Macross World Con 2015
Article/Photos by: Geek Girl Leen Isabel|
Leen recently attend Macross World Convention and shared her experience and photos with us...
"Deculture" was my battle cry this past weekend when I attended the Macross World Con 2015 in Torrance, California. I knew I was in for a culture shock knowing fans were coming together for a one day convention celebrating over 30 years of a popular anime franchise.
For those of you who don't know, the 33-year-old Macross science-fiction franchise began in 1982. The first series was The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, which set the tone with themes of music, love triangles, and transforming fighter planes known as Valkyries. The franchise includes two more television series (Macross 7 and Macross Frontier), films (including The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?), video series (Macross II, Macross Plus, Macross Dynamite 7, and Macross Zero) and numerous video games.
I have been aware of the Macross World Con for several years now but this is the first time I was able to attend. I have been a fan of Macross since as far back as I can remember. I was born around the time DYRL was released, so the original series was the first ever anime I watched as child. I also have two older siblings who were very much into the Valkyries so Macross toys were not an uncommon sight in our home. Fast forward through the years and I was loyal to watch every Macross series that was released since the 80's but I will admit though, after Macross Plus, my interest waned. Besides the catchy music, 7 and F were just too saccharine for my tastes. (I loved Zero though!) So, here I was, at a convention and ready to rekindle my love for an anime that has spanned my entire life so far.
So back to the event, I was curious to see what kinds of fans I would meet. Old school Macross fans? Tons of young Frontier fans? Turns out, it was a mix of both.
Upon entering the convention, I registered for my badge and was given MWC goodies. (I purchased the Emerald Level. Got myself a tote bag, magnet, shirt and button. Sqwee! Different levels, named after different Macross squadrons, meant you received different perks.)
The entire convention was comprised of three rooms. One for vendors, one for panels and the main lobby where table-top games were hosted.
I wandered quickly through the vendor room as there were only 15 or so tables. Most of the vendors were selling toys & models. (It was a collector's heaven, I'm sure.) Everything from vintage valkyries to the latest releases. Some vendors also had rare art books and figurines as well. It was somewhat overwhelming as I had been out of the toy collecting loop for a while so I wasn't sure what to buy. But I definitely saw some expensive toys from my childhood. Definitely wished we hung onto those!
(Roy Fokker's MIB Valkyries were $300. Aww... )
In the events room, there was a long set-up spanning one wall with rare products from attendee collections. I myself set-up one of my prized dolls of Minmei from the 15th anniversary. ;) It was nice to be a part of the show in a small way! Check out this collection! Everything from limited edition helmets to Vinyl records to figurines and art! It was spectacular.
Next, I walked in on a panel featuring Run Sasaki. She's a voice actress from Japan who performed in the original Macross series as Vanessa and in Orguss as Mimsy. She shared letters from Kazutaka Miyatake, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Eri Takeda and Hiroshi Ohnogi --all exclusively written for the convention. Following her panel, she held a meet and greet with fans. I never got a chance to watch Orguss over the years but I was impressed by how many people love it! Maybe I ought to give it a shot.
Not knowing much about Orguss, I sat through most of the U.S. Renditions Reunion panel. Let me throw some anime history at you. U.S. Renditions were pioneers of anime home video distribution in North America bringing us titles such as Orguss, Macross II, Gunbuster (prior to Bandai licensing) and Appleseed. Pretty cool, hm?
Last but not least, Ms. Mari Ijima, Los Angeles based singer & songwriter, put on a small concert for her fans. With 23 music albums to date, Ms. Ijima sang a few original songs, my favorite of which was Eternal Forest. For the Macross selection, she sang popular Minmei songs including: Ai Oboeteimasuka, Cinderella, Sunset Beach and An Angel's Paints (Tenshi no Enogu). Fun fact: Did you know Ms. Ijima wrote An Angel's Paints? So cool. It's my favorite song from the Macross series. I might have cried a little. (Really, I did. No shame.) She was the sweetest person to meet and even signed my 15th anniversary DYRL Minmei doll. (Internal sqwee!)
Mari's website can be found here.
The convention had its share of cosplayers and most of them were characters from Macross Frontier. Sheryl Nome, Ranka Lee, Klan Klang and Alto Saotome were common sights. I did run into a couple guys dressed as Captain Glover and Maximilian Jenius. Everyone looked fantastic!
The convention was sponsored by Lee's Sandwiches and offered a Maid Cafe with a Macross themed menu. I was impressed by this detail to accommodate to the con-goers! The "maids" put on dance performances between panel changes.
Macross World Con was a fun trip down memory lane. I had a great time and I'm looking forward to attending again next year. (And maybe get some cosplay together!) Hopefully with Macross Delta on the horizon we'll have more to talk about in the coming years, too! Until next time.
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Ending Theme: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (超時空要塞マクロス 愛・おぼえていますか Chōjikū Yōsai Makurosu: Ai Oboete Imasu ka) Singer: Mari Ijima
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October 25 2015