I recently came back from another trip to Tokyo and have a lot I’m excited to write about. The highlight of my trip was most certainly AnimeJapan. Celebrating 5 years in 2018, I attended the fourth day of the four-day event on March 25. It was my first time attending a Japanese convention, but even with years of American anime conventions under my belt, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer mass of the event.
Some background: AnimeJapan is a 150,000+ person event held in Odaiba’s Tokyo Big Sight. You don’t realize what a big number that is until you’re actually there. AnimeJapan is nearly impossible to move in, sometimes frustratingly so. Think of the vendor halls at American conventions, but 5x that in the same space. You don’t get anywhere quickly. Actually, you don’t even get in all that quickly. I arrived an hour before doors only to stand in the world’s longest line – about 2 hours long before I actually got in.
There’s a lot going on in the main halls; merchandise sales, concerts, industry speakers, exhibitor booths with free handouts, and so much more. You certainly accumulate a lot of free goodies while passing booths, and event-exclusive goods for purchase also go fast. It’s one of those event where if you want to do everything you’d like, you really gotta plan it out beforehand.
My primary reason for going were the seiyuu events. I’m a simple girl, I love seiyuu. Pretty people with pretty voices, what’s better than that? Beforehand, I managed to get in my top four picks through the lottery! Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice one due to time overlap, but I still got to go to the three I was most excited about.
Persona 5 the Animation with Jun Fukuyama, Mamoru Miyano, Nana Mizuki, Ikue Otani, Tomokazu Sugita, Rina Sato, Aoi Yuuki, Haruka Tomatsu, and Soichiro Hoshi
My first one was Persona 5, which I was pretty nervous about because Jun Fukuyama is tied for my favorite voice actor. On top of that, I was in the seventh row…!!! I could see them so clearly, and I was geeking out the entire time. Whatever. They were all so sweet and funny and perfectly encapsulated their characters.
- Mamoru ruthlessly made fun of Nana, a true Ann/Ryuji relationship
- Mamoru also made jabs at Morgana, whom Otani-san would always defend passionately
- Mamoru (yes, he’s a show stealer) danced to the P5 music whenever possible and Jun would keep laughing… too cute
Godzilla the Animation with Mamoru Miyano, Takahiro Sakurai, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuki Kaji, and Junichi Suwabe
I had about an hour between Persona 5 and this one, and was actually thinking about skipping it because it ran so close to the Natsume panel after it. But I figured I couldn’t come all this way and not see my most favorite seiyuu, Sakurai, so I ended up in the ninth row right in front of Sakurai. Was I dying? Yes.
- Mamoru came out first walking like Godzilla and everyone followed suit
- There was a idol concert happening across the hall that kept overpowering them so they sang their answers louder in return… even Sakurai
- At some point Sakurai took his blazer off and rubbed his nipples over his shirt, take that as you will
- I don’t want to be self-serving but Takahiro Sakurai definitely looked at me and probably wondered how some lost foreigner got there
- Yuki Kaji is the cutest
Natsume Yuujinchou the Movie with Hiroshi Kamiya, Kazuhiko Inoue, Kazuma Horie, Ryohei Kimura, Hisayoshi Suganuma, and Rina Sato
Back to back with Godzilla was Natsume Yuujinchou! Natsume is one of my favorite anime, so I was really excited for this one, especially because it would be announcing new details about the movie. I met Kazuhiko Inoue at AWA in Atlanta, so something about seeing him again in Japan felt very comforting. It was my first time seeing Kamiya however, and he has an aura unlike that of his colleagues. Something about him is extremely elegant and peaceful.
- It was Inoue-san’s birthday eve, so we all got to sing happy birthday to him!
- The movie trailer made my eyes well up… lol
After the seiyuu events, I was emotionally overwhelmed and trekked everywhere to cover my bases and happened to stumble upon Yuki Kaji giving a small industry talk in the general area. I stared at how cute he was for a while, then kept walking and found… Sakurai!! With Natsuki Hanae and Ryota Osaka, who I also both love. And promoting Ace of Diamond which is my latest obsession. Talk about a lovely coincidence! While no pictures of seiyuu are generally allowed, I had to take one, just as a memento. Sorry Anime Japan.
I’ll let the rest of the photos speak for themselves. Would you like to go to a convention in Japan, or is it too different from what you’re used to?