Homu here, rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! Although I’m not definitely not dead, GamePress sending me to burn in Los Angeles just might change that...
The Anniversary already? I wonder what they’ll announce?
Obviously, they’ll announce-- Wow! Look at all the fans! The crowd here must be super excited for the guests and announcements!
Yikes, still a half hour to go and there're literally thousands in line already. Will we really make the panel, Haku?
I shall show you the power of a divine Pharaoh! (And also the Protection of the Press)
(Flash blue badge)
Oh wow, that actually works!
(Proceed to front row)
The Anniversary Stream was a guest panel that featured 4 participants:
- Ayako Kawasumi - the voice of Altria and all her variants, plus Anne Bonny
- Satoshi Tsuruoka - the voice of Arash/Gilles/Caligula/Spartacus
- Yosuke Shiokawa - the Creative Producer of F/GO
- Albert Kao - the NA Localization Producer and panel host for the day
For anyone that missed the stream, it can still be watched here in its entirety..
The panel's not starting yet. Is this the true JP experience?
Well you know what they say. That’s when the maintenance begins.
Both Tsuruoka and Kawasumi were introduced with summoning animations of Arash and Altria respectively. Not satisfied with just one summoning animation, Kawasumi requested and received a second one. NP2!
Once seated, they introduce themselves and say hello in English. Tsuruoka mentions how it’s his first time at Anime Expo (AX) and how great it is to see how many people love the Fate Series. He hopes that the crowd is having a wonderful time.
Kawasumi’s English is actually pretty decent and is able to introduce herself as the voice for Saber in English. She thanks the crowd for coming and mentions how this is her third time at AX (she visited AX during the Grand Order launch period as well). She is very excited and is always inspired after visiting here.
They actually did the summoning quotes live!
Indeed. (*Internal Fan Screaming intensifies*)
Question: Albert mentions how Kawasumi visited AX last time and asks about Kawasumi’s last impression of the event.
Kawasumi Answers: This is actually her third year at AX and every time she looks forward to the cosplayers. She obviously noticed the many different types of Saber cosplays.
Question: Tsuruoka is here for the first time, what does he think about the Expo?
Tsuruoka Answers: Even in Japan, he notes that he is not the type of actor to stand in front of so many people so obviously he was sincerely surprised. Yesterday he checked out the event, and he got super worried. Was he really going to be able to talk to so many people? But, he realised he was going to be with Miss Kawasumi who is a pro at Anime Expo and he received the energy from you guys (the crowd) and he asks the crowd to cheer him on.
Albert sweeps up the crowd to chant Arash in support and then brings up a slideshow of pictures the voice actors took while on their trip to LA.
Tsuruoka went to see the space shuttle Endeavour at the science center the day before the panel. The picture depicts the space shuttle the Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri came back with. Therefore the Endeavour has sentimental value to Tsuruoka. He did say some more, but the translator couldn’t catch it.
The next picture:
Tsuruoka notes that obviously one of his hobbies is cars. He’s got two cars, but as he's a Toyota car owner, he owns a Toyota Crown and an AE86 (Levin, I think). He took this picture when he went to the Petersen Automotive Museum yesterday. At the museum he saw so many cars he wanted, but he has his heart set on Toyota.
Question: Albert asks if he's coming back next year.
Tsuruoka Answers: Please tell the staff members and maybe!
Albert incites the crowd to cheer in support before moving to the next picture.
The slideshow moves on to Kawasumi, who picked a picture of a fancy dessert for High Tea. Kawasumi went to Beverly Hills for shopping yesterday. At the hotel she went to an afternoon tea and while she was asked to bring photos with herself in it, she mostly took pictures of food. Albert noted how this fits her character in-game perfectly.
The final picture from Kawasumi shows the Warner Bros Studios logo. Kawasumi explains how last year she couldn't visit WB Studios, so she went there this year. However, it was far too hot yesterday, so she just took a photo of the entrance this time and called it a day.
Do you think we’ll see a Rider Class Gilles one day?
Maybe by the next Anniversary Panel, when Miss Kawasumi makes it into Warner Bros! I’ll try toning down the sun a bit.
Albert moves on from the pictures and shows the special artwork done by Riyo (The Learning from Manga author and artist) for the anniversary.
Question: Albert asks the voice actors what they think of the picture.
Tsuruoka Answers: Well, he doesn’t need to say anything as the picture says a 100% what it needs to say. Yesterday he went to the Angel Stadium and he also saw the Hollywood sign, but now he comes back to this...he’s kind of surprised.
Kawasumi Answers: If you look closely, Mash has a gun and is asking for quartz, and what does Altria do? Eat donuts. Even in Japan, Riyo (the Artist) draws for each prefecture and their goods, and she is always wonderful and this is definitely one of her masterpieces.
Albert moves on and now notes it's the 1 year anniversary for F/GO NA. That's why he has something cool in store for us. Albert also noted we have now released in five different countries and that is is now it's truly a game played by the whole world.
Question: Albert asks what the Voice actors think of Fate/Grand Order being released in multiple countries.
Tsuruoka Answers: He is honestly just happy, because he, as a voice actor, usually has his recordings in Japan. But since the Fate franchise has crossed borders and oceans, and while this is his 2nd time in the US, he went to 3 different countries thanks to the Fate franchise. So it has taken him wide, world-wide. In every single country, the fans show him passion and intense love. Tsuruoka mentions how he himself has loved the Fate franchise for the past 10 years. And as he gets these warm welcomes from us, it will create more opportunities for him to come and visit in the future.
Kawasumi Answers: The Fate series has come a long way from Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works and has brought her overseas. And every single time she’s noticed how the fans are growing and show that much more love and passion for them. Last year she came here for the F/GO release, and every single time she goes somewhere for the first time or after something has been launched, she is filled with curiousity and anticipation for how the fans will react. Obviously coming here, she can see that everyone is really excited, showing her their cosplays as well. So, every single time she receives love from us, it motivates her more to do better and to provide something more for us every single time.
If only they had more of those playmats! I wanted to get them but they were all sold out...
How much of your gacha budget are you willing to give up?
Moving on, Albert had asked people to submit some lines from the game and they picked a few earlier for the guests to act out.
There is some confusion as to who is going to go first, but Kawasumi steps up to the plate. There’s some miscommunication at this point, when she utters who her line belongs to before saying it, but it’s laughed off. Albert performs a reroll.
Kawasumi performs the Altria Lancer NP line, it's really great and crowd cheers loudly which winds her up a bit. Some people in the crowd get a bit rowdy cheering her on.
Tsuruoka performs next and performs Arash’s NP incantation from Camelot. It's pretty great and honestly describing it would do it a disservice. Please see the clip below.
Afterwards Tsuruoka runs off to pretend he perished like a true Arash before coming back.
We’re at the halfway point and the Creative producer Yosuke Shiokawa is introduced. One of the nicknames he received during the JP panels, and which is closely related to the Japanese meaning of his name, is Salt-River. Very applicable for his role as part of F/GO and the bearer of quartz-related news during Part 1 of the story.
Shiokawa introduces himself in good English and notes how he is happy and honored to be here with so many Masters. He asks the crowd if they are enjoying F/GO, which is rewarded with some loud cheering.
Last year when they came to AX, it was only 1 or 2 months from the launch, yet they received a very heartwarming welcome. But at the same time this motivated them to be better and come back with much more for us this year. And so, representing the development team, they thanks us so much for all our support.
Question: Albert asks what was different between this Anime Expo and last year?
Shiokawa Answers: He notes how there are more Fate cosplayers and fans here, and he's really happy about it.
Albert subsequently asks all cosplayers in the audience to stand up with some more cheering as a result.
Question: Albert asks Shiokawa how he feels about the 1 year anniversary.
Shiokawa Answers: He’s really happy to be here with all the Masters to celebrate this 1 year anniversary, he thanks everyone once more.
There’s really been a lot of growth hasn’t there?
I wasn’t here last year, but I look forward to seeing an even better panel next year!
Shiokawa: Before we move on to the actual internal game features, we're going to show some updates on projects surrounding F/GO.
Shiokawa shows a picture of the board-game F/GO Duel and its collection figurines. This is the board game that is planned to be released in Japan, but this will be released in USA as well apparently.
The crowd actually chants some USA USA USA, while Albert sings some Team America but has to mumble to himself to avoid swearing.
The board-game will contain figurines and be played with cards, it's a 1v1 game.The setup will be three servants vs three servants just like in the actual game. The board-game is set to be released on August 2018 for the first release. The second release will be on september 2018 with more Servants. For more information: see duel.fate-go.us
Finally, they’ve brought PVP to FGO!
PVP? Ha! Just use who you like! Honestly I’d just want to keep the figures like Albert.
As this news is now widely available via the in-game news, this part will be a bit more summarized.
Shiokawa announces the Summer Festival which starts right after the panel ends and lasts until 07-17. More details are introduced:
A 7-day daily log-in bonus that will lead up to 10 summoning tickets.
All Master can also pick up a copy of the Anniversary Heroines CE as well.
All Chaldea daily quests have 1/2 AP cost for the next 10 days.
There will be 3x Chance of Super & Great success.
Strengthening part IV will be released as well, these are 14 Strengthening Quests in all.
Shiokawa then shows off Da Vinci’s NP. Da Vinci is to be released and will have a rate-up along with the Anniversary CEs. Someone in the crowd yells Da Vinci-chan upon hearing this news, who most certainly has no relation to Gamepress whatsoever.
Next up: The split-banner Guaranteed gacha is announced. Crowd is very pleased with this news.The banner opens immediately after the panel ends as well.
The Bonus Quartz for purchases has been increased and is now in line with other regions. Crowd is very pleased once more.
Finally, Shiokawa notes how there is more news, but that will be included in the in-game news.
I really don’t want to NP3 Waver this time…
But think about the chance of getting Ozymandias! By the way, do you think Aniplex can hook me up with Da Vinci?
Question: Albert asks what we can look forward to for the next year to all the guests.
Shiokawa Answers: We are currently at Camelot, but we will have the 7th singularity and the final singularity ahead of us. He asks us to please continue to enjoy the game and to continue to clear the main quest.
Tsuruoka Answers: He says he's a Master just like us, so seeing our reactions makes him very excited as well. Although Japan is a little bit ahead of us, we are in the same boat. He asks us to please look forward to the amazing adventures in the future after Camelot.
Kawasumi Answers: Kawasumi asks who has cleared Camelot and inquires about whether the crowd found the Knights of the Round Table fights hard in Camelot.
The crowd indicates they agree with her.
Kawasumi Answers: Even in Japan, people who finished the 6th singularity asked themselves why the enemy servants were so much stronger and harder in this singularity. Furthermore, she hopes that people will look forward to the things they are dying to share with them for the game and the anime here and in Japan.
Panel is winding down now, some final words:
Shiokawa: Thanks so much for your time everyone! He shows us an illustration from Takeuchi for the NA Server that depicts Mash.
Shiokawa: Afterwards, he, and he mentions Type-Moon and the other developers as well, thanks us for the first anniversary and the audience for coming to AX. But he has another present.
Shiokawa: Last year, he came to AX, and he notes that this year he is here again. Hopefully, he will be here to hand out more SQ next year.
Can you help me beat Camelot after this?
Albert also has a surprise for the guests, which he assures us they're unaware of. Presumably it smells sugary.
Albert tries to get the panel to cut it, along with EX rank Incitement from the audience. Kawasumi chants Excalibur and prepares to carefully try to cut it. But she can't bring herself to cut it with the sword in the end.
At this point the panel is exceeding the time limit.
That cake must be harder than Camelot if Excalibur can’t cut it!
If only we had an NP that ignores defense and pierces invincibility… the cake truly is a challenge quest boss!
Tsuruoka starts off.
Tsuruoka Answers: When they first mentioned AX to him it felt like a dream come true. 5 years ago he did come to America, that was for Sesame Street, but he is truly happy to be here and thanks us for all the warm words, praises and cheers. It felt like the Angel Stadium he went to yesterday, like the cheering for the players there. Although he is unable to promise if he can come back next year, but if anyone, or Shiokawa asks him to come back, he will definitely be back to perform at top notch. So everyone, please continue to enjoy F/GO!
Kawasumi Answers: Thank you all for coming today, she was really, really looking forward to coming back. She was counting down the days in Japan, because last year she had so much fun. At AX today, everyone exceeded her expectations, everyone was happy, smiling and that made her feel so good. So, US fans, AX fans, everyone was truly awesome.
Kawasumi Answers: She hopes everyone will continue to love the Fate series as well as F/GO. Although she won’t be able to pass out quartz to us, she hopes everyone will still have her back again! She thanks us once again for giving her a wonderful time and she hopes to see AX again.
Shiokawa asks for a bigger cake next time. Kawasumi asks for one bite off of the cake and grabs a fork. She has hard time penetrating the outer layer with the fork though and has to give up. Some final goodbyes are said and the stream comes to an end.
If you thought the FGO Panel had a muted crowd, you should have seen it in person. It was by far the most lively panel on the Anime Expo big panel stage - with all the industry giants bringing their big guns to AX this year, that’s saying something. Interest was so high that crowd control was forced to block off the entire hall, because the crowd was congregating by the panel (watching through the glass walls) and creating a serious fire hazard. All the guests are visibly impressed, in particular STELLA, who somehow gotten a louder crowd response than even her majesty SABER.
Even as a JP player the panel was a major highlight for me. I loved the interactions with the voice actors and Mr. Shiokawa, and screamed myself hoarse cheering for everything. People were just so happy, and the excitation and energy dynamic between the presenters and audience was infectious. Looking around and seeing so much love and passion for the Fate series and this game in particular makes me think that this positivity is the true way to restore humanity (or someone’s faith in it). In the end, we may be some kind of masochists, but damn do we enjoy the game.