Princess Connect Re:Dive Final Impressions + Season 2 Anticipation

Princess Connect, Re:Dive (Priconne for short), is an Anime produced under Cygames Picture, which is also the subsidiary of the main company that produced Priconne, Cygames. The Anime aired 13 episodes from April to June during the Anime Spring 2020 season.

After the Anime aired along with a season 2 announcement, 2DTalk staff, Producer, Xirius, and a newcomer, Pops finally had the time to discuss their final thoughts and anticipations on the Anime.

For background: Xirius wrote an article explaining his mid-season thought of the anime. You can refer the staff list here.

(Warning: Contains Minor Spoilers)

Final Impression:

Main location for the Anime, Capital Landsol

Producer: So, what were your thoughts on the Princess Connect anime? I find it enjoyable. For me, I definitely enjoyed the Anime a lot. The execution was nailed very well, especially since this is one of the few mobage or game adaptations that actually was really good.

Xirius: As a person who hasn’t delved deep into the Priconne story, I find the anime very entertaining, heartwarming, and enjoyable. Comedy was well executed, and the pacing was very smooth, for the most part. Action scenes are pretty flashy, which makes it quite a spectacle to watch. Slice of life moments, combined with the distinct, brightly colored animation, makes this anime very memorable.

Pops: I barely heard of Priconne before some friends asked if we all could watch the show together. After watching it, I can say that it was very enjoyable. It didn’t bring forth anything new or groundbreaking, but it showed itself to be fun to the average viewer. The mix of the slice of life genre with a fantasy action world, and colorful artstyle make this show very fun to watch.

Producer: What mobage and game adaptations need to understand, especially when they make it into an Anime, they need to create a balance of pleasing both the fans and the non-fans of that specific franchise, especially if Anime is one of the main ways to spread word of a specific franchise. 

Producer: Some few bad examples would be: 

  • Persona 5
  • Kantai Collection
  • Nekopara
  • Touken Ranbu (ufotable)
  • Azur Lane

What they all failed to accomplish beyond the not-so-great plot, is pretty much the lack of balance between both the fans and the non-fans. Most of them are leaning towards appealing mostly to the core fans of that franchise. While some franchises intention might be just for those core fans, I personally feel it’s a wasted opportunity to not try to bring in potential new fans.

Xirius: To add on that, another recent example of a mobage adaptation that mainly appeals to the core fans is the FGO Babylonia anime. As much as I like the FGO Babylonia anime, it is not a good adaptation in terms of getting the freshly new audience to understand & immerse themselves in the story. Most of the beginning story arcs (“Singularities”) are skipped in favor of adapting a highly requested (& highly loved) story arc. As a result, the adaptation only appealed to the fans of FGO, but not bringing in new fans

Producer: Yeah it does feel weird seeing FGO just adapt one of the later chapters of FGO, but I heard that it can be treated as a standalone plotline. However, I don’t think that’s exactly the case, but I don’t play FGO so can you confirm?

Xirus: While some may believe that the singularities can be standalone stories, it is misguided as the overarching story builds upon the previous stories, from lessons learned, to the revelations. Furthermore, the eventual Final Singularity adaptation without potential new fans knowing the built-up context from previous Singularities would only serve to reduce the impact of the story climax.

Reflecting Back:

Producer: When I heard about the Princess Connect Anime announcement, I was expecting a similar adaption to the main story itself, but when I read the story, I wonder how they would also accommodate the non-Priconne fans. I also jokingly joke that the western Anime fans wouldn’t enjoy the Anime.

Producer: Once the anime aired, if I were to describe Princess Connect in one line as a player myself, it would be “I didn’t order this, but I love it!”

Xirius: After viewing the Priconne anime, I was impressed by the amount of effort the anime took to appeal to both core fans and potential new fans. The fun slice of life moments gave the characters their moment to shine, which helps the audience to get attuned with them easily. Additionally, those moments slowly develop the fantasy world, without being presented with large amounts of information all at once. This, in turn, allows the audience to immerse themselves to the fantasy world without being overwhelmed. Taking the extra mile to bring in the freshly new audience to the franchise signifies a successful mobage adaptation.  

Kyaru gif. Sometimes the little details do show a lot.

Producer: While the Anime wasn’t an iteration of the main story, the story did definitely give a different take as it also did integrate non-main story characters into the Anime without forcing it in.

Xirius: Yeah. Especially since each episode is basically a “Girl(s)/Guild of the week”. For the most part, those are done well since the characters are introduced smoothly. After being introduced, the characters take the spotlight to present their personality. Some, even going as far to chew the scenery *chuckle*. (ex: Rima, Aoi)

Producer: While of course, it isn’t a perfect Anime, it doesn have some fair share of its flaws. One main complaint is that not every character that was revealed didn’t officially show up in the Anime.

Pops: One of the biggest writing aspects used was Priconne’s wide range of characters. Every episode would show off a few new characters for the viewer to take it. The episodes were put into a short arc where you can watch them without much context on the rest. This made it more approachable to casual viewers, and added a bigger world to the show.

Pops: However, having a wide range of characters is a double-edged sword. A wide cast of characters allows a more unique world, but it also decreases the amount of character development that those characters can have. The show took advantage of their strengths and were able to match the many characters with the writing, without having too much impact on their own development. This allowed the main characters to develop and flesh out through the side characters, further improving the enjoyability of the show.

Behind the Scenes:

A Behind of the Scene image directly from the Cygames Pictures article

Producer: Also, I managed to find these Priconne Behind The Scenes articles in English. Initially, I found them in Japanese, but wasn’t aware of an official English translation version of it until pretty recently.

Producer: Looking back at the article before and after watching the Anime, I definitely noticed some of the aspects that they were talking about, such as the CGI and understanding the “mindset” they mentioned in regards to the expressions of certain characters developing over time.

Pops: I read the articles. They reminded me that animation in general, requires a lot of planning and work. It is not easy to create quality animation. There is storyboarding, voicing, and many other parts that all require proper coordination. I hope that people will acknowledge that, and give some credit to even mediocre animations. I’m glad the animators of priconne have put in a lot of work to make the show enjoyable for many.

Xirius: As I read the articles, the look of the Princess Connect anime, it is reassuring that Cygames Pictures allow the CGI to be a contributing component of the whole anime, according to Yoshinori Nakano. Combining the strengths of 2D animation & 3D CGI animation to form this cohesive, high quality animation was quite ambitious. While some CGI parts do look janky, like the knights CGI, other parts, like the shadows CGI, show how CGI animation, when done right, can be an effective tool to bolster the animation presentation. 

Producer: I also noticed that their objective with the Anime is, quoting from Shun Kashima, the managing director of Cygames Pictures, “to make it something that can be enjoyed by players of the game and new fans alike.” Similar to the earlier idea that Priconne did so well is also part of their main vision when producing the Anime.

Producer: While we didn’t go too much into details, I also highly recommend the reader to also check it out in the references on the bottom.

Season 2 Hopes & Expectations:

Producer: To be honest, I was already anticipating a season 2. laugh

Xirius: Same here. Especially considering that some of the characters in the opening didn’t get any screen time at all chuckles.

Producer: F in the chats for Kasumi, Nozomi and Monika. laugh

Xirius: Considering how the final episode for season 1 turned out, I’m hoping that season 2 will remain consistent in the storytelling without revealing too much. That being said, they should balance the fun, heartfelt moments to the heavy tone of the overarching story. I believe that Cygames Pictures will be able to not only deliver, but go above and beyond.

Producer: Yeah, I hope they continue doing what worked well for season 1 for season 2, unless they wish to take a 180. I sometimes wonder if the production originally planned for Season 1 to be longer. It does explain the “extra” characters not shown in the Anime.

Monika, one of the few characters that unfortunately did not show up in the Anime despite being teased

Pops: I do not want to get my hopes up too high. The 1st season was right above average in terms of overall enjoyability. The ending of it however, put on a heavier, overarching plot that went against the normally upbeat style. The overarching story has me expecting that the 2nd season will unpack and expand on those ideas. If the show failed to do so, it would be disappointing. If the show decides to keep it’s “1 substory per episode” type of writing present, then I hope they will at minimum have a story arc dedicated to conquering the overarching narrative.

Conclusion/Wrap up:

Xirius: The Priconne anime, while has its share of strengths and flaws, was very enjoyable. Knowing that a season 2 is on the horizon, I’m sure we cannot wait for its eventual release.

Producer: I’m pretty sure it’ll be as great or even better as season 1.

Xirius: Indeed. But it is best to temper our expectations at the end of the day. And as we get closer to its release, we’ll be onboarding the hype train. *chuckle*

Producer: True

Pops: I hope that the next season of Princess Connect will exceed my expectations.

Kokkoro’s Stamps as an approval of your hard work

References:
Behind the Scenes Part 1 (English)
Behind the Scenes Part 2 (English)
Season 2 Announcement Trailer

Princess Connect Re:Dive (TV) Anime Mid-Season Thoughts & Impression (Spoiler-Free)

Author: Xirius

Editor: Leonidas

A couple months ago, a friend of mine recommended me to a Japanese mobage called Princess Connect! Re: Dive. At first, it looked like a typical, generic anime-fantasy mobile game with female characters as a selling point. However, the game is developed by Cygames, who are well known for their unique and outstanding IPs, Granblue Fantasy & Shadowverse, even in the west. Even though I played a couple mobages (Fate/Grand Order, Girls Frontline to name a few), I was willing to try Princess Connect! Re: Dive. What makes this game stand out from the other mobages I played so far is the amount of voice acting, and cutscenes within the game. It is as if I was watching an episodic anime on a mobile game. While it in itself is not groundbreaking (since other mobages like Honkai Impact 3rd has its fair share of voiced cutscenes), it is executed well enough to make it stand out. From voiced anime cutscenes to unique ED songs, it really feels like I’m watching an episodic anime with a great amount of production value.

That being said, as a person who doesn’t speak Japanese, I wasn’t able to fully grasp the story of Princess Connect, leaving me relying on fan translations for better understanding. However, when I heard that Princess Connect is going to have an anime adaptation in Spring 2020, I was ecstatic since it will be easier to engage and understand the story and characters. Even though the anime is developed by CygamesPictures (Cygames in-house animation studio), I have some trust for that freshly new studio to deliver an entertaining anime. After all, the studio was behind the making of Manaria Friends, which has shown to have consistent good animation quality.

Manaria Friends, another CygamesPictures works

Since its anime debut on April 7, 2020, Princess Connect! Re: Dive (Priconne for short) garnered much attention from audiences ranging from the dedicated & hardcore fans, to the casual fans, while capturing the attention of the freshly new audience who never heard of Priconne. How does the anime achieve garnering attention and interest from those audiences?

First, the anime captures the attention of the hardcore audience (and, to some extent, the casual audience) by displaying familiar music, from the BGM, to the Opening Theme that was first shown in episode 2. Then, throughout the episodes, the anime displays the loading screen as the small transitions during certain scenes, which shows the in-game sprites of the characters. At the end of each episode, the anime shows the Kokkoro stamp, which not only alludes to the login bonus from the game, but also entices the viewers to stay tuned for the next episode.

Finally, the anime shows many cameos of various beloved characters from the game, from the most obvious, to the most subtle. Such familiarity through the use of music and easter eggs allows the anime to give reason for the dedicated audience to stay tuned for more episodes.

Kokkoro Stamp, known for keeping track of your logins in-game

How does the Priconne anime capture the attention of, not only the casual fans, but also, most importantly, to the freshly new audience who’ve never heard of Priconne? For starters, the anime portrays itself as a fantasy/slice of life, which serves as an easy entry point for the freshly new audience interested in the anime.

While some fantasy anime shows would try to squeeze all the lore and the rules of the world in the first few episodes, Priconne takes the slow, but casual approach of immersing the viewer to the fantasy world through the slice of life moments. The slice of life elements is shown through the lens of the main characters: Yuuki, Kokkoro, Pecorine, and Karyl (Kyaru). From those slice of life moments, Priconne manages to subvert the audiences’ expectations through well-placed comedic timing. As such, certain scenes are built up through a momentous crescendo, only to have an unexpected outcome, leaving a memorable moment for the audience.

It is through those moments, the anime manages to entice the casual and the new audience in looking forward to watch more future episodes.

Kokkoro’s [0x0] face. Simple, yet memorable for the whole audience.

I’m looking forward to every Monday for the next Priconne episode. So far, the anime hits all the right notes. The familiar music, easter eggs, beautiful animation, on-point comedic timings, memorable characters and moments entices me, as a casual fan, to stay tuned for the next episode. Should this anime become successful in attracting new fans, maybe Cygames would sow the seeds for a future localization of Priconne to the west. But that’s only a pipe dream. Until then, I’ll enjoy what the Priconne anime has to offer!

Mirishita and the ¥1.4-2.1 Million Compensation

Author: Producer

Editor: Leonidas

On March 20, 2020, due to a specific bug in an in-game event for the game, Idolm@ster Million Live: Theater Days (Mirishita for short). The bug was a calculation error in one of the new event, Platinum Star Twin Stages; This mechanic being an automatic selection deck of 5 unique idol cards that you own with the best stats in either Vocal, Dance, or Visual. In which, the number of stats in that said deck grants a certain amount of event points when you play a live. While I played the event personally, I was rather confused about this new stats-deck mechanic as it felt that it is done purposely to avoid being too similar to another event. As a result of the bug, the developers have decided to set the stats to maximum for the duration of the event and give out a specific set of compensatory items to all players:

  • 7 Fes Masterpiece
  • 6 SSR Masterpiece
  • 180 SSR Lesson Tickets
  • 360 SR Lesson Tickets
  • 1,500,000 Money
  • 2500 Jewels
The automatic stats deck mechanic that is said to be bugged.

Let’s break it down to how much these items are actually worth.

We’ll be comparing this draft of items to the Dream Flower currency which is basically unused gacha points, which is generally accumulated from specific banners either due to reasons such as, not having enough Jewels, simply doing free pulls, or just trying your luck on the first 10 pulls and moving on. The Dream Flower currency has a 1:1 Dream Flower to Jewels ratio per pull.

While it’s cheaper to obtain Fes Masterpiece from simply sparking duplicate Fes characters in the same banner, we will be doing a range for Fes Masterpieces specifically.

Here is the paid Jewel shop and their prices:
Note: The price is noted after the increased of Japanese sales tax

The first half of the in-app-purchase screen
The second half of the in-app-purchase screen

We will base each around the most expensive pack available in-game, ¥10,000 for 8,400 Jewels.

With each 10 pull costing around 2,500 Jewels, getting the guaranteed character will take a total of 300 pulls, totalling up to 90,000 Jewels and will cost approximately ¥108,320.

  • 10x, 8,400 Jewels pack (¥100,000)
  • 4,200 Jewels pack (¥5,020)
  • 2,650 Jewels pack (¥3,300)

Total: ¥108,320 for 90,850 Jewels

Dream Flower shop noting Fes & SSR Masterpieces
  • For 7 Fes Masterpieces, it will cost around  ¥758,240 –  ¥1,516,480
    • 2100 Total Pulls or 4200 Dream Flowers
  • For 6 SSR Masterpieces, it will cost around ¥649,920
    • 1800 Dream Flowers

Total: ¥1,408,160 – ¥2,166,400

Dream Flower shop noting SSR & SR Tickets

While we’ll be including the Lesson Tickets into the total, Lesson Tickets can easily be obtained from just playing the game compared to Masterpieces. Also, purchasing them via the Dream Flower currency isn’t worth it in the long run. 

  • For 180 SSR Lesson Tickets, it will cost around ¥3,249,600
    • 9000 Dream Flowers
  • For 360 SR Lesson Tickets, it will cost around ¥3,249,600 
    • 9000 Dream Flowers

Total: ¥6,499,200

Overall Total: ¥7,907,360 – ¥8,665,600

Due to the fact that Lesson Tickets are easily obtainable without spending money, I only included the range of price from only Masterpieces in the title.

The intent is to not spite the developers or the game itself, it is more to satisfy the curiosity about this compensation’s worth. This might arguably be the more expensive non-gacha compensation value given out in any mobages.

Glossary:

  • Spark/Sparking – Derived from Granblue Fantasy, a term where after you roll a set amount during a specific banner, usually being 300, you can select a specific character in that banner.
  • Masterpieces – Pieces that are converted from obtaining duplicate Idols. They can be used to uncap existing Idols for more stats and alternative outfits.
  • Lesson Tickets – Items used to level up specific Idols and raise their skill levels. They can be obtained from playing the story and just playing the game in general.

References:

Compensation List (English Translated Twitter Fanpage)

Thumbnail Image is taken from a Discord emote :NantoJewels:

Princess Connect Re:Dive & Shadowverse Simultaneous Anime Airing

Author: Producer

Editor: Leonidas

2020 Anime Spring Season is looking great for fans of Cygames as two of their notable IPs, Princess Connect and Shadowverse, are both receiving anime adaptations

Key Visual for Shadowverse (TV)
Key Visual for Princess Connect! Re:Dive (TV)
















There hasn’t been much attention given to the Shadowverse anime, whose only real form of announcement was an updated trailer, revealed at the Shadowverse RAGE finals, where the Shadowverse E-sports official tournament is generally held (More info). It seemed that the initial announcement of the anime reception was… poorly received, from both Shadowverse players and fans.
It’s highly likely that it was received poorly due to Shadowverse advertising it as some BIG NEWS (website now redirects you to the Anime page) which in fact may led to a lot of misinterpretation and misrepresentation. An example being, one of the top comments replied with an image, where the bottom text (obviously modified for meme purposes) mentioned keyphrases such as, “Refund!” and “Yeah, what’s going on?” Another reply simply memes on the situation where episode 1 would include a card, Bahamut, destroying everything in play. Replies like these conveys the general confusion and possible disappointment of this fan and possibly a large chunk of the fanbase judging by its likes and retweets. Also, there is no note of Shadowvere’s 9th Class, Portalcraft which hints that the Anime might’ve been in production before Portalcraft was released (2018), or Portalcraft is reserved for a surprise.

One response was this edited image conveying specific phrases such as “Refund!” and “Yeah, what’s going on?”

(Original Tweet)
Another response was a meme response where a specific card, Bahamut wipes out the entire board with the caption of “Episode 1: Shadowverse”

(Original Tweet)








Another possible factor is the key visuals for the anime itself, where it seems the anime is going to be entirely different from the general plot of the game. When an average fan of Shadowverse thinks of an anime adaptation of the game, they usually think the anime will cover and take place in the main story. In addition there’s already an existing animated cutscene for the game. It is also possible that the anime meant to be a Yugioh-like anime with the potential motive to aim towards a different demographic, potentially towards a younger audience, in terms of e-sports or competitive play for Shadowverse.

Trailer for Shadowverse (TV)

For Princess Connect Re:Dive (Priconne for short) Anime (Trailer), personally, I have a lot of expectations and anticipation. Especially when the game itself has anime cutscenes, I had a couple of thoughts for the Anime such as, “How much content would differ from the game?” and “Will the non-main story characters get introduced in some way?” With only the trailer and some internal studio articles (May become translated in the future) revealed at the moment, all we could do is wait until it airs, which is on April 6th. While I believe Priconne will become a good Anime, I do not believe it will gain the same amount of attention in the West compared to Japan. With a lot of well-known series airing season 2’s such as, Kaguya-sama, Fruit Basket, and Sword Art Online, it may overshadow Priconne and other Animes. However, there is always the unexpected where Priconne may end up being the underdog of the season.

Trailer for Princess Connect! Re:Dive (TV)

In a few hours after this publication (19:00 JST), Cygames Animation will be live streaming (Link). The stream is scheduled to present content in chronological order:

  1. Shadowverse
  2. Uma Musume: Pretty Derby
  3. Murenase! Seton Gakuen (Seton Academy)
  4. Princess Connect! Re:Dive
Cygames Animation Promotion Image included Schedule

I will make updates here… soon…

References:
Rage Esports Shadowverse Page
Initial Announcement of the Shadowverse Anime
Reply #1
Reply #2
Bahamut Card
Shadowverse Anime PV
Shadowverse In-Game Anime cutscene
Princess Connect Re:Dive Anime Trailer
Cygames Animation Youtube Livestream

Shadowverse Collaboration: What does it tell us?

Writer: Producer

Editor: Leonidas

Shadowverse has just announced two collaborations during their World Grand Prix and a tournament event that occurs at the end of the year where Shadowverse players can compete to win a huge prize of one million dollars (USD). In addition, announcements were made using this huge event as a platform to advertise. The specific announcement that caught my attention was the declaration that there would be a collaboration event taking place in the foreseeable future.

The two major events that were announced were the Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls collaboration and the Nier: Automata collaboration. 

Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Collaboration around Spring 2020
NieR:Automata Collaboration around Summer 2020

The Nier:Automata collaboration initially feels very random as there’s no particular collaboration of similar nature in any of Cygames other games. It is very likely that Shadowverse may begin to have more standalone collaborations following the One Punch Man and Haruhi collaborations. Because of this, surprise collaborations for the players may occur in the future. Although the Nier:Automata collaboration is an interesting collaboration, I took heavy heed to the upcoming Cinderella Girls collaboration. But, why exactly?

Well for starters, Cinderella Girls is owned by both Cygames and Bandai Namco. During the early days of Cygames’ projects, there were numerous collaborations with Cinderella Girls in the original Princess Connect, Granblue Fantasy and even Rage of Bahamut. However, after some time, there were no reruns or any activities that would indicate a rerun of these events; just complete and utter silence from both developers. Many speculate that there may have been internal conflicts which halted the distribution of reruns involving Idolm@ster or that there may have been issues involving their licencing contract. While I am not an expert in collaboration politics, I would personally leave the speculations as speculations. Originally, for the Cinderella Girls collaboration, they had a promotional event where sleeves were given out to players. However, the event was exclusively for Japanese players. The only way for an international player to receive the gift was to switch their language region on Steam to Japanese. Despite this, switching back to the original region does not preserve the Cinderella Girls sleeve in your local game and it is instead replaced with the default sleeve.

While there is no exact confirmation as to why such a function was made, it became extremely worrisome to many that Idolm@ster the franchise might ultimately be region-locked from western audiences similar to Touken Ranbu which suddenly required a Japanese IP address to play despite knowing that a western fanbase exists especially during the airing of the anime (which was animated by the highly recognizable studio, Ufotable) at a panel in AnimeExpo. Other simpler concerns are whether Idolm@ster collaborations will even be successful with western audiences, as noted by TEKKEN’s creator, also published by Bandai Namco, Katsuhiro Harada’s response to someone’s tweet requesting Idolm@ster character, Iori Minase, to appear as a guest in the TEKKEN franchise which is also owned by Bandai Namco. Despite Harada’s dedication, such as changing his twitter into Iori Minase on her birthday, he still upholds a reasonable business standpoint.

Edit (5/7/2020) – Unfortunately Harada did not change his twitter into Iori this year (5/5/2020-5/6/2020)

Harada changing his twitter profile and banner on the day of Iori’s birthday (May 5th)
Harada responding to a user’s response in Harada’s question of potential Tekken DLC characters

This surprise announcement involving a complete collaboration, containing content such as new cosmetic leaders and card skins, gives a slight hope to those who know and love the Idolm@ster franchise. It may just be that the higher-ups for Cygames and Bandai Namco have either resolved their issues or that they’ve just simply decided to finally bring back their older IPs in collaboration with newer ones. Either way, this Idolm@ster collaboration brings back the possibility that the series may once again begin running collaborations with other Cygames’ IPs along with the possibility that the series may have rerun collaborations with older games like Granblue Fantasy or Princess Connect.

References:
Shadowverse x Nier:Automata Collaboration
Shadowverse x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Collaboration
Shadowverse Esports Information
Priconne (OG) x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls
Granblue x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Wiki Resource
Information in regards to the initial Shadowverse x Cinderella Girls Collaboration Promotion
Information #2
Katsuhiro Harada’s Tweet in response to Iori Minsae as a possible Guest Character in Tekken
Camalange’s Tweet mentioning Harada’s yearly tradition

Plans for the future

Writer: Producer

Apologized for the lack of content in the past several days. While I do not have anything prepared to publish, I do want to inform our audience that we are still active. To keep it short, I would list, in no particular order, some upcoming content that will be released in the nearby future.

  • Shadowverse Collaboration Thoughts and Inputs
  • Mobage Gaming Logs (MGLs)
  • Specific Seasonal Winter Anime 2020 First Impressions
  • Anime-Expo related content
  • Optional DARK THEME

In the near future, I might consider figuring out how to improve the flow of future articles especially if it written by staffs aside myself.

Anime-Expo 2019 Reflection of the Reflection

Writer: Producer
Editor: Leonidas
AX Logo

So as you can see, Anime-Expo also referred to as AX in their community, has recently published an article based on its 2019 reflection. As I was reading this article, I grew pretty frustrated with the way they said some things. This is simply an article reviewing their reflection, my full Anime-Expo review will be released on a later date.

By referencing back to the 2017 reflection as I was unable to find the 2018 reflection, there was a noticeable lack of statistical data this year. It becomes difficult to ascertain if the difference in numeric data between 2019 and any other given year was an improvement or not. Sure, big numbers can be a good thing, but managing it is an entirely different beast. While I do not have the ability to speak on every attendee’ behalfs, there most definitely was a mixed reaction towards their experience at Anime-Expo purely based on the sheer number of attendees and Anime-Expo’s lack of infrastructure to house this crowd properly. Conversely, I did hear rumours that they have reserved the other infrastructures nearby such as the Staple Center which would have definitely helped the situation in the future.

Taken at AX 2019 Day 1 near the entrance of the convention hall

What ticked me off mainly was specifically the music section of the article. It used the phrase, “Music fans were no doubt pleased as this year’s concerts,” while in fact, they only had two concerts; Aqours from Love Live at a smaller venue compared to 2018 and Yoshihiro Ike, a musical composer most noted for his works on Anime games. According to a few Aqour fans that I know, they didn’t mind the smaller venue as the price was similar to those of the previous year. The Novo which was used this year only had a capacity of 2,400 people compared to the Microsoft Theatre which was used last year and could house up to 7,100 people. On the other hand, a huge factor that could be attributed to the change in venue could be that the concert this year was exclusively Love Live Aqours versus last year where other Idol bands also performed as well. While I don’t blame Anime-Expo for this potential reservation mishap in regards to the Microsoft Theatre, I believe they could’ve managed it better, or at the very least, not overexaggerate the fan’s comments.

General Map Overview of AX. Noting specifically the LA Convention Center and the nearby Staple Center along with Microsoft and Novo Theatre

Despite the article having some issues, they did acknowledge some of the mistakes made this year, such as the disastrous lines on day one and the Artist Alley being heavily cramped during peak hours. While they claimed that these issues will be fixed by Anime-Expo 2020, I am still rather skeptical if the potential solution will be for the betterment or detriment of the convention such as the increased entrance security which was intended for the safety of the attendees, but created a huge backlash with the extremely long lines which might be the result of security overestimating the attendees count for day 1; however, it seems that Anime-Expo has asked for feedback from the attendees of the event after Anime-Expo 2019. Let’s hope that they’ll put the attendees’ feedback to good use.

While Anime-Expo has mentioned their volunteers being very impactful to the convention, from what I’ve seen on social media, and during the convention, there were mixed reactions towards the volunteers by both the attendees and myself. I noticed that many attendees complained and suggested, “adding more volunteers.” Merely adding more volunteers isn’t just going to work; If the main issue with the volunteers is their lack of training and communication skills, it’s only going to make the situation worse especially if Anime-Expo continues to add more bad volunteers. There’s also another issue that needs to be tackled, what can Anime-Expo do if a volunteer makes a mistake? Assuming the mistake isn’t too severe, volunteers come to help under their own volition so you can’t punish them too severely as doing so would discourage other potential volunteers and you can’t let it slide too easily as doing so would only make it seem like you’re lax. Hence, a possible solution is to include a volunteer’s name in some form of a website page or a dedicated volunteer page in the AX guidebook. This suggestion would potentially allow making complaints and compliments easier to link into a specific volunteer than generalizing the entire volunteer team as well as a way for AX to manage their volunteers more efficiently.

Overall, my reception of the Anime-Expo 2019 reflection has been rather neutral. I was initially expecting heavy exaggerations and stretches in complementary statements, but that was not the case this year, thankfully. I still have my skeptical thoughts of how AX will handle the situation for 2020 but, I’m hoping they will eventually regain the lost trust of many previous attendees overtime.

Be sure to look forward to my full review of AX 2019 alongside my friends, Sopix and Kay, with reflections of their first AX in the foreseeable future.

References:
AX 2017 Reflection
AX 2018 Summary
AX 2019 Prologue
AX 2019 Reflection