Below is a translation of Shimoda’s blog post from May 26th, the day after she returned from Canada’s Anime North 2015. You can see the original here, which includes a few pictures not included below.
I’m back, Japan!! ♪ヽ(´▽｀)/
I attended all 3 days of Anime North, which took place in Toronto, Canada. ☆
Thank you to everyone from all over the world for coming! Are you guys tired?
Personally, I am exhausted! (www)
So, here’s the short speech I made during the closing ceremony on day 3. I’ll post it in both English and Japanese. (^∇^)
Good evening, I’m voice actress Asami Shimoda. I’m so happy that I was able to come to Toronto, and to Anime North.
This became a wonderful experience for me. Thank you for such a good time! I’m looking forward to the day where we can meet with a smile again!
This is my first time making an English speech in public since middle school.
During the autograph session I kinda wanted to talk directly to fans if possible and therefore spoke in English as much as possible,
even though there must have been some mistakes. I’m so happy that you guys talked to me in Japanese, too! ♪
Probably because I spoke too much with everyone, many people lining up ended up not able to get an autograph and I’m a little bit regretful. (T_T)
Especially on the first day… (;_;)
Although I wasn’t able to sign for everyone who lined up for so many hours, I clearly remember seeing you guys.
The staff and the other guests were also surprised to see SO many people lining up there, but I might be the one who was surprised the most!! ＼(◎o◎)／
The event itself was awesome, but since this was the first time I traveled outside of Asia, I also experienced so many cultural and climate differences throughout the entire trip.
I’ll talk about more details in other posts.
I went to the CN tower which is a symbol of Toronto!
AWESOME and SUPER TALL! The elevator had glass floor panels too! ☆
I had even more fun with Nabatame-san during our free time. ♪
I already posted about this on twitter, but when I went to Starbucks, maybe I didn’t pronounce my name well, so it got misspelled by the staff and it turned into “AFAMI”… (www)
The translators told me it actually happens frequently and became a good memory. I should have taken that cup back home~
That said, English is so interesting to me.
If I had come to Canada when I was much younger, I might have thought of studying abroad and my life might have changed dramatically.
I got a question during the Q&A session asking what I would be doing if I hadn’t become a voice actress. Since I like English, maybe I would have studied abroad. It would be great to have a job that can utilize both English and Japanese!
I also became friends with the housekeeper at my hotel! We talked every morning in my room but she had the last day of AN off. When the event was over and I went back to the hotel, a piece of paper with “Thank you!” written on it was left in my room.
Knowing I couldn’t meet her again, a strong feeling of loneliness welled up in my heart.
There is a wonderful saying in Japanese, “ichi-go ichi-e” [“one time, one meeting”], and that was exactly how I felt.
When I was leaving, the translators all came to see me off at the airport gate.
Although we exchanged our contact information, the time I spent in Toronto is a priceless treasure for me.
We hugged, shook hands, and said goodbye with tears.
When I was just about to go check my luggage,
I shouted out “I’ll be back” and gave a thumbs up.
The talk about Terminator during the second day’s panel came to my mind. I didn’t realize I could use it this way! (>_<)
Thanks to that, I made a promise to meet again with a smile, and left Toronto.
I am thankful from the bottom of my heart to everyone who gave me this amazing experience.
Though I had a bad time on the departing flight and became exhausted since I could not sleep at all, I slept relatively well on the returning flight.
After I got home, I ordered Sushi because of my love of Japanese food and went to bed right after I ate. I slept almost till the morning ～(>_<).
Maybe I’ll have some Soba today♪