Travelogue: Wake Up Girls FINAL Iwate

Ishiwari-Zakura (the sign)

Since this spring, the seiyuu unit Wake Up, Girls! have been on a farewell tour. It reminds me of Major League players who announced their retirements during the off season of their final season, getting treats as their team travel around the league and getting presents from teams the player visit over the course of the regular season. It’s not that different for this seiyuu idol unit in a sense, given the extensive farewell they have received at Animelo Summer Live and Animax Musix Yokohama earlier this year. (AnimeJam is this coming weekend and it would be interesting to see what they do for WUGchans!)

While the shut-down date set as end of March, 2019, the IP will live on (most notably in a mobile game) as the voice actresses will be off contract for the main project. They will still work on the franchise, of course, but not as performers of live shows, and likely not so extensively tied to the various media opportunities such as their ongoing radio shows (though this remains to be seen), live action theater, as “solo artists” and most importantly doing new songs and concerts.

There is a actual farewell tour for WUG, which is broken into 3 parts. First two parts were announced right off the bat after the disbanding announcement. Part 1 covered Chiba, Kanagawa (Zama) and Saitama (Omiya). Part 2 covers Osaka, Iwate (Morioka), and Kanagawa again (Yokosuka). Part 3 will cover Kumamoto, Osaka (again), Nagano, Tokushima, Aichi (Nagoya), and finally Miyagi–or Sendai. It’s a lot of stops. Each stop promises at least 2 shows (early and late). The Aichi stop has 5 shows. Osaka totally gets 8 shows between parts 2 and 3. About half of these sold out, but it isn’t hard to get tickets for some of the more remote and remaining ones, even as I write.

The locations are important in that the farewell tour will take all the WUGs to their home prefectures. Yoppi is probably the most difficult, all the way out in Kumamoto, so it’s good it finally will happen. Iwate is where Kaya is from, and this tour marks the second WUG visit to Morioka. Minyami and Myu are from Kanagawa and Chiba respectively. MayuC is from Osaka, and Osaka is the city WUG toured the most outside of the Tokyo region proper. Nanamin is from Tokushima, which is also a rare stop for WUG tours but thanks to Machi Asobi, WUGchans have frequented Tokushima quite often. Of course, Aichan is the Sendai native who will invariably hold court for that final stop on that final tour, and it’s the second most common tour stop outside Kanto for them. You would think, right?

Sendai is obviously a super special place for Wake Up Girls. It gave birth to the group and the project, and promoting the (kinda still) struggling Tohoku region is a core mission for the team. The way the team was put together in 2012-2013 was just as much of a promotion of Japan’s rural areas as it is a way to represent them in this fandom niche–seiyuu idol and media mix. It’s really heartful to see the management stick to this aspect of the mission. I mean I would not have had reasons to go to Sendai until next year but for WUG, a good 3.5 years after my real first visit. It taught me a lot of places to visit, either ones I had in the past or will in the future, and sights to see and recommend to others. The TUNAGO solo tour earlier this year is a great example, when fans had to travel across Tohoku to see the WUG member solo events in tiny live halls in the countryside. It ended with a bus tour that took you even to rebuilding banks of the Eastern shore and survey the reconstruction after the 3/11 tsunami waves had left their marks.

In the same spirit, my visit to Morioka to attend WUG Final Iwate was just as much about WUG as much about Morioka. I am really going because timing worked best, not because Iwate or Morioka is special, plus honestly I can’t see myself ever going for another reason, so why not visit a part of Japan I don’t think I’ll ever go again?

The actual concert is on Sunday afternoon and evening. I had booked a flight back home leaving Haneda in the morning Monday after. In order to make the flight I had to travel by night bus (as the most reasonable transportation option), which was both reasonably priced and convenient, as the bus depot is right at the JR station Morioka, and a short walk from my hotel. The fact that it snowed overnight Saturday was a little disturbing, but it wasn’t a problem at all for me–the weather was still warmer in Morioka than at home. And unlike Kanto proper, this part of the country regularly deals with snow, so it isn’t as much of an issue for transportation.

Arriving Morioka by train Saturday morning, it was a fast ride up the Tohoku/Akita line, taking about 2.5 hours. At Morioka the Hayabusa and Komachi trains separates, which you can actually go see. The Komachi in front decouples, moves forward, and both it and the Hayabusa train retract the latches and the cover pops back to keep that aerodynamic nose shape. Literally, Shinkalion.

Right at the station, a famous local food, the fukuda pan, can be had. They literally are just rolls with different fillings, kind of like souped up buttered breads. I had chestnut and plain butter, and it was pretty good because the bread was of good quality and it was fresh.

Transit in Morioka is JR only, and there is no local mass transit on rail. You can take a pretty cheap bus to go around, but it’s hardly faster than walking. The JR local trains take you to the suburbs, so it’s not even helpful. There is a tourist bus, but I ended up walking around the area between JR Morioka and the main castle park area.

At the time there was a Salmon Festival in the park. Too bad most stuff there can’t really be had. You either had to eat it there, or bring home a fish or a sack of clams or something. The salmon looked good though.

The main park area is three things: a park, the remains of the Morioka castle, and a temple. It’s not what I’d say scenic in a dreary December weekend, but I imagine it looks good with some cherry blossom to go with. Very nearby is a historic house and museum, and some older buildings from before the War. Also a couple blocks away are the government buildings, and the famous Rock-Breaking Cherry Tree that grew through a boulder. As people (nee: Kayatan) say, the Ishiwari-zakura encapsulates the spirit of Iwate.

There weren’t a lot of sights in Morioka proper. I walked a bit to kind of take in the place. It is cold and I didn’t want to walk too much (but still probably did too much walking). It is kind of inaka-y but it felt more urban than it really was. The side where the older town was (where I was walking) did feel very much like “Morioka” in that it reminds me of Sendai and Hakodate, maybe because it’s kind of in between the two places. The other side of the JR Shinkansen tracks felt more like modern, newer developed suburb-y part of the city. There was a huge Bic Camera and Round 1 where my hotel was, where as the other side of the station had the densely zoned businesses and homes you expect in a Japanese city.

So instead of walking, we ate. Morioka has 3 famous noodles: the jya jya men, the reimen, and the wanko soba. Naturally we had all 3.

Reimen is a form of korean cold noodles. I’ve actually had varieties of this across the USA and even in Taipei. It’s more commonly the clear wheat version that you see, but the Morioka style is served up like a cold ramen, with sweet flavorings. It’s served with apple or pear in the broth, in the winter, and with watermelon in the summer. The ideal pairing for this is either hot weather, or because you have just had a lot of korean BBQ/yakiniku so you can cool down with it. We did not have BBQ with ours, but it was still tasty. You should get it spicy when you could, just know that Japanese eateries generally downtune their spicy levels.

The jya jya men in Morikoa is similar to the Chinese and Korean versions, except it is made with miso instead of black soy bean paste or fermented flour paste. This means it’s a meat miso that you mix with your noodles, and it pairs with similar toppings. Because miso is actually more mild than soybean paste or fermented flour paste, there are more options for topping such as umeboshi and grated ginger, or even rice vinegar. The noodle used is much thicker too, they are basically udon level. It makes for a cheap and hearty meal. 600 JPY fills me up, with chi tan tan, which is a complementary soup they serve you in the same bowl by mixing an egg with hot noodle water.

Somehow I had it three times, because you can get Pairon (which is like the one famous name for the dish) jya jya men at the station, and JJM was the easiest eat that you can have all day long. Other than these noodle bars, most places don’t open late in Morioka so jya jya men is a good substitute if you would have ramen instead.

Pairon at the station (they have a few branches)

Wanko soba is more of an experience than a dish. Basically the idea is a server will serve you bite size portions of soba at a time until you are full. There’s some ceremony to this, so you ought to go with Instagram ready with a small group. Our server served the three of us over 300 servings, and it is a pretty (ugly?) sight (unsightly?). It is at a rapid fire pace, when you eat it, the next serving comes. You get a break when the server runs out of noodles on her plate, but these rounds can be brutal. Wanko soba is lightly flavored in soy sauce, so you can also add other condiments like grounded chicken or grated daikon or whatever, which they provide to you. Not that it matters, you are literally eating as fast as you can most of the time, and if you are not drawing the meal out, the whole experience can be over in less than an hour. But yeah, having Moriokan(?) waitress throw noodles at you non-stop turned out to be surprisingly fun. To stop eating there’s a procedure you do with putting the lid on top of your bowl. The server’s trick is to throw noodles in it while you show it to her empty. It continues if you let it happen as you have to finish what’s in your bowl.

I wonder if this is why Kayatan is kind of S.

As a proper dining experience, wanko soba should really be had as a proper meal, but most places close quite early (like, 8:30pm). And according to what I hear, wanko soba in Tokyo is just not as good as wanko soba in Morioka, but who knows. We went to Azumaya by the JR station, which I guess is well-detailed in this CNN article.

Anyways, the live.

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Illumination Festa

I dump thoughts on this blog, usually in a hard-to-understand way. This is not that hard to understand, I hope.

Question: How many hours of continuous illumination can all my IDOLM@STER penlights provide?

Background: THE IDOLM@STER has a line of merch for their events in which button-cell (LR44) penlights are available for purchase. Each character gets her own penlight (fixed color). There are also penlights for groups (SideM, Shiny, Cute/Cool/Passion, Princess/Fairy/Angel). Here’s a link for example. In short: there are a lot of them.

Assumptions: Assuming 3 hours per light, and all my lights are running for 3 hours. It’s probably a fair assumption given most of my lights are hardly used, and the 3-cell ones probably run closer to 4 hours. Newer IDOLM@STER character lights are 2-cell but most of mine are the older, 3-cell types. I’m also generally assuming I can use one for light, and use another once that one runs out, so the total hours here is just the total number of lights times 3.

It would be obtuse (but rigorous) for me to dig out all my lights and count them. Instead I will do it from memory. No big deal if I miss a few I guess.

Series 1 CG Cu/Co/Pa: 3
Series 2 CG Cu/Co/Pa: 3
ML Pri/Fa/An: 3
765Pro series 2: 14
765Pro series 3: 14
765Pro 10th: 14
CG 10th: 13
ML 10th: 13
ML 1st day 2 box: 5
ML 2nd (all 3 boxes): 21 
CG 4th SSA – one for every idol (not sets, minus 10th ones): 34
ML 3rd – One for each one that I didn’t have before (estimate): 19
Miscellaneous CGs: 7
Duplicates: 6 Matsuri ML 4th, 6 Matsuri Hotchpotch, 1 Makoto Hotchpotch, 1 Makoto Hatsuboshi Enbu

Total: 177
Times 3 hours for each light: 531 hours, or 22 days and 3 hours.

Assuming I only need light 8 hours a day, it’ll keep me lit during a power outage situation for 66 days and 3 hours. Not long enough for some Puerto Ricans. But definitely enough for 12 days of Christmas.

This light merch is all a racket and I’ve already had my fill years ago. Now I only buy lights to replace old ones as they start to have problems, or because I broke them at the live. I guess I still do for new idols that I don’t have lights for. I guess this is also why it won’t end anytime soon, if ever.

In a few months, Million 6th tour will begin. I will have to rely on penlights that I got like 4 years ago (if I get to go). Hope they still work, LOL.


Eventing 2018

[Last year here]

This is a blog post that will keep track of the nerd events I’m attending in 2018. It will be updated over time to add/delete and update the status of the events I plan to attend or have attended. If you’re going to one of these, feel free to let me know ahead of time. You can find last year’s log post here.

In 2018 I think I’m just going to be kind of vague, since YOLO’ing the past 2 years has kind of caught up. There are some stuff I’d like to go and see/participate but a lot of maybes are really in play. Just going to throw them down as guidelines.

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Japan Trip Dec 2018

I’m not sure what to write about in regards to my recent trip to Japan. I did it mostly because of CG 6th in Nagoya Dome and Wake Up, Girls! Final Tour in Iwate, but I tried to use that JR Pass power for tourism purposes in the days between the two lives. It also occurred to me that I went to Japan way too many times this year, in a way that I have to date my trip by the month that it happened in, not not just by the Year or Quarter even.

I traveled quite a bit compared to my usual weekend jaunts, so I had some thinking time as I sat on the Shinkansen. They are marvelous aren’t they? I saw the Hayabusa and Komachi detach at Morioka and the nose cones of the two trains transform and cover up the latches. This kid behind me even went “Shinkalion da!” I was able to take an overnight train from Okayama to Tokyo. I finally got to see the Seto Inland Sea as I rode on a bus around Mihara. I had okonomiyaki in Hiroshima. And primarily, I was able to finally visit a Japanese car museum.

Of all the things Japan is known for in the world, I want to believe Japanese cars are the most renowned things. Before weirdness, sushi, ninjas or anime, there are these heavy machineries that made everyday life possible for 100s of millions of people across the world. It’s like when I was watching Jack Ryan I see how the rich terrorists drove Land Cruisers and the poor ones are in Tacomas. Joke aside, Toyota is the number one car company in the world, and that is saying something. Something that probably summarises the totality of the post-atom-bomb Japan, its economic recovery, and the role it plays in the world today.

So it was nice to go back in time and see the humble beginnings of these modern marvels. It’s almost like flaunting when the Toyota automotive technology museum in Nagoya proper featured all these textile manufacturing stuff for maybe a third of the place. After all, that’s how Toyota got started, making textile manufacturing hardware? I guess you can always visit their main campus for the full blown tour but I did not have the time. I spent a couple hours before the live in Nagoya looking at a giant metal press, or how relatively small a Prius’s battery is compared to the skate-style batteries in newer BEVs. There were a lot of neat little things if you are into cars, and even more if you aren’t, as the whole facility tends to target a more general and youthful audience.

I was more emotionally connected to the Mazda factory tour. You get an English language guided tour of the much smaller museum space in Hiroshima but also their primary assembly line. It totally reminded me my last car, which was also built in Hiroshima–the only place MX-5s are built, if not the only assembly line. The Mazda company takes up like a quarter of the city out there in Hiroshima, sprawling complexes of ports, warehouses, factories, schools, dorms, hospitals, gyms, you name it. It’s still the boonies, but it was something the locals prided themselves on. There are buses of school children at the tour as well.

It was pretty cool watching a MX-5 put together and I shed a single tear. Which was one more tear than I shed at CG 6th. I mean, it’s not that small, agile, fun-to-drive fandom it used to be, as this joke goes.

Cinderella Girls 6th Live was a visual spectacle. Having seen a couple lives inside the home of the Seibu Lions, Metlife Dome frankly, well, sucks, in comparison. Metlife Dome is a bad venue, despite the innovative (and ecologically neat) semi-open design, as if a UFO phased into the Japanese hillside. Nagoya Dome was much better. I really liked the acoustics, despite having to deal with outfield bucket seats. The full dome roof also made the visuals less weird, I guess.

There are a lot of things I could say about CG 6th, but I was glad to be able to see TriPri being powerful and how “AAAAAARu” Field chains into Nagareboshi Kiseki. I really enjoyed Treasure, and it’s fun seeing Kirarin Robo in the metaphorical flesh. And villain Acchan with a frying pan. There are also a lot of bellies there for some reason. I’m glad I was able to participate in a pretty good event and fulfill my dumb promise I made at AX.

I really should talk about WUG Iwate and Morioka separately, as the totality of that visit is kind of one thing all together. So I will do just that.

There were other minor objectives I had in mind on this trip. One of them is to stay at the “famous” Economy Backpacker Hotel New Koyo. Located in Minami-Senju, this place is not what I’d recommend you stay at unless you are okay with living in a run-down dorm, as it is what it is for 2900 JPY a night. I think the only real reason to stay there is that it is cheap and the staff speak English. There are similarly priced single-room hostels that don’t look completely like a dump, and maybe even closer to the station, for a bit more in rent. Cheap business hotels are maybe starting at 5000 JPY. OK, the real reason is I know all too many people who stayed there, so I wanted to see how things are like.

I also tried remotely working while in Japan. It only works somewhat–I really need to have a desk and a chair, as it is tough staying awake when you’re sitting on the bed the whole time. I do a lot of meetings so it necessitates me being awake during Japan’s sleeping hours. New Koyo isn’t really meant for that, and maybe I’ll try again at a proper hotel next time.

Another thing I had done on this trip is take an overnight bus. Japanese buses are kind of interesting, as now I have taken all the basic varieties from the mass transit version, the shuttle version, the tourist bus version, and now the overnight sleeper which comes with a bathroom. I splurged a bit and took a 3-in-a-row type bus which meant you had basically a premium econ plane seat to yourself. It’s sort of unusual to see this in the US, if ever. I took the bus mainly because it was the only way to get to Tokyo in time for my morning flight out, coming from Morioka.

Destination-wise, besides the automobile museums in Nagoya and Hiroshima, I dropped by Takehara as the one anime pilgrimage spot. The trip is complicated because flooding and typhoon earlier in the year took out the Kure line, meaning the only other way via JR Pass to Takehara is a bus from Mihara station. Alternatively I could have taken the direct bus from Hiroshima but that costs about a thousand yen one way. Mihara station itself is interesting, as a local Shinkansen stop, as it’s also built on top of a castle ruin. The bus drove along the coast to Mihara, so it had a scenic side effect despite making that side trip much longer.

In terms of events, I also attended Machico’s solo live on 12/1 in Yokohama, as well as a mini-album release event at HMV Shibuya for Komagata Yuri, in addition to the aforementioned live events. In retrospect I definitely could have packed on more, but it was already quite a lot.

A lot of the time this trip I was doing solo traveling, which was refreshing given my prior trip in September. On my last tourist trip to Japan, I was basically in a tour bus the whole time, living on a schedule dictated by the tour company. It was fun and eye-opening, but restrictive. This was more just whatever-I-want but the quality of the trip is as good as the homework that I did ahead of time. I guess if you could, why not do both?

PS. On my way out of Japan, I took a Monday 10am flight from Haneda to JFK. While waiting to board I spotted the famous video game developer Kojima Hideo, in line for first class. I can never be sure of these things but it did turn out to be him, confirmed by his tweets later in the week.


Anime NYC 2018: Wrap

So the weekend before last weekend was Anime NYC 2018 at the Javitz, Friday till Sunday. I was there only for Friday and Saturday. This year I was fortunate enough to get a day off to go do all the Friday things. I opted out Sunday because I wanted to sleep in and did not really care that much for what the con offered.

I think this is what the con feels like this year, in that there are a lot of stuff the first two days, and just an average amount of stuff on Sunday. From what I can tell, the industry showed up en force, and there were very few fan panels accepted. The dealer room is much bigger, and the panel rooms are properly in the lower halls now. I didn’t even see where the game room was.

There were spaces used to line people up this time, as well as a bag check system for people going in and out of the exhibit hall area. The bag check expanded to the autographing and panel area on Saturday.

The big Anisong World Matsuri concerts were held at the Hammerstein Ballroom down 34th. It’s a bit of a hike but I think the venue is a good fit. VIP badgers had standing seat up front and they even set up barriers for them, so they aren’t pressured by the plebs. I think that is a good move, probably partly because the shows didn’t sell out so this will gap the crowd for better optics. That said, the show sold pretty well, most of the floor did fill up and so did the first level balcony. They could probably have opened the second level and charged a lower price and fill that up too.

The word was, there was a press event on Friday’s dealer room opening part where some local politician announced 11/16 to be some kind of anisong day? And you can see how they sold 2000 or so tickets on Saturday. Friday was less.

For some reason I was in the dealer’s room for a total of 20 minutes all weekend, so I didn’t really have time to walk it (spent most of it watching N’s set).

This year, ANYC has a “Mega” badge system which gave these premiere fans the following perks: priority entry to the con, priority entry to the exhibit hall, priority entry to main events, first presale of tickets for AWM, and some at-con loot and discounts. The mega badge was north of $300, and coming into it, the value prop was not there. Now that we survived ~36000 attendees, it was indeed worth it mainly because of autograph camping. The way autograph worked for ANYC is similar to NYAF/early NYCC, where attendees camp the opening of the con for ticket handout. Since Mega people always get in first, they are basically guaranteed any given ticket. At the con Friday there were ~180 Megas in line, and I think the autograph ticket pile was roughly 100-200 tall, not sure. All the tickets lasted beyond the Mega group and plebs in front were able to get some.

Only if Anime Expo was like this, huh.

The con is still just a 3-day affair. This meant spending some time in line to camp for autographs (as tickets are not guaranteed if it ran over time), and some in line for AWM day 1. I got a regular balcony seat for day 2 so I could just go to my assigned seat, but day 1 I ended up somewhere middle and near the front, about 3 or 4th row back.

AWM was just as you would expect in Hammerstein, and as you would expect given this cast list. Day 1 was more or less very predictable, with exception maybe just the sheer number of collab and the fact that everybody sang with everybody else. I am still slightly awestruck with Nano’s rendition of Invoke with Luna. It really is like TMR until she dialed it back from karaoke mode a tad.

Sparkling daydream between TRUE and Konomin? That’s crazy talk. Born to Be was neat. It puts Don’t Be Lazy and God Knows in place. Aquarion is probably still the best tone setter, to begin the show that way.

Personally Luna’s set hits 100/100 for me, especially NYC version of Momoiro Typhoon right off the bat. I think the rest of the show kind of just melted around that. Nano’s was more miss than hit, but I know more songs than I expected? The way the show ended made sure it went over well as everyone do their big hit with Luna kind of wrapping it up.

For uchiage Friday, we had pizza near NYPenn, and it was swell. I decided to crash at a friend’s to shorten the camping for the day after.

The morning after, we split an uber from JC directly to the Javitz, and camped out at around 6am. I was like the first 10 people in the Mega line, while my friends are in the first 90 or 80 in the reg? It’s not super clear because at some point people did kinda cut. There was this young woman in front of me freezing her Florida butts off in the frosty West Side wind. It’s Javitz, so it’s windy and dreary, and she wore jeans and a shirt over her cosplay, which was even less covering. Eventually she survived with a bit of help, but that is not a look you want to be in at this con in the morning line.

This con is just a 3-day con, so all the AWM Saturday guests did stuff Friday at the con, and AWM Friday guests did stuff Saturday, which meant I ended up doing all that Saturday plus a session with Range Murata to rep his new book published by Denpa, the new manga pub launched by Ed. I think in the end I was in line for autographs most of the day as a result. I also had to camp the AWM autograph line to start-dash into the Fate event. Main achievement there was to get True to sign Hanazakari Weekend amirite.

The con is still just a 3-day affair. This meant the Saturday Fate event (which you had to buy a ticket to go see I think) was smack middle of a bunch of AWM things. Anyway, I went in late and skipped a lot of the random chat part for the dub team. I caught some sneak views of the Heaven’s Feel part 2 trailer and then, Aimer.

It was good, but sudden. Aimer did her normal schtik, with just a keyboard accompaniment. It was over all too soon. The loot given out for S-tier tickets ($60) was back at reg in which I had to beat the rush to get to camp Trigger autographs? LOL. The Fate event packed out well so the crowd and start-dash was real. I was literally the 7th person in line and Koyama switched over to Mako only right when I got up, so there you have it.

At the Saturday AWM show, which was just an hour after the Trigger autograph (took 35 minutes, then 10 for me to fast walk to the venue, which left me enough time to buy a drink), we had fun sitting and cheering from the balcony. It was definitely the right call.

(Click on the tweet to see full set list in the thread)

I was pretty floored by some of these song choices. Both ways. On one hand I’m sure a handful of people in that room even knows some of these, myself not included. Sagittarius was godly, with Shokotan doing the vocals. Morning Musume ’18 and Kageyama’s Love Machine though? That is some incredibly rare thing. The collabs were as crazy as we thought they were, as well as just bonkers in that specific case.

Morning Musume did bring the crowd and it was fun and fine. The VIP section for Saturday was not as packed but there were more people in the audience, so that’s nice. Shoko’s songs were well received, better than Dani’s anyway. Kageyama more or less played the most iconic stuff I think, complete with his The Real Folk Blues guitar cover. GO! was a good pick to start it up, and obviously we had to sing Cruel Angel Thesis with this very 3d group, but wrapping up with some JAM-y songs is nice.

But really, Kageyama doing Love Machine with MM18? He’s like 3x the age of the group mean, and that song is like, 18 years old too? LOL. It was great laughs.

We did a bigger uchiage after AWM Saturday, and that was it for me.

I keep on saying this is a 3-day con, mainly to make the point that a lot was happening and it would be hard to do everything that you wanted to do. I gave up on seeing much of the dealer’s room, and only stopped by the DJ booth for 20 minutes on Friday over at Lumica. Lumica had some more wotagei masters and DJs this time too. Well, not to mention the rest of the Exhibit Hall. This is what I missed on Sunday by not going to the con, I guess.

I’m not sure I’m ready for ANYC to become a 4-day event, but if it gets bigger, it’s inevitable. I do wish ANYC to become a con that’s on par with AX, just so we can have more AWM type events and bigger JP draws. But I also don’t know if I want to pay the full cost of that, both monetarily and in effort/dealing with camping. Well, if it brings all the boys and girls to the yard, maybe that’s okay. ANYC is also fairly fan-panel free this year, which might be a reason why it’s just 3 days long. Having more days will positively help some aspects of the con, but it’ll likely raise prices for regular attendees and the like, and I’m not sure if this con can justify it just yet.

Overall? This is what peak condition NYAF looks like, or ANYC now that it’s back on track. AWM was a good get, but there were a lot of room for improvement: it didn’t sell out at all, and the production value is a bit lacking. The lineup is also not that good, sorry Dani and random oldie robot anisong lovers. MM is a good get but an odd pairing, nothing wrong with it, just unusual. The con was run smoothly enough; line management more or less was there. The staff count was right largely. The snow didn’t derail much from the con, just a hassle for attendees and staff alike. Overall things worked out well, even the overpriced Mega ticket system.

The real problems I see are all structural or because Javitz kinda sucks for consumer-style cons location-wise, and we can’t do much about those things. So let’s bring it on next year, I guess.