reading and writing has become essential to my growth as a ‘fic writer and, yes, anime reviewer too, namely for how I identify with my struggles with ASD.

Bree is continuing her research and working on a blog and zine for the medium, so check it out!

Aaaannd…. this is embarrassing.

You know how I said that I didn’t have pictures for everything that I did? I was listening so well to Bree’s lecture while pretending not to have con flu that I completely forgot to snap any photo proof that I was there (SUPER SORRY)! So in lieu of totally not getting my friend’s good side as she presented some awesome work for our greater fan community, allow me to wrap up these highlights with something completely unrelated to anything I just talk about: a typical occurrence being a staffer.

Department

Don’t mind me. I’m just holding the camera!

Here’s to an end to another successful Anime Expo! Maybe I’ll see you there, come 2018!

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