(Read: “I am one of the Official Kirito Cosplayers for Aniplex at Sakura Con” for more information on that)
The weekend was crazy, fun, exhausting, and much more! There is no single word that can describe this weekend so I will talk about it all.
I’ll provide a summary (TLDR) of what I did and if you’re really curious about my trip, read past the summaries for the full story!
This is going to be VERY long. My goal with this is for you to be able to read this and feel like you were on the trip with me so you can understand just how amazing this trip was!
There were 3 major SAO-related guests of honor at Sakura Con.
Shinichiro Kashiwada – The Aniplex Producer! He produced SAO I and II!
Bryce Papenbrook – The English Voice Actor for Kirito.
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka – The Japanese Voice Actor for Kirito.
There were a few select panels I was asked to work at! First was the Aniplex of America Panel, next was the KiritoxKirito Panel which featured both the English and Japanese Voice Actors for Kirito, and finally the Q&A following the SAO II dub premiere!
I was scheduled to work at two different autograph sessions! One public one that had both Kashiwada-san and Matsuoka-san and a VIP autograph session that featured both of them AND Bryce Papenbrook.
SAO II Dub Premiere
Being a big fan of both the sub AND the dub of Sword Art Online, I was excited to be guaranteed a spot in the SAO II dub premiere. Episodes 4 and 5 were shown and after that was a Q&A with all three of the SAO guests!
Finally, I was scheduled to work at the Aniplex Booth in the exhibit hall. Typically, I was there to talk to fans, take pictures, and give out free stuff to people to promote Aniplex.
If you are curious as to what happened on my entire trip, keep on reading!
The trip was intense! It was possibly the most fun experience I have ever had at a convention and also arguably the most tired one yet!
So Day 0 was Thursday. I typically work on Fridays but my bosses were kind enough to give me the day off for Sakura Con. Since there was a lot of work to do, I was not able to leave work early on Thursday.
My brother, friend, and I had scheduled for the latest possible flight from LAX to Seattle.
When I was off of work, I sped home and immediately set off to finish off my last minute packing. Throughout the day, I was making a list of things to pack as soon as I got home so that no time was wasted.
My brother and I put all of our clothes and such in one huge check in bag, all of the cosplays and cosplay props were stored in my large golf bag (also to be checked in), and we each had our own carry on bags.
Everything seemed to be going according to plan but about 10minutes into the drive to the airport, I realized that I had forgotten my Carry On bag… It contained my cosplay cards, posters I wanted to get signed, and more. On top of that, it was the bag I planned to use to carry all my stuff in throughout the con so we had to turn back.
After rushing home and grabbing the bag, we set off to the airport again. The entire time, I could feel myself panicking!
When we finally arrived in LA, we met up with our friend Ryan and parked our cars at the Parking Spot and took a shuttle to the airport.
We scrambled to quickly check in our huge luggage and to grab some food.
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Last People on the Plane
After buying some food at the airport, we checked the time and noticed that our flight was just minutes from leaving us behind so we rushed to the airplane!
We were definitely the last people on the plane. The rush was real. The whole day was so fast paced but it felt good to finally be on the airplane. My biggest anxiety all evening was missing our flight. If that flight was missed, I would probably never be hired by ACP and Aniplex again.
Since there were no more later flights that evening, I would have to catch the earliest one the next morning but even doing that would force me to miss my first shift!
You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to be sitting on that crammed airplane as it took off!
Shushed by Others
I was beyond excited for the trip now. My biggest concerns were gone but I was starting to talk too loud on the plane.
Remember that we were on the latest flight for the evening so people were likely planning on sleeping during this plane.
My brother turned to me and said that we were being asked to keep our voices down. Oops!
The plane ride was scheduled to be about two and a half hours but my friend and I gave in and bought internet for the trip. That is just how reliant I am on the internet.
Lost Check In Bags
This always seems to be an issue with me when I travel with cosplay. After getting off of the plane, we went to the baggage claim area to pick up the bags that we had checked in at LAX.
We stood and watched as every single bag was taken but did not see any of ours. I went into a panic thinking that my bag had been lost or did not pass through security for some reason.
For some reason, our bags were set aside in a different part of the Airport. There weren’t any signs or anything indicating that! We just asked staff for help and eventually got there.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we found our bags and we took off.
My friend Ryan told me that we could take the Light Rail from the Airport all the way to downtown Seattle where our hotel was. It was only about $3 which was a pretty sweet deal. To put it into perspective: the airport was the very first stop and downtown was the very last stop on the schedule so we would be taking the train all the way to the end.
Unfortunately, we did not know that the Light Rail stopped services at midnight. We made it to the halfway point between the airport and our stop before being asked to get off the train.
We were offered to walk upstairs to the bus stop where we could take a bus to our destination at no additional cost.
It was really cold out and we were getting impatient waiting for the bus to come. I suggested calling a cab but my friend Ryan suggested that we use Uber.
If you are unfamiliar with Uber: It is an app that locates a registered Uber driver to pick you up from your location and take you to your destination. It is sort of like a taxi except these drivers use their own cars.
It ended up being a great experience! The thought of getting into a stranger’s car sort of scared me at first but after finding out that there are background checks on the drivers before (and the fact that there were two other people traveling with me) gave me a peace of mind.
The price was not bad and the driver was really nice!
After finally arriving at the hotel, we checked in and I started to unpack. It was already 1am and my first shift the following day was at 10am so I was a bit nervous about the weekend. My friends tease me about requiring a ton of “beauty sleep” to survive (If I don’t get 9-10 hours of sleep, I don’t have enough energy).
I decided to unpack every single cosplay and prop, checked to see if anything was broken, and organized everything.
I finally fell asleep at around 2am.
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Day 1 – GGO Kirito Cosplay
Aniplex and American Cosplay Paradise (ACP) requested that I wear my GGO cosplay on Day 1.
Not Enough Sleep!
My alarm went off at around 6:30am and I woke up exhausted.
Registration for industry badge pickup was at 8am so I wanted to be sure that I woke up with enough time to get ready and get to the con to avoid lines.
Having never obtained an Industry badge before, I wasn’t sure how long the line would be or how long it would take to get registered.
The line ended up being nearly nonexistent when I found the press office. It was really exciting to be picking up an Industry badge. I never thought that I would ever be able to!
I thought that this process would be quick and painless but the internet happened to be down so they were having issues printing my badge.
It had to be manually typed and “paradise” in American Cosplay Paradise ended up being misspelled as “paradice” on my badge. I didn’t have the heart to correct the new worker that had just typed and printed out the badge for me on his first day so I let it be!
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After that, I went to a nearby restaurant to get a quick breakfast.
Aniplex Booth & Cosplay Gathering
My first shift was at the Aniplex Booth. I got to meet the ACP crew for the first time at the booth! I showed up about 15min. early out of excitement.
Wayne and Henry were the two that contacted the cosplayers prior to the event with all of the necessaryy info. It was cool to meet them and put faces to the names. They were extremely nice and made me feel comfortable immediately!
I also met the other Kirito (MrPugtato – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ACP) who had arrived early as well. It was cool getting to meet another cosplayer that was so experienced and talented! It was my first time volunteering for Aniplex while he has been doing it for over 4 years. It helped me calm down a bit to ask how working at the booth worked and all of that. I really appreciated the help!
After a bit, the exhibit hall opened and people started to flow in!
I felt a little rush since I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a lot of fun! People were just coming by and we handed out free Aniplex Calendars filled with images of characters from shows such as Sword Art Online II, Magi, Irregular at Magic High, etc.
We also took pictures with people that came by the booth. It was so cool!
We also advertised that the first 100 people to spend $50 at the Aniplex store (behind us) would get a ticket to a VIP autography session with Matsuoka-san, Papenbrook, and Kashiwada-san!
I got to work alongside Darkenedxstar and talk to her a bit too! She was cosplaying as Undine Asuna and she was scheduled to cosplay as KOB (Aincrad) Asuna on Saturday and then again as Undine Asuna on Sunday! It was so cool meeting another seasoned cosplayer.
During my shift at the Aniplex Booth was the Official Sword Art Online cosplay gathering (it also took place at the Aniplex Booth).
Wayne lead the gathering stating which types of pictures were being taken. This gathering was full of a lot of surprises for the attendees!
Towards the middle of gathering, Wayne introduced both Bryce Papenbrook and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and they took part in the cosplay gathering! (I lent Bryce my photon sword and gun props).
The gathering ended with a competition only for SAO cosplayers. They would all play rock paper scissors against each other and the winner would get to “duel Yuuki” for a prize!
The first winner ended up being a Klein cosplayer and he got to play rock paper scissors against my friend Kirato/Amecandy (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ACP) who was cosplaying as Yuuki!
(PS: She is my female counterpart! Check out her social media. She has cosplayed as more versions of Kirito and they are AMAZING! Her cosplay card is also modeled after the SAO menu and it looks amazing.)
He ended up winning a limited autographed poster from SAO II that was given out at the SAO II sub premiere at AX (I thankfully have one at home so I didn’t have to get too jealous!)
A couple more prizes were given out to winners and the gathering was a hit!
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Aniplex of America Industry Panel (SC-10) – 4C-2
As soon as that was over, I headed over to the panel room with MrPugtato, Amecandy, Atashi, and ichigo_m where the Aniplex of America Industry Panel would be taking place.
We were told that we would be handing out raffled tickets to all of the people attending the panel as they walked in.
We finished early and I got to just hang out with the other ACP cosplayers!
Atashi cosplayed as the ALO version of Silica and her cosplay was outstanding! I had a fun time talking to her about her most recent visit to Japan and how she got to hang out with Reki Kawahara a bit then!
Ichigo was so nice! She has been cosplaying for years. She has also cosplayed as nearly every version of Asuna so I thought that was great. It was also cool to talk musical theatre with her.
KiritoxKirito Panel with Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Bryce Papenbrook
During the Aniplex of America panel, Wayne told us that they would need MrPugtato and I to escort guests. Being new, I had no idea what that actually meant but I was excited regardless!
We were told that that meant that when Matsuoka-san and Papenbrook were called to the stage, they would want both Kirito cosplayers to escort them up.
Wayne gave us the option to pick which guest we preferred to escort. MrPugtato, being the cool guy he is, let me decide since it was my first time volunteering for Aniplex. It was a tough call since I watched the subbed version first but later enjoyed the dubbed version too. I ended up choosing to escort Bryce Papenbrook!
The Aniplex of America panel finally ended. Having gone overtime, the staff announced that the panel would carry over into the “KiritoxKirito” panel (so the panel room was not cleared. Those that were in for the Aniplex of America panel were happy!)
There was a little bit of dead time before the next panel began. Wayne had me sit with Bryce in preparation.
We chatted a bit about how “Cheer for Me” translated in the dubbed version. As you’re reading this, the episode may already be out, but he told me that “Cheer for Me” didn’t exactly fit the mouth flaps so there was a slight difference! As I write this, I have NOT seen the episode yet so I look forward to seeing how it turned out!
We also talked a bit about Alex Von David. I am a big fan of his work. He has directed a lot of great shows such as Sword Art Online, Kill La Kill, Lucky Star, Toradora, Madoka, Blue Exorcist, and much more! If you have seen the SAO or Madoka bloopers, a lot of the darker jokes were his ideas. Being overly modest, he doesn’t find it necessary to make appearances at many cons. I may start a campaign of people to write him to ask if he would be interested in coming to more cons since there are a lot of us that would like to meet him!
Finally, we talked web development. If you do not already know, during the work week I am a web developer from 9-5. On top of cosplaying, I have been creating websites since I was 11 years old! It turns out that Bryce Papenbrook is also very knowledgeable on web programming! I noticed that his current website is SAO-themed (sort of like this one) but he told me that he would be interested in creating a jQuery-based website that acted like the SAO menu! He is busy recording on a ton of great shows, so I’m sure he does not have the time to sit and program his website!
It was fun chatting with my favorite English voice actor for a while, but it was eventually time for the panel to start!
EJ, the “Aniplex Guy”, called up the voice actors to the stage and MrPugtato and I walked them up to the stage.
Wayne had earlier asked if we would be willing to stand behind both of them during the entire panel. Wayne said that we could sit down if we ever got tired but MrPugtato and I both agreed that it was all or nothing! Despite being very hungry and tired, we stayed strong throughout the entire panel and stood behind our two favorite voice actors through the whole panel.
The panel was a Q&A session for both of the voice actors. Even though it was called “KiritoxKirito” it was NOT a panel full of “shipping wars!” hahaha.
Before the questions began, everyone in the panel was given a special treat. A video containing several clips from SAO and SAO II were compiled to show people at the panel examples of both Matsuoka-san and Papenbrook’s work in case they were unfamiliar with SAO. In most peoples’ cases, it was just a pure treat! There were several clips shown from the SAO II dub that had not aired yet. Unfortunately, I was standing on the stage so I did not get to see the video. Hearing the audio was enough for me, though! Having watched SAO II subbed already, I could remember each scene in my head as I heard the audio.
Matsuoka-san had a couple of translators with him to help out throughout the panel. My favorite answer by him was one of intense sarcasm.
Question: “If you could date anyone in SAO, who would it be?”
Both Matsuoka-san and Papenbrook seemed to have a great time!
I would post pictures, but no photos were allowed to be taken during the panel except for one.
At the end of the KiritoxKirito panel, the raffle tickets distributed during the Aniplex of America panel were finally resolved! The winner of the raffle received an autographed poster and got a picture with Matsuoka-san, Papenbrook, MrPugtato, and myself!
[Picture with Bryce and Matsuoka-san]
Cup of Noodles – The Beginning…
All I had had to eat all day was half of an undercooked bagel so I was starving!
I had a shift at the Aniplex Booth soon so I needed to find a quick source of food.
I found that they were selling Cup of Noodles on the third floor so I bought one and nearly burnt myself as I quickly ate it!
The water was so hot that the plastic fork I was using bent into strange shapes.
After I had absorbed my Cup of Noodles, I ran back to the Aniplex Booth!
I stayed there until the exhibit hall closed. By this time of the day, it had slowed down significantly and it was just relaxing. I enjoyed people watching. Seeing the other cosplayers walk by was quite a treat!
After that, I was finally free! I couldn’t believe how great my day was. I was living off of half of a bagel and one cup of noodles and feeling a bit weak but I was the happiest person in the world.
After arriving back at the hotel, we all decided to just order room service. Sure it was a bit expensive, but we paid for the convenience! I was not ready to walk anywhere else until I had some real food in my system!
After devouring a burger cooked rare (that’s the way I like it!), we were ready to go back to the con!
Link Start: Talk SAO with Bryce Papenbrook
I attended this Q&A panel as a fan. Its theme was SAO but Bryce was cool enough to answer all sorts of questions that related to SAO, Attack on Titan, other various shows he has worked on, martial arts, and more!
I was beyond tired when we returned to the hotel room. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!
I slept about 10 hours and I felt GREAT. I quickly got ready and walked over to the convention for my first scheduled shift.
Since the first shift wasn’t until 11am, I was able to sleep in until 9:30am.
Today, I was scheduled to dress up as the New ALO/Extra Edition/Caliber/Mothers Rosaria version of Kirito. I was excited to not have to wear a long wig!
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Autographs with Matsuoka & Kashiwada
I arrived at the autograph session with ichigo_m (Undine Asuna) and amecandy (Yuuki)! We were all there a bit early so we took some fun selfies.
I was a bit nervous since this was my first time working at an autograph session. Thankfully, my two new friends filled me in on everything. I was given information in an email prior to the event so I technically knew what to do but the moral support from the two really helped!
Amecandy ended up assisting with the line while ichigo_m and I stood together as Kirito and Asuna and just admired the posters that were getting autographed.
Unfortunately, the line was incredibly long and there was no chance for half of the people in line to meet Kashiwada-san and Matsuoka-san. After it was announced that there were only 5 minutes left in the line, people started to approach ichigo_m and I for pictures. To them, it was the next best thing to getting an autograph! I was honored to be apart of that and truly felt bad for all of the people that waited in line for so long but were unable to get an autograph. The two guests did the best they could to sign as many as possible!
SAO II Dub Screening + Q&A
After finishing up at the autograph session, we headed to the SAO II dub screening.
It was cool to see the huge panel room full of empty seats. I knew that in just an hour it would be filled to capacity.
All of the other SAO ACP cosplayers were scheduled to work at this event too!
The only other cosplayer I worked with that I haven’t mentioned yet is Kuro Tsuki! She was one of the best Sinon cosplayers I have ever seen. She was scheduled to be ALO Sinon on Friday and then GGO Sinon on Day 2. She was the only other person that had not previously volunteered for Aniplex and ACP before!
Just like the Aniplex of America panel that had happened on Friday, we were told that we needed to hand out raffle tickets as people were let into the panel room for the SAO II dub premiere.
Wayne told us that guest escorts were needed for this event too since it’s a Q&A with Matsuoka-san, Kashiwada-san and Papenbrook. MrPugtato and I were automatically picked to escort both Kirito voice actors (but we switched and I was chosen to escort Matsuoka-san and he was to export Papenbrook) while Kuro Tsuki was chosen to escort Kashiwada-san!
I wasn’t too afraid until the rush of people started coming in! The panel room got filled to its last seat!
This SAO II dub premiere was something special! We were all going to be the first people to see episodes 4 & 5 of the SAO II dub and we would be joined by Kashiwada-san, Matsuoka-san, and Papenbrook!
At the same time at Anime Boston, they would also be showing the SAO II dub premiere but with Michelle Ruff (Sinon), Cassandra Lee Morris (Leafa), Christine Cabanos (Silica), and LiSA (singer of SAO opening Crossing Field).
Before the premiere started, we were shown a cool video that LiSA had made for the Sakura Con attendees since she could not be there with us!
After that, the premiere started!
It was so cool to see the dubbed episodes for my favorite anime!
Following that was the Q&A with the guests of honor! We escorted the three onto the stage and then walked off (we weren’t permitting to stand with them on the stage the whole time during this panel!)
All of the ACP cosplayers were reserved spots in the first row, so I was able to enjoy the panel from the very front!
One of my favorite moments during the Q&A was this:
Fan: Which is your favorite version of Kirito?
Bryce: Probably Aincrad!
Matusoka-san: The Aincrad version.
(He then saw me pretend to be offended since I was dressed as the Mothers Rosario Version)
Matsuoka-san: And I apologize to the cosplayer right in front of me! *Pretends to cry*
It was a ton of fun!
The staff at Sakura Con is really cool and laid back! After the panel was over, I was asked to take pictures by several people and I wasn’t forcefully told to get out of the panel room. It was nice!
Finally a Chance to Eat
After that had finished, I was once again extremely hungry. Knowing that I had another shift at the Aniplex Booth soon, I headed to the same area on the third floor that sold Cup of Noodles.
The lady working laughed as I came through purchasing two cups of noodles and welcomed me back.
It was very satisfying to get some food into my system!
Working the Aniplex Booth again was fun! I love socializing with people so it was cool calling out to other SAO cosplayers that walked by and striking conversations with those that stopped by the booth.
I got to work alongside Atashi. As stated earlier, she had spent some time in Japan recently and had the chance to hang out with Reki Kawahara a bit! She was also just an all around laid back person who was a ton of fun.
I also enjoyed meeting fans! It was cool having fans from Instagram take the time to stop and visit me at the Aniplex Booth for a picture and to chat a bit!
One of the main reasons I had gone to Sakura Con was to meet one of my very first cosplay friends, Rie Mari. She took the time to stop by the Aniplex Booth while I was working! We had both started our Instagram accounts around the same time (July 2014) and one of her first cosplays was Asuna (she and her boyfriend do great KiritoxAsuna shoots!) so it was cool to meet her for the first time! We had been supporters of each other from the start but had only talked on social media so it was cool to see that she was a real person. We became instant friends! Sometimes meeting a friend over the internet in person is an awkward moment but in this case it worked out so well! We both were so excited and took plenty of selfies!
Food at the Hotel
Once again, my day working for Aniplex was extremely fulfilling but tiring. I was extremely hungry but still the happiest person in the world.
This time, instead of ordering room service, we had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Knowing that I would go back to the con later in the evening, I decided against using spirit gum remover to get my fairy ears off. I took off my cosplay, so I looked like a casual elf.
Being able to eat some real food energized me again and I was ready to head back to the con!
Bryce Papenbrook Efforts and Reactions Panel
I once again attended a Bryce Papenbrook panel as a fan and not as a volunteer! This time, it was a panel for Anime “Efforts and Reactions”.
He has done this panel before at past cons (I found it on YouTube) so I had a small idea of what to expect! It was hilarious and fun!
If you aren’t familiar with what an Anime effort/reaction is, let me explain it. Any sort of sound they make that isn’t dialogue (deep breath, grunt, gasp, etc.) is an effort or a reaction!
Bryce showed examples of good and bad efforts and reactions. He gave us a bit of a crash course of what it’s like recording those. He would give instructions and have the entire audience follow his directing and some of the funniest sounds were created!
After that was over, post-con depression was starting to hit me. Day 2 was nearly over and that meant that there would only be one more day of fun. I only had 2 shifts the following day so I could feel that the end was near.
To cope with that, we hung around the con a bit and just walked around taking pictures with people.
I happened to catch MrPugtato doing a GGO Kirito “Keyhole Sweater” shoot so that was awesome! I look forward to seeing the pictures from that haha.
After that, I went back to the room to sleep.
The final day! I was scheduled to be SAO (Aincrad) Kirito! Even though I only had two scheduled shifts with ACP and Aniplex, I knew that I had a full day ahead of me.
Not Enough Sleep + Packing
I had planned on packing Saturday night but grew too lazy to. Instead, I set my alarm early on Sunday to be sure I had time to get everything packed.
With hotel checkout being at noon and my first shift being at 10am, I would NEED to have everything packed and checked in with the bellhop before 9am.
I woke up early, set aside my cosplays for the day, and then began to pack. It normally would not be a big deal that I needed to pack before going home but I brought SEVERAL props. I spent time bubble wrapping all of my sword props and carefully storing them in my golf bag. After that, I set out to the con.
My first shift of the day was at the VIP Autograph session. It was a ticketed event for the first 100 people to spent $50 or more at the Aniplex Booth.
Signing autographs with Kashiwada-san, Matsuoka-san, and Papenbrook!
Before the guests were ready to start signing away, the other ACP cosplayers and I walked around socializing with the people in line and taking pictures with them. That was one of my favorite things to do!
It was fun asking people what they were getting signed. As a fellow SAO fan, I could relate to their excitement.
After the line had finished, the ACP cosplayers had an opportunity to get one item autographed! I brought my poster that has autographs from several members of the SAO english cast. I never expected to get Japanese autographs on it too!
After that, most of the ACP cosplayers were set free! I had volunteered to work extra hours so my next and final shift was at the Aniplex Booth.
I was scheduled to work for one hour with Kuro Tsuki and then the second hour by myself. Atashi decided to hang out at the booth too and even kept me company during my final hour when I was scheduled to be by myself! I really appreciated that. #ForeverAlone?
Diana Tolin (Facebook, ACP)
Diana was one of my favorite friends I made over the weekend. She was at the booth for a short amount of time with me on Sunday but we worked a lot of long shifts together throughout the weekend! She was Lisbeth for part of Day 1, Mako from Kill la Kill on Day 2, and Morgiana on Day 3.
She was a ton of fun! Mostly on Day 3, we had fun trolling each other in front of the people coming by the booth.
Whenever she would see someone take a picture of the SAO cosplayers, she would say “HEY! You know what else is cool? MAGI!”
As soon as I saw her and our other friend (also in Magi cosplay) get a picture taken, I told the photographer “hey! you know what else is cool? SAO!!”
That leads me into why this next picture was taken! Good time!
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Morgiana killed the beater
Interestingly, I think that my busiest day at the booth was on Sunday! I had a lot of people come by for pictures on previous days but Sunday definitely was my craziest day!
During the last 30min of my shift, it started to quiet down a lot and my shift finally ended.
Wayne thanked me for my service and told me to have a great rest of the con!
As I walked away from the booth, I felt happy and sad at the same time. On one hand, I was sad that it was over but on the other hand I was still the happiest person in the world for having the opportunity to experience that whole weekend.
Photocredit: Little Busterz
My Last Cup of Noodles
Though my last shift with Aniplex was over, my day was FAR from being over!
Having not eaten anything all day, I decided to get Cup of Noodles again!
Vic Mignogna Autograph 3 – Autographs 4B
I am a huge fan of Vic Mignogna and I had previously not met him before so I made it a point to get in line early to meet him!
I had not finished eating my Cup of Noodles when attempting to line up to see Vic Mignogna. When the staff announced that we could finally lineup with him, I grew so scared because a stampede of fan girls ran past me and I was certain I would be hit and spill some hot soup on myself. (But that thankfully didn’t happen!)
Being in line for Vic Mignogna was an interesting experience! He is VERY nice to his fans! I know that his reputation is a bit mixed on the internet due to him refusing to sign yaoi but he seemed to look nice to me.
When fan girls would jump and hug attack him, he would sort of let it happen and not be rude or anything which is refreshing to see!
Knowing that he was a cop before voicing Edward Elric in Full Metal Alchemist, I approached him saying “Good Afternoon, Officer Mignogna.” His face was still and in shock for a moment before he burst into laughter. He shook my hand while laughing and was happy to meet me!
I asked him to sign my Ouran High School Host Club Poster while my brother got my SAO poster signed!
I asked Vic “which tentacle monster were you in SAO?” He laughed and said that he could not remember (which is understandable since it was such a small role). All he remembered was that he played on and Tony Oliver played the other.
The funniest thing about the picture was that I did not expect to be pulled in so closely to him! Most people sort of like to keep some personal space but he must be used to fangirls getting incredibly close to him. So it must have been a force of habit or something to just pull me in haha.
I overall enjoyed meeting Vic Mignogna. He is a great voice actor and a nice dude.
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Photoshoot with Jayson Tran Photography
Following that, I had a photoshoot with my friend Jayson Tran. He is a great photographer! If you ever look at professional shots of my photography, you have probably noticed that I work with him a lot.
I have worked with him at several cons including Comikaze, Sac Anime, Anime Los Angeles, and now Sakura Con.
Even though he has photographed me as SAO Kirito a few times, we took advantage of the nice scenery of Seattle.
Jayson was on top of his game like always but I definitely wasn’t. With a combination of the lack of sleep, standing all weekend, and lack of real food in my system I was having trouble holding poses. It was pretty embarrassing since I typically do a lot better in photoshoots!
Regardless, Jayson did great work!
Packing in the Hotel Lobby
After the shoot was done, my con experience was officially over. It was time to head home.
I headed back to the hotel, asked the bellhop for our luggage, packed the cosplay on my back, bubble wrapped my props, and then locked up the suitcase.
It was interesting seeing the looks on peoples’ faces when they saw me packing a golf bag full cosplay props.
After I had finished packing, I decided to use Uber one last time!
The driver was also nice this time around but he seemed to really hate his job. I felt for the guy. He had apparently had some bad experiences driving drunk people late at night.
After checking in my bags and getting through security, I was back on the plane ride home and after no time was back to reality.
So Much Fun!
That weekend took everything out of me! I was so incredibly dead from the trip but it was worth it.
I arrived at home from the airport around midnight and went to work at 9am the next morning. It was very tough to stay awake!
I very much enjoyed volunteering for ACP and Aniplex and flying out to Sakura Con. I would definitely do it again!
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