Anime Expo 2012: Guh

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…


7 Responses to “Anime Expo 2012: Guh”

  • Yumeka

    Besides Yuki Kajiura and LiSA, there aren’t any other guests I’m particularly excited about this year. I like Fate/Zero but I’m not a big enough fan of it to be interested in the many guests that are coming this year. But as always at AX, what I mostly look forward to is the Exhibit Hall and meeting up with friends. Since I’ve lived in the LA area my whole life, I’ve acquired many friends who like anime over the years from high school, college, and online, and AX has become a big rendezvous event where I can see them all XD There are usually unofficial events I take an interest in attending too, such as the blogger meetup if there will be one this year (have you heard anything about it?) And I always get a kick out of seeing all the cosplay.

    And I’m just curious, are you a resident of SoCal or do you travel to AX from another state/country?

    • omo

      I live in NJ. Yeah I understand cons are great way to hang out, which is why I’m going to AX at all. And the exhibit hall is a great source of entertainment even for people like me!

      I have not heard about the blogger meetup, but if there’s a dinner like last year on Thursday I would be pretty keen on that.

  • Darkfireblade25

    >Kajiura Yuki

    well, crap. I knew I should have bought those tickets. I would have gone there just for her since I have been following her ever since Tsubasa Chronicle came out. I would put LiSA on the same level as the lower tier list you got there simply because Kalafina’s OP was so much better. But that’s just me.

  • Alex D.

    >>are they actually towing Toume and Range Murata to LA?

    Latest “word” (not a guarantee, just what I’ve seen online) is that Toume will actually be there, Murata & Matsumoto will not. Last year they brought Matsumoto, although I guess he was officially an AX GoH as opposed to Toume who seems to be a GoFA guest. Out of all the artists GoFA “represents”, Toume is probably the one I would be least psyched to see, but if they can rotate and bring one guest each year, that’s a big draw for me.

    For the most part I agree with you – this AX is going to be pretty low-tension. Maybe I’ll actually go to some industry panels. Also means more time for good food!

  • vendredi

    There’s something rather disturbing about the proportions of the cat-girl in the picture accompanying this post. It seems a suit, but the proportions of everything are far too strange for her to actually be a human underneath. But back on topic…

    I’m not exactly sure if “guests and celebrities” are the primary draw of a particular convention. How many people pay that close attention to staff, the voice actors, particular musicians, and animators? How many more are interested enough to fly out and meet them in person? I’m sure there’s a dedicated convention circuit crowd that follows and cross-references all these things intensely, but it strikes me that the majority of attendees are in it to experience the second point you talk about – that sense of atmosphere.

    • vendredi

      Also, are the characters on that website (looks Korean to me) represent what I think they do based on the URL?

      One wonders how much longer till we have domestic-appliance-tans…

    • omo

      The cat thing in the top image is kind of a meme. It’s from a game called Sword Girls (which has an English version as well), an online freemium CCG.

      As for guests, yeah, tons of cons have only a few guests. It helps to have some guests to put it in your advertisements. But having big guests do help build up the clout of the con and the pull of the con. AX for example has industry people throwing money at it as a marketing event, and guests are a great way to do that.

      But you’re right, most people go to cons to enjoy themselves via non-guest related things.

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