The Fourth of July just recently passed and I celebrated America in the way I have for four years now, the best way I know how—attending a convention celebrating Japanese animation and videogames. Anime Expo is always the highlight of my summer and this year was no different. Amazing friends, amazing food, amazing art, and amazing cosplayers just make the weekend special. Here’s the lowdown on all that went on at Anime Expo 2016.
Look, I know what you’re going to say. “But Diana, isn’t the con from Thursday to Sunday?” Normally, yes. But this year, since July 4th was a Monday, the schedule changed. And trust me, that threw me off all weekend.
Similar to last year, Day 0 went well this year. We got there before ticketing opened and only ended up waiting an hour and a half or so. The lanyards were pretty sick this year, if I do say so myself.
Photo creds to Noelle, aka the gorgeous Zero Suit Samus
Here we are on Day 1, aren’t we cute? I’m Pokemon Trainer, Chris is Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, and Noelle is Zero Suit Samus, a cosplay she’s been working on for who knows how many months. She was so proud of it and honestly, she looked fantastic! We got stopped so many times so people could get pictures of her, but it was so much fun! We went to the Smash Bros. gathering, where I met this fantastic man…
We spent the rest of the day exploring the Exhibit Hall to find the Capcom booth—checked out the Ace Attorney spread and ACTUALLY GOT MY 3DS CASE SIGNED BY THE PRODUCER OF ACE ATTORNEY MOTOHIDE ESHIRO WHO SAID HE HAS THE SAME CASE. I was literally shaking. No big deal. I didn’t cry afterward or anything. Nope. Decided to come back for the demo, I was too emotional and Noelle and I needed to sit down, for very different reasons (Noelle’s feet hurt, I was having a heart attack).
And we stopped by the photo sets that afternoon to take some super sweet pictures of us in our cosplay.
Also on Day 1, I had the opportunity to meet MasaeAnela AGAIN, which always amazes me. She’s such an inspiration and the fact that she goes out of her way to find me is absolutely incredible. She’s an amazing human being and a beautiful soul with an equally beautiful smile. I hope that I can be on her level someday. #goals
In case all of this wasn’t enough, check out this video for a video of our Day 1 adventures, courtesy of Noelle! (There’s a Day 2 video available on her channel as well.)
Saturday was a chill day for me. I dressed in Hatoful Boyfriend and carried my birds around—they’re a great conversation starter. Noelle attended another gathering as Yachi from Haikyuu!! and Chris wore some awesome Commander Shepard armor (homemade, it was amazing!) and both of them hijacked my birds during lunch.
The real highlight of the day was the ACE ATTORNEY PANEL in the morning, where the producer I met yesterday and Janet Hsu, the lead localizer, gave us a taste of the new game. Not too much I didn’t already know, but we saw some concept art and a new trailer, which looks gorgeous and I cried and everyone cried and then Maya showed up and the room went wild. Being in a room with that many Ace Attorney fans was honestly kind of surreal. The place was legitimately packed and the energy was high. It was good to see the community alive and well and present in full force.
After that, of course, the Ace Attorney high was strong and that demo was calling my name. I played through it with my friend Maddie, Noelle’s older sister. Honestly, I loved it. It was a great demo that gave players insight (haha, one of the new mechanics is called insight, see what I did there?) into all the new features this game will have and a beautifully animated introductory cutscene. I will admit, I can see how this Divination Seance stuff could be tricky. Even I got a bit stuck on the last part, but I’m happy about that. I asked for a harder game, and they’re giving it to me. But that’s all I’ll say, I did promise no more spoilers. I can’t wait for September.
Day 3 – Sunday
Sunday was Ema day, and Noelle and I arrived very early at the con to attend the panel of a voice actor we absolutely adore. He was brilliant and god bless our friends Lily and Jenni for saving us seats near the front! Then we headed back to the Capcom booth so Noelle could play the demo and we took some more photos, since I was actually dressed in my Ace Attorney gear.
I also went to the Ace Attorney/Professor Layton gathering that afternoon and it was AWESOME. Met so many cool people (shoutout to the Ema squad) and took some great pictures! Here’s just a few that I’m in, but click on the link for some more!
Look at all these awesome people! These pics were taken by Stephanie Palermo, who as I now understand it works for Capcom…? Click here for the link to the gathering page and more pics! You have to be logged in to Facebook, but there are some pretty funny ones—props to the couples who came as Maggey and Gumshoe and Feenie and Dahlia. You’re the real MVPs.
For the first time, we went to the con all four days. And boy, was it worth it. We only did a quick run through Artist Alley and the Exhibit Hall to check sales and to the photo sets to take some pictures of Chris and me as Max and Chloe from Life is Strange, but it was honestly so much fun and we picked up some pretty sweet deals and stopped by to check out Suzy from GameGrumps’ table. She was super chill and looked fantastic as always. That being said, that’s pretty much it for Monday and that’s pretty much it for Anime Expo 2016.
Anime Expo is always the best part of my time back home in Southern California. This year was no exception. I played some great games, met some amazing people, and had fun with my best friends. However, this year was a little overwhelming in more ways than one. If I had only one recommendation for the AX staff, it’s to fix Artist Alley. It was put in a different hall this year that was hot and crowded—there were many reports of artists actually getting sick or fainting because it was too stuffy and warm. That’s never a good sign. But on the plus side, the staff are generally friendly and helpful and everything else was on point. I had a great time this year and I’m hoping the trend will continue. Anime Expo is an event that I absolutely live for and trust me, Noelle, Chris, and I are already planning for next year.