When it was first announced that Japan Expo was setting up in the states, the fans went wild with speculation and excitement. It didn't hurt at all that it'll be held in the Santa Clara Convention Center, where Fanime once called home. Now, with the convention just days away, we have a better look at what's to come.
Naturally, the first thing I look out for is the gatherings, and there are a few of those to look for. I'll be going to a gathering a day, starting with Attack on Titan, then Ace Attorney, and finally Type-Moon. It will be especially exciting to meet the art director and music composer for the Ace Attorney games, Noriyuki Iwadare and Tatsuro Iwamoto, who are guests that will be stopping by the gathering. I haven't worn my Matt Engarde cosplay to any conventions before, so this will be quite the test run.
Sadly, I do not have any cosplays from Fire Emblem, otherwise I'd be just as excited to get to that gathering. Its character designer, Yusuke Kozaki, will also be there. Still, it's always a treat for the fans when those who play a large role in their series of choice show up.
Another cosplay-related note of interest to me is that there is not just one masquerade, but daily masquerades, so cosplayers can work the masquerade into their cosplay schedules, not vice-versa. This is a new concept to me, but it may prove very successful, and I can imagine it would make it easier for cosplayers and photographers to attend at least a masquerade.
Looking at the Cosplay section of the convention's website, it seems that a lot of preparations have been made with cosplayers in mind. The changing rooms will be convenient for those commuting but have multiple costumes, but of course, everything can and will go wrong with costume construction, so the "first aid" station for costumes may be useful. If my 3D Maneuver Gear prop for Attack on Titan acts anything like I suspect, I'll be stopping by there quite frequently to make good use of their duct tape.
The last few weeks have been spent in preparation, at least for me. I've been trying to figure out my cosplay schedule, which has just recently been finalized, then actually finish working on the costumes I'll be needing for it. It's been something of a rush, and one of them will still be partially incomplete, but I've got things as ready as they'll ever be.
Still, there is a lot left to the last minute for this con, including my means of transportation. Everything we've been hearing sounds good so far, though, so I'm optimistic and looking forward to it. This may be the con's first year in the states, but it's already an established name. We all know the story of how it was originally planning on not allowing for in and out privileges, but fan outcry changed that policy, so it's proven that the organizers are willing to work with the fans and adapt accordingly. This all bodes well for the convention, so here's wishing it luck.