Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Japan Expo USA 2013

Wow, it has been a long time since I updated! The month of August went by really fast for me. I was so busy working on finishing my costumes for Japan Expo USA. This was the first year the expo was held in the US, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

I didn't get many photos this time, but here they are!

My Friday outfit ^^ and a view of our nice spacious hotel room! It was so much bigger than our room at Fanime. We also got an upgrade for free breakfast which is a lifesaver!

With Matsu and Yona!

These lovely ladies wanted to take a photo with me and they were really surprised when I spoke Japanese to them. Haha!

There was a Viz Media booth with this giant Berserk poster hanging up, it was maybe 15 feet high? I really want to see these movies! (I've only seen the original anime series so far...)

I also got a free poster of my own. It's double-sided, so the other side is in English :)

I realized this is the only cosplay photo I took there...Very nice Ezio costume!

The con was really empty on Friday, as you might be able to tell from the background. Luckily plenty of people showed up on Saturday.

I went to the Q&A session with Tatsuro Iwamoto, character designer for the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game series, and Noriyuki Iwadare, composer for Phoenix Wright, Lunar, Grandia, and other games.

The best moment was when Yusuke Kozaki (character designer of No More Heroes and Fire Emblem: Awakening), who was also a guest, came to the mike and asked Iwamoto who his biggest rival "of his generation" was. Iwamoto replied something like, "Well, it's not so much a rivalry as I wish they would just die...but there's this guy called Yusuke Kozaki..."

I was happy to hear that Iwamoto conisders Yoshitaka Amano (character designer of Final Fantasy series) to be one of his major inspirations, since FF games are some of my favorite and I just love the designs!

Iwadare didn't start working on Phoenix Wright until the third game, which I've only just started, so I haven't really heard much of his work yet. I can't wait to get further into it!

On Saturday I wore my Ini Miney cosplay from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All. I went to the main hall early in the day to see Iwadare's concert, but there was still a presentation of Japanese traditional arts taking place. I really enjoyed the part I got to see. There was dancing, mochi-tsuki (making rice cakes), and taiko drums. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures as I was sitting pretty far away and I didn't bring my nice camera with zoom :(

I spotted this dog peeking at us during the presentation!

I don't have pictures from Iwadare's concert either, but it was really excellent. The band actually only played one piece from Phoenix Wright, and the rest of the set was made up of tracks from Lunar and Grandia. I liked what I heard enough to want to try those games out! There was a female vocalist featured on most of the songs, and Iwadare played keyboard and keytar.

I wandered around the dealer's hall and artist alley quite a lot, but couldn't find anything that struck my fancy. Lately I've been really into Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star. This year is the 30th anniversary of the manga's debut, and I was a bit sad that the manga-ka Tetsuo Hara was at the Paris expo, but not the US expo.

Anyway, I saw this artist's booth, which I always see at the local cons and events but never really checked out. His name is Bordin and he offers speed drawing commissions, so I asked for my favorite Hokuto no Ken character, Rei.

Here it is! I don't know why I'm not looking at the camera though...fail...(photo by Bordin)I'm really happy with how the artwork came out ^^Those in my area, definitely check out this booth if you get a chance!

The Phoenix Wright cosplay gathering was later that day. There was a good turnout and I had a lot of fun!is a link to some photos from the gathering. As you can see, Iwamoto and Iwadare turned up and took some photos with everyone!

Our cosplay group Clover all attended the gathering! From left, Yona, Airyo, and Matsu.

Ran into my friend Rachel after the gathering too, cosplaying Cooking Mama!

On Sunday, I cosplayed Alicia Rue from Sword Art Online. I took a few photos with my cosplay group. Thanks to for shooting us! :)

I got the idea for this pose from fanart and it turned out pretty well!

A group shot of Yona's friend Gabe, Airyo, me and Yona.

I ate Pina!

I left kind of early on Sunday, so that's all the pics I have!I didn't really know what to expect from this con, but I ended up having lots of fun. The dealer's hall was pretty small, which was disappointing, but hopefully if Japan Expo comes back next year they can make it bigger and better! I liked all the Phoenix Wright events too, of course. Hope to come back next time!
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