[Anime Expo 2018] Wrapped Around Your Finger

Girls Frontline Cosplay Meet Up by Eri Kagami

One of the fastest growing mobile games (mobage) in the otaku sphere is Girls Frontline. This real time strategy game has guns, but they’re humanoid girls. Hence, this fandom is ripe with “raifu”’s. Puns aside, this meetup had cosplayers from the Chinese mobile game series at cosplay gathering site 7 wherein we were shaded, but we had a lot of backlighting. The gathering’s organizer was nice to bring in a water cooler to combat the 100+ degree weather in the morning. We even had an appearance from the commander manning the Girls Frontline table in the dealers hall. “I read the bullshit on Reddit…we are getting a bigger space next year!” he said. Not only this was a cosplay meetup, it also brought in military otaku who also have an affinity for games in these categories. The Kancolle and Azure Lane, similar games to Girls Frontline, had meetups later in the day.


AniSong World Matsuri: Kawaii Live by Eri Kagami

Every year, our team likes to check out a good show at Anime Expo. AniSong World Matsuri always brings in Japan’s best when it comes to vocalists who have provided openings, endings, and every song in between to anime. There were a few different concerts at Anime Expo, the last one was Japan Kawaii Live wherein four idol themed groups were featured – iDolm@ster: Cinderella Girls, i☆Ris, AKB48 Team 8, and Shoko Nakagawa. This concert still had tickets available on the day of – it was one of the few concerts that did not sell out fast.

Kawaii Live kicked things off with a fraction of the Cinderella Girls’ cast. This also includes voice actresses from the games. i☆Ris, best known for PriPara, also wowed the crowd with their theatrical idol style. They performed a melody from PriPara. AKB48, while mostly associated with J-pop, brought in one of their teams to the states. They performed classic hits like “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie.” Finally, Shoko Nakagawa gave us some classics from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Gurren Laggan, and Pokemon. Shoko recalls her first time performing ten years ago at Anime Expo where she also shot a music video in Los Angeles that same weekend. Shoko Nakagawa also sang some anime classics from Evangelion and Saint Seiya.

While I’ve been to several idol concerts, this was the first one where I partook in “wotogei” culture. In other words, I bought a pair of light pens from Lumica. It was hard to keep up with changing the colors according to each idol / song, but it was a ton of fun and an immersive experience that is so unique to idol culture.


TV Animation Discussion With Voltron Legendary Defender Directors by Wacom by Jared the Greek

This panel featured the storyboarding and direcxting staff of the new Voltron series.  They began by talking about their early careers and how they made their way into the Voltron staff.  All three guests had long careers working on shows like Ben 10 and Legend of Korra.  They then went into their methods of storyboarding and working with the art staff.  They also brought up their thoughts on the future of animation, which they felt would be moving toward streaming services over network TV.  Then they started a live drawing as the audience asked questions.  They ended the panel with a trivia contest to win some art, an iPad, and a printer.  However, everyone who attended got a piece of art created for the convention featuring the characters of Voltron cosplaying as the characters from My Hero Academia.


Fate/Grand Order 1st Anniversary Celebration Event by Jared the Greek

This was one of the big panels of the convention.  The line for press and premiere was the longest we saw at the convention.  It took nearly a half hour to get everyone seated and when all seats were filled it still took a fair amount of time for the panel to begin.  The big screens showed the start up screen for the game and people started making jokes about tapping the screen and starting the game.  However, when the panel began it got the crowd going crazy.  Both of the guests were brought in with a summoning movie on the big screen.  The cheers for the voice of Saber and the voice of Arash were deafening.  Ayako Kawasumi and Satoshi Tsuruoka got a huge welcome and everyone loved hearing about their adventures in Los Angeles.

The second part of the panel began with the introduction of Yosuke Shiokawa the creative producer of the game.  He talked about how amazing it was to see how huge the game had gotten in the US.  He also led the discussion about the updates to the game for the anniversary.  The big update would activate after the panel, but it was difficult to download due to the location.  The panel wrapped up with a few hints of things to come in the future of the game as well as a themed cake being brought out for the panelists to enjoy.  It was an amazing panel and the audience was not disappointed even with the delays and bad phone reception.  It was a great panel and the excitement for the second anniversary will likely be just as intense.


Fan Art, Fair Use, and Foul Play by Jared the Greek

This panel was a bit different than the title would advertise.  The panel began with a discussion about copyright and what it means.  Then it moved into how to protect personal works which then shifted into a discussion about fair use.  This took up the majority of the panel as different videos were shown as examples of fair use and the limits of copyright infringement.  The panel end with some audience questions.  It was a really educational panel and knowing that there is a group out there that defends fair use and protects creators.  This was a great panel and worth watching if you are an artist or content creator.


Cosplay Wrestling Federation AXtreme Rules by Jared the Greek

This was the big event of the night.  A crowd lined up two hours ahead of the show to ensure they got a sega.  The hype was out of control outside the room as the staff set things up for the big show.  Things began with announcement of new shirts and the general introductions by Mr. Hiki and Lasheda Dupris.  Then the show began with several contestants coming out and giving their best wrestling promos.  Characters like Joker from Persona 5, Jotaro Kujo, Captain America, and Soldier 76 put on a great show.

The second round introduced the champion Franziska Von Karma who verbally beat down the contestants.  The second phase got the crowd going wild with Wario and Waluigi, Pop Tema Epic, and Coach Conners getting major cheers/jeers.  However, the finals got set by the crowd response and WArio/Waluigi took on the champion for an epic verbal battle.  Franziska kept her title as champion and everyone had a good time.  The show was great and the audience was very hyped up during the show.  If you are looking for the best event at any convention the Cosplay Wrestling Federation is the number one choice for anyone looking for a great show.

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