Anime Expo 2010, part 2b

RETURN to Anime Expo 2010, part 2a. (Check out part 1 and part 3.)

I set my Saturday morning alarm for 8:15, but that was a joke, and I just barely got out the door by 9 am, leaving Bunny and S— sleeping on the bed. I arrived late to my second panel, “How to Report Anime Conventions”, which you can read about in part 3. After the panel, I watched some Shattered Angels (wiki) dubbed, an anime with a lot of voice over, mostly in the form of the protagonist writing to her Prince. Almost every voice over began with “Dear Prince, I hope this finds you well…” and that got old really fast. It heavily references Steel Angel Kurumi (written by the same mangaka), an anime I’ve never seen, so that may be part of why things weren’t explained well and were confusing to follow.

10 AX inside4
Look closely: in about the center, there’s a pimp Jesus and a short-skirted nun. Seriously.

I decided to give Aquarion (wiki) another chance… this time subtitled. And OMG it’s just as bad subbed as it was dubbed. Seriously. If you have even a little bit of a sick mind, don’t watch this. You will not get through it without snickering and nudging your pals for all the (unintentional?) double entendres! Jeez. It does have a pretty good opening theme song, though. Anyway, after ditching Aquarion (and after giving it a second chance, too!), I headed to the third panel I was looking forward to, “The Future of OEL Manga” (see part 3).

I left the panel immediately to catch L: Change the WorLd (wiki), a live action film in the Death Note universe (wiki). I’ve actually seen L already (as well as the entire animated series and the other two live action films) and have it saved on my computer, but I wanted to watch it with an audience in a theater setting (as I did with a couple of other viewings, which I’ll get to in a minute), and I wasn’t disappointed.

12 AX exhibit hall - sailor scouts
Sailors Uranus, Jupiter, Chibi-Moon, and Mars from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.

I met up with my brother and out mutual friend, W—, in the Exhibit Hall to have another go at buying stuff. I got my sister a belated birthday gift and my brother a future birthday gift first off. (I managed to grab his gift before I met up with him and W—, so no worries about him finding out what it is ahead of time. ^_^) I decided I needed some more anime-themed shirts, so my brother got me a Vampire Knight t-shirt and I picked up a Bleach Hitsugaya hoodie for myself. My brother also picked up a Yoko body pillow for a friend as a joke. (Kind of an expensive practical joke, I’d say, but to each his own.)

13 AX exhibit hall - fast food mascots
Not related to anime but still amazing, you have to admit.

On the way out of the Exhibit Hall, we spotted The Fast Food Mascots and I just had to get a picture. From left to right, we have the Colonel, Jack, the Star, Wendy, Ronald McDonald, and the Panda. Ronald McDonald is also holding the head of the King (who was otherwise not in attendance). And, actually, that wasn’t the only Jack we saw.

14 AX inside - Kamina Jack
I give you: Kamina Jack. Also, the back of his cape.

My brother, W—, and I walked around for a while trying to find the end of the line for the showing of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Childhood’s End and came upon Kamina Jack, which seemed appropriate since Kamina is a character from Gurren Lagann (wiki). (Some would call him the character, even.) Unfortunately, we were shut out of the line for the film, so we instead went up to the video rooms to catch some Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. As we were sitting down, I told my brother I’d never seen the first series (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) or the first movie and asked him if there was anything I needed to know to understand the sequel. He said there wasn’t, but it didn’t matter because they didn’t actually show GitS2.

Instead, we watched the first four episodes of D.Gray-man (wiki) subbed, which actually kind of reminded me of Rental Magica (though a lot better) if only for the reason that the main characters each have a possessed eye. After that, we stuck around for Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.11: You are (Not) Alone (wiki), which my brother said is a lot like the original but with more back story and in high definition. Afterwards, we split up and W— and my brother went off somewhere (maybe the gaming rooms?) and I went to watch the first four episodes of Junjou Romantica (wiki) subbed, which is a boys’ love anime. It has a great opening theme song; in my notes, I wrote “watching it with fans is SO much more fun!”

16 AX inside - family
My brother, sister, and I on Saturday night. See also the group of friends.

After Junjou Romantica, I went downstairs to find my brother and sister. Bunny and S— were sitting outside the main viewing room, where they were showing Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Lights in the Sky are Stars, which is the movie sequel to Childhood’s End (which is a retelling of the series). My brother and W—, both having seen the series, were inside watching the end of the movie. Bunny elected to stay outside, since she hasn’t seen the series and didn’t want to spoil it, but I went in. Last summer after I got home from New York, my brother basically force-fed me the entire 27-episode series, so I had no problem with watching just the end of the retelling. The storyline is a tiny bit different (that is, some of the stuff that happens is out of order, sort of, but it makes sense in the movie’s context), but… well, with probably a thousand people watching it with us, it was EPIC. I’m not kidding. I wish I could’ve filmed the crowd’s reactions to what was happening on screen. It… was… unforgettable. And will unlikely ever be reproduced in such a way. It was the perfect way to cap the weekend. It was so good I cried. No joke. (And if you haven’t seen the series: watch it! Really!)

18 AX going home
Heading back to the car (then home) with my brother. Bunny stayed another day.

Overall, I had a really great time at AX 2010. In fact, I already bought a four-day pass for next year (Anime Expo’s 20th anniversary!)… I wore a Preventer‘s jacket during my two days—kind of half-cosplaying—and someone even recognized it, so that was enough for me. Sadly, though, I didn’t see any other Gundam Wing (wiki) cosplayers (and I looked!), though there were some there, as these photos attest. I could probably go on and on about how much I love Gundam Wing and how sad I was that I didn’t see any other cosplayers there this year, but I’ll save that rant for another post. ^_^

I give Anime Expo 2010 an A- overall! (Also, I recommend watching this video if you want a better feel for Expo this year than writing can give you.) On to my panels report in part 3.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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