Here’s the extra article about my experiences with more though details of what happened in the two panels I attended.
The first panel I attended was one I did not know was even happening. I was originally wanting to wait in line for the panel that followed this one, buy a volunteer said there was no line and recommended just sitting through it and keep the seat for trigger. Considering who the guess was, I was game.
The panel opened with Ayako Kawasami cosplaying Saber in her casual clothes when. Her entourage then followed her on stage, all of them cosplaying in the many outfits of Saber. One in her business suit, one in her normal armor, and one in her heaven’s feel armor. It looked pretty legit seeing four Saber on stage. After the introductions and some ice breakers (what Kawasami was planning to do in LA), she started answering fan questions.
I’m not sure how common this is, but a lot of the fans asking questions were asking it in Japanese. Some could actually talk a fair amount before giving up and reverting back to English in the end, and others I’m not sure if they just memorized the question in Japanese to ask it. Anyway there were an interesting mix of questions, so here are some the interesting things said during the panel.
Note I’m about to paraphrase some of the questions asked and what she said, based on what I can recall. It may not be exactly what she said, but something close to or along those lines.
- Apparently when asked what was her most memorable moment about playing Saber, she said it’s the first line Saber says when she first meets Shirou. Since it’s the same line every time, it’s important for her to get right.
- When asked what she feels is the difference between Fate/Zero Saber and Fate/Stay Saber is, she said that one is ten year older than the other…. She apparently doesn’t really refer to Saber as changing, but says the Saber in Stay is just a continuation of the one in Zero so nothing is different.
- One fan asked since she has been Saber for many years, is there any type of role she wants to play and hasn’t really gotten to voice? Apparently Kawasami is interested in a role like Caster. She said she wants to play a more evil and sinister role.
- Another asked, being Saber for a decade, if anything has changed for her approach on how to portray Saber. Her overall approach has not changed, but her attitude has. Due to increased popularity, she is more pressured to please the fans, but at the same time feels inspired by it.
- According to Kawasami, she was a big fan of movies and television when she was a kid. Apparently one day she heard someone voice a character on television, and that’s when she decided to become a voice actor. Interestingly enough, she was never formally trained to become a voice actor. Most of the time to this day she ends up learning how to Svoice as she goes.
- She feels she does not create the character of Saber, but instead gives a character that’s already been created and animated a voice.
- She believes, hypothetically, Saber and Kirisugu would have a better relationship if Shirou would have been around. They probably would have also had more than 3 conversations (she actually did say something along those lines during the panel).
- She actually had someone train her in order to learn to say Excalibur the way she does in the show. She specifically mentioned pausing in between Ex and Calibur.
Right after that panel was the Trigger panel. Overall I would say this was the highlight of day 1 of anime expo for me. The audience was full of lively energy. Basically like whatever Trigger animates.
One of running themes throughout the panel was how surprising it was to Trigger of the amount of love they get from western fans. At one point one a director at Trigger (sorry I’m not good with names) even asked the audience why westerns loved Kill La Kill.
One brave soul answered on the behalf of all westerners. What I remember, he basically said, “For years, anime had been described as being stale. Then Kill La Kill came out and showed westerners otherwise.”
Trigger then proceeded to debut a new anime short for Japan Animator Expo, titled Sex and Violence with Mach Speed.
With a name like that, you would expect something inappropriate. Aware of this, Trigger ended up showing an edited “G” version of the short. Overall the short was bizarre with sharks, gorillas, and women.
There was weird cartoon violence and car chases. Apparently they realized with the edits some of short might not make sense. Some of the technical aspects of the short were explained. Like how there were no background artists, and the entire short was limited to using five colors. Apparently the inspiration of the short came from the director’s love for toys, so the entire short is apparently romance between a shark and a love doll? Yeah I was confused also. Speaking of toys, someone at Trigger pointed out any characters with weird designs in Ninja Slayer is probably because the same designer is the same director who added toys, so they added things that makes the characters seem toy like.
Later they showed Momoiro Clover Z vs KISS (MCZ vs Kiss), which I believe you can find online. Overall, it was an interesting music video.
They wrapped up by reminding everyone of the world premier of Little Witch Academia 2 was the next day (which you can definitely bet I’ll be there). By the way they admitted that production of Little Witch Academia 2 was just finished literally 3 days before the panel and that no one has actually seen the final product yet, so they hope that what premiers is good enough. (This seems really remnant of the last couple episodes of Kill la Kill)
They then had a surprise to wrap up. A short that’s never been shown in Japan yet. A short they believed us Westerners would love, considering the positive relationship Trigger has with that audience. They showed Inferno Cop vs. Little Witch Academia (not sure of actual title but this is what it felt like). The crowd was ecstatic, and I personally was pleasantly surprised. I learned new things about Witch Academia, like it’s located in North America. A quick summary of the short, Inferno Cop fights Sucy, in the animation style of Inferno Cop. If you like Inferno Cop, adore Little Witch, then you should know what you’re in for.
But wait they had one more surprise. Trigger announced pre-production had begun on their fourth original series, and that they had a sneak peek. For five glorious seconds, the audience saw concept art for 2 male and 2 female characters, a city background, and coming soon.
Anyway that wraps up my tiring day 1 experiences. Stay tuned for more.