Time: Saturday, February 17 to Sunday, February 18, 2012
Place: Hotel Kabuki in Japantown, San Francisco, California
Event Website: http://aodsf.com/
Last weekend, I attended my very first anime convention. (Well, unless you count the J-pop Summit Festival from a few months ago, but I don’t.) It was actually somewhat of an impromptu decision to go, as I only learned about the convention about a week before it started, but I’m glad I did. Thank goodness the con happened right at the beginning of my week off from school. Seeing as I only went on Saturday and I could only be at one place at a time, there’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t get around to, but I’ll share with you what I did get to see.
I debated whether I should go wearing my casual clothes or in cosplay, and eventually settled on the latter; I went as Taiga Aisaka from Toradora. (If you see photos of a Taiga cosplayer from AOD 2012, it’s probably me. xD I’ll put up some pics on my DeviantArt soon. Remind me if I forget.) Unfortunately, I had a bit of a wig malfunction in the morning before I left home for San Francisco – tried to fix some frizzy parts of the wig but instead my brush got stuck in the wig and I had to actually cut out some hair! I don’t think it showed much, but it sure was a hassle and I ended up arriving in SF a little later than I’d intended, though there was still enough time before the first event I planned to attend started.
Registration was pretty simple, I got a form and filled in some information, and then paid in cash ($20 if you go Saturday only). They actually ran out of attendee badges for Saturday Only, though, so they just gave me a full weekend badge but wrote Saturday on it… xD There sure were a lot of people at the convention. I actually hadn’t expected so many because this seemed to be a relatively small convention, at least compared to Fanime, which I’m going to attend in May. Still, there were certainly things to see and to buy.
So, first thing I did was hurry off to Yukie Dong’s concert because I thought I was late. To be honest I’d never heard of Yukie Dong before, but she’s pretty much our local Bay Area idol. Here’s her website. There were some technical difficulties, so the concert ended up starting late. Yukie was introduced by…er…sorry, I didn’t catch her name, but I think she’s a part of Fanimaid?
Yukie performed Galaxias!, Guilty Crown’s opening, a Vocaloid song (I only saw the Japanese name D: It’s probably on Nico Nico Douga, though), Egomama (DECO*27!), and a crowd favorite: PONPONPON. For some of the songs she was accompanied by dancers from Fanimaid and Angel Hearts.
Also, midway through Yukie’s concert, there was a guest performance; I believe the singer’s name was Yomimaid? Anyhow, she sang a song which was also from Guilty Crown. I feel kinda left out now for not watching that anime. ._.
I don’t have any video footage of this, since I hadn’t brought a tripod (as usual; it’s too clunky to carry around anyways) and it would make everyone dizzy watching what I film. I’ve only found this one video of Yukie’s concert so far, but there should be some videos of some of her performances from previous years floating around on Youtube.
Immediately following Yukie Dong’s concert was the Nico Nico Douga Odottemita and Utattemita Showcase, which featured the singing and dancing of Tiffany and Ami. I would have stayed to watch it, but I had intended to go see a panel about Female Characters, so I had to miss it. D: That panel was pretty good. Some of the topics mentioned included the Bechdel Test (it’s a test to determine if a book/movie/etc. has good female characters), lolicon, fanservice, and examples of good and bad female characters. The speaker also mentioned a show called Cybersix, which I intend to watch because I’ve heard the main character is pretty awesome (and has crossdressed o: ).
Also, shame on me for eavesdropping, but I overheard two guys wondering whether Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica would pass the Bechdel Test. The conversation pretty much went like this:
Person 1: It’s pretty much all girls anyways.
Person 2: Nah. Homura’s a guy, Madoka’s a guy…
Person 1: So it’s yaoi?
It got me thinking, though, how you’re supposed to use the Bechdel test on series that contain pretty much only female characters. I mean, if there are no guys to talk about it, then we can’t judge a series by whether the woman talk about something besides guys. D:
Anyways, though, after the panel was finished, I went to see Vocalekt Visions’ 3D Vocaloid concert. I had to wait a while to get in since the odottemita/utattemita showcase was still going on. In the meantime, some Vocaloid cosplayers (who turned out to be members of the dance group at the Vocaloid concert) were selling glowsticks with Miku’s head on them.
The Vocaloid concert eventually got going, and it started with some dancing by WVD01 (World Vocaloid Dance 01). Brace yourself for a bucketload of pictures.
As for the Vocaloids themselves… Since I didn’t have a good seat,unfortunately I don’t have any good pictures of the Vocaloids (they don’t even look 3D in the shots I took D: ) but you can watch pretty much the whole Vocaloid concert here. It started out with a duet by GUMI and Gakupo, which as a pleasant surprise as I’d thought Miku would hog the spotlight. (She did have two out of the five songs performed, but still.) So, after the GUMI and Gakupo duet, there was a solo by GUMI, then the two songs by Miku, and the credits rolled. Then we were asked if wanted an encore, and there was a resounding “YES!” so then there was one more song by Sweet Ann. I actually didn’t recognize her for a while…I’m used to seeing the old, scarier-looking boxart of hers… xD
Here’s a picture of the audience.
There was also a Love is War cover by a Len cosplayer, which was pretty nice too (it’s in the part 2 video of the concert) so go check that out if you have the chance.
By the time the concert ended, it was a bit late for attending the other panel I wanted to see, which was one of cosplay cosmetology – I’ve always been wondered what people do to change their eyebrow color when they cosplay…Oh well, maybe next time. I ended up spending a half hour or so looking at what art was for sale. Here’s a few things I bought:
There were a lot more posters that I’d wanted to buy from the vendor that I got the Pandora Hearts poster from, but I was already running out of funds. (Anime-related stuff sure is pricey…Just one print tends to cost at least $10 D: ) In the Dealers’ Hall, there were also some wigs for sale, and a couple of dakimakura. I considered buying one, but I didn’t spot any of my favorite characters, sadly.
I also went on a brief shopping spree in Japantown and picked up two wall scrolls (Ao no Exorcist and Hetalia) and some gifts for a friend. But now I’m wishing I’d spent less money so I could’ve gotten the Soul Eater wall scroll I saw at one shop. >_<
Well, that is pretty much all I have to say about my convention experience. I had a blast, and I’m looking forward to future conventions. ^-^
All photos are taken by me unless otherwise specified.