Usually, the words "Anime Expo" and "relaxing" don't mix well given the sheer number of events to attend and personalities/guests to meet, but this year's offerings, for better or for worse, will give me the chance to take a breather. More so than normal anyway, owing to the dearth of musical guests relevant to my interests and my panel application getting denied (and boy, that removed a huge amount of work off my shoulders and freed up more personal bandwidth). While I can't speak to how satisfied I will be with the convention experience this year, I can at least say that it'll be a relaxing affair.
Mind you, there are a few things worthy of scouring. Based on the latest incarnation of the , my plan is going to look something like so:
Until the Aya Ikeda x CARAT concert surfaces, the day will be fairly open. Maybe a look at the panel on anime streaming given that business models are something I'm generally interested in? The only unfortunate part is that the other streaming panel that is running will be at the same time as the Aya Ikeda x CARAT concert; I really want to know how, after years of trying and failing, the Japanese production companies' latest streaming effort will succeed in the West, especially when Crunchyroll is already a fine platform. And is this going to be the day that finally sees how awesome In-N-Out is? I've already got on board to help me out with this proselytizing effort.
Speaking of Aya Ikeda, looks like the next couple of days will be devoted to listening to PreCure OP/EDs as a means of preparation.
Sitting in on Mari Okada's panel might make for an interesting session if people start asking her about some of the weird things she frequently puts into her anime screenplays. Then, its a question of hitting up either the Kick-Heart panel or Porno Graffiti's. You'd think this would be a no-brainer given the love I have for anime music and all, but nope. My first exposure to Porno Graffiti was the underwhelming "Melissa" from Fullmetal Alchemist in that I never really saw what the deal was. As far as anison goes, it's a below average effort that never really compelled me to look further. Noizi Ito might be cool too, but since I'm no art fiend, it'll be more of a fun way to pass the time. Might even learn a thing or two.
Porno Graffiti's concert serves as the main course for Day 3, but you can probably guess how excited I am based on the comments made in Day 2. Beyond that, I don't know. Attack on Titan maybe? Anime Sols and Crunchyroll's panel have scheduling conflicts, so I'm leaning towards Anime Sols since that's a business model worth checking out.
Makoto Shinkai might be worth a look and maybe this will be my opportunity to ask him about , especially since is a really neat reveal that escaped my attention. I'm especially curious about how Shinkai approaches integrating music with the visual experience and makes me wonder if his vision aligns with Junichi Sato's (ARIA and Umi Monogatari).
So yeah, a much lighter schedule all around, less preplanning than in most years. Only regret is not being able to organize a Day 0 meetup like last year due to personal going-ons. That sure was fun though, wasn't it? Meeting people is the best part of the convention experience after all. If you spot me, feel free to say hi and chat/gush about whatever anime music is catching your fancy!
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