On Day 2, we woke up early to take a mini-photo shoot of my Maki cosplay. Across from the hotel there is a Cancer Survivor park which had some great shots for photos. My kind husband, who I dragged along to the Animefest, was my photographer! Here are some of my favorite shots below!
After the photoshoot, I decided to go solo today so he could get some work done! My first stop was a felt plushie workshop. I had a fun time sewing my ninja although my sewing skills aren’t the best. I actually made a friend during the workshop and we decided to keep each other company during the con since we were both going solo.
She went upstairs to change into her cosplay while I went to catch the part of the acoustic concert with Stephanie Young (American voice actress). She had a nice voice although sadly the room was only about a third full. Then we waited in line to attend the “Animating for Ghibli and Others” panel with the Japanese animators. This was a fun panel where we heard stories of why the animators started working for Ghibli and how Miyazaki-san was very demanding.
Here are some great shots of more cosplayers! One of my favorites from the day were the reverse gender Kirito and Sinon! They nailed their costumes. I also enjoyed meeting other Love Livers!
Our last forum of the day was to see Arina Tanemura in a “Day of the Life of Mangaka.” Apparently, mangaka life involves Arina working on 3 mangas at once, spacing out a lot, sending her assistants to buy her food and enjoying her cats. She has about thirteen assistants and can churn out 1 page of manga in about 30-45 minutes. Being a mangaka is not all glamorous! It takes a lot of hard work, few hours of sleep and dedication to drawing for hours and hours on end. The best part of the forum is that Arina had some extra time and drew some lovely manga for us. Her first drawing was of Jeanne from Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. She drew this marvelous piece of art in about 15 minutes.
Arina also seems to have gotten on the Touken Ranbu train (online game about swords who turn into Bishonen) and several people clambered for her to do some fan art. The result—Mitsutada! Just absolutely incredible. She finished this drawing in about ten minutes flat without any references! Overall, this was a very enjoyable panel. Arina was down to earth, funny, not shy about answering awkward questions. She really is such a great mangaka. I’m so happy I had a chance to listen to her panel and watch her draw. A great way to end my last day at Animefest 2015! You can bet I will be attending next year!
Since this was my first major convention I’ll leave some tips here for those who are interested:
- Have a game plan (schedule) of where you need to be when and the layout of the convention rooms.
- If you are cosplaying make sure you have on comfortable shoes since you are walking a lot. Have a pose ready when people ask you for photos and don’t be shy about asking others to take photos of you!
- Line up early for autograph sessions, forums etc. Depending on the con, 30 minutes- 1 hour before would be minimum. If you can go on a day where there is less traffic (Fridays, Mondays), it’ll help you get an autrograph easier.
- Make sure to stay hydrated and eat properly to keep up your energy!
- Convention merchandise is generally about 2x-3X overpriced. Unless you are buying from artist’s alley, make sure you know how much money the item you are buying is worth.
- Make friends! Ask cosplayers for their cards or strike up a conversation. This is probably one of the best parts of the convention!