ANIME EXPO 2016

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We waited a year for this weekend. AX2016 passes were bought on the last day of AX2015. And you guessed it, AX2017 passes are already bought and ready.

In my previous post, you will see that I had cosplay plans. Well... er... I only did one of them. Yui Hirasawa from K-On! on day 2. I wanted to do Mayuri from Steins;Gate but we had a late day on Sunday and I wasn't feeling it. Monday, Day 4, I went by myself and stayed at the venue for just 2-3 hours for my final walkthrough. Messing with a long silver wig while wearing a nightie-ish kind of costume... maybe next time. (I know it's possible; we saw a Menma from Anohana on Day 1.)

I did have fun as Yui. Some people noticed and took pics. I wish I had a giita with me. At least with that school girl costume, all I had to do is switch the wigs (and ribbon) for the other K-On! characters. Mayuri is still my favorite because I have an upa. I still have to try Taiga from Toradora. I've seen a lot of them over the weekend so I know it's doable.



We decided to do Day 0 this year. I figured registration on Day 0 was until 12mn so might as well pick up our badges in advance so we'll have more time for more important things on Day 1.


I don't like this year's badge. It was like they cut costs. Premiere Fans' badges look more like what last year's, full graphics and all that. Even the lanyard was lackluster. I love Crunchyroll but last year we got Dragonball. Eh, I'm nitpicking. It worked and the Persona 5 badge didn't tear off as easily as the Persona 4 Dancing All Night last year. They gave out huge poster bags this time instead of the small tote. That, I loved.

People were already cosplaying on Day 0. The Los Angeles Convention Center area started looking like a weird and colorful place. I wonder what the motorists were thinking when they saw those people in full costume. XD

Japan Fried Chicken, BCC croquette, cheese mochi sticks, Okamoto curry, strawberry parfait, mugi tea latte

DAY 1

We didn't have plans for Day One. We usually do most of our shopping on the first day. We try to walk through both the exhibit hall and artist alley, seeing everything there is to see and then if we don't pick it up right there, we'll come back for it in the next days. Basically, to think about if we really want that item. Can't use "need" here because you don't actually need anything from a convention... it's all wants. LOL. I left my bridge camera because I figured it'll get in the way. And it was a good decision. My Samsung Note 4 did well. Very well.

Our first stop was food. It was Okamoto Kitchen's first anniversary and to have it at Anime Expo is just all kinds of special. I'm so happy for them and seeing the long lines that formed in front of their truck everyday made me feel so proud and so excited. I'm glad a lot of people got to try them out and loved their food! I sure do. And you should too.



Our first stop was the Entertainment/Gaming area. We didn't plan that. It was just that the line was shorter at Petree Hall than the other one. It's the hall that they use to hold KCON. They have a lot of itasha cars on display, some art booths, and a huge gaming area with arcade games, console setups, and a huge Bandai Namco screen where they stream Naruto and Tekken 7 games. My brother gravitated towards the DJMax Technika machine. He loved that game when he was still in Manila and he was absolutely pumped to have the opportunity to play it again.

At the Tekken 7 area, my brother and I decided to have a go at the game. As you know, I played Tekken 3 as a child and I love playing the story modes of each installment. I'm not much of a competitive player but I have my "main" characters. For Tekken 3, it was Xiaoyu and Law. And for the newer ones, it's Alisa, Lars, and Bob... the fat one. XD There's a Filipino character in Tekken 7, Josie Rizal. I may have to check her out once I get a PS4. But in that one 3-round game with my brother, I pitted my Alisa against his Paul. I won 3-1. Hee! By the way, those Hori sticks are very nice.


After that one game, we were preparing to go to the main hall when we realized that the voices on the commentator stage sounded familiar. Sure enough, they were Sajam and TastySteve. Brother and I happened to sit right where the camera could see us so... I should check out the archive for July 1 around... 1-2pm ish? XD I had a moment when TastySteve noticed me messing with my phone there. Hah!  We also met Mark Julio at the Tekken 7 setups.


EVO 2016 isn't for another week but here we are! We managed to add him to our Street Fighter x Minions project. Could've been more since a lot more players/casters where there but hey, we'll have other opportunities.

Day One for us was a lot of shuffling, checking things out, shopping, and canvassing artist alley. We were technically done with most of our shopping on that first day. Aaaand we had three more days to go!

We checked out the Open Mic Karaoke room. And yes, I conquered my fears and took the stage. I did Fude Pen/Ball Pen from K-On! I might do it again next year. Yes, there is video. No, I'm not brave enough to post it yet. (✪ฺܫ✪ฺ)

(July 1 was also the first day of the annual 626 Night Market. Brother and I had halo-halo and calamansi juice. Yep, Filipino food!)

DAY 2

Cosplay day! I was Yui Hirasawa from K-On! dressed in the summer uniform. Even my brother had on a HTT (Houkago Tea Time) shirt! I got mistaken as a Love Live character twice but more people figured out that I was Yui. I didn't have any plans for Day 2 either. Just maybe to kill time before that evening's Anisong-World Matsuri, Japan Super Live concert featuring Eir Aoi, JAM Project, Luna Haruna, Minami, sphere, TM Revolution, Yoko Ishida, and DJ Kazu. At that time, I had zero expectations. I really only wanted to go for sphere because Aki Toyosaki and Minako Kotobuki are part of that group. As you know, they voiced Yui and Mugi from K-On! And really, Mina-chan is my girlcrush and we happen to share a birthday! Going to that concert dressed as Yui is a no-brainer. We had no idea what we're getting into. XD


The brother had an early panel so I decided to venture off to the exhibit hall all by my lonesome. Maybe take photos of cosplayers. By now, I know the LA Convention Center so well. I revisited some booths but really, I didn't buy anything extra. I don't want to lug around stuff during the concert. Saturday is always a hectic day at cons - or just the second day in general. People are off work, they've prepared their cosplays, all shopped out from day 1... just ready to explore, just like me.


Outside the convention center, it was also a party. S4X was there playing anime tunes. I first saw them at WonderCon 2016 and was impressed by their cover of Tank from Cowboy Bebop. They brought it to Anime Expo too, as well as a few new tracks. On Day 4, they totally made my con with Smile Bomb from Yuyu Hakusho, the anime of my childhood.


Thanks so much, guys! I look forward to more at future cons!

Back to day 2. LOL.

It was really just about the Japan Super Live show. My brother managed to get us seats at the middle, right across the stage. Just like our BIGBANG MADE in LA tour seats. I had zero expectations. I wasn't very familiar with their songs (I'm more of a K-pop girl, you know) and I didn't even buy a lightstick. BIG MISTAKE. Like in K-pop concerts, a lightstick is an integral part of a J-pop, J-rock show. I should've taken a note off the K-On! Let's Go live show.


We missed a couple of songs from Eir Aoi. But that's okay. We managed to catch her last song and a duet with Luna Haruna on the Fullmetal Alchemist theme. Not again... I would've charged the stage if that were the song. LOL. From the moment we stepped into the stadium, our tickets were already paid for. Oh man, forget K-pop concerts and lightstick seas. This... this was performance art!

The light sticks change colors. People change it depending on the performer. Plus they have legit choreography and chants. OMG. It was legit lit! My mouth was hanging open the whole time. I don't know what was more entertaining, the performers or the audience.

I've been to my share of concerts. But this was the first time when a performance hit me right in the feelz. Imagine watching the theme music from your favorite anime performed live right before your eyes. When TM Revolution did Heart of Sword from Rurouni Kenshin, I felt like crying. When the intro to Resonance from Soul Eater came on, I lost my shit. Seriously. That guitar riff.

To be honest, the hypest part of the concert was DJ Kazu's bit. It was intermission but everyone was so lit. And the crowd went wild when the Anohana theme came on. Of all things.

Sphere was cute. Awkward but extremely kawaii~! And they did a full live band with their very energetic performance. I was too chicken to record Future Stream though. They said absolutely no recording but some people were doing it anyway. I used to be THAT ONE PERSON who breaks the rules but this time, I was a good girl. Until JAM Project. I got part of the One Punch Man theme.


This was a "blow your face off" concert. Everyone sang live and it sounded just like the recording. I am so impressed. If AX2017 will have another Japan Super Live, I'm so there. I want them to do a sentai theme concert. I've seen it done on Youtube and I die every time I watch them. If I were to see the Maskman theme live, I would just about lose my mind totally.

DAY 3

I originally planned to cosplay Mayuri of Steins;Gate but since we were having a late night, I decided to skip it. And really, I wasn't feeling up to it. Bro had late panels and I was content just waiting it out at the Open Mic Karaoke room. It was so uneventful, I can't even.

But my brother finally met James Chen!

Gerald Abraham, owner of Okamoto Kitchen and James Chen
On day three, the passes for AX2017 went on sale. And you know I got us some right away. The 4-day passes were $50. Hello, AX2016 was $55, I think. Even with tax, that's still cheaper than our previous passes. Guess we'll be seeing you again next year, Anime Expo.

DAY 4

Fourth of July. My brother decided to skip Day 4. Eh, that's okay. I needed to complete my Okamoto Kitchen sticker set, not to mention get some other stuff. It was a short day. I think I was there for 3 hours top. I ended my AX2016 experience where it began... at Okamoto Kitchen. Seriously guys, if you see them, try their food. It's super good!


I wish I had more of each design. ;-)

I didn't cosplay either. Too much work for just a few hours. But we saw a Menma... it is doable! Anyway, here's my merch haul. We have awesome art too but eh, I'll share pics when I put them up on my wall. We're planning a major rearrangement.


I forgot to include a Lloyd Irving from Tales of Symphonia and Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist plushies. We also have a couple of charms featuring characters from fighting games and other Tales of series. I finally got my hands on the TOP krunk bear. They also had a Seungri but... priorities, priorities. Besides, if I also bought that, I'm obligated to get the rest of the guys. I also bought Blooming Period by Block B. Yep, couldn't wait for KCON in a few weeks.

But my favorite purchase - maybe ever - is that Teddie from Persona 4 blanket. I thought it was an area rug or a COSTUME but the guy said it's a blanket "straight from Akihabara". I got it for $30. I saw it hanging on the side of his stall and I just had to have it. Here it is solo:


Isn't it adorable? Reminds me of that scene where Narukami wore Teddie's costume. Heh!

AX2016 was so chill. And I wasn't as overwhelmed as last year. I didn't do any panels but the Anisong-World Matsuri made up for that. Let's do it all over again next year!