Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ryan Reports Anime Expo 2016: Day 2 - If It Were MeMeMe I'd Be Flying Away Now


Remember how I mentioned I was excited the night prior? I received an email that morning stating we could interview Igarashi Koji, the creator of every Castlevania game, Symphony of the Night onwards. I was pumped I had to pump out another video for what to expect for Day Two and review Day One.

James and I would eat breakfast and would believe to get off to a good start at 9am to AX. Here's a nice little pro tip: if your commuting to the covention and are planning to park on the street to avoid the pricy as hell parking lots all around town, do yourself a favor and leave early enough for said parking spot!!! I cannot fathom how many people wised up, from not just the locals, but after parking in the same place on Flower and Pico the last two days and in the past the attendees would park there as well. I'd also advise leaving between the hours of 6 and 8am as that's the ideal time to park since the convention is dead and no one is generally up that early, that and you beat that dreaded LA traffic. As a result, James and I not only got stuck in traffic, we spent almost two hours looking downtown for a spot to park to the point we ended up spending $20 to $30 of our convention funds to find a shady lot to park in. This meant the two early morning panels for Monster Musume and Phoenix Wright and Igarashi-san's interview were disappointingly missed.

After the interview was finished, I would go back over to the press lounge right after to hear the worst news any member of the press could hear. I had inquired about getting tickets to any of the Matsuri Live events and we were informed that they would be enroute to the press lounge soon to standby in the lounge. As promising as this may sound, shortly after the announcement there was a another announcement from a member of ticketing:

Due to the high volume of sales and popularity of the concerts if you were not invited by Aniplex, Sony Music Japan, or Lantis, you would not be able to attend the concerts and no tickets will be handed out. If you wish to attend the concert you may still buy tickets as they are still available on a limited first come first serve basis.

I about died because this was half of my convention now gone, done, and down the drain. I didn't have the $120 price tag they were asking for the main concert and I couldn't bear to ask any of my friends to help me in.

SAO Festival overlay
Majorly disappointed from the announcement and the parking fiasco from this morning, I swallowed my pride and headed down to the SAO Festival over in West Hall. I had planned on ditching the panel for the legendary AX standby line, but this year no one seemed to know what I was talking about and seemed non-existant so I went on to the festival. This would begin the trend of the "press/attendee duo dilemma" where one person could get in easily, which was myself flashing my badge as usual; while the other could not get in that easily, which was James' situation. I spent 30 minutes of my time waiting on tickets before getting in but seating was limited towards the back. As it began we were prompted even as press not to film the first half of the event because of things in development such as the Ordinal Scale movie and the Hollow Realization video game. The special secret guest advertised on the pamphlet was revealed to be Haruka Tomatsu, voice of Yuki Asuna or as we know here as Asuna. she would stick around for the panel for a short while as we would be treated to the world premiere of the Ordinal Scale and Hollow Realization trailers along with a special note from director Tomohiko Ito who could not be in attendance this year. With the English side of things in play and photos and video enabled, and I would do my best to film the event. This started with the introduction of all the English cast along with the current tally of the election; Sinon was in the lead with 3000 votes, with my best girl Asuna not far behind 100 votes short and Yuki in third behind 400 votes with homeboy Agil dead last at 50 votes. the next segment would consist of bloopers, role swaps and the actors acting in character in situational events.

The voice actors from SAO

After the festival wrapped up, I had nothing to do with the news prior. James had met ZUN, the creator of Touhou Project, and made purchases in the Exhibit Hall in the time he was not allowed in at the festival. I would decide to meet up with him and line up for the Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness launch party event at Lounge 21. While in line, James, who has bad legs due to an accident, asked me to play pack mule and drop everything off at the car. I took care of business, walking back to the car and hustling back to the con. The dilemma would happen again as James would get denied entry as  I Wayne and Garth my way into the party. I would wonder the lounge to see what was going on and record a video of the party.

Lots of demo stands of the full version of the game, a full stage for the Q&A session with creator and producers of the game and  photo booth where if you took a photo of the booth girls you would get a ticket for a free shirt for the game.

Playable demos
Star Ocean cosplayers
The bar was serving Star Ocean-themed drinks, which were too hefty for my budget. James would make it in during the Q&A and play the game with me for a little while before agreeing to line up early for Teddyloid now that I had time for it not in attendance at Anime Matsurri Live. I was curious about what the Funimation Peep Show all about so I told James I'd come back down once Teddy was in the building given we missed him the last three days and was unsure of his attendance. I would go up to the peep show and find out its indeed as lewd as it sounds. The MC Cookie was hilarious and mentioned if you tweeted during the show you could win a prize.

"Dank memes" at the Peep Show
She would go on to show Funimation titles with fanservice to flat out nudity. 30 mins, 20 tweets and 4 handchecks later, the peep show would end. Funny enough, some of my OC friends were at the peep show and noticed/replied to my tweets and met up. I could hear Teddyloid downstairs but I wanted to see what was up with my high school friends. They were going to the Late Comedy Showdown so I would follow, funny enough they thought I couldn't get in but like fast-passes at Disneyland, I flash my badge and got in. I received texts from James to get down to the Lounge as Teddy was starting his set list. I would watch one act done by another acquaintance of ours, G. I cut short from LCS and prepare my body for the only concert outside of opening ceremonies (technically) I would be able to attend. What a night I was in for, Teddy was killing it in there, even if it was just his amercanized at first we started  hitting hits from Japan such as the Zelda theme and eventually his hits Anarchy Panty and Fly Away (Now) from Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt. Later that night the more recent and (Now) notorious song MEMEME  was put into the mix and not just the first version but second as well, The whole lounge was LIT!!!

Teddyloid front and center

The crowd at the party

The concert was over but would not stop me from doing the traditional after concert video walking to the car. the south hall was surprisingly desolate even with it being Day Two, it was almost as empty as our video from 2013. Exhausted, no preview video would be done and we call it a night for Day Two.
South Hall at night
Day Two End

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