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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

BLOG -- Recap of September

When I thought about my time in September, I thought this month would be slow-ish, with a lot of "me time" to take advantage of. Boy was I wrong! September ended up being a very busy and hectic month, with events happening every weekend (I just wanna stay home and play Final Fantasyyyyyy, lol). There were also some unfortunate things going on, with one very nice thing (that I will keep a secret at this time).

There were actually a couple blogs I wanted to do during September, but I guess I'll try blogging about them this month (if I have the time).


Outings/Events in September:
- Attended part 2 of the bachelorette party from August. 

- Attended the RePlay symphony (a video game music symphony).

- Attended TIFF for the first time (and watched 3 movies...).

- Stayed over at my sister's place x2.

- Karaoked with a friend for 2 hours.

- Celebrated my grandfather's birthday.

- Hung out with a friend visiting from California.

- Hung out with a friend x3.

- I got all my crafting classes to level 50 (max level) in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, woot!!

- I beat Leviathan EX on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, wooot!!

- Something secret! (I will not say what this is at all) ^__^


Exposures:
- (restaurant) Chipotle -- I kinda forgot what I had, but the food was okay.

- (anime) Hunter x Hunter (older version) -- I watched two episodes and thought it was okay. It looked it could make a fun video game.


Finished...
Watching:
- (Movie): Sin City: A Dame to Kill For -- Very good. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was so cool here.

- (Movie): Breathe -- I did not enjoy this movie at all. It was the first movie I watched at TIFF. I felt sick, nauseus, and with a big headache. The acting was good, though.

- (Movie): Over Your Dead Body -- The 2nd movie I watched for TIFF. Being directed by Takashi Miike, I was counting on it to have some really disturbing bits (and it did). Well done, Miike. It was an enjoyable movie (not because of all the disturbing bits, mind you!).

- (Movie): Labyrinthus -- The 3rd movie I watched at TIFF. I really liked this movie. If it ever came out on DVD, I would consider getting it.

- (Movie): Compliance -- Very well-acted. It just saddens me a bit that this movie is based off of actual events.

- (Movie): Maze Runner -- Very enjoyable! If I have time, I will blog about it.

- (Movie): The Princess Bride -- I've watched this movie so many times now, and I still love it. Sooooo romantic! <3 <3


Playing:
- (DS): Legacy of Ys: Book I & II -- It took me long enough! I kept playing this on and off. The music is good, and the story is intriguing. I just wish there wasn't so much possible backtracking that I felt I had to use a walkthrough to play through both games.

Reading:
- (Manga): Midnight Secretary by Tomu Ohmi -- I've read this before and I'm really glad the series got licensed. I should blog about this in the future.
 



Currently... 
Playing (not all at once):
- (PS4): Destiny
- (PS3): Borderlands 2  
- (3DS): Bravely Default
- (3DS): Weapon Shop de Omasse
- (3DS): Liberation Maiden
- (3DS): Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale
- (3DS): Theatrhythm: Curtain Call
- (GBA): The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition  
- (PSP): Persona 
- (PSP): Crush
- (PSVita): Persona 4 Golden
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Atelier Iris 2 
- (PC): UnEpic  
- (PC): King's Bounty: The Legend


Watching:
- (TV Show): The Walking Dead (Season 3) 
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho (don't remember)
- (Anime): Shakugan no Shana (Season 1 -- Episode 19)
- (Anime): Log Horizon (episode 3)
- (Anime): Sword Art Online (episode 11)

Reading:
- (Manga): Judge by Yoshiki Tonogai 


That's it for September. Here are a couple photos I took this month and one Youtube video I was exposed to.


 A cereal shopping spree! Thanks to my workplace for this "gift".


 Sitting in my seat for the RePlay Symphony.



Nevereverland by Nano. Even though the song is quite sad,
I like it a lot (especially like the beginning).




Thanks for reading!

You all have a good rest of the week and take care! :)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

BLOG -- Fan Expo Canada 2014

So Fan Expo came and went -- and now I am going to blog about it. It was a really fun, busy time. Unfortunately, I ended up missing a lot of the panels in favour of perusing the Artists Alley in detail, so this year's entry will probably be much shorter than last year's. The few panels I did end up attending were neat and cool. I also saw some really nice cosplay (which supposedly caused me to miss Stan Lee and Nathan Fillion who walked right by me on Saturday [crap!]). I also cosplayed, too (though I did not feel very good about it -- the costume was tooo tight, lol)!  

There was no Sports Expo this time, but that didn't affect me at all.

Even though this entry will most likely be shorter than last year's, I should still warn you: this blog will be pretty long. I'll be covering each day of Fan Expo Canada -- what I did, what panels I attended, and any thoughts. 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 27 - August 30, 2014
Location: Metro Convention Centre (Toronto, Ontario)
Ticket Price Total: $158.00 (Premium admission; Deluxe 4-day admission was $115)


Thursday
Time Attended: Not Applicable
I have nothing to blog about for Thursday since I wasn't feeling well and didn't attend the con. Sorry! :(
 
Friday
Time Attended: 2:00 PM - 5:45 PM
I would have gotten to Fan Expo earlier, but I was meeting with a friend flying in from California (to attend Fan Expo) earlier that day. I ended up experiencing a lot Fan Expo with him, so unless I specify anybody, any mentions of "we" would be referring to my friend from California and myself. Once we got inside the convention, we went straight to the South Dealers room to the Artists Alley. Either the artwork improved or I just noticed more stuff... but I spent a lot of money there! I didn't think that my daily Fan Expo budget would actually be used up, lol...

Swag from the premium admission. I guess the comic is nice, 
and the lunch box is cool.

Misc. Photos for Friday
The celebrity photo op prices. Some of the prices 
are quite up there!


Lego... bat-something? My sister took the pictures of the Lego stuffs. 
They were in the South Dealers room and I didn't explore 
outside the Artists Alley at all.

Lego Batman.

Lego... uhh... something from The Hobbit?


Lego Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.


Saturday
Time Attended: 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM; 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Ahh... nothing beats attending Fan Expo on a Saturday morning. In case you couldn't tell, I am being sarcastic.

Fan Expo crowd on a Saturday morning.

This year, I tried cosplaying. I wasn't really sure about it, since the costume I bought from eBay turned out to be too tight on my body and too loose on my hands. In the end, though, I tried it out (with the help of my sister). I cosplayed as a Hyur in her starting gear from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It... was not a very pleasant experience, lol. Every now and then, one of the zippers would poke into my skin (which my sister and I tried remedying by putting a band-aid where I'd get poked). As well, my feet were dying from walking around in low-heeled shoes for so many hours. The only upside is that I may never need to wear this costume again! The downside is that nobody recognized where I was from at all :( A pic of me in my cosplay is in the "Photos of Cosplayers" section.

Besides agonizing over my cosplay, I got two autographs. The first one was Ryo Horikawa's (the Japanese voice-actor for Dragon Ball Z's Vegeta, Detective Conan's Heiji Hattori, and other series). I was surprised that there was a very small line-up for him. I really hope that it's just because it is the morning. I wish I had said more to him when he signed my autograph board (shikishi). All I said was, "Can I take your picture?"

A pic of me (with my face greyed out) and Ryo Horikawa.

After that, I lined up to get my second autograph: Meg Turney. This was more for a friend than anybody else, 'cuz I didn't know a thing about Meg Turney. She must be popular, though, since there was already a longish line 30 minutes before her autograph session, and there was a longer line by the time she showed up. I ended up getting two autographs from her: one for my friend, and one for myself. My friend totally owes me for all that waiting, lol!

A pic of me (with my face greyed out again) and Meg Turney.

Then we went back to the South Dealers room to the Artists Alley for a couple hours. I replenished my daily budget for Fan Expo and nearly spent it all again. I also came across some artist booths whom I bought from last year.

One booth I was excited about was Xiao Bai's booth. I've bought her art for the past two years, and I was super giddy to see the artist finally present! All of a sudden I was like, Oh my! I gotta get something signed!! But I've already bought a lot of her artwork from the past years! Ahhh, what to do??! I had to spend some time, trying to remember what I've already bought from her. She does such beautiful art.

A pic of Xiao Bai. She is so pretty like her pretty artworks!

After that, I bought four prints from another booth and then my friend and I went outside to have a late lunch. Since we both had premium admission, we had no troubles getting back into the convention.

E-Manga Promotion with Ryo Horikawa, Vic Mignogna, and Todd Haberkorn -- 6:00 PM
A pic of the panelists. I can only name the last three 
(from right to left): Todd Haberkorn, Vic Mignogna, Ryo Horikawa.

This panel was okay. It was a promotion for an e-manga mobile app where you could read manga with English or Japanese voice-acting. So far there are two manga available (Rainy Cocoa and Magical Dreamer). One neat thing they want to implement (if there are enough users) is the ability to have yourself voice-act a role. Currently, I am not completely sold on the app, but they do have some really nice voice actors on board and the app seems cheap enough (about $2 for each title, I think). I will most likely check it out in the future.

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With about 20 minutes left for the convention, my friend and I checked out the North Dealers room, which had a lot of the sci-fi and horror booths. It was kinda creepy, lol.

Misc. Photos for Saturday
Batmobile?


Creepy doll from Annabelle. The doll would start moving 
once you posed close to it, eyahh!


Pyramid Head from Silent Hill.


A nurse from Silent Hill.


A dog from Resident Evil.


I... don't know what this is (little help, anybody?).

Sunday
Time Attended: 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday was a day filled with panels I wanted to attend, but couldn't because I wanted to finish off the Artists Alley. I couldn't give up on the Hatsune Miku panel, though, and as soon as we got to the convention, we went to the room and I started the line for the panel. I told my friend to go to the Dealers room since he still had stuff to buy for his friends. I spent the next hour or so street passing and looking at all the cool cosplay.

Miku Expo Revealed: Road to Hatsune Miku Expo 2014 -- 12:15 PM

I kinda thought that this panel would be similar to last year's panel about Hatsune Miku, what she is, and all that -- like an introduction to her. But it was not that at all. Since the Crypton team couldn't attend, we were shown a video documenting the process behind readying the Miku Expo in Indonesia. It was pretty interesting! Some topics addressed included the song list (do Miku fans in Indonesia enjoy the older songs? Do they like the newer songs? What songs are they familiar with and are popular?) and Hatsune Miku's image (how do Miku fans in Indonesia generally perceive Hatsune Miku? Is she seen as cute? Cool? Something else?). Then we were shown some song clips from the Miku Expo. It was amazing! Some songs I especially enjoyed were "Melt" and "Romio & Cinderella" (that one almost made me cry). Then came the giveaway of all merchandise on the table. I didn't win anything :(

A promotional flyer thing for the upcoming Miku Expo in the states.
I wish I could go! :(

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After that, I went to the South Dealers room and I finished up going through the Artists Alley. In the middle of it, I ran into my sister, and we went to this specific booth selling buttons and struck a deal to buy one of every button from a specific series for a small discount (yay!).

20 Years of the Best AMVs -- 4:00 PM
So I didn't realize that this year was Fan Expo's 20th anniversary (dear dear, I am older than Fan Expo). So Vlad Pohnert (the host) took us through the best AMVs for the past 20 years (skipping some years since there was just not enough time). Since I was really into AMVs in the past, I was curious if any I had seen would be mentioned. I was also curious if I would be exposed to some new (well, new to me) AMVs. And I was, on both accounts! The ones I have watched that were mentioned:

-Best of 2001: "Blue Mercury", created by Aluminum Studios (featured Sailor Mercury from the Sailor Moon series)

-Best of 2004: "Shounen Bushidou", created by Istiv Studios (featured a bunch of anime series, with a ton of lip-syncing)

Below are the new AMVs I was exposed to:

Best of 2006: "Hold Me Now", created by Marissa Panaccio. The AMV features 
Princess Tutu, and supposedly this AMV moved a lot of sales for that series. 
I think if I saw it back then, it would have worked on me as well. 
I am totally going to blog about Princess Tutu one day! <3

Best of 2012: "Something Beautiful", created by Siny. 
This AMV features various Ghibli movies. It's so beautiful. 
I also really like the song.

This was totally a nice panel to end off with.

Overall Thoughts
Fan Expo Canada 2014 was really fun. It was too bad that I missed a lot of panels, but then I ended up buying a ton of nice stuff from Artists Alley. Next year, I will definitely up my game plan -- and maybe not get sick on Thursday, lol. Just like last year, the cosplay was varied, but with a bunch from Attack on Titan. I also saw a lot of Marcelline cosplay (from Adventure Time) carrying ax basses.

I'm already looking forward to next year.


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

Merida and Elinor from Brave.


Anna and Elsa from Frozen.


Characters from How to Train Your Dragon (I don't remember their names).


From Bioshock.


Super Sonico, and I'm not sure who.


Spider-Man and Black Cat.


Star-Lord and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy; Psylocke from X-Men.


Spider-Woman, Hulk, and Iron... Woman? (I think she has a name, but I don't know)


Bumblebee and Optimus Prime from Transformers.


Characters from Game of Thrones, I think.


Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender.


Sailor Pluto and Sailor Moon. 


The main protagonist (female and male version) from P3.


Catherine and Vincent from Catherine.


Somebody from Danganronpa.


Terra from Final Fantasy VI.


Characters from League of Legends.


Snow Miku!


Megurine Luka, Rin, Len, Hatsune Miku.


Meiko, Len x4?, Rin x2?, Hatsune Miku x5, Megurine Luka, Kaito.


Me (with my face greyed out) as a Hyur from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
This angle looks pretty good and I'm covering much of the costune (a big plus, lol).

Cosplay I wanted to take a pic of, but missed my chance
-Finn from Adventure Time (Finn was in full body, too, just like Jake from last year! I waved to Finn and as he was passing by, he high-fived me! *squeeeeeee!*)
-Princess Tutu from Princess Tutu (I actually didn't see her, but my sister did. She got a picture, but it was a bit fuzzy. I wish I saw her! D:)
-Vega from Street Fighter (it was such a good cosplay, too, [abs and all] lol!)

My Convention Purchases
As mentioned earlier, I ended up spending a lot at the Artists Alley. I didn't even venture into the South Dealers room -- I had no time for it. This year, I was way more open to what I bought.

I might as well say this again, but 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 think this year, I was focused more on points 1 & 3 and just went with the styles I liked and whatever evoked something in me, even if I never watched / experienced the series before. I did do that last year as well, but not to this degree. I also bought stuff from artists I've bought from in the past years. I think I am becoming a fan for some of them (!).

Just like last year, I bought a ton of posters. I guess for what I've bought that I haven't yet watched / experienced the series for, I'll note it like this: (*)

Here is what I bought (if anybody could help me fill in the blanks, it'd be greatly appreciated!):


Death (?), and Elsa from Frozen; Jack Frost from Jack Frost.
Whoever thought of pairing Elsa and Jack Frost were brilliant!


Pretty (signed!) posters from Xiao Bai.


An original design (the girl with the cat); Asuna and Kirito from Sword Art Online (SAO)(*); Yuno from Mirai Nikki(*)


Link from Legend of Zelda; Zelda from Legend of Zelda.


Original designs from Daxiong. I mentioned last year that I would buy his prints.


More prints from Daxiong. He has a collection that involves 
characters attached to dragons. It's pretty cool.


I don't know who and where this is from. All I know is that it speaks to me a lot.


Somebody from League of Legends (LoL)(*); somebody from Touhou(*); somebody from Danganronpa(*).


Asuna (?) from SAO(*); Zero from Drakengard 3(*).


Characters (or is this the same character?) from Attack on Titan(*)


Characters from Attack on Titan(*).


Cute cat posters.


Original prints by Shilin Huang (and zinganza?). I've bought her 
stuff last year. I really like her stuff!


Okami poster(*).


Asuna from SAO (I think both posters are Asuna?)(*).


Somebody from Rozen Maiden(*); Link & Zelda from Legend of Zelda. 


Somebody from Penguindrum(*); tons of Hatsune Mikus (yes, I bought two posters).


Sayaka & Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica(*); characters from RWBY(*).


Characters from LoL(*).


From Left to right, top to bottom:
-Elsa from Frozen 
-Anna from Frozen
-Olaf from Frozen
-Jack Frost from Jack Frost
-Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon
-Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy
-Hatsune Miku
-Rogue from X-Men
-Mulan from Mulan


This really cute T-shirt featuring a character from Dark Souls(*).


The Path to Hope: a Magical Girl x Pokemon anthology
This is a book from various artists that pairs
magical girls with pokemon. It's pretty cool!


One of my favourite pages in the anthology. 


Dumpling plushies, SAO(*) bookmarks.


Groot bookmark; Link bookmark; Takoyaki plushy headband (so cute!).


Buttons from Dark Souls(*) (from two artists!); Tonberry button from Final Fantasy.
For the Dark Souls buttons on the right, my sister and I ended up buying one of each the artist had. The artist was selling over 30 Dark Souls-themed buttons! They are at my sister's place so I don't have a pic of them right now. 


A 2015 calendar featuring original art and a bookmark.


Some business cards.


Some more business cards. 


Shilin's Tumblr link. In case you can't read it, it says:
http://zinganza.tumblr.com/



So, to calculate the "damage" to my wallet:

Meg Turney Print (for a friend -- not shown above): $20
Poster (Frozen, Death): $25
Posters (by Xiao Bai): $20
Poster (SAO, Mirai Nikkai, [original -- girl with cat]): $30
Posters (Legend of Zelda x2) + plastic poster cover: $60
Posters (by Daxiong): $40
Poster (by Suika14): $15
Posters (LoL, Tohou, Danganronpa): $20
Posters (Attack on Titan x4, SAO, Drakengard): $45
Poster (Kitties x3): $20
Poster (by Shilin Huang): $30
Poster (Okami, [secret]): $20
Posters (SAO, ???, Legend of Zelda, Rozen Maiden, Penguindrum, Hatsune Miku x2, 
LoL x2, RWBY, Puella Magi Madoka Magica): $110
Postcards (Mini Portraits x9): $36
T-Shirt (Dark Souls): $20
Magical Girl x Pokemon Anthology book: $25
Dumpling Plushies: $20
Bookmarks (SAO x2, Legend of Zelda): $5
Bookmark (Groot): $1
Octopus headband: $12
Buttons (Dark Souls x4, FF): $10
Buttons (Dark Souls x20): $30
Calendar: $15
Miscellaneous Gifts (not shown above): $44



Total "Damage" This Year: $673.00

Total "Damage" Last Year: $317.00


Owww... my wallet is very hurting... but I don't regret it. I really do like all the stuffs that I bought.
 
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!


Have an awesome week! :) Now back to renewing my Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn subscription and losing my soul all over again... oh, how I've missed ye! <3