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Friday, 30 August 2013

BLOG -- Fan Expo Canada 2013

*Sniffle* I'm soooo sad... not just because I want Fan Expo to come back... but because I somehow lost all my blogging progress about Fan Expo... I woke up at 6 AM yesterday, determined to finish my blog. All I did was press "Enter" to create a new blank line... then I pressed "Backspace", and it erased my entire blog... I pressed the "undo" button as far as I could, but to no avail. I exited the page, hoping that it didn't automatically save, but it did... ... I only had Sunday left to cover and I would have been done!! Now I have to start over. You have no idea how much I want to cry right now... :(

Anyway... I had a lot of fun at Fan Expo this year. I attended some really neat and useful panels, and I saw some awesome cosplay and cool promotions (I think some companies are catching on that marketing creatively is key in conventions). I also had a "one-sided convention crush" (first time!), but I'll talk about that at the end of the blog, since it's more of a personal experience than anything.

There were two new things this year:

1. An added Sports Expo -- If I had time, I was planning to check out the autograph costs for a team-mate.

2. The fact that Fan Expo was taking place at BOTH the South building and North building. Every year before that, it took place at one or the other. Despite adding a lot of walking time for going back and forth between the two buildings (they split the Autograph area between both buildings, too), I think this expansion of convention space is nice. It was definitely needed.

This year, a lot of my time was spent lining up for panels (and attending them), doing my StreetPass while waiting (seriously, conventions are sooo good for picking up StreetPasses), and getting excited over Hatsune Miku. I was also a bit more chatty this year... and that boggles my mind. Me... chatty? I'm often so quiet. It was a bit different from my norm, but for the most part, I enjoyed it.

Just to warn you: this blog will be quite long. I'll be covering each day of Fan Expo Canada -- what I did, what panels I attended, and any thoughts. That's four days' worth of blogging. I've lumped all my pics of cosplayers into one section. If you want to see just that, search for "Photos of Cosplayers". For the section of what I've bought, search for "My Convention Purchases". :)


The Little Details
Dates of Fan Expo Canada: August 22 - August 25, 2013
Location: Metro Convention Centre (Toronto, Ontario)
Ticket Price Total: $158.00 (Premium admission; Deluxe 4-day admission was $115)


Thursday
Time Attended: 5:00 PM - 7:45 PM
Since the addition of this fourth day (I think it's been 3 years now), I find the Thursday to be like a throwaway day. You go for maybe one or two panels, but it's mainly to get your bearings and get your legs familiar with walking to the next panel or autograph area. That's what I did when I got there.

As a Premium attendee, I was able get into Fan Expo at 2 PM today (Fan Expo opened at 4 PM for everybody else), but I didn't -- I would have just spent hours waiting for my next thing.
 
My Premium admission swag. 
What's up with the Lucky Charms and hot sauce?

Workshop: Plot any Story in Under an Hour -- 6:45 PM
Ty Templeton hosted this panel and it was really fun, funny, and filled with useful stuff. He told us the mechanics of building a good story and then we all collectively tried to create a good story during the panel. Here's what we came up with:

The main character is the clumsiest burglar in Canada. She steals because she is trying to get enough money to raise her child (she's a single mom). 

Would a story like that pique your interest? Here's a bit more to the story:

The cop character chasing her falls in love with her. The burglar one day trips on the front steps of the bank (before breaking in), breaks her leg, and sues. The burglar wins the money, her chance to get out of her lifestyle, and the ability to provide for her child. The child, however, doesn't like how her mother acquired the money and ends up distancing herself.

During the panel, we also came up with the opening scene for this story, and the possible end scene. Personally, I don't think I would ever want to create a story under an hour... but now I know how, if I needed to. 

Misc. Photos for Thursday
TARDIS from Dr. Who.


Some sort of Batmobile.


The costs and schedules for the celebrity photo ops.
Some of the prices are really up there!


Friday
Time Attended: 9:45 AM - 7:15 PM
So I got to Fan Expo minutes before opening time. Big mistake. There was a long line-up to get in. Even Premium attendees couldn't escape the winding snake of the line. Thankfully the wait wasn't that long, but still -- crap, there's tons of people. All I wanted to do was get in line to wait for my panel.

Fan Expo crowd on a Friday morning.

When I got in line, the guy in front chatted with me and now we're sorta friends (amazing -- this almost never happens to me).

Basic Kickstarting & Crowd Funding -- 11:00 AM
This mainly focused on how to plan Kickstarting projects for video games, but a lot of it could also be applied to other categories.

Here are a few main things that I took away from this panel:

1. Build your fanbase / audience -- then bring them to your Kickstarter project. If somebody already likes your work and what you do, the chances of getting funded by them are much higher than somebody who doesn't even know you exist.

2. Research on... everything -- see what other Kickstarter projects similar to yours are already running -- see what kind of funding they're asking for, and see what the money would be used for. From that, try to calculate about how many backers you'd need (for which funding tiers) for your project.

3. When the project is successfully funded, try to make relations with whichever manufacturer / distributer / printer for possible discounts. If you anticipate more Kickstarter projects where you will still need their business, mention that to possibly establish a long-term business relationship.

This panel was really useful and informative. Though it wasn't my intention, I'm already on the right track, building my own fanbase / audience with my blogging. (Thank you to those who read my blog. I really, really appreciate it!!) :)

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With an hour to spare before the next panel, I trekked to the North building, curious if Brad Swaile was there (I want his autograph!). He wasn't -- back to the South building, hahaha... 

On my way down, I overheard an attendee talking about a promotion happening in front of the South Dealers room. Since I still had a bit of time, I decided to check it out. 

The promotion was for Lucky Charms, and I gotta say -- it's pretty neat and elaborate! The promoters were dressed in medieval era (I think...?) green-brown clothing, giving away treasure chest cards. When you scan your card, the screen will reveal if you've won a power-up or not. If you don't win, you get a mini cereal box of Lucky Charms.

Power-ups vary and are one-time-use, but they work soooo well in the convention environment. One power-up allows you to jump places in an autograph line; another allows you to jump to the front of a panel line; one of the major power-ups grants you 3 years' worth of deluxe Fan Expo passes (super awesome). I gotta say: whoever thought of this promotion was brilliant.

Lucky Charms promotion.


One of the NPCs for the Lucky Charms promotion. 
He was really in character, always calling us "Charm hunters".

Writing, Making & Selling Your Web Series -- 2:00 PM
This panel was really neat. There was a lot of discussion about the things to consider when creating a web series: the length of each episode, how often you put up a new episode, whether or not to put up just one episode or multiple episodes at a time, how much audience interactivity / feedback will be considered for future episodes.

One of the main things I took away from this panel was: keep the audience engaged. Give them a reason to keep checking back, whether it's uploading a teaser to the next episode, concept / production videos, something. 

I don't know if I would ever try making a web series, but I am interested in watching a few now (like Verdict).

Publishing Your Own Game -- 3:45 PM
I was hoping this panel would be about publishing your own video game, but it wasn't. This was more about how to publish your own live-action role-playing game (with the story book and dice). I would have left, but I was sitting at the front, so... I stuck it out.

The information was useful for its topic, though.

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With 15 minutes before the start of Yuu Asakawa's autograph session, I rushed to the South Dealers room (the autograph area is inside the Dealers room). Thankfully, the line wasn't too long. However, the line was moving very slowly. But it's totally forgivable. Yuu Asakawa was really friendly and nice to each fan. She was also allowing her fans to take a picture with / of her for free. I know I'd appreciate that treatment. 

Nearing my turn, I was getting a little nervous. I had three things I wanted her to sign: a Hatsune Miku CD album booklet, an Azumanga Daioh DVD mini booklet featuring Sakaki, and an autograph (shikishi) board. All I was thinking about was: is there a limit to many things she could sign?

When it was my turn, Yuu Asakawa greeted me in perfect English.

"Hello! How are you?" she said, smiling brightly.

"I'm good!" I said, "How are you?"

"I'm good!" she said. Then she went on to signing my three items (yay!).

I get so starstruck in front of celebrities (or people I admire). I gotta fix that, hahaha. 

Yuu Asakawa holding the autograph (shikishi) board and the DVD mini booklet.
Thank you for coming to Fan Expo!

After getting Yuu's autograph, it was around 5:50 PM. I rushed to North building. Brad Swaile was there and I quickly got in line. I really wanted him to sign my stuff (so I don't have to bring it with me tomorrow). 

When I got in line, I noticed the sign on his table:

The cost for Brad Swaile's autograph. 
I took this pic mainly for his Photo Ops comment.
He's so modest. :)

There wasn't much of a line-up, but just like Yuu Asakawa, Brad was really nice and friendly with his fans, and offering free photo ops, so the line was moving slowly, too. I ended up briefly chatting with the guy in front of me. He wants to move to Toronto and pursue something related to art. I wish him the best.

When 7 PM rolled around, an announcement came on, notifying the end of Fan Expo for the day. I got a little antsy. Will Brad still sign my stuff??

Yes, he did!

My conversation with him (to the best of my memory):

"Hello! What can I do for you today?" Brad said.

"Hello! Umm, can you sign two things for me?" I asked.

"Absolutely."

I placed an autograph board and a DVD / Blu-Ray cover art for Black Lagoon on his table.

He looked at it and then looked back at me. "So what's the second thing you want me to sign?"

"Oh, this!" I said, touching the autograph board.

"Oh!" He laughed. "I thought it was a board to keep the paper straight."

"Now I have a question for you," Brad said.

"Okay."

"What other shows have you seen me in?" he asked.

"Ummm..." I started, looking away. Man -- it's so hard to think when you're starstruck and trying to break down / understand the question. Does he want me to tell him all the series that I know him from? Or all the series that I know him from and have seen in English dubbing? I know he plays Light in Death Note and Quatre from Gundam Wing, but I barely saw any of those series in English dub.

My eyes still averted, I answered sheepishly, "Well, I've watched some Dragon Ball Z... and you play my favourite character..."

"Ah, so Gohan, huh?"

"Yeah..."

Then he began to doodle on the autograph board.

video
Video of Brad Swaile signing my autograph (shikishi) board. 
He's so cute when does his "shwing!" sounds.
My voice sounds so blah here.


Pic of me (with my face blocked out) and Brad Swaile.
Thank you for staying past 7 PM to sign my stuffs!
Isn't he so pretty? :)

Misc. Photos for Friday
Lego Yoda.


Lego... something, I don't know.


Lego Iron Man vs. cosplayer Loki! (who will win?)

 
Lego Super Man.


Saturday
Time Attended: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Now if you thought the Friday morning crowd was huge... think again.

Fan Expo crowd on a Saturday morning.

Thankfully, once I got to the South building, I was able to sit in the room for my next panel instead of lining up. 

One of the attendees (who was also waiting for the same panel) chatted with one of the panelists, commenting that celebrity autograph prices are ridiculous. The panelist responded, saying that he saw the autograph cost as more of a price to have a few minutes with the celebrity, more than getting the actual autograph. That really made me think. It makes so much sense! The next time I get a celebrity autograph, I am so gonna make the most of my few minutes with him / her.

Comic Book Law: What Creators Need to Know -- 11:30 AM
This panel was an absolute wealth of information. I learned so much! The panelists talked about some of the copyright / trademark laws in Canada and US, and the ways to better protect your creation. Here are a few things I learned:

1. When creating characters in book format (like a novel), have as much visual and written documentation on the characters to better protect them.

2. When trademarking a brand name or logo, you only have trademark rights to it in the country you registered for the trademark (so trademarking a name in China will give you trademark rights in China, nowhere else). Therefore, if you're planning to market your products / services in more than one market, trademark your name in ALL of those places. Don't end up like what happened with Marlboro.

3. Be certain about who owns the copyrights when you:
-create a work with multiple people (each person owns the copyright)
-create a work related to your field of employment (the employer)
-create a work related to your field of employment, but working as an independent contractor (most likely you unless outlined otherwise in the terms of the contract)
-create a work while on the job (depends on your terms of employment)

4. If you want to register your work for copyright, it's better to get US registration for it. When you get a US registration, you have to supply a copy of your work, which isn't asked for for Canadian registration.

5. Sending yourself your document through the mail is NOT a sure-fire way to protect your work.

This panel was very informative -- very useful.

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With a good chunk of time to spare (finally!), I made my way to South Dealers room. When I realized that I had no plans to buy any official merchandise (like DVDs / Blu-Rays, manga, figures), I explored the other areas in the Dealers room.

I slowed my pace slightly when I reached the gaming area, but continued walking since there were lines to almost every game. 

Around the back was this long cargo truck with Super Man's face and the phrase "Discover your Powers with Norton" plastered on it. It was, of course, a promotion for Norton. 

A group of other attendees and I were gestured into a black tent with a huge screen. I thought we were going to be brainwashed. Instead, we were tasked to find clues and help people all over the city. We were then given a scanner device and were led to the inside of the cargo truck. Inside was a cardboard mural construction of a city with Super Man symbols. We were to read a clue from our scanner device, find the correct location, scan the Super Man symbol, and then answer a question about which Norton product would best protect the given situation. Once we were done, we were given a yellow cape, and a chance to have our picture taken with Super Man.

It was kinda neat.

Norton promotion.


Me (with my face blocked out) with a shot of Super Man.

Crypton Future Media Presents: Hatsune Miku Panel -- 4:00 PM
I think this week's blog will be something Hatsune Miku-related. Too many Miku things happening this week to not talk about Miku.

Before attending this panel, I already knew a lot about Hatsune Miku. I knew that Hatsune Miku is a voice synthesizer and that her songs are created by the users (fans) of the Hatsune Miku voice synthesizer program. I also knew that she can carry a varied fanbase because she doesn't have a set personality (fans are free to perceive her however they like, which in turn, could make her more personal and relatable). 

There was one thing I didn't know: the reason Hatsune Miku live concerts are so high energy and successful. I always thought it was to see her on stage, but it actually goes deeper than that. Crypton explains that Hatsune Miku live concerts are like a celebration of creation. Since Hatsune Miku songs are created by users, when she goes on stage and sings, she's expressing somebody else's creation -- like singing for them. When I heard that, I was thinking, Woah...

Think of this scenario: You create a song using the Hatsune Miku voice synthesizer program. You share it online, and who knows, it gets selected for a future concert (I don't know how realistic this is -- I don't know the process of song selections for Hatsune Miku live concerts). Then Hatsune Miku goes on stage and sings your creation, with everybody cheering for her -- for your creation -- for you. I can't even begin to describe how gratifying that would feel...

Hatsune Miku live concerts are celebrations of creations -- It's a wonderful perspective.

I definitely can't wait for the Hatsune Miku V3 English voice synthesizer to come out. I'd like to create some songs and share them with the world.

Crypton talking about Miku.
Thank you for coming to Fan Expo! 


Hatsune Miku's information. When they got to this slide, 
many attendees lifted their cameras. So funny. I did, too, though, so...

Direct from Japan: Yuu Asakawa Vocaloid -- 5:00 PM
This was a Q&A session with Yuu Asakawa. Yuu is soooo cute, funny, and adorable! I would have taken a pic of her, but my cell phone battery died by this time (Noooooo! D:). She did her best to answer every question in English, but sometimes she still had her translator do it. 

When Yuu talked about voice acting in Japan, I got the impression that it was, sadly, a very cutthroat industry. You gotta find something that can set yourself apart from the others. That's why Yuu learned English.

Yuu likes playing video games, particularly the Resident Evil games -- for Leon S. Kennedy (haha! That's why I want to play Resident Evil 4). "Screw Ada!" she breathed. So cute.

Yuu really wants to try working overseas, so if anybody's looking for a voice actress, she's your gal! 

At the end of the panel, Yuu announced that it was her translator's (Rin's) birthday. We all sang Happy Birthday to her. It was really fun!

Yuu also brought her 3DS, but I didn't get a chance to Streetpass her.

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After the panel with Yuu Asakawa, I rushed to Voice Acting 101 with Brad Swaile, but they were at full capacity. :(

Misc. Photos for Saturday
Minecraft and R2D2.


Replica weapon from Gears of War 3.


Bunch of storm troopers.


Cyanide and Happiness booth this year. The banana costumes are funny.


Sunday
Time Attended: 9:45 AM - 5:45 PM
Off comment: Finally! Back to where I was with my blog yesterday... at 6 AM. *sniffle* ;_; (is currently 9:32 AM)

I wanted to attend the Cast of Walking Dead panel, but knowing that the subway starts running at 9 AM on Sundays, I knew I was at a disadvantage to those who stayed at hotels. And I was right. By the time I got to Fan Expo, there was already a massive line. And the panel didn't even start until 11 AM. 

Screw it! I thought, and I trekked to the South Dealers room, spent a lot of my money at the Artists Alley, and got in line for the next panel.  

Takamasa Sakurai: Power of 
"Cosplay, Anime, Manga and Kawaii-Fashion, Idol Music of Japan" -- 12:45 PM
Takamasa Sakurai's presentation looked at how the Japanese pop culture was slowly making its way across the world and being accepted as "normal" ("normal" is a super subjective term, which is why I've placed the quotation marks). If gothic lolita fashion or cosplay became more seen as "normal" in Toronto, I would totally wear the stuff more often. I actually attended Fan Expo in a different outfit everyday, because I rarely get the chance to wear them on a "normal" day.

Takamasa Sakurai also talked about how cosplay can cross boundaries and create connections. I've never thought about cosplay in that way. In a room full of strangers, common interests could be found through cosplay. If, say, a guy was dressed as... Locke from Final Fantasy 6, anybody seeing him could presume two very likely things:

1. The guy likes Locke's character
2. The guy likes Final Fantasy 6

Anybody seeing him who also likes Locke from Final Fantasy 6 will know they share a common interest.

It is very likely (unless you have tons of money to spend on cosplay) that people who cosplay, cosplays from a series they like, and most often, a character they like (though that is not always the case). Making costumes can be very time-consuming. Why would anybody spend time creating a costume for a character from a series they don't like and then wear it? It doesn't make... a lot of sense.

If I cosplay as Hatsune Miku, everybody will know (well, everybody who can recognize who I am) that I like Hatsune Miku. If I sing one of her songs at a karaoke event or something, everybody will know that I like that particular song of hers.

From his presentation, Takamasa Sakurai came across as all-out easygoing, friendly, and funny. He mentioned that many people have asked him to autograph their Death Note books in the past, and he doesn't like it. Please, don't ask him to sign your Death Note book!

At the end of the presentation, he expressed a hope that we will all meet again, and then we all gathered together for a group photo. I wanna see that pic! Hahaha.

Takamasa Sakurai doing his presentation.

So You Want to be a Game Developer? -- 2:15 PM
This panel was really informative. And since I would like to be a game developer one day, I'm not gonna share what I learned. Haha. Just kidding.

The panelists focused on the indie game scene. Resumes carry almost no weight here. You have to be able to show what you can do -- meaning, that if you're looking to get hired into a video game company, you should already have some games created and they're online somewhere to be played on.

The video game industry right now is largely looking for programmers -- more so with female programmers (lucky that I'm female!). The reason for the gender specification is that when a female programmer is tasked with programming games for a female audience, any feedback she has could represent that target market. 

The main programming language to learn is C++, but there are also video game engines (like Game Maker and Unity3D) available that give you a chance to create games without knowing C++. For me, I use Ren'Py (awesome visual novel engine). The panelists also mention needing some math skills... (aggg, my cryptonite!!)

They also mentioned that attending Game Jams and other video game-related events is a good chance to meet people from the industry, and possibly build connections.

Okay... learning C++ is gonna be on my to-do list in the near future.

Exclusive Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku Live Party Concert Screening -- 4:00 PM
My ticket to the concert screening.

Yay, the event I was waiting for! I knew it was a DVD screening, but I didn't care. I had to attend and express my fandom and support for Hatsune Miku. I had a feeling that this DVD screening was like a test run, to gauge the fanbase in Canada. Of course, it wouldn't be a fully accurate representation since Fan Expo brings in attendees from all over the world. But it's still some kind of visual gauge.

I really hope a live concert of Hatsune Miku will come to Canada.

The DVD screening was great. I really loved that she sang "Melt" and "Yellow" -- I love those songs.

The audience. Lots of people! Yay!

I don't remember which song this is, but Hatsune Miku looks so pretty here.


Overall Thoughts
Fan Expo Canada 2013 was great. It was really unfortunate that I couldn't attend Brad Swaile's panel or any of the Sketch Duels, but I enjoyed what I did attend. I think I learned the most from panels this year, compared to all the other past conventions. The cosplay was also pretty varied, though I saw a ton of Finns and Jakes from Adventure Time (which is totally a good thing, 'cuz Adventure Time rocks).

Also, I got a ton of Streetpasses for my Streetpass games. I can't wait to attend next year. On the way back home, I ended up chatting with somebody about Fan Expo (what is up with me being chatty this year? I don't get it. That is sooo unlike me). 

Anywho, great show. :)


 All my consolation prizes from the Lucky Charms promotion.


Photos of Cosplayers
As mentioned earlier, here are some photos of cosplayers:

Psylocke from X-Men


Super Girl and... I don't know (little help, somebody?).


Bat Girl and The Riddler.


Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.


Scary Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.


Kick-A**.


Loki and Deadpool.


Jake from Adventure Time. Sooo cute!


Aang and Kuzon (who is also Aang). 
Kuzon is soooo cute! :)


Grell Sutcliff and Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler.


Catbus!


Hatsune Miku. I will do my best to cosplay as her next year.
Just gotta buy the costume in time... 


Len & Rin Kagamine.


Megurine Luka.


Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Zelda. Really nice outfits.


Villager from Super Smash Brothers 3DS / Wii U.


Violent Luigi.


Butterfrees from Pokemon.


Sailor Neptune, Pluto, Uranus, and Saturn.


Shadow of the Colossus.


Creepy character from The Grudge.
Smart choice to stand next to that bright board. 
The longer I had my camera up, the darker the screen got, 
automatically adjusting the focus to the bright board instead of the girl. 



Cosplay I wanted to take a pic of, but missed my chance
-Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender (she was dressed so well, too!)
-Celes from Final Fantasy 6 (Whyyyyy?! D:)
-Alicia from Valkyria Chronicles (I almost never see any cosplayers for Valkyria Chronicles, and it's such an awesome game)


My Convention Purchases
Since I went over my $400 budget last year, I decided to up it considerably this year: $800. But guess what? I ended up spending less than last year's budget! Total yay for me (since that means more money is saved for other things). 

When buying fan stuff, I often have this frame of mind:

1. Does the art style align with my tastes?
2. Does this work express the kind of fandom that expresses me? (like, if I saw a poster of Zuko and Kitara holding hands and gently smiling, I might get it, because it expresses how I feel about their relationship -- a sense of deep understanding for each other)
3. Is this a piece of work that will evoke something in me every time I see it?

I gotta be picky like this, or my room will be filled with fan work. Of course, there are exceptions to everything. I'm way more lenient with crossovers or if it's just plain unique. Also, not every series gets the fan treatment. And of course, with original work, art style will play a larger factor. I'd say story, too, but you can't really stand at a booth, and read a whole volume to see how the story's like.

I was very poster-buying-happy this year, even though I'm not allowed to put up posters in my room.

Here is what I bought:


Cute cat posters.


One Piece x Gintama posters.


Snow Miku & Blue-Pink Hatsune Mikus posters.
Snow Miku is so adorable. 


Earthbound posters.


Archer from League of Legends (LoL), 
Hatsune Miku, and Serenity from Sailor Moon posters.
I haven't played LoL, but I like Archer's outfit.


Archer from LoL and Princess Tutu x Sailor Moon x Utena posters.


Posters from Xaio Bai. Her work is so pretty.


Manga and artbook from Shilin Huang. Her posters looked 
really nice, so I took a chance on her original manga volumes.


The Art of Daxiong Collection Artbook. I think next time I'll buy some prints.


Cute postcards. Yes, I know I already have 
that L postcard from last year's convention.
I just love it that much, haha. 


Buttons and a "Bleep Boop" R2D2 postcard.
I actually don't want the R2D2 postcard. I bought it because I liked the design but...
 not because I wanted to own it.


Some business cards.


Some more business cards.


So, to calculate the "damage" to my wallet:
Brad Swaile's autograph: $10
Cat posters: $30
One Piece x Gintama posters: $30
Snow Miku & Pink-Blue Mikus posters: $15 (these were a STEAL at that price!)
Earthbound posters: $20
LoL, Hatsune Miku, Serenity posters: $30
LoL & Princess Tutu-Sailor Moon-Utena posters: $20
Xiao Bai posters: $30
Shilin Huang's original manga & artbook: $60
The Art of Daxiong Collection Artbook: $40
Cute postcards: $10
"Bleep Boop" postcard: $2
Buttons: $20


Total "Damage" This Year: $317.00

Total "Damage" Last Year: $466.80




Well, thanks for reading (if you made it this far)! If you have any questions about anything I experienced at Fan Expo Canada, or just comments and questions on anything, feel free to comment!

Now I'll add some scrolly things and I'll talk about my "one-sided convention crush" (warning: that section is pretty long). I separated this from my Fan Expo experience because... well... even though it happened at Fan Expo, I don't think it's really related to Fan Expo. It's more a personal experience than anything else. So if you want to continue reading, feel free. But my Fan Expo convention experience portion is done.



This week's Sunday blog will be delayed to Monday -- to pace out the blogging by just a bit. I mean, my end-of-month blog is coming up tomorrow (a lot of blogs right after each other, haha).


Have an awesome weekend! :)

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My "One-Sided Convention Crush"
I was in line for Yuu Asakawa's autograph on Friday evening. A few minutes after I got there, two guys lined up behind me. I paid absolutely no heed to them, and continued my Streetpassing. Then the two guys started to converse, and I couldn't help but overhear the conversation (I mean, I was right in front of them). One guy had a slightly high-pitched, nasally voice; the other had a low, smooth one. 

They talked about various subjects, and at first, I really wasn't paying attention. But then the low voice asked the slightly high voice about his fluency in other languages, and my ears perked right up.

"Yeah, Japanese, German, and French." (not sure about French, but I remember three languages listed)

Then the low voice asked about the double Japanse pronunciations of "four" ("shi" / "yon") and "seven" ("shichi" / "nana"). 

"You can still pronounce them that way ["shi" for "four" and "shichi" for "seven"], but it's like, a crude way of pronouncing them." 

They continued talking and then slightly high voice mentioned that he developed an interest in Japan through the music and live-action TV shows, then later commenting that the spoken language in anime is often casual / informal (which is true. If you want to learn how to speak Japanese properly, anime is not the best example to follow).

Then they talked about video games, past conventions, autographs they're planning to get, other things, and I was for the most part, listening. All that was going through my head was, This guy sounds cool! I want to turn around and see him!

From their conversation, I also learned that the slightly high voice lived in Nova Scotia and came to Fan Expo via a 19-hour car ride (ouch!!). I also learned that he was attending the Hatsune Miku concert screening on Sunday.

I did end up turning around a few times, but never got a good look at his face. All I remembered was: he was tall, wore dark grey, and had a dark grey-brown hat.

After getting Yuu Asakawa's autograph, I thought, Well, maybe I'll see him again at the Miku concert on Sunday.

Well...

I actually saw him on Saturday! And Sunday morning. He attended a good number of the panels that I attended -- and often sitting somewhere in front of me. o.O' 

He attended:
-The Hatsune Miku panel
-The Q&A session with Yuu Asakawa (he asked her a question in Japanese)
-The Takamasa Sakurai presentation

During those panels, I kinda stole glances at him every now and then (haha, it's like high school all over again). On Sunday before the Takamasa Sakurai presentation, I Streetpassed him for the second time. Then and there, I decided to send him a personal message.

"U R hot, guy! :)" was my message. He was definitely cool, but I wasn't expecting anything back from my message. We won't be able to Streetpass again for who knows how many hours, and Fan Expo would be finished by then. And who knows if he would even get this message -- let alone read it. I just... wanted to express it... to him. But too shy to do it in person.

When I entered the auditorium for the Hatsune Miku live concert screening, I thought, This place is huge! There's no way I'll see that guy here. Like, if he decided to sit at the balcony, there's no way that I would know, being in the Orchestra area. I took my seat and did some Streetpassing. Close to 30 minutes before the concert started, I looked to the entrance by my level, and there he came in with his friend... and sat in the same row as me...

I stared him, dumbfounded. Of all the possibilities where I would have missed seeing him, he's here... before me... He and his friend then moved to some empty seats at the very front... in front of me. -_- Am I doomed to always see the back of his head?! As usual, I stole glances at him from time to time.

I'm not sure, but I think he got my Streetpass message during the concert. All of a sudden, he started looking around the auditorium. At that point, I didn't know what to do. I wasn't expecting anything from him. I didn't want to put any sort of pressure on him. To me, that meant (sadly): I couldn't interact with him.

I think he figured out who I was in the end because when the concert was over and the lights came on, he turned around and looked straight in my direction (or at my area -- I looked away before I could tell for sure). 

I'm not expecting anything from him, I thought, and I got off my seat and walked out of the auditorium.

I went to the washroom and gathered my thoughts. This was the first time I ever had a crush on a guy whom I knew I would (most likely) never see again. 

When I exited the washroom, I thought, That guy is gone now for sure. He's on his 19-hour drive back to Nova Scotia.

I exited the main entrance of the Metro Convention Centre, and there he was -- sitting by the curb with his friend, playing his 3DS. Again, I stared at him -- this time with my jaw dropping. Then the thought came back to my head: what do I do?

If I wanted to interact with him at all, this would be my last chance...

After what seemed like minutes, I gritted my teeth and started to walk away. I'm not expecting anything from him -- that's not why I sent that message. I wanted to express how I felt... that's all

About a minute later, I stopped walking. I walked back to the Convention Centre, took a pic of his back, and left.

I never did Streetpass him again.

Hot guy is playing his 3DS, sitting next to his friend in the orange hoodie.

One unfortunate side effect of my "one-sided convention crush": Every time I do Streetpass these days, I think about Fan Expo -- and him. It makes me a bit sad. I guess I really did want to say "hi" in the end...

I hope he got back to Nova Scotia safely, and I hope he comes to Fan Expo next year. I'd like the chance to see him again. And maybe to say "hi".

I think the phrase is: "Mata aitai".


If you read this part of the blog... thank you for reading! I certainly wasn't expecting it to be this long... sooo embarrassing to write, but I'm glad it's written and expressed.

Thanks again, and take care! :)


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