The 5th of June, on the afternoon we left for Paris since we were going to Japan Expo the next morning. I was so excited since I would see the current director and producer of the Legend of Zelda series, Eiji Aonuma. my favorite video game ever. I was in shock that I would be able to see him in person, so as soon as it was announced that he would hold a masterclass in Japan Expo we immediately bought tickets for it! It was the cheapest day too! 12 euros per ticket on a Friday! Take that Comic-Con!
So, while I was jumping for joy! Then my joy quickly came to a halt since I realized that we had no reservations and it was super last minute so everything was super expensive. The average was 100 euros per night, heck no. I talked to Boris and told him that it was too expensive, he had the brilliant idea to drive VERY early in the morning and come back after the convention closed.I was like “uh, no that is way to dangerous.” So I decided to finally use Airbnb,( yeah I am late on that whole Airbnb stuff don’t judge me ok) all the area around the convention center were expensive so I had to look a bit further away. It was a 20-minute drive, so it wasn’t that bad. It was well worth it for 3 nights I found a place less than 80 euros!
Driving to Paris is tiresome, so much traffic, stupid and impatient drivers. It took us 3-hours to arrive at our Airbnb reservation.The host had a beautiful spacious home, she was even kind enough to serve us breakfast even though it didn’t say in the description, I was so thankful for it. It was affordable in comparison to the hotels and ever Airbnb’s around Japan expo!
Next day, the big day!! We went to Japan Expo! We woke up early to get the best “bang” for our buck; by that I mean I would be there when it opens and closes. Thus we were when walked to the entrance to avoid being stuffed into a box, like sardines, but instead of a box, it was a bus. While in line I saw a lot of different cosplayers from Naruto to Deadpool and all your latest popular anime I have not been keeping track of.
I entered and the first thing I saw was…food! It was an onigiri stand, oh how I wanted some onigiri but my wallet said no. I walked through the artist’s corner and there were many wonderful artisanal crafts, mostly anime or popular tv show. The items they had were very “kawaii” style, steampunk or Japanese. As we walked through the aisles, we saw several stands, the usual shirts, indie video games and one where you move items with your brain!
I also saw a stand where there was katanas or Japanese swords, along with small knives or daggers that are all coming from popular tv shows or anime. I also saw a master sword replica, oh how I wanted it…but I had nowhere to put it and it was plastic. There was an area specially reserved for video games and concerts too! What video games you might ask, well just the games that have yet to reach the general public like the new Mario Odyssey and the new online multiplayer final fantasy game. Oh, there was even a live Arms tournament by Nintendo.
We walked around the somewhat big convention center, not checking out every booth in order to arrive early and finding a decent spot to see Mr.Aonuma. So we waited on the floor until the hall opened where the event was to be held. Boris and I played on the old DS Mario Kart because we are cool like that. Meanwhile, the older people were playing a game on their switch.I was a little bit envious but it was fun playing Mario Kart on the DS, brought back memories.
About an hour of waiting for the doors to open, I rushed through cutting in front of people that were too slow and I ran to the showroom. I was so excited and since we were there early, we got a great seat. I waited impatiently for the event to start, as we waited there was a Parisian Zelda theme…it was interesting, to say the least. But after a short moment the star of the show was presented, Mr. Aonuma! He entered and spoke a little of French, It was adorable, to say the least. Then the event started got some insight scoop of how the Zelda series was designed and a glimpse of the new Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC will be like. After everything was said and done they held a little awards ceremony for a competition they hosted and they awarded 3 artist awards by Zelda cosplayers.
Then it was time to leave, it was time to say goodbye, and he walked forward on the stage and noticed other people rushed to see him up close. I also did, couldn’t see that well when the person in front of me moved but either than that it was amazing he was so close to me. As he waved he lasted bowed and left the stage waving. I was so sad the event was over since I don’t know when I will get the chance to see anyone that constructed my childhood. As we left, I cried I was overwhelmed with emotions, I was happy.
The event was over but not the convention! Thus Boris and I walked around through all the booths, we saw the manga area and video game area.This time we stayed in the video game area for me to try out a breath of the wild on the Switch, looked beautiful but I kinda rushed through it since there was someone behind me waiting to play.
We went to the Japanese culture area where there was a small show from Japanese bands.When entering the area I saw beautiful women dressed in traditional Japanese attire.Walking back and forth through the booths looking for something to buy as a souvenir we didn’t notice how time flew by and it was time to leave.We tried stalling as much as possible until they blocked the ways and told us to leave. Can you believe they closed at 18hrs or 6 pm! That’s how it is in France.