2019 Holiday Haul #3 – Tokyo Otaku Mode Pickups

Hello all!

We’re back today with yet another holiday haul. Seems kinda weird to be sharing about more stuff I bought when I just underwent a huge “unhaul” on my collection, but worry not: all of the items in this haul will be kept nicely in my home.

Ready to see what I preordered from TOM many moons ago? Let’s do it!

It seems classic for me to begin a haul with a soundtrack now, so here we’ve got the OST for Free! – Dive to the Future. I love Tatsuya Katou’s work, you all should know since I’ve only picked up every single Free! OST ever. And I kid you not when I say this, but this third season OST just might be the best one so far! It helps that TOM had this discounted half the price, too. ūüôā

Makoto Shinkai art books are a bit of a rarity here in the states, so I had to snag this import from TOM while it was on sale. This is probably the most gorgeous single art book I own, and not just for the content. The thick cardstock sleeve on the left slips over the actual book like an o-card would on a Blu-ray, and the book itself has bold blue foil printing on its cover and spine. All of the pages are printed on heavy quality paper, with the cover and back having a soft lined texture to them. It’s a beautiful little set!

Alright, time for some Fate stuff. Also another rare find in the states, this imported art book and little set of postcards are from Fate/Zero and The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II, respectively. I’m a sucker for anything Fate, so it was a lucky find when I found this hundred dollar book discounted for just $30! While I believe the bread and butter of the franchise’s beauty lies in the character designs, it’s cool to have background art from two of my favorite Nasuverse titles!

Attack of the Nendos!! Here we’ve got a beloved character from the hit anime, Miss Zoe Hange of Attack on Titan fame in all her badass glory. I love her expressions, they’re so cheeky. The cloak is also a fantastic touch. What’s left to say? She’s fun, gorgeous, and ready to fight!

Now, of course I wouldn’t send a scout into battle alone, so here’s a reprint that I was fortunate enough to pick up: the feisty, angry boi himself, Eren Yeager! Guys, these two look so cool next to each other. The strong peg stand allows for lots of mobility and possibly for poses, including these dynamic midair shots I have them posed in. Really happy to have my favorite characters from the series in Nendo form!

Oh no, now for my other trash favorites haha. I’m a huge SAO fan, ok? Especially for Alicization. In fact, the Alicization story is what made me like Kirito as a character, so when they put up the preorder for this guy way back when, there was no hesitation in ordering the bro clad in black. I think the SAO character style in general transfers really nice into Nendo form. No regrets here, especially when you see the next guy I picked up . . .

AHHHHHH MY HEART IT’S MY FAVORITE BOY EVERRRRR!!! Would you believe me if I told you that I only picked up Kiri cause he’d match his partner here? HAHA! He’s one of my favorite figures I own, I just love how they did all of his poses—and the icy rose vines, ughhhh, so beautiful! My favorite SAO character sits valiantly on my shelf next to the others, officially completing the Rulid Trio if you add in Alice from the previous figure haul. Love these three with all my heart! ‚̧

I love Eugeo lots, but we save the King of Heroes for last, of course. Guys, GUYS, here he is, Gilgamesh in all his Babylonia glory, just as the original legend depicts him. Well, sort of. Just like the Fate/Zero Gil (another fave figure of mine), this one featured the shimmering Gate of Babylon behind him as an extra piece. I find it so cool how this one contains a different set of weapons from his Storehouse of the Gods—they’re all staffs of varying styles, fit for this new Caster form he’s taken in the Grand Order story. He’s such an amazing Nendo, the pictures just don’t do our King justice!


Well, that’s all I’ve got for now! I’ll have more Holiday Haul posts coming likely after Christmas cause, you know, gifts and such. But also who knows, cause another TOM packaged just arrived the other day that I’m just dying to show off bahahaha. Let me know if you’d like a closer look at any of the LTD ED sets, art books, or figures I featured in these past three hauls and I can totally do a separate review post on them just for you! I’d love to hear any thoughts on these pickups in the comments, too. Remember, ONLY but what will bring you happiness, and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

A Fall Haul (Part 2) ‚Äď Figures, Soundtracks, & Shirts || Amazon, Tokyo Otaku Mode, and More

Hello all!

Let’s not waste a minute of each other’s time and jump straight into things! This is the second half of my fall anime-related pick-ups. Be sure to check out part one here if you haven’t already, and without further ado, let’s dive in! And speaking of making a splash . . .

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We’ll start at the top with some soundtracks. Adding to my Tatsuya Kato¬†Free!¬†OSTs, here are the soundtracks for¬†The Bond¬†and¬†The Promise, as well as¬†High Speed – Starting Days.¬†LitaKino and I gab all the time about how great Kato’s work is, especially for¬†Free!, and now I’m just waiting on the season three soundtrack to arrive in the mail! Oh, and here’s a random soundtrack (“Volume 3” to be specific) for The Vision of Escaflowne, which has some of the series’ most iconic works by Yoko Kanno on it.

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The other soundtrack I picked up is technically a 4-in-1 for all of Sword Art Online seasons one and two by Yuki Kajiura. Y’all already know how much of a Kajiura fan I am, so picking this up was inevitable. What made me finally cave was seeing it for like $30 on Amazon or eBay, and when you consider that it’s basically four cours worth of excellent music, buying it was a no-brainer. It’s been my jam for the past month, and the set comes with a nice little full-spread illustration of all four arcs!

I’m someone who prefers subtlety when it comes to showing off my love for anime. Logos or silhouettes usually are enough for me, but I prefer an added creativity my anime shirts. One of my favorite purchases this month was this order of four shirts from TeePublic, an online graphic tee retailer that partners with artists and prints their designs on shirts. The site occasionally does these storewide discounts where all t-shirts are basically just $10, so it’s the perfect time to shop for otaku apparel. In the top left is a super retro-looking Evangelion-themed shirt with the show’s famous ED lyrics flying across space. Love the small details like the lance and the 5th Angel. To the right is a simple Ghost in the Shell tee inspired by the 1995 window scene. Clean and classic.

Bottom left is a fun Danganronpa x Starbucks blend which speaks for itself. (We proudly wear the queen across our chests, yes we do.) And the last one (and my personal fave) is this vintage-looking Ranma 1/2 shirt with female Ranma and P-chan in the center with Chinese design work around them. Something about the bright infrared and teal combo here makes this iconic duo so eye-catching, and because it is purposefully designed to look EXTRA anime and vintage-y, I totally love wearing it in public with a pair of black jeans.

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Onto the Nendos! Up first is Phichit Chulanont from the popular Yuri!!! On ICE. I had no initial intentions of picking this figure up, but after seeing him sittin’ there all cute in the background of Simply Gee’s videos, I eventually caved in. What really helped, however, was that Amazon was having some of Good Smile’s Orange Rouge figures on sale, so this lil’ guy was only $27 once you add in tax. He looks so pleasant just chilling there with his selfie stick on my shelf, I just love him!

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Here’s the other Orange Rouge I picked up from the Amazon sale. It’s the Uniform Version of little Kenma Kozume from¬†Haikyu!!, and he looks absolutely adorable standing with the rest of my cat-related items on my shelf. Again, I wasn’t ever planning on picking this guy up, but for just $15 I couldn’t say no! The coloring in his hair has always drawn me in, and I’m glad he’s such a low-maintenance Nendo to keep up with.

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Up next is Kino and Hermes from Kino’s Journey! Ahhh, this was such a long-awaited pick-up, and I’m so glad to finally have ’em in my collection. (You have no idea how quickly I added this to cart when TOM put up the re-runs.) This Kino is particularly modeled after how she appears in recent reboot, The Beautiful World,¬†so the model looks really pretty with all its deep green shades. The dark teal ombre in Kino’s hair is really gorgeous, and with so many accessories to play with, there’s lots of posing options with this one!

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Last but certainly not least for Nendos is Alice Synthesis Thirty from¬†SAO Alicization, and WOW is she a beaut! Like with Kino, there’s lots of variability in posing. With her golden petals dancing around her, this figure can take up quite a bit of space depending on how she is posed. While I think they could’ve done a better job with the special effect petals, I’m really happy with how the armor and coloring turned out. (She looks so fierce!) And once she’s be together with Kirito and Eugeo, the Rulid Trio will be complete! ;_;

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And the final figure I have for this haul is the “Age of Heroes” Shouto Todoroki figure. There’s nothing super special about this $20 prize figure, aside from the fact that I really like the face sculpt for this one. You might say he looks a little bland, and you’re not wrong, but I personally think he looks better than even some of the pricier Todoroki figures on the market. Anyway, here’s another one to add to the Todoroki shrine I’ve got building up, heh heh heh, and I don’t plan on stopping here!


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This second half is much shorter than the first, but I figured it was appropriate to divide it up anyway since the subject manner was so different. If you want me to get up and personal with any of these figures, let me know and I can make an entire post for them—same goes for any of the LTD ED Blu-ray sets I showed off in the last haul post! There’s lots to catch up on before winter gets underway over here, so I better end this before I get too carried away. Now just to clean all this up . . . oh the joys of having a collection, haha. ‘Til next time everyone!

– Takuto, your host

Only Three Months Left To Go . . . || Quarterly Update (Fall)

Hello all!

“It‚Äôs crazy to think that the next time I write an update like this it‚Äôll be October.” That’s how I ended my July quarterly update, and wow, those three months are now behind us. I hope everyone enjoyed a hot summer full of fun and freedom. I miss those days already, lemme tell you.

Anime watching has slowed immensely due to work, classes, research, and extracurriculars. While I have been able to keep up with simulcasts (mopping up the last few episodes as I write this), very few films or Blu-rays from my personal library were tackled these past couple months. ¬†With only three months in 2019 left to go, I fear that I will not have watched and read through as much as I would’ve liked.

On the other hand, the series I have gotten to enjoy were particularly awesome watches. Same goes for the few books that I’ve read. I’m sure you’re just itchin’ to know what I’ve been up to, so let’s get to it. Oh, but first, here’s the last reflection of my 2019 blog goals before December—and the last chance to improve before the end of the year is upon us!

Goal Reflection


#1 — Read More Posts

I am proud to announce (probably for the first time this year, actually), that I have successfully been keeping up with the blogging community! I usually check in with the reader every 3-5 days or so, and my home screen is for the most part free of to-be-read posts. Now, as school gets more and more intense post-midterms, I might have to bow out for a little bit. Until then, I’ve been enjoying keeping up with everyone like I used to once more.

#2 ‚Äď Write More Succinct Reviews Posts

Ok, so my OWLS posts are still fairly long, as are my reviews, but participating in The Animanga Festival will allow me to tackle this goal more appropriately. I’ve really loved throwing together little pieces for the festival and just sending them out there into the world. The spontaneity and brevity of each festival post falls much more in line with what I believe blogging should be about (as opposed to me pushing out long formalized essays). There’s nothing wrong with a hefty analytical post, but it’s quite nice to know that the posts over the course of this month will be written quickly, easily, and in vivo.

#3 ‚Äď Post More Often

Again, another goal that The Animanga Festival contributes to immensely! I wrote five posts in July, six in August, five in September, AND, looking ahead, TEN posts in October (if I keep to my schedule). Like I’ve said in each update, even posting four posts per month is huge for me, let alone six or even TEN. Half of those posts will be for the festival, but still—that’s five or six more posts more than the goal, so I’m calling this one a win for sure!

#4 ‚Äď Bring Back Cafe Talk

I ACTUALLY WROTE ONE. As I’ve reported in each update, this is one of my goals that I’ve been terrible at following through with. So, to have even a single one slip through the cracks is something I’m content with. (“Jeez Taku, that’s low standards.” Yeah yeah, I know :/) For what it’s worth, half of my festival posts practically fall under “Cafe Talk’s” range. But just so it doesn’t seem like I’m being to lenient with myself, I’ll surrender and wave the white flag to this one. Maybe the winter will bring more talks.

#5 ‚Äď Write More Haul/Collection Posts

I’ve posted THREE haul posts these past three months—that’s practically one a month, YEET. The reason you haven’t seen more lately is because I haven’t bought anything because I’m broke. My two July hauls and August birthday haul have been about it, so I’m confident that I’ve satiated this goal for now. I’m sure the winter season will bring more purchases—as it tends to do—and I’ll definitely share with you all my seasonal hauls!

What I’ve Watched


Continuing right where we left off mid-July, I finally got around to watching the classic Akira, and wow was it a trip. Like seriously, I was so excited to be able to write about it, only to be left without words by the end.

Two quieter titles from my shelves were used to sedate me after my long days at work:¬†Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World-, which I talked about in July’s OWLS post, and the spiritual¬†Mushi-Shi,¬†which I still have four episodes left before I review it. Both of these titles are beautifully atmospheric and thought-provoking, telling many traveler’s tales as they tread through their respective narratives.

For films, I FINALLY saw¬†A Silent Voice, and get this: I had taken notes throughout my watch of the movie . . . and then accidentally deleted them from the WP app (damn the system!). It’s tragic, it really is, so when I rewatch it someday, I’ll definitely let you know my thoughts. I saw the most recent¬†Yugioh¬†movie,¬†The Dark Side of Dimensions, with my brother and was hella impressed with all of it. In fact, looking back on the summer, it was probablly one of my favorite watches cause of the insane nostalgia and Seto FREAKIN Kaiba. I also watched and reviewed the thrilling¬†Perfect Blue, as well as¬†Origin: Spirits of the Past, a [long-awaited] watch I wasn’t expecting much from, and, well, didn’t get all that much from.

Somewhere in the heat of the summer was a recommendation from my sister, which we watched together:¬†Kiss Him, Not Me!. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD SHOW Y’ALL WHY DOESN’T ANYONE TALK ABOUT IT. I never published my own review of it from watching, so I probably shouldn’t be preaching to the choir. But yeah, good stuff. Same goes for¬†Tokyo Magnitude 8.0—now that’s some depressing shit, but really powerful writing, too.

My sister and I tore into Viz Media’s fifth set for¬†Ranma 1/2¬†while taking her to Texas for uni, which I’ll continue when the call for 80’s comedy hits again. Since we were on a South-bound road-trip, it was only natural that I’d start her on¬†Michiko & Hatchin, which I had to go and finish rewatching on my own cause DAMN that shit slaps so much harder now than it did years ago. (Thank you for the positive reception on that OWLS post btw! ^ . ^)

Also, and I was meaning to make a post about it, but I started¬†Dragon Ball! Like, the first one when Goku’s a kid! I never saw past the first thirteen or so episodes (with Emperor Pilaf) as a child, so it’s been kinda surreal seeing what happens next. I’m 30 episodes in and taking a small break from it for now, but it’s been fairly pleasant overall.

When the rainy season hit, I made sure to finally watch¬†Typhoon Noruda, which I reviewed and even wrote a “Cafe Talk” over! Really happy to have that one under my belt. The Blu-ray included a little short film on it, so I still have it out so I can get to that sometime soon.

Going back to the beginning, I’m currently working through my summer simulcasts, many of which are delayed since I’m watching them as a simuldub. I’ve finished Given and The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II, both of which will have reviews soon come hell or high water. Still waiting on the last dubbed episodes for¬†Astra Lost in Space, Fire Force,¬†and¬†A Certain Scientific Accelerator.

Oh, and I randomly watched the¬†Tokyo Ghoul¬†live action film the other night for some reason. Lots of fluids, but was actually pretty good. Maybe I’ll review it since Halloween and all, but we’ll see.

Lastly, the most influential watch for me as of late has been¬†Sword Art Online: Alicization, which started airing last year but I held off on to finish the books. I loved it, all of it. So much. Now that I’ve read the first half AND watched the anime for it, I’m excited to finally continue the epic story with the books, and pick up¬†War of Underworld¬†once I’ve finished reading those. Don’t worry: I’ve got not one but TWO Alicization¬†posts coming out at the end of this month alone, so please look forward to those!

I Played NieR:Automata in Three Days


Considering that I’m¬†not¬†a gamer, I thought this was worth sharing. After¬†Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, I was craving more apocalyptic cityscapes, which led me to this overgrown world of machines and androids. Three nights later and I’d played through all the major story routes (on easy, mind you). Yup, A-E my friend, and I freakin’ loved all of it. Seriously, this game is so good. It’s STILL stuck with me now, and I find myself often bouncing back between¬†Alicization‘s soundtrack and this one’s.

I was intending on writing a post chronicling my experience—and maybe that’ll still happen, I’d like it to—but we’ll see. I’m just still shook by it all. Ending C. Dammit A2, you turned me into an emotional wreck!

A Figure-Buying Addiction


Before I close out this update, I just wanted to inform you all that ya boi has spent waaaaaaay too much money on figures as of late. Seriously, I’ve been draining $150 purchases like #BUCKETS over at TOM (Tokyo Otaku Mode), and I think it’s about time I deleted the app or something cause I CAN’T KEEP SPENDING MONEY LIKE THIS. This is probably why anime-buying has slowed these past few months lmao.

In case you need to know how bad it is, from now till June 2020, I’m expected to receive TWO figures in the mail PER MONTH. And get this, SIX in JUNE. We ain’t talkin’ cheap prize figures either. No, for the most part, these are fancy $75 scales and $40+ Nendos (and one $120 statue of Shinra that broke my bank, lord help me). It’s become a problem, an addiction, and I probably need to stop. I don’t¬†need¬†three scale figures of Todoroki or Eugeo, but I NEED THEM.

Thank You For Five Wonderful Years


I’ll keep it short, but just last month,¬†Takuto’s Anime Cafe¬†turned five! I distinctly remember starting this blog back in high school sophomore year. Wild how far we’ve come together. I consider every single like, comment, share, and follow a blessing, as y’all totally don’t have to hang out here. But you do, and I can’t thank you enough for pulling up a chair and listen to some kid rattle on about anime.

It’s kind of been an unintentional tradition of sorts, but each year I’ve gained ~100 followers. As of writing this update, I’m sitting at 480. It’d be totally awesome if we could hit 500 by the end of 2019—and I really think we can do it, too!

Alright, I’ve talked too much. But, I suppose there was a lot to talk about this time around. So, I’ll keep on slogging through the reviews of stuff from the summer. In the meantime, you can also look forward to the Animanga festivities, my¬†Alicization¬†love letter posts, and eventually a fall simulcast line-up sometime soon. Can you believe it, fall anime are here! What the heck!

With cooler weather settling in my town and studies starting to kick it up a notch, I hope I’ll still be as present here as I’d like to. Next time we meet for one of these it’ll be to recap 2019 and welcome 2020. Ain’t that nuts? 2020. Huh. Well, please, feel free to share your thoughts on what I’ve been doing or what you’ve been up to this fall season down in the comments. Until that final update post, thank you so much for reading, and take care of yourself!

– Takuto, your host

Takuto’s Naka-Kon 2016 Haul and Recap!

Greetings all, it’s haul time~! First, let’s briefly talk about the convention itself.

This year was by far¬†Naka-Kon’s largest year for attendance. I believe it had about under 10,000 people per day, which is mind-boggling considering that last year, I believe there were 7,000 or 8,000 attendees. This was also the con’s greatest year for number of¬†guests, of which, I got to personally meet many!

The majority of panels this year were headed by the guest voice actors, very similar to years past. That’s not to simply ‘cast’ them aside, though (hehe, puns). My favorite two panels were Erica Mendez’s “DON’T LOSE YOUR WAAAAY” and surprisingly, Karen Strassman’s “Accents, Dialects and Voice Acting.” With Erica, her touching person-to-person interactions and meaningful responses made for a very entertaining late-hour sit-in. My favorite of all panels I visited, Karen’s regarding dialects, was not only informational, but hilarious and crowd-involving. She clearly knows her way around the human voice (could’ve said mouth, but yeah, no). After asking her for her autograph, she asked me for a hug. We basically became best friends. ūüôā

The vendor’s/dealer’s room, while it wasn’t a disappointment, could’ve been much better. I remember last year they had several “hundreds” of bins full of small anime figures. They were cheap in price and quality, but scrounging¬†through¬†those bins was a crap ton of fun. It was sad to see they weren’t there. Also, many of the artists were returners from last year, which was no surprise considering their talent, local access, and presumably, affordability. These artists had many of their same previous works, so there wasn’t a whole lot to look through in terms of art (not that they’re bad at all, heck no, we just had already seen many of them before).

In terms of technical aspects, I absolutely love the convenience of this smaller con being connected to the hotel we stayed at. Last year, like floor 18. This year, floor 7 (ah yeah, took like 30 sec to hit the ground floor). I had the entire map memorized by an hour into the night, and as such managing our time and making it into lines early enough was pud. Speaking of our arrival, we left just late enough to arrive at 9:30 PM, and entry time was 9:00 PM *facepalms* so we missed ALL of Friday’s activities. Yeah, it bites, but I still got to attend plenty of cool events, trust me!

But you came here for a haul post, didn’t you? Well then, let’s not keep you waiting!

*MIGHT NEED TO VIEW SLIDESHOWS IN BROWSER*

Saber Alter Prize Figure

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First up is this bad boy (woman, knight, spirit)! I’m actually not the biggest fan of Saber Alter, but I picked it up in a 2 for $45 deal. Initially, this was supposed to be that Asuka Langley Soryu I’ve proclaimed I’ve wanted for months now, and SHE WAS THERE, but after thinking, “Hey, let me scope out other prices here,” SHE WAS GONE!!! This was honestly the most stressful thing that happened to me. So instead, Saber came home with me, and I admit, she does look nice on my shelves. For being prize figure quality, this is clearly a grade B+ or even A figure. Solid build, nice metallic armor paint, though the hair lacks any shading. Minor details.

Eren Yeager Prize Figure

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I really like how this one turned out. This was the second prize figure in the 2 for $45 deal, and I’m more than happy how he turned out! The shading in the cloak’s ruffles is outstanding, and all of the paint details on the chest, jacket,boots, and leather skirt part are superbly done as well. I also dig the hair texture, though there is only a solid black layer over it. Details in the face, specifically the eyes, are crisp, much like Saber Alter’s. The only disappointments are the lazy paint-overs on the Wings of Freedom logo, in that the green was presumably just airbrushed over the cape without regard to the logo. This green mysteriously also shows up on the back of the jacket, so I’m not quite sure what happened here. Finally, the base is weak. Not in design, because it stands quite balanced, but in paint job and texture. Could’ve been better there, but for $45 dollars for TWO figures (my first “statue” figures, BTW!), I’m more than happy with everything. Eren sure is tall…

Pins: Chibi Souma and NERV

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If you might recall, I visited this same artist last year and bought a couple¬†Log Horizon pins and an¬†Attack on Titan¬†one. I love this artists style, and seeing lil’ Souma eating away was a must-have for me (my sister bought two more so we could achieve the 3 for $5 deal). And that second one is just delightful for Eva fans like myself. It was only $2, and I plan to stick it on my bag at home! Love puns, love pins ^.^

Evangelion AT Field T-Shirt

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So without Asuka, I had to compensate somehow for my lack of¬†Eva merch, and this T-shirt was my tipping point. In addition to getting my first figures, this is my first anime shirt! I “absolutely” love the classic, bright yellow-orange AT-field from the original over the print! It works phenomenally, and I cant’ wait to wear it around! Hopefully the print stays on for a looong time.

Wall Scrolls: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Negima!, and Kill la Kill (autographed)

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This one’s easy. An¬†Eva wall scroll for only $10?? C’mon, that’s as cheap as they come! Also, it features one of my favorite franchises in artwork I have never seen before. BAM, its mine! As for¬†Negima!, yeah, I just have a soft spot for the series. The sequel, as you might recall, was the first anime I ever watched, so finding¬†merch for it was pretty rare. The last one is one of my favorite art pieces for¬†Kill la Kill,¬†so getting that one in scroll form was an instant hit with me. I also got Erica Mendez, the wonderful English VA for Ryuko to sign it ‚̧

AUTOGRAPHS

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Warning: Lots of Text Ahead! @_@

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I’ll just list my experiences with each VA below in sequential order:

Erica MendezThis gal is as down-to-earth as you can get! She politely signed my LTD Vol. 1 release of¬†Kill la Kill¬† and even signed the scroll above. I think I’ll leave pictures of us out for now, but yes, she even took one with my sister and I. While at her table, I asked her about what it was like to be in the¬†Aldnoah.Zero dub, and she replied that it was her first-ever role in a mecha anime, so getting to voice a pilot was pretty exciting. Thought I’d ask her about something different just to stand out, hehe, so at her open Q&A panel, I asked her what it was like to voice a calmer role in contrast to Ryuko, like Akari Sakishima in¬†A Lull in the Sea. Erica¬†responded claiming¬†that she never thought she’d qualify as having an “older sister” voice, so to do it so early on in her career was sheer joy. Playing calmer characters brings her to a different level of understanding, she says, and especially in a slice-of-life/drama-heavy series like this one.¬†

Austin Tindle¬†I DID NOT realize how big of a goofball this man was! Hah, his first panel, which was supposedly his serious one, was a joke, but I had a fair amount of fun sitting through and getting to know the voice behind Accelerator and Shu Ouma. At his autograph table, I asked him to draw what my void from Guilty Crown¬†would¬†look like upon merely meeting me for the first time. Thus, the “Badass gun” was born, and you can read about that XDD I sent my brother and sister with¬†Index II and¬†Railgun S, respectively, to get signed, as they wanted to meet him yet had nothing with them. After, we took a picture where he drew out my void. I’m such a dork, but it was hilarious!

Micah Solusod –¬†Met this cool dude last year, and at his Q&A panel in 2015, I asked him what the most impactful¬†moment in the¬†RailDex¬†franchise was, to which he responded correctly with the finale of the Sister’s Arc in¬†Railgun S. So this year, I brought it up and told him about my meeting him last year (I was that self-proclaimed ‘RailDex kid’) and he remembered and was more than willing to fulfill the memory by signing my¬†Railgun S¬†part 2 DVD. Then we took a picture as “magical girls,” another ridiculous concoction from my stupid brain that made a lot of us laugh out loud! I also sent my brother with the same¬†Index II and my sister with the¬†Guilty Crown¬†artbook. She, not knowing what to sign, brought up Austin’s idiotic doodle, to which Micah fired with his own drawing. Love this guy ūüėÄ

Karen StrassmanComing in knowing her only as Kallen and Sola-Ui, this was otherwise a blind meet-up. We had extra time in our schedule to burn, so I suggested going to her dialect panel. BEST PANEL EVER! She’s such a compassionate, exciting, and generous person to be around, and after telling her so at her autograph table, she asked for a hug after signing my mini Fate/Zero pin-up and posing for a truly badass¬†picture. I’ll never forget this woman for as long as I live!

Ayu Sakata¬†After re-reading the schedule of events the night before, I realized that Apphia Yu did NOT have an autograph booth set up (I only realized she had her own booth supporting her visual novel AFTER the con). Thus, she became the rare find of the day. My mom, who had caught her and taken a picture with her earlier that day, was willing to run around to her booth and have my¬†Robotics;Notes part 1 and my brothers Airi art card signed. SHE DID BOTH, and upon my brother’s messaged request gave us a weather report (watch¬†Robotics;Notes¬†after¬†Steins;Gate, both excellent anime with fantastic dubs). 71 degrees. Thanks mom XD

Greg AyresI also met this cheeky guy last year, but being in that”gotta catch them all” spirit, I went ahead and got a ticket for this last VA, and boy was it worth it. This guy is such a joy every time I’ve spoken to him, so this time, I brought the first DVD and show I had ever bought/seen for anime –¬†Negima!?,¬†the SAVE edition. I told him my story and how I got my brother and sister into anime with it, and I believe he was touched (or at least I was) because he gave me an extra-special message that I’ll hold close to heart, forever. I also got No.6¬†signed because he was mah boy Shion in it, and¬†sent my sister with¬†Kokoro Connect¬†because she didn’t want to be awkward and have nothing. We took another picture, and that completed my 2016 VA-dex (Pokedex, anyone?)!!

The last thing I wanted to talk about was my cosplay of Mikaela Hyakuya – HUGE SUCCESS!!! Part of me wants to avoid pictures due to Internet security and stuff, but maybe if enough of you holler… Anyway, unlike last year, I had more people come up and as ME for a picture rather than me ask them. Can you believe that? Little ol’ me and my ugly mug, hah! It was so wonderful walking around as one of my current favorite characters, and I’m even more glad with the reception. Yes, I did buy it all (jeans, boots, and undershirt were mine), though I did have to modify a lot of the uniform and cloak accessories. Regardless, LOTS of cosplay experience was made, and it makes me want to try even harder next year – either make more props like swords and stuff, or even try make-up, who knows!

Thank you to ALL¬†those who made this event so memorable and all-around wonderful! To the guest voice actors and actresses who followed through with my stupid requests and spent the time to chat with me, an EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS!!¬†The con security was either body-guard-strict or bouncy and light-hearted, so I much preferred the latter of folks who volunteered with a NICE attitude. FINALLY, I want to thank Kausus of OtakuGamerZone and Crimson of MyFujoshiLife for capping this off as one of my most memorable years!! It was a pleasure – an honor – to meet such substantial figures in our small aniblogging community. I only wished we had more time set aside to sit down and chat, but we all came with our own groups so tension was high. Though¬†brief, our meet-up was LEGENDARY, and hopefully next time (if there is one), we’ll have more time to revel in the experience. Was I the person you expected to meet?? We should talk!

If you read this to the end, thank you very, very much! I feel I’ve been so out of touch with the community as of late, but hopefully that’ll change. As always, I enjoy talking to you, so leave a like and comment below about your own recent con experiences or¬†a simple hello! Anything cool you saw in my haul? VA autograph experiences? Let me have it all, and until next time everyone, this has been

– Takuto, your host