Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 in Recap and From Here On

"Anzu-chan really let herself go..."
"Kirari just needs to lift more!"

Hiya! With the new year beginning I felt it'd be a good time to go ahead and update on things a little here. 2016 was very fun but also very difficult at times for me, but I wanted to go ahead and recap the major events that happened during the past year for me.

My Mother

Exactly one year ago at the very beginning of 2016, my mother suffered from a very serious psychotic episode related to mental illness. Until this post I haven't told many people outside of my family about this before, but my mother has a long history with mental illness dating back since I was a baby. Thankfully it isn't perpetual and for the majority of the time she's perfectly fine, the major symptoms usually only occurring once in a few years (usually triggered by severe stress). During these times however she suffers from a variety of terrible symptoms including fatigue, amnesia, insomnia, and both auditory and visual hallucinations. When I was a kid I mainly let the adults take care of and support my mother since I didn't know what to do and furthermore I was afraid to do anything.

As an adult now however, my father and I are primarily the only two who can look after my mother if she has one of these psychotic attacks. During the previous period last year, I spent several nights with only 2 or 3 hours of sleep at night on a weekly basis because one of us would always have to keep on eye on my mother who would often try to hurt herself or escape from home when no one was looking (in fact I had to physically guard the front door often!). She was constantly having very vivid dream-like hallucinations on an hourly basis. They were spontaneous and continuously changing, so sometimes when I talked to her she'd forget what we were talking about and shift her focus onto her hallucinations in the middle of conversation. Sometimes, she'd ask me questions about why I did this-or-that the other day and I'd be wondering what she meant. I then later realize it was because she saw me doing those things in her hallucinations and she couldn't differentiate what was and wasn't reality.

Because she'd refuse to eat or take the medicine the doctors prescribed, we needed to take her to a professional institution as she was becoming malnourished and severely sleep deprived at home (we had to resort to calling an ambulance since she'd not go willingly). Being too smart, she'd feign being fine at the hospital so that she could be released back home to us but soon after it'd become obvious she still wasn't. None of it was any of her fault though, mental illnesses are very terrible diseases. In my mother's case, I've grown to understand her symptoms and the patterns of the disease a lot more now than when I was a kid. Through a lot of love and support and comfort, she gradually came back to being herself after a few months time as she's always had so far to this date. It's a very tough battle of patience and willpower, and I don't know if or when it might happen again but my mom's always pulled through. ✌

My Car Accident

I almost don't want to mention this because it's uncool but I did also get into my first car accident soon after orz

I will say I'm still paying for it now but things have gotten a bit better since. My car was totaled but thankfully I had no major injuries. Because I worked a job that used my own vehicle (not Uber), it meant I had to be restationed but thankfully I wasn't fired. I'm much more cautious now too when driving as a result. My insurance premium sucks now though!


Hawaii was when things finally started looking better. Meeting Asapon for the second time was tremendously fun, and Kawaiikon was a very enjoyable first experience. Unlike most of the cons I've been to, Kawaiikon is much smaller in scale meaning I wasn't constantly crashing into otaku when walking around the convention halls. It was also my first time in Hawaii as well so eating up all the tourist traps thrown at me was fun albeit expensive. Actually the entire time it felt like a vacation and all of us were just tourists, Asapon and the Ps as well. Asapon commented how she enjoyed seeing the lot of us dressed up in our idolm@ster gear but still wearing swimming trunks, sunhats, and flip flops. When in Rome right?

And my favorite,
Drinks on the beach!
You could also say we had our very first HPT beach episode here in Hawaii as well. I probably fulfilled one of my oldest highschool dreams that afternoon. Mizugi! Mizugi! 😍

Miku Expo

Vocaloid Cosplayers from Nippon

Luka's model was really sexy...

I also attended Miku Expo in LA that spring. Although I did see Miku on stage before at Lantis Matsuri in Las Vegas, it was my first time going to a full Vocaloid concert. While I'm no means a Vocaloidmaster, I do enjoy a lot of the music and found it to be very fun. I even cried toward the end on a song I knew w. Also found it pretty cool to find a few Japanese fans who flew all the way to America to attend. Us gaijin eventers do that for Japan all the time now so it was interesting to see fans who do the reverse.

Anime North 2016 Akky&Asapon ver.

I don't know what to say about Anime North anymore w. I've been here four damn times! I was even more shocked to find out Asapon was also attending since it was only announced after Kawaiikon... and at Kawaiikon she even asked me and other Ps if we were also going to Anime North (although she said she wasn't 100% certain if she was going too at the time). Honestly seeing Asapon so often has made her feel like a close friend almost. She always looks like she's having fun when she's overseas and it's very contagious. And this time she felt like a tour guide for Mrs. Akky who was SO nervous but cute! They made an incredibly fun duo that weekend and I was very glad to finally see Akky herself in person for the first time.

Niagara at Night
Oh yeah, even though this was my 4th time in Toronto this was my very first time visiting Niagara Falls. Otaku priorities!

We also held a humongous off-kai as usual. We almost topped 100 participants so it was without a doubt the biggest P gathering we've held to date. Thanks to those who participated and enjoyed my onigiri cake ww

As if lining for the actual convention wasn't already bad...

I stole this sign later (well I didn't, but I did the previous year)

Otaku in their natural habitat

Jibun Rest@rt begins: γ„γγžγƒΌγƒΌγƒΌγƒΌ!!!

Big shout-out to the Anime North staff including Berry Risa for making this event possible and helping out us Producers each year. ✌

Anime Expo 2016

I actually skipped AX 2015 so it felt like it's been a while since I attended an AX. The highlight for me was definitely seeing Lia as well as the Japan Super Live with many anison artists from Japan being there. I never thought my first time seeing Sphere would be in Los Angeles w

Daisuki also held a fan idolm@ster meet-up. Props to Minh and the Daisuki staff for making this event happen, we were even noticed by GamiP! But my favorite thing was a certain Average Miki P missing the Kimi no Na wa premiere due to the idolm@ster meet-up.

"My feet hurt"

"These guys are loud"

"I can't believe I'm missing Makoto Shinkai for this"

From Here Onward

Well, I'd like to to say 2016 sucked for me but I definitely did have some great times too. With 2017 here and P Meeting right around the corner, I hope to start off the new year with a bang this time. Thank you for reading my blog whether you've been doing so since I was a baby Producer in 2013 or if you've just stumbled upon it today. I'll try to keep updates happening more often throughout the year and I haven't abandoned my vlog project yet but I do wish to do a bit of tuning before I continue on with it. Thanks to the Ps who donated their P Meeting codes as well as it was a difficult lottery to win and the extra codes definitely helped myself and others out. Thank you my Twitter followers and friends as I'd be much more ronery without you. And thanks HPT, even if I'm always getting on your nerves, I'd have never accomplished so much without your help. I hope all of your guys' holiday season and new year have been a blast, γ“γ‚Œγ‹γ‚‰γ‚‚γ‚ˆγ‚γ—γγŠι‘˜γ„γ—m@s!