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Anime Expo: Day 2 Report

August 1, 2007

It’s been a long while since Anime Expo happened, yet I’m still trying to lay down my report on it. Not like anybody there really forgot what happened anyway. Now that you’ve read everybody else’s opinions on the subject you can compare them all to mine. And I KNOW you love to do that. Plus there’s still much fun to be had right?

Oh, and prepare for a really long winded rant about the SOS-dan concert. One like you may have never seen before.

SOS Autograph Line & Exhibit Hall

So, Day 2 of AX began with, what else? If you guessed another line then you’re absolutely correct. The SOS-dan autograph session had been announced at 10:00 a.m. that morning and I decided heading in at 8:00 a.m. would be good enough. Boy, I mis underestimated a large margin of people by doing that. Instead I got stuck in the middle of the line on a bridge. It was in clear view when I first arrived, so I couldn’t really do much about it. All I could do was stare at it until I got my position there. I’ll post some photos of it just for laughs. But more importantly, when the signing time rolled around a new announcement came out. That was the words that the sessions had been canceled due to unknown circumstances. Well, at least I never figured it out. So two good hours had been wasted but it was an interesting time. Goofed on on Pictochat and watched some bad Hare Hare Yukai and Lucky Star dancing. Can’t say I wanted to get a video of those.


I had a friend shoot a pic of these…


I’m in the generally circled area if you were curious…

After I headed down to the exhibition hall to pick up a GA CD that wasn’t on sale. Yesterday they hadn’t printed the price so they couldn’t sell it. Unfortunately, it was still unpriced and I had to wait to get it. So I was stuck wandering around the exhibition hall trying to find something interesting to purchase. I ran into some interesting things and hung out with my buddy and line buddies for awhile. After that, I got to run back to the GA booth for the autograph session and to check on the CD. Sadly, I had to buy another copy of the GA-Rune DVD. But since I was planning on buying a copy for people anyway, I had to get it no matter what. So I ran around after buying my CD and went to get it. It was at that point that I made a new friend in the BROCCOLI information booth. She had told me the autograph session would start at 1:00 p.m. (which I had known) and there was some other interesting things happening at 12:00 p.m. (which I hadn’t known). So I decided to meander again until 12:00 p.m. rolled around so I could see what was going on.

The GA Autograph Session and Prior

Upon returning to the BROCCOLI booth at around 12:00 p.m. there was a small crowd of people. I decided to ask my new friend at the information booth what was up. Evidently, they were allowing questions again that were submitted in writing. I had already gotten Yuuna to scream once, so I thought of what else. I asked her if getting photos with them was possible on that day and she told me to try writing it in as a question. So I jokingly wrote it to see what would happen. So out of all the interesting questions submitted, mine was actually pulled out. I got a chuckle out of the crowd and from the Yuuna and Sumire as well. So it wasn’t a total loss but they still wouldn’t let me take a photo. I figured at that point they were just stalling but I didn’t really care anymore. I just wanted the autograph at that point. After having their little question time end, they moved onto holding a little quiz. This involved us all answering questions related to GAII and the game. Since I had my knowledge of Japanese and the game packed with me, the thing was a breeze. And it wasn’t hard to tell that people behind me were just copying my answers. I felt bad though as some Japanese speakers in front (including the guy who gave Yuuna the present) didn’t know some of the answers. So they honestly dropped out unlike the people who just decided to go with what I had answered. Once again, didn’t matter. The prize was what we got at the panel anyway, so I was just building up my collection at that point.

Following the Quiz Corner, we had a time dedicated to playing mass Janken (or Rock, Paper, Scissors to uneducated types). So, we played against the three BROCCOLI employees there. First we would all try and win against Sumire. If you beat her, then you got to move on to play against Yuuna. I always lost when I got to Yuuna and actually a lot of people did. Only an average of two or three got to play against Papa Zombie for the real prize (which was a deck of cards, very nice actually if you know Project Revolution). But Yuuna admitted afterwards she was skilled at Janken, which I didn’t doubt after losing 10 or so times to her. But it was a load of fun and everybody was confused as to what the hell was going on outside of the event. Last but not least was the Autograph time. So I got in line around 4th or so and waited to get my DVD and CD signed. Luckily they allowed both and you could even say things to each panelist if you wanted. So I had to tell Yuuna how I was following her work and watching Darker than Black every week. She seemed suprised that I knew about it but the entire panel was surprised to see my DVD and CD in the first place. So I got the usual “he~” kind of reaction from the two girls. And the usual blank stare from Papa Zombie. I love the man for his humor but the guy doesn’t crack as much as a smile for anything. But before leaving I had to compliment Sumire on her writing and said I was looking forward to playing GAII 2, much to getting her smile as well. Honestly, both Yuuna and Sumire were cute as hell. It wasn’t even funny. I never expected the writer of GA to be as adorable as she was, frankly I saw a weird old lady when I pictured it before.

SOS Dan Concert Before, Overall, and After

So after that, I had a bit of downtime before the SOS-dan concert. During this period, I got to head down to the gaming corner for the first time. While I was there, the Guilty Gear tournament was going on. So since I had played the game a bit myself, I decided to go ahead and watch the thing. The tournament was a real kicker but the two finalists I had picked ended up both losing in the semifinals. Even the guy I picked winning the finals didn’t pull it out but it was a good match nonetheless. There was also a double KO during the tournament, which is always fun. After the tournament I ended up heading near the arena to meet up with my friend. Little did I know the concert wouldn’t start for another two hours. During this time, we looked over a few things we had purchased and made some new friends with the people next to us. There was also time to make fun of the people who were trying to get good seats for nothing. Premier tickets are wonderful in all honestly. Definitely worth the money you pay. But despite starting late, I did make it into the concert. Section A, Row 7, Seat 3 and damn if it wasn’t a good seat. Right near center stage and not too close that I had to crane my neck. And definitely close enough that screaming in Japanese could get reactions from the SOS-dan. But I know what you’re thinking. How was the concert, what did they sing? Well that’s coming people.

The concert was pretty slow to start. They kept on showing the audience, and a stadium wave began to start to get the camera on certain sections. I ended up on there a few times along with the awesome Man Haruhi who was wandering the convention.
So I could do a step by step song analysis, but everyone’s heard it already. Instead, I’ll cover my thoughts on the overall experience that many people just had to complain about. So here’s my two cents and prepare for a lecture. I’ll separate these points into several small points. Let’s have P) represent the point and L) represent my response to it.

P1) They put too much focus on the English CVs
L) You know what…I don’t care. The whole point of the “Invasion Tour” was to create a fun community for the English community of SHnY. Not everybody there knew about the real SOS-dan and just went there out of curiosity. I wouldn’t have really called it a concert. It was just like any live event I’ve seen in Japan. There’s small skits and talks with a mix of music to get you hyped up. In other words, it’s a big advertisement to buy their stuff. Did they do that? Actually, they pulled it off pretty damn well. The skits were funny if you weren’t being stiff about them and there was a lot of fun to it. If you weren’t being a total stick in the mud, then this would have appeared like any other event to you. Not to mention, it was only an hour concert and they haven’t released enough music in the U.S. to perform it all. Otherwise I would have LOVED to hear Saikyou Pare Parade and First Goodbye. They performed what they were allowed to and that’s all that matters to me.

P2) The Technical Difficulties were Inexcusable
L) Alright, I won’t argue this. The technical difficulties during the musical performances were just plain bad. The fact the guitar part got cut out during God Knows… was more than annoying for me. I’m sure it easily threw off the CVs as well as they weren’t exactly expecting it. I didn’t mind the problems running the videos, whatever it didn’t kill anything for me. I didn’t like the fact they had to screw things up during the musical sections though. It’s just frustrating.

P3) _______ messed up on ________ or wasn’t as energetic during _________. I blame _________.
L) Unless you fill that last ______ with the crowd then I don’t approve. You know why? Because I’m going to tell you something. After the concert I heard people complaining they couldn’t see, merely because the person in front of them was standing. WHAT THE HELL. As a performer, let me clear up something about concerts, especially ones upbeat in nature. The moment you enter a concert like this, everyone there becomes a single entity. At that moment, you and the performer are on the same level in a sense. If you aren’t energetic then they won’t be. You want to sit down and just watch like a bum? Well, then what motivation does the performer have to exert energy? They don’t have any reason to do anything. When I was looking around, only a margin of people were really standing up, clapping, cheering, and getting into it. Hell, even an older man in the fourth row or so was always on his feet and waving around a glow stick. If he can do that at his age, what stops any of you? Unless you were handicapped, then I would have EXPECTED you to be doing the same. You want a good performance? You have to earn one. Stop blaming the technical difficulties, conditions, or whatever for the lackluster performance of someone. And if you asked me, I’d say that their performance there was pretty good in comparison with what I’ve heard. It may have not been the greatest, but I didn’t expect it to be. Hell, they were all nervous. And why wouldn’t they be? First concert in a foreign country with fans you can’t understand? Yeah, I’d be a little on edge as well. But if you got up, clapped, jumped, cheered, and did all that then it would have easily got them fired up enough to do better.

In general, I will only except complaints for two reasons. One is that you somehow you can go or have been to another SHnY concert in Japan and compare. If you’ve done that, then I don’t mind TOO much. But please don’t go too far, especially since you’ve seen them elsewhere and don’t have a right to complain. And if you have the money to fly to Japan to see the SOS-dan or fly to America to see them, then you shouldn’t be complaining. But if you could barely make it to this concert and doubt you’ll ever see them again, shut your trap. Just don’t complain one bit. I know I’m not. By large, I doubt the SOS-dan will be coming back anytime or ever again to perform in the U.S. In that case, you experienced one of their possibly only concerts outside of Japan. Not only that, but you saw a real phenomena. This group has an immense fan base in Japan and even fans there haven’t seen them live. You know what? You’re pretty damn lucky. And since this is your one shot in life you saw them, just sit down and enjoy it. I’m not going to go around and tell people, “Oh, I went to the SOS-dan concert. It was lackluster and I know it could have been better.” No, I’m going around talking about how lucky and crazy I was when I was there. Hell, I barely got to AX and I can’t stop thinking about it. Perfection is everything to me, the fact I saw something THAT big is.

Anyhow, after the concert I wrapped up a few things. I bought a few things at the booth outside of the concert for fun and then headed on home. Just another day at AX could be the right way of describing things. What came on Day 3? Did I get that SHnY autograph? What happened to the line? And what the hell was left to do on my last day there?

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7 comments

  1. nicely put Likkun. that’s the kind of open minded thinking people need to listen to if they want to have a decent discussion about this or even anything. you know my story about the SOSdan concert already so we’ll leave it at that. but your adventure in the GAII panel is something i wish i had done. i would love to have wrote a question and have it picked out or even playing janken with inamura yuuna. the latter actually surprised me seeing as how i never imagined that happening. winning the deck of cards would have been a nice trophy though. seems like you impressed inamura yuuna and company pretty well though. getting “he~hs” are really great especially coming from people like them. the one thing that really makes me wish that i had gone to the panel though was to see the script writer for the GA games. if she’s as cute as you say she is in person, then i really should have skipped out on going to the SOSdan panel line early and go to the GA panel instead. but because of that, i got good seats which is pretty equivalent to the seat i got at the concert.

    oh and those pictures you posted, the place where you circled, that’s where i was on the 2nd signing. after a few hours we moved up to where the 1st picture is taken. if you remember someone wearing a really really bright yellow shirt with another yellow shirt underneath (yes i have no fashion sense) then that was probably me. i think i saw myself on someone’s youtube vid but it showed my back.


  2. You serious about the second signing? I’ll have to get my third day report up soon then. You must have been farther ahead of me but I may have seen you. You’ll have to show me that YouTube vid so I can see I happened to be in it.


  3. found it! around the 20 second mark he zooms up and there’s someone in yellow next to a guy with a shoulder back pack. and that somone is me! about 40 to 50 people in front of me were cut off from the 50 that were eligible for the autograph.


  4. Man, you were maybe like 5 or some people away from me then. I couldn’t quite see behind the crowd there but I was very near to where you were. Was there a younger looking girl with a CD player and speakers somewhere behind you in line? I was pretty much next to her, only one other guy was in front of me aside from that.


  5. hmmmmmmmmmmmmm……….can’t seem to recall those people you mentioned. there was this mom and her kid who had a psp. i think the mom had a portable chair with her. the people right behind me were 3 or 4 guys who had a laptop with them. they were watching dennou coil for a bit and then i stopped paying attention. oh, me and my friend were directly next to/behind this small red pole thingie as well. that area is where that youtube video i showed you was. my friend had a ds with him and was chatting with some people (maybe like 3 or 4). they were making some creative posts joking about the sun. i suggested my friend to draw a haruhi sun and a sun doing a mikuru beam, heh. lots of great reaction from that. anyways, that probably didn’t help much. the haruhi bunny girl was like 5 or so people away from us so if you remember seeing her, i was around there kind of.


  6. Oh sorry, I was talking about the second autograph day. I don’t know which one you may be referring to.

    If that was your friend in Pictochat, I was talking with him and making those comments about the sun. Both me and my friend were passing the time in Pictochat, so I’m fairly sure that was us. On both days actually.


  7. ah, i was talking about the 2nd autograph signing. the first day i didn’t even reach the bridge part yet.

    he~h, how strange that you guys were communicating at that time. i’m guessing you stopped sometime later because my friend revealed himself to the other person we were talking to by telling his location. of course seeing how noticeable i was with my colors we used me as the marker to look for. did you make the comment with a picture of the death note with “sun” written in there? i was cracking up when i saw that.



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