Because it seems like these Anime Expo posts are getting longer and longer, here’s a quick glossery of all the weird terms that will be showing up in the following posts:
Kill la Kill - an action/humor show about a delinquent high school girl named Ryuuko who wields a half of a giant pair of scissors and is on a quest to find her father’s killer. Joining her is perky sidekick Mako, who is the character I’m cosplaying as; standing in her way is the student counsel president Satsuki and her four loyal subordinates Sanageyama (Athletic Committee Chair), Nonon (Non-Athletic Committee Chair), Gamagoori (Disciplinary Committee Chair), and Inumuta (Information and Strategy Committee Chair). Oh yeah, there’s also talking clothing for some reason.
Cosplay - the act of making and dressing up such that you look like a certain character from an anime/manga/comic/tv show/movie. Often done by mascochists because cosplay is suffering.
LineCon - Line Convention. A fan nickname for AnimeExpo, so called because AnimeExpo has a lot of really, really bad queues that you have to line up in in order to get into any events.
(Low photo count because it’s hard to take photos while you’re wearing incomprehensible things.)
This year’s Anime Expo is really just Kill la Kill LineCon.
I was hoping the Kill la Kill event would be more like a panel where the creators talk about the show for an hour, but this obviously isn’t going to happen since there’s probably more people there than there are people at Caltech! The event consisted of the Kill la Kill English dub premiere, a concert by Eir Aoi (singer of Sirius, the first Kill la Kill opening song), as well as a talk show/interview thing with Kazuki Nakashima (head writer), Sushio (character design and lead animator), Yosuke Toba (producer), and the voice actors of Ryuuko and Satsuki, the two main characters of the show.
The event I’m most excited for is the talk show, because I have a habit of collecting trivia about the backend of creating a work of art. Things like who did what piece of animation, real-life locations certain scenes are based on, what other works the director likes, so on and so forth. Sadly, the Aniplex translator was terribly incompetent. Besides being completely unable to follow the exchange between Ryuuko and Satsuki’s voice actors when they were making fun of each other, there were outright mistranslations; for example, Mako’s voice actor being a klutz was mistranslated to Mako’s voice actor being annoying… This is why you should all learn Japanese.
With that said, we got these high-tech glow sticks that synchronized with the concert!
Some event highlights:
Sushio, the lead animator and character designer, getting whole room to chant his name (Su-shi-o! Su-shi-o!)
“I’m not like a gangster!!” Ryuuko’s voice actor stands up and attempts to whack Satsuki’s VA with her prop weapon.
The voice actors saying iconic lines from the anime. Satsuki’s VA is actually normally very soft spoken and cute, so it’s really quite amazing to hear her voice drop a few octaves to become the powerful and commanding Satsuki we all know and love!
Eir Aoi’s concert was great. She sounds really, really good live. I’m honestly pretty surprised. - Sushio did a live drawing on stage! I’m a bit sad that he didn’t talk more because he’s hilarious. He finished it in an hour, but the camera wasn’t that great so I couldn’t get a good look. Hopefully I’ll be able to see it tomorrow, when they hang it up in the Aniplex booth in the Exhibition Hall.
After we got out of the panel, I realized that I had lost my bunny in the lines! Nooooo! I retraced my steps, but the bunny seemed to be gone for good. There’s 86,000 people attending Anime Expo this year… Even if someone picked it up, the chances of me running into them is close to none. Also, an important piece of Iori’s costume broke, and we were calling back to Tech for backups because we hadn’t been expecting the custom-cut piece to fail… We thought MDF would be strong enough to hold up the tentacle arms, but the board had in fact been bent into a curve under the pressure! It finally snapped during the concert, when Iori bumped into a chair too hard. Thankfully, the super awesome alum who drove us here offered to laser-cut some replacement pieces out of better wood and drive it up here.
(Side note: I think I’m going to write a whole report on cosplay construction after the AX posts are over. Stay tuned.) Didn’t manage to meet Sushio or Nakashima in person because of the ridiculous number of people, but I guess that can’t be helped. Oh well, tomorrow is the Kill la Kill cosplay meet, as well as a(nother) Trigger panel! Let’s hope it goes better.
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!