KAC Takes on AniMinneapolis 2017

Hey guys! So the weekend of May 26th through May 29th I was in Minneapolis, Minnesota attending the yearly anime convention AniMinneapolis. It is an anime nerds heaven. I got to do and experience so many awesome things that I am certain you will be as excited about as I am! If you didn't know already, this was my first anime convention. I was supposed to go to AniMinneapolis 2013 but was unable to attend due to work restrictions. This year was different. Plus I got to attend with Taylor and Kenzie. And I guess after seeing me interact with the voice actors as well as finding out who is retweeting my stuff on Twitter did they realize that this is an actual job for me...I'll get into that a bit more in my next blog post. Promise. However, if you think this con was without difficulty, think again. I have stories about difficulties too! Let's get this started!


Friday May 26th

It was a long trip (okay I'm totally lying...it wasn't that long...I'm from St. Paul, MN...) to the convention held at the very beautiful Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. We got in at around 11 (now mind you, I am running on like 2-3 hours of sleep because I worked at the vet clinic from 7 AM-6 PM and then I went to the Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales midnight [actually 1:10 AM] premiere which ended at 3:30 AM and I was awake to finish last minute things at 6 AM...) and were able to make our way up to the hotel room we had. It was a bit of a tight space with the three of us but we managed.


We decided that eating was going to be a big priority, so since nothing we really wanted to do started until later, we would hit up the streets of Minneapolis in search of food. We shopped for some easy groceries at Target (I felt like I was in a big city because I have never been in such a large Target...and I'm from the capital of Minnesota!) and then we stopped by Chipotle for some grub. This gave us time to go upstairs at the hotel, eat, and then make our way to the Vendor room. I wound up buying a couple of items that I will show off later. (see merch section at the end of the blog) After meandering for a bit we decided we needed to head up to the room to deposit our goodies and make our way to our first panel.


I'm actually sad I couldn't duplicate myself because then I could hit up multiple panels at once. However, I am okay with the first panel I went to since it was the one and only Greg Ayres. He is a seriously funny guy and I've always loved his characters. This panel titled "Swim Trunks, and Ravers, and Bears - Oh My!!" was a Q&A session with Greg. He gave a bit of insight into his work in the anime community, his work with two different big name companies (Sentai and FUNimation), as well as his friendship with Monica Rial (and if you know anything about KAC...she is well loved here). I left the panel so happy about attending that I decided I would attend his 18+ panel later that evening. We made our way back up to the room to decide what it was we wanted to do next.



After changing into my second outfit of the day we decided to attend Greg's autograph session in which I finally got one of the twins' signatures on my volume 3 of Ouran High School Host Club. When I was supposed to attend AniMinneapolis with my best friend when Todd Haberkorn was here, he was supposed to sign the copy and then whenever I got to meet Greg he would also sign. So now I just need to meet Todd to get his signature. Now we had to run quickly after the signing because Kenzie and I really wanted to attend Tyler Walker's "Directing and Auditioning in Anime" panel. I was really bummed that we couldn't stay for the whole panel because the guests attending the panel who were sitting behind us were being extremely rude and talking throughout the entire thing. It was very informative and I definitely recommend attending any panel he has like this at a convention near you because he is an awesome director and he's been doing this for years. Plus Heather attends and she talks like she is part of the panel despite not having a mic and it is super adorable. Who is Heather? Well...just wait and see ;).


So by this point we are hungry again so we head back to the room to decide what we want to eat. After settling on pizza, I had to rush out of the room before the pizza got here because I was going to run late for the Greg Ayres 18+ panel! If you are over the age of 18 and get the chance to attend one of these panels...do it. He is so fucking funny and has the most hilarious stories. I won't talk about any of them because they are definitely not...appropriate for me to talk about, but they are hilarious to listen to him talk about. Especially if you know what Greg's voice sounds like...hearing him swearing so much is just funny in and of itself. It was well after 11:30 when I made it back to the room. By this point I was tired and starving. So I quickly showered, put on a Korean face mask, and chowed on some pizza as Taylor and Kenzie watched some Korean Dramas. I crashed hard this night. I didn't even realize that Taylor and Kenzie left to go to a party.

Saturday May 27th

I was up way too damn early this day. I had every chance to sleep in but I was wide awake by 7 in the morning. So I made myself a cup of coffee and did my hair. This was going to be a big day for me! So know one thing...the first panel of the day we were attending wasn't supposed to start until 11. That meant more than enough time for them to get up and go about their day....yeah nope. Taylor and Kenzie were sound asleep (like I said...I didn't realize they went to a party the night before). Because they were still in bed I headed down and went to the panel room. I was kind of glad that Taylor and Kenzie didn't come with to this panel because they would have been so bored since neither one of them has seen or read much of Fairy Tail. The panel I was attending was Heather and Tyler Walker's Fairy Tail Panel. If you don't know Tyler Walker is the ADR director for the fantasy series from Funimation and his beautiful wife Heather plays many roles in the series but most notably is she Gemi and Mary Hughes. If you ever get the chance to sit down with these two and chat about Fairy Tail...you will be enthralled. They love the series as much as we do! You kind of have to in order to work on it for as long as Tyler has. It is his baby. Though he kept talking about how Pantherlily is one of the most under appreciated characters and it got me itching to draw him...Problem is...I haven't drawn in a while and I don't know where my drawing stuff is.

Sadly that panel was only 50 minutes long. I had to rush out and leave before they took a group picture (which you can find on Heather and Tyler's social media pages) to go wake up my roommates. They were finally awake when I made it back but they were still getting ready, so I decided to get dolled up to hit up the next event which was the Heather and Tyler Walker autograph signing. I tweeted a picture (shown here):


And Tyler, Heather, and their friend Katie all retweeted it! I was so excited! Then when we finally got down and in line both Heather and Tyler looked up "oh, it's Kat". I just about died on the inside. They had been retweeting and liking pictures all day but to remember little ol' me...That's just the coolest. We got to talking about my Celestial Keys (which I've owned for YEARS) that Heather and Tyler signed for me. Then I pulled out something I was really wanting Tyler to sign. My copy of Phantom. If you guys remember the day I bought this DVD I was so excited because this is one of my favorite shows. It is also where I fell madly in love with Newton Pittman. Let me tell ya...the Walkers love him just as much as I do. Heather and I were gushing about how good looking he is! I laughed saying that it was because of Newt that I love Gray from Fairy Tail so much! (remember that time I had that Gray picture as my lock screen for the longest time??) The best part though (after Heather complimenting my dress of course) was getting to take a picture with both of them! If you ever get the chance to meet these two, I highly encourage you take that chance! They are both very nice.






After leaving the signing, we were getting ready to go to the "Whose Line Is It Anime?" event in the main hall. However I noticed as we waited in line that everything was annoying me, I was complaining about the smallest things, and I was having a hard time breathing. It hit me that I was in the middle of a panic attack. I apologized to Kenzie and Taylor before quickly running to our room. I just couldn't handle being around anyone. The largest problem with attending large conventions or events is that I need to be able to step back and say no. The problem was that I had so much I wanted to do that I pushed myself even when I knew I was at my limit and the unfortunate result was a panic attack. So I when I made it back to the room I laid down and watched Fairy Tail while just laying in bed. By the time that Taylor and Kenzie made it back, I was feeling better. We then decided to head to the panel rooms. They were going to the Ouran panel and I was hitting up Heather's Q&A. I had a lot of fun at their panel. Watching them interact but most of all I loved everything that Heather was saying! And if you are curious about my thoughts...wait until I upload a blog post inspired by what she said! (Hint; That is the next non-k-pop blog post).




This was sadly the last panel I attended this day because I was very drained from the long day, particularly from the panic attack I had. So I just stayed in my room for the rest of the night watching anime.

Sunday May 28th


Again, I woke up way too damn early. Though because it was closing day, there really wasn't a whole lot to do. I only attended one panel. I attended the All-Kill Kpop panel. I realized how very little k-pop is actually known. There was only one other person in the room who knew and liked VIXX. Everyone was all SISTAR, BTS, BLACKPINK, MONSTA X or the newer groups like ASTRO etc. No one really knew or talked about the groups that I love. Except this one awesome guy who was ALL about INFINITE. Dude was rocking an Infinite backpack, an Infinite hat, and even an Infinite pillow. I don't remember who he said his bias was, but dude was fucking awesome. It was really cool watching all the people dance to k-pop songs during random dance play. They knew a lot of dances. There was also a quiz, I came in 5th place. I got a few questions about groups I didn't know wrong. The sad thing was...there was only one VIXX question "Who is the leader of VIXX?". That was the easiest damn question ever! It made me wonder what a Kat's Anime Corner panel would be like. I'd probably have to have 2 panels. One for Anime and the other for K-pop. That will never happen though. 


After the panel was finished, I went down to the dealer room where I purchased some last minute goodies. Including some Soul Eater goodies for my little sister where I coincidentally ran into Chuck Huber! I had missed his autograph signing the previous day but he was hanging out doing autographs then. I wish I had known because I would have brought D. Gray-Man down for him to sign...but I didn't, I then headed back to the room to drop off my goodies and Taylor and Kenzie were ready to head down to look some more.





There we met the coolest girl ever! She was an artist who was ALL about K-Pop...well anime too but we mostly talked about K-Pop! She is very talented and I would love to know more about her! I wish I had money so I could have bought something from her but I did pass on my card. Her name is Chloe and she is a BIG SHINee fan. Loves them dearly. Kenzie bought a "Jungshook" button from her. They were her most popular. Follow her here: Twitter or Instagram

After that we were essentially done. So we went back to the room and relaxed. Then Taylor and Kenzie went out for dinner at Hell's Kitchen with some friends. Again, I'm not a big fan of being around strangers so I opted to stay in the hotel room and watch anime. They were very sweet and brought me back a Bacon Cheeseburger. They are too good to me.





Monday May 29th

Essentially now there is no one left at the hotel except staff...or that's what I thought. Check-out was at 12 pm so we were finishing up packing and cleaning our room (it's rude to leave your hotel room trashed). Kenzie ran down to buy coffee and wait for us down there. Taylor and I made sure we had everything and made our way down. As we were waiting by the front desk for Kenzie, Taylor realized she forgot our fruit in the hotel room. She ran up quickly. I was left alone with ALL the luggage and as I was standing there I thought I saw Greg Ayres walk past me. I turn around and sure enough he is standing there waiting for his car to come pick him up. I just about died. I couldn't leave my bag and Kenzie was no where to be found so I didn't want to be rude and yell at him hi from across the lobby. I wish I could have said hi to him. I later tweeted about it...he said I could have said hi...missed chances guys...missed chances. 


Overall it was one hell of an amazing weekend and I would love to do it again...with more monetary planning of course. Would you guys attend AniMinneapolis? Also, if you attended this year...did you see me at all? I was mostly down in the dealer room wandering around. I hope I get to go again next year...and maybe at some point I'll be cool enough (or have enough courage) to run a panel!

That is it for now! I know that I promised to have my Heather Walker post up shortly but I haven't been the best blog mom and it is still in progress...So unfortunately I won't. However the coolest part is that I get to post my last Korean Break post on June 30th! I still don't have any plans for what I will write on my July 27th post. What should I do for my birthday this year? Let me know on Twitter. 

Well that's all for this time. Until next time!

Ja ne!

xx Kat
=^.^=

Update 6/22/2017

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