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My plans for 2011 February 16, 2011

Posted by coolmikeol in Other/TO.com news.
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This year is going to be very different from other years for me because I have plenty of Japan related events I’m going to. I’ve only been into Japanese Culture since 2007 but haven’t really explored anime conventions and related events. In 2010 I made a big step forward in my interests toward Japanese culture by joining my local anime club at my university. So far it’s been a great club, me being able to talk to others with similar interests about anime and video games and more. I really enjoy being with others who know what I’m talking about, sort of like a real life forum. One of my anime club’s slogans I remember when I joined Spring semester 2010 was “AnimeFX, it’s what you do between cons.” or something like that. When I joined the club, I felt that in comparison with the rest of the members, my interests in anime and Japanese pop culture were very small because everyone knew so much while I knew so little about various topics of Japanese pop culture. Over the course of 2010 and up to now, my interest and passion of Japan has grown to the point of where I’m really making it a part of my life, one step at a time.

This is going to be my first year attending big official anime conventions. (I don’t really count that Hypercon I went to last year, nor do I count the Cherry Blossom Festival due to it not being a specific event just for J-pop culture topics like anime, cosplay, etc.) The first one I’ll be be attending will be Animation on Display 2011 (AOD for short) and it happening on February 19-20 at SF Japantown”s Kabuki Hotel. I’m going with friends from my anime group and I’m glad, since it’s my first time I feel better going with people who I know who have gone before. I’m gonna get there early and try to volunteer a bit with a friend to get a refund on our registration fees. Its also good experience that I could use in working for other cons. I guess I’m just a bit nervous about volunteering in a con without actually being in one. What comforts me in going to this con, besides being with friends, is that it’s in a place I’m familiar with and that it’s not as big as Fanime. I’ll be doing a post about AOD ASAP after the convention, though I’ll take a few days to upload photos to Flickr and write up the post so expect a post about AOD within a week after the February 19-20 weekend.

I guess the next Japan related event I’ll be going to after AOD will be the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) 2011, back at good old SF Japantown. I know that it may be a bit boring to always go to the same place, but I enjoy visiting Japantown every time I visit. Its always in April during the time when the Sakura are in full bloom for the spring season, and it runs this year on Saturday and Sunday, April 9 & 10, 16 & 17. I’m going of course and I’ll be going both weekends, at least two days on April 9th and 17th. The 17th is the day of the grand parade where they have floats and many cosplayers around. I’ll be doing a post on the Cherry Blossom Festival as well, and will break it into two posts on Figure.fm, but will do one overall post when the whole event is over. Please mind that the photos take a while to process and upload to Flickr so it will take time to get the post up, probably within a week after the event.

In May, I’ll be attending for the first time Fanime 2011, which I consider my first real big anime convention. It is located in San Jose which is located on the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m going with my friends in my anime club so I won’t be alone. The big difference about this event from other events to me is that it is outside of San Francisco. I’ll be dealing with a few major issues such as lodging and transportation, two important things I’ll need to work out, especially if I plan to go to Anime Expo 2011 in Los Angeles. Anyways I know I’ll have fun because it’s better than staying home, and Fanime’s timing is perfect because it’s just after my semester ends at my college so it will be like an reward for my hard work. I will do a post, and of course will take time to get everything uploaded so expect a post about it in early June.

When I heard that blogger Danny Choo was at Anime Expo 2010, I felt as if that a chance to meet him without going to Japan was gone. However, I became extremely excited to find out that he is in fact attending Anime Expo 2011. Going to AX clearly will have obstacles for me to deal with, such as transportation and lodging and all the costs in between, it will be one hell of a challenge. Though all of this, I’m still determined to go if I can. I know that going mainly to see Danny Choo may be a stretch, but for me it will be worth it. Danny is very inspirational, advising to “Identify and live your passion”, to move forward to the future by not staying in the comfort zone; he has a great sense of humor in his posts and videos; and has a way to connect to his readers in a more personal way, probably because he was just like us at our age. That is why I plan to go to Anime Expo 2011. While I have not made plans yet, I’ll work them out early and hopefully go with others so I won’t go alone and maybe share a room, I don’t know yet. What I do know is that I’ll try to go and that I’ll be incredibly disappointed if I miss another chance to see Danny Choo and get to go to another anime convention.

As you know, last semester I took my first steps into learning Japanese by taking first semester Japanese at my college. I did well by getting a B,  but thought I wouldn’t get to continue my studies in second semester Japanese due to other classes taking priority. Well, various things happened to give me a chance at taking second semester Japanese and I took it. The first couple of weeks I was struggling to keep up with the class due to I not reviewing my first semester Japanese stuff, so I felt a bit lost. Now at the fourth week I feel I’m back on track with the class, though reviewing the old stuff I learned should be on my to do list. So far the class is not that bad, though I really would of preferred my senseis from last semester. My current senseis don’t speak English as clearly as last semester’s ones and don’t really have a structured learning system that was easy to follow like last semester’s either. The TA to my sensei is originally a English Teacher to Japanese students in Japan so he is used to teaching in that way, and he likes to always keep reminding us that we are doing well in class and to practice constantly to make learning easier. Both senseis this semester are funny but it will be a bit hard to learn Japanese due to the reasons stated than last semester, but as long as I self study and attend classes I’m sure I’ll do well enough for a B grade again.

Overall this, well, I guess first half of this year will be a busy one. My main concern for all of the anime conventions is money. I’m not really in a good economic situation (like many others around) so saving money will be key for me between conventions. I don’t think I’ll be buying too much at cons anyway, besides food, but I’ll never know if I’ll find something I really want. I always tell people that the most important things for me to get at any place are pictures, which are free! (Thank goodness for digital storage!) I like blogging because I like to share my points of views and my experiences with others with like minded people, and the internet is full of them. Pictures are no exceptions, every picture I take I believe are screen shots of my own perceptive which I can share. I enjoy the feedback on conversations online because it’s a way to connect to others in many different places around the world. That is what I believe a blogger is.

Look forward to all the upcoming posts from various Anime Conventions/events from me in the year of 2011!

P.S. – Depending on my circumstances I may attend more events than I mentioned here. Just keep checking my blog for updates about other events that I go to.



1. Dark_Sage - February 18, 2011


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