I decided to take a leap into the convention world and travel the four hours it takes from Houston to Dallas to attend AnimeFest 2015. Luckily, I was already prepping my Maki Nishikino cosplay outfit for the Love Live! movie premiere. I put in some hard work and made the finishing touches on my outfit! The reason I wanted to go to this convention so badly was because one of my favorite “mangaka”, Arina Tanemura (Full Moon O Sagashite, Kaitou Jeanne), was going to be a special guest at the convention.
You know it’s a good sign, when you arrive at the Sheraton and anime and J-pop music is being piped across the guest lobby. After a quick costume change, I ventured my way downstairs to see some of the forums. I happened to miss the first Arina Tanemura forum but made one with the Studio Ghibli animator Hiroshi Shimizu’s (Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso, Monster) Animation Tools and Techniques. We stayed for about twenty minutes but since the forum was having some technical difficulties, we decided to take the chance to look around. Surprisingly, the floor was not too crowded and it was easy to get around and get seats for the different forums.
That’s when I met this cutie from Bravely Default! She had a very well made costume and the personality to match!
I was also excited to find another Maki in her Boku wa Ima outfit. This photo turned out to be one of my favorites during the entire convention!
After some more wandering around the Dealer’s Room and Artist Alley, we had a chance to sit down and listen to Atsuko Tanaka’s (Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service) panel. Tanaka-san was very charming, laughed a lot and showed us some of the key frames she animated. She also shared some somewhat scary stories about how intense Miyazaki-san is in his quest for perfection in animation of his Ghibli movies.
Finally, it was time for the Japanese guest autographs! At the end of each panel, special priority tickets were given away to the attendees to help us get in line for the autographs. With more luck on my side, I ended up around the 20th person in line. Arina was nice enough to sign the Full Moon Artbook for me and also the 7th volume of the manga. She was surprised I had the Japanese version of the artbook and was kind enough to draw a chibi Mitsuki for me! We also got a few autographs from Tanaka-san and Shimizu-san. Hiroyuki Aoyama had a traffic jam in front of him so we skipped him. I was excited beyond words to get Arina-san’s autograph early which took the pressure off and allowed me to enjoy the rest of the convention. We decided to end our day early due to the long drive.
On our way up to our hotel room, we ran into these excellent Game of Thrones cosplayers – Jon Snow and his love Ygritte. Game of Throne x Love Live! cross over = Game of Love!
See the gallery below for more awesome cosplay from Day 1!