It's now Monday, the beginning of the week, and this past weekend is a weekend in which I'll remember forever!
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I attended the Japanese Culture and Anime Convention, Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Although there was quite a few slip ups this year as well as disorganization, I still managed to have fun attending some of the panels, fashion events, meeting old and new friends, the guests, and much more.
Here's my second Anime Matsuri experience for this year!
Houston based Anime Matsuri is the 9th largest Anime and Japanese Culture convention within the United States. With an impressive guest list of well known voice actors such as Stephanie Sheh (Sailor Moon) and Luci Christain (Super GALS, Kaleido Star) to Japanese fashion models such as Kawaii Ambassador and Lolita fashion model Misako Aoki and Shironouri artist Minori, this convention has much to offer for those of all ages!
Like last year, I was accompanied by my Mum on Saturday and stayed all day, leaving the convention center after 1A.M. I stayed later to see my favorite music group DISACODE's U.S debut concert and had a blast! Since I was a Superpass attendee, I stood directly in front of the stage for the whole show, and was blown away by their performance. AKIRA put on an awesome show, and sounded just as good live, as she does in music videos and CDs. AKIRA even briefly held my hand for a few moments during a song!
|Wasn't kidding when I said I was up front--right in front of the confetti canons. Good thing they didn't set them off.|
|Right before Akira went over and grabbed my hand|
In the morning, one of my favorite highlights was getting to see fellow Houston Lolita Community member Ann, walk down the isle in her very beautiful and elegant wedding. The love story between Ann and her new husband was like a fairy tale come true, and I wish them happiness within their marriage! Ann's wedding party all wore lolita, as well as boys style walking down the isle and all Japanese fashion guests were in attendance as well. Not only was this my first wedding, but my first Lolita Wedding, so it was very fun as well as cute to see.
Here are some snaps that were taken during the event.
|Center in Red is jrock singer/ dansou model AKIRA|
|Lolita Fashion Model Midori Fukasawa|
|brides maids, maid of honor, junior bride, flower girl|
|Those two were adorable!|
|The bride, Ann|
|Ann and Christian- Now Husband and Wife|
After the wedding I spent most of my free time inside the Dealer's Room! Thus far I have to say the best part of my experience was shopping there. This year the convention had more variety of vendors, especially to satisfy those of the J-fashion community. In the fashion square, there was Angelic Pretty, Putumayo, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, as well as Metamorphose. For those of you whom are into Lolita fashion, you already know that Lolita brand can get very pricey, so already knowing this I just looked around, then made a beeline to the artist ally, as well as other indie/ off brand booths (that may I add prices fit perfectly within my budget)!
I purchased three items this year to add to my Lolita wardrobe. The first item I bought is from Bodyline, it's a jsk, which is very adorable! I also bought the matching tote which was only $5. Also Houston based Gothic Lolita Wigs had a huge booth, so I definitely had to go check them out!
|Me, and one of the amazing staff members whom helped me!~|
|Gothic Lolita Wigs booth|
The staff at GLW were very friendly, nice, and helpful whenever I needed help with trying on a wig, right up to my check out! I genuinely do recommend checking them out if you guys ever get the chance. The wig I purchased was Duchess Elodie in Milk Tea and Dark Brown Split, and have to say I LOVE it! The color blend contrasts perfectly with my skin tone, the wig was very comfortable when worn, and had very little shreading, so it'll definitely hold up for a long time and is made to last! The price at the convention was $45, so great price! Online Duchess Elodie goes for $54.99, and with every wig purchase, a free wig cap is included in your order.
Gothic Lolita Wigs was also nice enough to give me free lashes from their Rock A Lash Collection by Charles Reger. This weekend my goal is to film and upload both a wig and lash review, so please look forward to it!
Here is the link to the wig here! Duchess Elodie
|Duchess Elodie Stock Photo|
|Duchess Elodie in Real Life|
|Duchess Elodie in Real Life|
After my shopping spree, I went to get Minori's, Midori Fukasawa's, and Misako Aoki's autograph session. All models were very friendly, and Midori and I had a delightful and fun conversation. She really liked my coord and even called me Usagi-chan, haha! Really lifted my spirits for a Lolita that started mid last year^ ^
I've gotten all three's autographs, but unfortunately due to time limit I was unable to get pictures with them. All in all, I'm still very happy I've gotten a chance to see both Misako and Midori again, and meet Minori for the first time!
Also this year VO actress Luci Christian returned, so I saw this as a great oppertunity to get my Super Gals and Kaleido Star posters signed. Sailor Moon Voice actress Stephanie Sheh was also in attendance also, so I also gotten my Sailor moon book signed, as well as her headshot.
For the first time this year, Sentai Filmworks attended AM and was having open calls for a minor voice over role in an upcoming English dubbed anime, so I bought my headshot and resume, and gave it a go!
Overall I enjoyed Anime Matsuri this year, the only complaint in which I have is the disorganization. I believe if that's fixed (inform the staff and volunteers) , things would of ran smoother. When asking for things when needing help, there were many volunteers and even staff in which didn't know and was not aware of some things, or didn't get any information on somethings, so I had to ask the security guards (which didn't work for Anime Matsuri) questions and concerns. Some staff members even gave me wrong information, so please fix this someone :(
Quite a few individuals told my mum and I we didn't need tickets or pre-purchased merchandise for one thing, and later on coming to find out we did. Frankly there was no such thing as a ticket system last year, and there was no notice prior that I would need a ticket in order to see and meet the guests (which the superpass was supposed to do). I spent $175 for the Superpass in order to meet the guests, so that was a let down that my Mum had to complain in order to get our money's worth which is sad.
Sorry you guys, I'm usually never the one to complain or rant about things, but since I'm giving you guys my full con experience I want to give you my complete and honest opinion--I won't be purchasing the superpass again and will most likely get a basic badge.
For overall experience I give this con a Four out of five stars for great programming, awesome vendors, wonderful guests, and great entertainment. I deducted the last star for disorganization and miscommunication between the volunteers and staff.
This is all for today's post! Aside from the minor trouble I had, I did enjoy myself and gotten all the autographs I wanted--including AKIRA's, Ma-Shi's, and Shinnoske 's from DISACODE (thank you Mr. John).
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This is Sakurai Minako, and until next time,
Stay Beautiful and Stylish!~