In the morning, the majority of the Company G staff left, and they wrote up nice things for me on a shikishi board.
I actually took today off to watch Wimbledon, and had my sister fill in as translator for the Director's panel and Artist's panel. But it took so long taking care of check-out for Company G, I missed most of it.
Then I met up with the GoH to go eat lunch.
We came back to the green room before we left together for the closing ceremony.
Ishiwatari was drinking Red Bull as he watched the dealer's room break down. Everyone else was napping. I spoke to Mana for a few minutes, but it was a very awkward moment. My sister knew him from before, and had introduced me, but then left me there... Thanks a lot, dear sister...
We all went to the closing ceremony, only to find out that the auction was still going on.
I felt a little bad, since the guests were watching how much people were willing to pay for something they drew/autographed.
After the closing ceremony the GoH went to dinner. I didn't go, since I didn't want to have AX pay for an extra person. (It looked expensive!)
So that's it for Day 4.
I spent the next few more days with some Company G staff members, but I can't write about it. I'll talk about it when they announce it.
Today the Company G staff got a "free" day so I took Imaishi, Nishigori, Manabe, Koyama, Wakabayashi, and Yoshinari to a tiny show called "Frank and Son."
I didn't want to hang around inside the stuffy warehouse, so I decided to drive around the area. It was in an area where I used to go watch movies and stuff when I was in high school, so I was feeling nostalgic.
I ate lunch on my own, figuring that the men won't be having any lunch. When I met them at 1:30pm, they confirmed it. They wanted to shop for about two more hours, so I suggested that I go buy some In-N-Out and they eat in the car. Imaishi said that would be perfect. I asked him if he was hungry, and he said: "I can endure being hungry but I can't endure not shopping."
So I bought them In-N-Out and they ate as I drove them back to Anime Expo for their autograph session.
You could see my burger at the bottom of this picture. Sadly, I didn't get to eat it because I was driving, and during the autograph session I didn't want to get my hands oily because I was handing out postcards. (In the picture, in-betweener San'nomiya is passing it out).
And this is San'nomiya getting an autograph. I guess he can't ask during work, so this is his only chance to get one.
After the autograph session, Imaishi, Nishigori, Manabe, San'nomiya, Otsuka, and I headed out to go to Universal CityWalk to watch Transformers 2.
On the way out, we took pictures with Gurren Lagann.
At the movies, all of them bought drinks and stuff. This is Imaishi being surprised how big the drink is.
After the movie we went to Cheesecake Factory, since some other AX guest told my guests that it was delicious. I kept telling them that it was nothing special.
And they later agreed with me. (I hope Cheesecake Factory is not reading this).
They (five of them) managed to finish two cheesecakes.
But Nishigori was regretting eating too much of it. I warned him about it, but he didn't listen...
We didn't see any fireworks. Only explosions from the movie.
Luckily I didn't have to translate... But since I didn't want to take up an extra seat, I stood for the whole time. I'm glad I ate before the attendees came in.
This was the Gurren Lagann table.
After that it was Universal Studios time for the Company G gang, so we all went. Except for Nishigori, who stayed behind to read a book.
Some staff members did not go inside Universal Studios but went shopping instead.
Director Imaishi and Mecha Designer Yoshinari bought toys.
After Universal we went to eat at Lawry's. I sat at a table with a bunch of young staff who didn't know how I knew the people of Company G. (I am close to the top three people at Company G, and not really the animators). So I explained it to them.
I accompanied Imaishi and Nishigori to the breakfast served for guests.
It was...Japanese food but not really.
I then split up with them to take care of the passes for the rest of the Company G staff. (Well, my sister went to go get them...I just had to make sure they can get on the shuttle and arrive at LACC).
Some of the staff got to ride the school bus one, and they were excited.
Then I went to Opening Ceremonies and met up with the GoH.
We went to the dealer's room to shop.
They are looking at ero-hon...
I saw Shugo Chara cosplayers so I took a picture:
After shopping we went to eat at In-N-Out.
Huge bite out of a double double.
We then went to a supermarket.
We got in trouble later for taking pictures...
Then we went back to the convention for the focus panel.
I was sitting to the right of Imaishi.
This Simon had a moving drill!
I thought it was funny that someone asked about Evangelion, since they hardly worked on it. I tried to explain that Imaishi was only an in-betweener then, but it didn't work. Hee hee hee.
We then had an autograph session.
Some people thought I was my sister and apologized...no need! I'm sure we look the same when I don't have my glasses on.
And thank you for the compliments about the Company MG booth :)
We had a Buuta cosplayer.
Cute! She was at Fanime 2008 too...check my old posts for a picture of her in a panel.
We had take-out dinner from CPK, along with Gundam 00 director Mizushima.
After dinner we hurried to watch the ending of the Gurren Lagann movie (part 1) screening, so the GoH could see the fan reaction. They LOVED the reaction!
Thank you to all those who came and watched.
The GAINAX panel was after that.
Other than Manabe, Imaishi, and Nishigori, Sushio and Otsuka joined too. (They didn't talk much, though).
The GoH enjoyed this panel more than the first one, because the crowd was more lively and I guess the GoH were relaxed this time, since it was their second panel.
There was an Anti-Spiral cosplayer.
The panel had a "surprise" which was the presentation of a trailer for "Hanamaru Kindergarten," which is a project by Company G and director Mizushima.
The trailer they showed was subtitled just for AX attendees!
Today I got up early to watch the final episode of Gurren Lagann. My sister watched it with me.
Then we drove to Westin Bonaventure in our rental minivan. During the ride, I discovered that my GPS was broken. I need to buy a new one...
The AX staff were picking Company G up at the airport, and we were to meet them at the hotel.
When they arrived, we tried checking in...that was our first obstacle. All the rooms were screwed up!
I must say here, for claiming to be a high-end hotel, the Bonaventure HAS THE WORST SERVICE EVER. The man who was checking us in kept saying, "I can't help you, I don't know what I can do for you," and he was horrible.
We had to get AX Green Room manager, Nam, to resolve things. I'm glad my sister came along with me, who was only there to say hi, because she took care of it with Nam and Takeda-san (CEO of Company G) while I went to the press junket with the Guests of Honor.
The press junket was pretty interesting. It must've been hard for character designer Nishigori because he couldn't sleep on the plane and was very tired. But he answered all of the questions with very good answers. So please check some of these websites for their interviews: Anime Genesis Anime News Network The-O Network Anime Vice
One of the press came dressed as Asuka, so they took a picture with her.
The people of UTB (United Television Broadcasting) also came and interviewed in Japanese. They are the people who show anime on TV here in Southern California on channel 18.2. Currently, I think they are showing Haruhi, The Third, and Dice. They're gonna start showing true tears and sola soon.
After the press junket, they went to the Guest of Honor dinner. I didn't go because I wanted to make sure that the 40+ staff of Company G could check in. Some of them had to stay at the Marriott across the street because the Bonaventure had run out of rooms.
Then we ran into another problem... My sister, who went to the registration hall to retrieve the badges for all of the Company G staff, called and said that the convention did not have their names in the system.
It was a great start for a long week, but I was telling Takeda-san that it would only get better from here, so it was okay.