Getting out of Calgary was uneventful. There sure were a lot of people leaving the city, I guess they want to bail before all the royal watcher yahoos show up. Good plan. Either that or there’s a giant Disneyland tour heading to Anaheim.
I always find it entertaining to watch other travelers in line. You can always tell who the frequent fliers are because they’re not in a constant panic or rush in line. They just look bored.
Anyway the flight was really boring. Like super dull. I was right about the Disney thing as most of the people on my flight were families. I spent the majority of my flight catching up on sleep from the night before. I also watched some of Perfume’s Tokyo Dome concert & Scandal’s Temptation Box 2010 concert for the 5th or 6th time.
I arrived without incident at John Wayne Airport, picked up my bag & waited for my ride. I tried to find the giant John Wayne statue but didn’t have enough time to search as my ride had texted their arrival.
After a bit of Japanese food & washing up I headed out to the Anaheim Convention Center. The place is quite massive & I spent a lot of time wandering around trying to find the right area for the junket. Luckily I ran into Chase Wang as I was asking a staffer for directions & he guided me to Gashicon who was with Sixh.
I wasn’t expecting all 3 to be together & was caught off guard but I managed to successfully (I think) pull off the interview. They were even kind enough to let me record an audio transcript. Very nice of them.
SH: You have been visiting many conventions in America promoting your respective brands & there has been a lot of positive response to the brand and the fashions. What do you believe appeals to people the most?
Gashicon: The appeal of Hangry & Angry are the characters & the goods that come with those characters appeal to foreign fans because they are unique.
Sixh: There are 2 lines within a line & one side is focused on a visual-kei look & on the other side is a more relaxed Harajuku street style. Together with the music it makes for an appealing combination.
SH: What is your impression of the non-Japanese fans? Are they as enthusiastic about the brand as the Japanese?
Gashicon: There really isn’t a difference. In Japan the clothing is more readily available so there are a lot of sales. But in America, the fans buy more because isn’t available & it’s cheaper for them to do so through cons.
IBI: For Japanese fans there are the hardcore who will buy every item out of a collection. There are also many devoted overseas fans but as Gashicon stated it’s more difficult to for them to stay up to date because of availability & the distance to get the goods.
Mint: The biggest difference in appeal & interest is that North Americans & foreign fans are physically bigger than the Japanese. There is talk of expanding into the US through cons & expanding sizes to cater to foreign fans to increase interest.
This is where I made a comment about the h.NAOTO booth & the scarf/hoodie I bought at Sakura-con. That got a “Thank you.” from Gashicon.
SH: Are there any plans to collaborate with American boutiques or designers?
Mint: For now the plan is to stick with anime collaborations for now to crawl into the market as there isn’t another outlet available at the moment.
SH: Explain the concept behind “ghost-kei”
IBI: “Ghost-kei” is influenced by kabuki which is uniquely Japanese, but with the influence of North American culture on Japanese who travel abroad it could develop into something that melds the two into a new form.
And that was the end of day 0 for me. I spent the rest of the evening hanging with otahiro from Hello! Online catching up on stuff & shooting the shit. Here are a few pics of random scenery around the ACC to close off this recap.