I have a few more memories to write about the Los Angeles trip, mostly not Anime Expo related, except for this first one! The Toshiyuki Morikawa panel (which I saw by "accident" while waiting for the Morning Musume panel) was thoroughly excellent, and Dae and I both enjoyed it. Morikawa is a tremendously famous Japanese voice actor, who has hundreds of credits to his name, not only in the anime field, but also live-action dubbing (he is even the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the dubbed Star Wars films). He is best known as the voice of Sephiroth, the ultimate evil villain in the Final Fantasy series of video games, and he definitely has a huge fan base! The crowd was absolutely enamored with everything he had to say (one girl sitting next to me was so excited that she felt she needed to translate everything to me as he said it, even though there was a professional translator doing the same thing). The fan questions were great, since they were mostly requests to do voices. My favorite was a girl named Daphne who asked him to use the voice of Sephiroth and ask her to marry him. Morikawa loved the request, and did his evil laugh with a sinister "Daphne! Kekkon shite kuru!" It was pretty awesome!
In addition to all the time with Dae in Anime Expo lines, we had a fun time in Little Tokyo after the concert. We got to shop around a bit (I bought a cheap Godzilla toy) and listen to a live sax/keyboard combo, then we had some great sushi (including some incredible hamachi sashimi with shiso leaf, plus plenty of sake!). Also during the trip we got to hang out with Ernesto two nights, and had a wonderful time drinking and catching up! On the 4th of July, Ernesto got us into a super-fancy party in a neighborhood near Hollywood, since his sister's friend is married to a rich (and generous) lawyer. The house was built in 1935, and the interior decorating looks like a magazine (I should have taken photos inside, but I didn't want to snoop!). The backyard has a beautiful pool, tons of Adventureland style plants, and the place was buzzing with caterers delivering hors d'ouvres, as well as serving a full dinner and dessert, and of course an open bar with expensive Balvenie scotch! I got to talk with Ernesto's dad and sister, and we all had a blast watching the fireworks (from a nearby country club). I always have so much fun with my LA friends - it's no wonder I'm always ready to make the trip!
View photos: Los Angeles Pals 2009