Gen Con 2015 Impressions stars

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Although Gen Con sounds rather crowded, the convention is spread across various hotels that are connected to the convention center, which helps alleviate congestion.  Badge pickup was surprisingly well coordinated, with lines being moderated by volunteers who also helped keep the lines from blocking the traffic through the halls. Similar to many large conventions, Gen Con allowed those who pre-ordered their badges to pick them up the day before the convention. The wait in line was around 30-40 minutes at around 4:00 p.m. that day. I was impressed with how fast the line went as well as the line system that the staff had. This line system was further used for picking up event tickets (to attend different events) as well as customer service lines. On top of the neat lines, Gen Con also managed to keep all lines inside the convention center where there was plenty of air conditioning to be had.

J-POP Summit 2015 Impressions stars

jpop summit 2015 fort mason impressions

Celebrating the seventh year since their inception, J-POP Summit 2015 in San Francisco was simply a resounding success. Building upon their excellent traction in attendance from last year, this year's event would prove to be a defining crossroad for the annual festival as it was the first year that the organizers decided to charge for attendance in addition to moving it to a new centralized location; or as one of the event's organizers Erik Jansen put it, “it's a reboot of the entire event.”

Anime Expo 2015 Impressions stars

anime expo 2015 impressions

Anime Expo’s twenty-fourth year has once again shattered attendance records, and raised the bar for Los Angeles’ most popular anime convention. Last year’s convention saw a huge increase in attendance, with special events such as the Kill la Kill special event, Sailor Moon panels and premier screenings.

After Anime Expo 2014 had concluded, SPJA President and CEO of Anime Expo, Marc Perez, had issued an open letter to attendees acknowledging the issues that plagued 2014 while vowing to do better. Though initially met with skepticism, the team behind Anime Expo certainly took the challenges head on to give fans a smoother experience for 2015; although not perfect by any means, the AX 2015 experience had improved immensely over AX 2014.

Wagakki Band Concert Impressions @ Anime Expo 2015 stars

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For July 4th Club Nokia plays host to both Wagakki Band and their opening act in the form of the Vocaloid IA.  This happens to be the first stateside show for both.  The two acts are part of the twenty-fourth iteration of Anime Expo in a mini-event dubbed the "Cool Japan Festival."  They couldn't have picked a better stage to debut on in the United States.  Out of all the concerts and events at AX this one was what I was looking forward to the most.

FanimeCon 2015 Impressions stars

fanimecon 2015 impressions

As the premiere anime convention in the San Francisco Bay Area, our expectations for FanimeCon 2015 were raised after their numerous improvements from last year over 2013. We were hoping that the hardworking staff would take the lessons they learned throughout the past two years and create a smoother, more efficient convention than ever before; much to our delight they did.

Under the Dog (UTD) Panel Recording @ Sakura-Con 2015 stars

During their panel at Sakura-Con 2015, Under the Dog (UTD)'s Jiro Ishii and Koji Morimoto sat down in a room full of backers to give their supporters the latest updates on their Kickstarter-funded animation project including a special inside look into studio Kinema Citrus. 

GARNiDELiA Concert Impressions @ Sakura-Con 2015 stars

What do you get when you combine a Vocaloid veteran with a model/designer/singer? The answer: GARNiDELiA.  Seattle's Sakura-Con 2015 played host to the duo as part of the event's 18th iteration.  The group consists of Maria, real name Mai Mizuhashi, and Toku, real name Yoshinori Abe.  The two are signed to Sony Japan's Defstar Records.  Remember April 4, 2015; this is the date of GARNiDELiA's first American concert and what a night it was.  Just a few months earlier GARNiDELiA released their first album, "Linkage Ring," and now fans in America would get to see them live.  

Kanako Itou Concert Impressions @ Sakura-Con 2015 stars


As a longtime fan of Nitro+ visual novels such as Steins;Gate, Demonbane and of course, Saya no Uta, Kanako Itou's second appearance in America was a concert that I knew I couldn't miss. What started as a convention that I was only mildly interested in took off into the stratosphere, finally giving me a reason to go to Seattle's long-running convention for the second time.

Performing as the opening act for Sakura-Con's big musical concert on Saturday April 4th, Itou-san sang a set of fan favorite theme songs inside of a fully packed hall at the Washington State Convention Center. These songs included her opening number "Hacking to the Gate (Steins;Gate)," "Tsuso no Despair (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)" and "TOPOLOGY (Robotics;Notes)."

Taiyou Con 2015 Impressions stars


To be honest, when we first heard of a small anime convention in Mesa, Arizona would play host to America's first Persona concert, we were stunned in disbelief. It wasn't that it was the fact that it took place in the nation's 48th state, but rather that Taiyou Con was able to invite some of the guests that we were thinking would select a larger con like Anime Expo, Sakura-con or Otakon for their American debut; especially given how popular the Atlus video game series has become in America. However, being huge Persona fans, we didn't hesitate at all to book a plane, car and hotel from California and before we knew it we were in Mesa.

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2014 in Las Vegas Report stars

One of the most popular Japanese MMO held a festival for about 2000 fans in Las Vegas. Filled with jaw dropping cosplays, lots of sneak peeks for upcoming releases, and of course gambling and alcohol, check out a recap of my three day adventure at the Rio Hotel.

Please note, there will be a mixture of photos from my camera and phone so the quality may vary.