I think it’s safe to say that I approach cons on a fairly grounded manner. It’s so grounded, that I try not to fly to one.
When Anime Expo planning period rolled around this year I was leaning towards “not going” all year until just recently. Mainly, the motivation is largely rested on hope; two types of hope, in fact. On one end, I hope Anime Expo will offer good guests. Now I enjoy all kinds of guests, but it is a lot of effort to go to AX, and it takes a fair amount of time and money, both I would rather save for other stuff. And it’s sad to say but I’m not so excited about Yuki Kajiura, after finally getting to see her a few years ago. I’m probably even less excited to see most guests at this con. Yeah, I like Fate/Zero and Kara no Kyoukai, so I should be excited, right? Yeaaa not really. I’m more excited about Tatsuo Sato, but I’ve seen and talked to him before too!
It’s this weird space that I live in, on one hand I don’t mind throwing down 3 month’s worth of lunch money to buy some plastic disks, on the other I’m not all that excited to ask questions to the guys who made that thing which cost 3 month’s worth of lunch money. Well, I don’t know, maybe Aoki and Koyama are cool dudes to talk to. But are they? Can someone let me know ahead of time? It isn’t that I don’t have questions, I just am not excited about asking them.
The other kind of hope I have is that I will be able to enjoy Anime Expo like a vacation, where I get to hang with a bunch of like-minded hobbyists and bros and enjoy some time hanging out and enjoying the local environs–may it be what LA has to offer, or what the con has to offer. Well there’s that X-Games thing going on at the same weekend as AX, and it will monopolize half or more of the facilities at the LACC/Staples Center/Nokia Theater complex. Does this crimp my hope? Maybe a little.
I realize ultimately it’s kind of how you make it. And if I’m committed to going to AX I might as well enjoy myself. I’m not too worried about not having a good time at LA; I have a good time even when I go nowhere. But as a con, it doesn’t reflect well when it can’t please some of its easiest customers. Well, technically I am not a customer if I didn’t pay to get in…right?
I think it’s not that these guests are unexciting (although it could always be said that they can be more exciting), but the cost of the trip puts a damper on it if there are no OMG-tier guests this year. I suppose I can put people like Kuribayashi Minami and LiSA on that level, except I’m not really even fans of them.
What AX does have in terms of guests, though, is that there are A LOT of them coming. I wrote up a bunch of them here. I’m not 100% sure about GoFa–are they actually towing Toume and Range Murata to LA? Or just demoing their works? And who is this “director” for Yuki Usagi? The Vocaloid crew have not finished announcing their guests yet, but already they have tapped Dixie Flatline and 2 others, which is to me on the same level as LiSA. Scary, right? Who will Kajiura perform with (if with anyone)? How big will Bushiroad’s booth be? What’s NISA doing? Did MangaGamer finalize their crew at AX this year yet? We have heard nothing about Kurinoko’s little show to showcase MuvLov, even, besides the “Eclips[sic]” shows or whatever on the tentative schedule. Huge questions, no answers, less than a month to go.
AX can be very hit or miss. It’s not stacking the odds to its favor at this point, so it would be prudent to take a lower outlook at this con. You know maybe I’m just getting a little jittery about all this and want to let it out, but I think it’s important to be aware and adjust your expectations accordingly.
On the bright side, it means I might have fewer conflicts! I love how NISA’s panel is like, the very last panel at the con. That’s a great time for me at AX since I always take the red eye flight out…