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Anime la Expo (Part 2)

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.

To be continued…

Chengyi L