Anime Expo 2010: Circle Jerk City

A warning beforehand: Don’t expect anything of substance from this post. My aim going to Anime Expo was to have fun; I did that and nothing beyond that, and I hope this post reflects that purpose. ANN has good coverage of everything of worth that went down at the convention, and Anime Diet has some cool interviews and videos that you won’t get elsewhere. (Plus, the Anime Diet crew are a bunch of cool dudes, so you should visit their site out of principle.) Basically I’m just some geek who went to an anime con and thinks people care about his opinion of what he saw at the event. Good times!

(Also, I want to get this over with so that I can go back to writing about, you know, anime, so I’ll cram everything into this post. I’ll try and cut down on the extraneous blabber as much as possible, but no promises. I think by now my readers know what they’re getting into when I post. :X)

(One more note: If you want to see a bunch of photos, here is my album, and this one has some choice shots taken by a friend of mine.)

So, Anime Expo! This year was particularly exciting because it’s the first time I’ve been able to go multiple days in quite a while, and there were tons of things to do both days I went (Friday and Saturday). Really, it was almost too much to do; I certainly couldn’t go to everything of interest both days! But, hey, better too much than not enough, right? Of course.

Anyway, after arriving at the convention center a bit later than intended (carpool troubles + traffic argh), I got my pass and noticed a decent number of Revolutionary Girl Utena cosplayers — more than I had seen my previous six years of attending the convention, actually. It was fairly appropriate given what I saw as the most exciting announcement at the convention: Nozomi’s license rescue of Utena. I’ll finally get the opportunity to buy my favorite series at a price that isn’t completely outrageous? Hell yes. (By the way, it was funny trolling Twitter on my cell phone as the big licensing infodump was going on Friday. I’m pretty sure I was walking in a daze after being pummeled by announcements.)

(Eri Kitamura on the left and Yui Horie on the right at NIS America’s autograph station.)

After dicking around in the exhibit hall for a while, I headed to my first panel of the day — Eri Kitamura’s panel. She came to AX to promote Toradora! and was pretty fun. The panel wasn’t really informative in any way, of course; it was basically an excuse for fans to geek out in front of Eri Kitamura. However, it was fun because Kitamura made an honest attempt to be as open as possible without pissing off her superiors (no mean feat with the producer of Toradora! sitting next to her lol), and because the interpreter was a cool guy. He gave some translations that were a bit rougher in their phrasing and language than what Kitamura was probably saying (as you’ll see in a moment, haha), but he got across the basic gist of what she was saying and made things a bit more fun.

Some of the highlights:

– Kitamura wants to play a yandere eventually. Clearly she knows what pleases the audience.

– She thought Ami Kawashima was a “bitch” at first. lolz (I’m sure this was the translator’s phrasing and not her’s, but still.)

– She doesn’t think much about the sensuality/sexuality of her characters while actually doing the acting (Kitamura plays Rin in Kodomo no Jikan and Alleyne in Queen’s Blade); it’s only after she sees the finished product that all the weirdness suddenly hits her. Apparently she was taken aback by all the enormous racks in Queen’s Blade, haha.

– Funniest moment of the panel came when a fan asked Kitamura to re-enact the bit in Angel Beats where Yui sings the OP and then starts choking partway through, whereupon a TK cosplayer came in and capped the performance. And there’s video! Enjoy:

“Crazy baby”, indeed, TK.

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16 Responses to “Anime Expo 2010: Circle Jerk City”

  1. No, I couldn’t have done anything better for the past 10-20 minutes. It is summer. *w*
    Sounds like a fun time.

  2. Thanks for the kind words! I always feel like maybe I’m a bit too forward meeting people. :P It was good meeting everyone, so I’m really glad you hosted the meet-up.

    I had a budget of $250 including food, living, travel, and goods. I ended up getting more stuff than I should’ve… Haha. And I did the same thing you did: I panicked for May’n autograph session and bought Universal Bunny FOR WAY TOO MUCH MONEY!!!!! before deciding to instead get her autograph on a paper board (just like every other artist). That hurt me since the CD cost like 30 bucks.

    • My personality is well suited to interacting with talkative people, so it didn’t bother me anyway. :p

      Thankfully my $200 budget was just divided between swag and food, haha. And, damn, at least my CD that I didn’t really want to buy was just $10.

  3. wuzzup! Damn, I had fun reading this one, too (I just read Mystlord’s). Sorry for your autograph experience. NIS American really bent the rules like Bandai did 3 years ago. It was thanks to DCBebop, who spotted the line at NIS America and alerted us about it that we were able to get autographs. Our translator guy is LaMoe and he’s crazy about Horie Yui! I’m just so glad that he got the autograph and all.
    We went to the Masquerade and I gotta tell ya, it was disappointing, at least for the skit parts. As for costumes, I interviewed one of the ladies performed there a day before. She didn’t get any points from all the fangirls waiting for yaoi bait there. Poor her. She was in a blue dress and she looked great!

    • Ah, so he’s LaMoe! Cool. Time for editing after I reply to all these comments~

      Yeah, a lot of the skits were disappointing . . . there were some funny ones, but mostly they were kind of eh. I mean, the winners basically retold Ninja Scroll in two minutes. There’s not really any originality there. But at least there was a lot of great costumes; definitely no faulting the work people put into those things.

  4. Yumeka Says:

    Awesome coverage~! (I just posted mine XD)

    Thanks for sharing that video from the Kitamura panel. It was hilarious (kinda makes up for the Horie panel).

    Where was Little Kuriboh? I was all over the Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley yet I missed that big YGO Abridged sign? ~_^

    And those Princess Mononoke cosplayers look great!

    It was fun hanging out at the meet-up. We should have another one at the next AX =)

    • I forget which aisle Little Kuriboh was at. My friend saw him on Friday, and apparently his display was moved to a different spot . . . I think he was kind of close to the Artist’s Alley but not quite in there. Don’t think he was that far from Scott Ramsoomair of VGCats either.

  5. I think we’d agree about Ergo Proxy because it was too blarrgghhh to try and keep track of. Plus, that seemed to be too pretentious for me to keep up on. But yeah, good times! Already marking my calendar for next year! Maybe I can actually watch Utena or something so I can converse better :p

    • Yeah, a lot of Ergo Proxy’s pretentiousness stems from a problem I have with many stories that purport to have an intellectual bent: They put their philosophical ideas above basic storytelling and characterization, and thus the story just is not any good. I like intelligent ideas, but they should supplement a good story, not overshadow it.

  6. nice to meet you too dood.

    maybe better luck for us next time

  7. Good times, good times…I definitely enjoyed spending time with you and everyone else! Watch for my video report about all that stuff soon.

  8. Need more pictures!!!

    Hopefully I’ll be able to make it out to AX next year!

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