Last year, Anime Expo kickoff the launch of Fate/Grand Order in the United States. A year later, Aniplex of America hosted the 1st Anniversary Fate/Grand Order Panel at Anime Expo 2018, MC’d by Albert Kao, head of localization, and featuring Ayako Kawasumi, the voice of Altria Pendragon and her many variants; and Satoshi Tsuruoka, voice of everyones beloved 1-star archer, Arash, as well as Gilles de Rais, Caligula, and Spartacus.
Start of the panel:
The panel started off with rolling the gacha! First, a bronze archer card, revealing Arash! A voice comes in over the sound system: Tsuruoka-san says Arash’s summoning line. Next, we roll a gold saber card, and Altria Pendragon is summoned! Kawasumi-san says Altria’s summoning line and then walks on stage.
Now that everyone is seated, introductions are in order.
Tsuruoka-san introducers himself: “Hello, my name is Satoshi Tsuruoka. This is my first time coming to Anime Expo and I am very surprised by how many people love our series and I look forward to having a wonderful time with you all. Thank you very much.”
Kawasumi-san is next. She introduces herself in English, and speaks very well. “Hello everyone! I am Ayako Kawasumi, the voice of Altria Pendragon from Fate/Grand Order. Thank you for coming today. It’s my third time here and I’m so excited. AX always inspires me. I love you guys!”
Albert transitions into asking the guests about their impressions of both Los Angeles and Anime Expo.
Kawasumi-san (K): “This is my third year at AX. Every single time I come, I look forward to the cosplayers and I saw various types of saber, and I saw the one that just stood on the stage, blue dress and the sword, but I saw many others too.”
Tsuruoka-san (T): “Even in Japan, I’m not the type of actor to stand in front of so many people. So honestly I am sincerely surprised. And around the same time yesterday, you see that exit back there? (points to the rear entrance of the panel room) I checked out the event yesterday and then I got super worried ‘Am I really gonna be able to talk to so many people?’ But I realized that I am going to be with Kawasumi-san, who is a pro at Anime Expo and I have the energy from you guys, so please cheer on for me.”
Albert then leads everyone in chanting Arash’s name in encouragement for Tsuroka-san.
After the introductions and first impressions, Tsuruoka-san and Kawasumi-san present some photos of their time in Los Angeles.
Tsuruoka-san went to the California Science Center and visited the space shuttle ENDEAVOR. ENDEAVOR was the shuttle that carried the first Japanese astronaut, Mamoru Mohri. Tsuruoka-san also visited the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Kawasumi-san went to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive for shopping. She also had afternoon tea. The staff asked for pictures of her for the presentation, but most of the photos that she took were of food. Afterwards, she went to Warner Bros. studio. She was not able to visit last year, so she had planned to visit this year. Unfortunately, it was very hot (44 C) on the day she went, so she only took a picture of the entrance.
The 1st Anniversary Los Angeles Anime Expo Playmat is revealed.
Albert asks the guests opinions of the playmat.
T: “Well, I don’t think there is anything for me to say. It is 100% already. But yesterday I went to the Angel Stadium and the Hollywood sign and I come back to this and I’m kinda surprised.”
K: “If you look at it it’s really cute, but if you look at it really closely, Mash and MC have a gun!? And they are asking for quartz, and what is Altria doing? Eating a donut. Even in Japan, the artist, she draws for each prefecture and their goods. And she is always wonderful, and this is definitely one of her masterpieces.”
Albert announces that FGO is planned to be released soon in 5 different territories: Singapore, Australia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. He asks the guests for their thoughts about FGO’s worldwide presence.
T: “I am honestly, just happy, because I, as a voice actor, usually have my recordings in Japan, but now the game has crossed the ocean. This is my second time in the US, but because of Fate events, I have gone to three other countries. It has taken me worldwide, and every single country, the fans show me passion and intense love. I myself love FATE for the past few years, so as I get the warm welcoming from you guys, I believe it will give me the opportunities for me to visit you guys. Thank you very much”
K: “The FATE Series has come a long way. From ZERO [Fate/Zero], to Unlimited Blade Works, and Fate/Grand Order has taken me overseas. And every single time, I notice the fans are growing. So much more love and passion for us. And last year I came here when FGO was released. And every single time I go somewhere for the first time, or after something has been launched, I’m filled with curiosity and anticipation for how the fans would react. Obviously coming here I see everyone is excited. Showing me with cosplays as well. Every single time I receive love from you guys, it motivates me to do better and to provide something more for you guys every single time. Thank you.”
The guests have a treat for the audience. They will be doing noble phantasm lines live for the crowd. After some confusion over ordering, Kawasumi-san goes first, and recites the Rhongomyniad incantation for Altria Pendragon (Lancer). Tsuruoka-san goes second, reciting the Stella incantation from Camelot. Afterwards, he walks off the stage, pretending that he has ‘died” in true Arash fashion. He returns shortly afterwards.
Next, the third guest for the panel in invited on stage. It is Yousuke Shiokawa, the creative producer of Fate/Grand Order. Albert asks him about Anime Expo, now that it has been a year.
Shiokawa-san (S): “Last year when we came to AX it was only one or two months from the launch, yet you gave us a very heartwarming welcome, but at the same time it motivated us to be better and come back with much more for you guys this year, and so representing the development team, we thank you so much for all your support. Thank you very much.”
Albert: A lot has changed since last year. Shiokawa-san, has a lot changed since last year for you?
S: “Obviously, more FGO coplayers. I have noticed a lot of Fate/ series cosplayers, but this year I see so many FGO and I’m really really happy about that.”
Albert: It’s been a year. how are you feeling right now?
S: “I’m really really happy to be able to be here with all the Masters, and to celebrate this one year, so thank you again everyone.”
S: Before we move onto the actual FGO internal features, we will be showing updates of projects surrounding FGO.
FGO Duel is announced.
S: So this is the board game planned to be released in Japan in August. It’s called Fate/Grand Order: Duel, but we are proud to present that this will be released in the US as well.
The crowd explodes with excitement and begins chanting: USA! USA!
Albert begins singing the theme to ‘Team America: World Police’, but mumbles about not being allowed to swear on stream. Nevertheless, the crowd is more than willing to curse for the sake of finishing a line.
Shiokawa explains that Fate/Grand Order: Duel is a board game that is modeled after the mechanics behind the smartphone game. In the board game, the servants are miniature figurines and their actions are controlled by actual command “cards”. . It will be a 1 on 1 game. It will be 3 servants vs 3, much like the lineups for FGO. The first set of servants will be out in August, followed by a second release in Sept 2018 with more servants. For more info, visit the official website.
Albert: Shiokawa is going to bring us the latest info from FGO
(At the time of this articles release, the summer event has already ended, with information already available in the news page.)
Shiokawa announces the Summer Fest 2018, which will run after the panel ends to July 17, 2018. Details of the event are as follows:
A 7-day daily log-in bonus that led up to 10 summoning tickets; a copy of the Anniversary Heroines CE; All Chaldea daily quests had 1/2 AP cost for the next 10 days; There was 3x Chance of Super & Great success; Strengthening part IV was released, with 14 Strengthening Quests total; Da Vinci was released and had a rate up banner along with the Anniversary CEs.
The guaranteed gacha was announced and bonus quartz amounts were also increased.
As the panel starts to wind down, Shiokawa has some closing words:
S: “The Type-Moon staff as well as us in the development team really really appreciate how FGO is doing, so we want to celebrate the English version FGO with you guys for our first anniversary, thank you. I have a present for you: saint quartz. For those of you who are attending Anime Expo 2018 and to this event, thank you so much. I appreciate all of you Masters, so please from me, 10 saint quartz.”
(The crowd is very pleased with the announcement of free quartz.)
“Last year I came to AX, this year I’m here, hopefully next year with your support, I will come back here and be the one passing out saint quartz again, so please support me.”
There is a final surprise for our guests, a huge FGO themed cake. Albert and the crowd encourage Kawasumi-san to cut it with an Excalibur replica and the chant behind the noble phantasm, but she can’t bring herself to cut it, as it is too pretty.
T: ”When they first mentioned AX to me it felt like a dream come true. 5 years ago I did come to America. That was for Sesame Street. But I am truly happy to be here and all the warm words, praises, and cheers that I feel, it’s almost like… It feels like the Angel Stadium that I went to yesterday and everyone was cheering one for the players. I’m unable to promise that I can come again next year, but if Mr. Shiokawa asks or if anyone would like me to come back, I will definitely be back, so please everyone, continue to enjoy FGO with me.”
K: “Everyone, thank you all for coming today. I really really looked forward to coming back and counting down the days in Japan because last year I had so much fun. And AX today, everyone exceeded my expectations. Everyone looks happy and smiling and that makes me feel so good. So Anim Expo, U.S. fans, you guys are truly awesome. I hope everyone will continue loving the Fate series, especially FGO. Although I won’t be able to pass out the quartz, I hope everyone will still have me back again. Thank you all for a wonderful time I hope to see you guys all again.”
S: “In regards to the cake. Later on, I think the staff will kinda pick at it. Next year please give us a bigger cake.”
Albert: “We’ll try.”
And that just about wraps it up for the Anime Expo 2018 Fate/Grand Order Panel.