Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Anime Expo 2009 Checklist and Cosplay Scavenger Hunt Shortlist of Sorts

Let's see, am I ready for AX '09?

-Registration?-check
-Hotel?-check (for all those whining about a wristband policy...you can easily pay an extra $100/night to avoid having to wear one at another hotel during the Independence Day weekend)
-Ordered new Minicards?-reprints coming soon (very helpful customer service. Thanks Moo!)
-Finished hand made costume?-no
-Ordered other costume?-should arrive any day now
-Have cash?-since I didn't go on my usually big Maycation this year, check
-Learned Japanese?-read very little, according to My Japanese Coach on Nintendo DS, I have the language ability of a Kindergartener right now
-Built database of cosplay characters based on existing pics and cosplay books?-probably should start since I'll never spend the money to buy/develop cosplay recognition software
-Created AX09 cosplay hitlist of cosplay most intrigued to see?-I guess i could do that now...

Series I haven't taken pics of yet but hopefully would find at AX09...(If I somehow form a
cameko team, I would definitely try to build a more comprehensive list and make a game out of
it)
-K-On!
-Shangri-La (if anyone really understands this series, we should talk...)
-Negima
-Ah My Goddess
-Rosario Vampire (besides Shirayuki)
-Clannad (besides myself)
-Air
-(Panyo Panyo) Di Gi Charat (I like using the Panyo Panyo series as a form of torture to those
who make fun of my interest in high school slice of life series)
-Excel Saga (besides Nabeshin)
-Nerima Daikon Brothers (saw Inspector Widget at AX08, but missed taking a pic)

Just wanted to make sure I had another post before the end of the month...to show the world that I'm still around...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering 2009 Part 5: The Final Voyage...

In the midst of taking pics of cosplayers, there was a raffle for prizes such as anime DVDs, manga, hamtaro bags, tickets to Anime Expo, etc... It helps to get some good sponsors, though I already had most of the prizes they offered (Negima! box set, Nerima Daikon Brothers, Full Metal Panic!, etc...)

What was funny was that so many of the winning tickets that were called for the pair of Anime Expo tickets were not present. I guess they didn't want the hassle of dealing with trying to get a refund as I heard many people already registered two months in advance. As for the Betta fish, the winning name was Kanye West. I guess no one suggested Betamax or VHS or BluRay.

Between the posing for pics and the raffle, the attendees found other ways to pass the time (besides eating the Korean BBQ someone brought later in the day).

Some played football:



Some tossed a frisbee (albeit very badly, but it did lead to some free-for-all when the disc landed on the ground):



For a moment, the frisbee toss broke into a sword fight (in good fun, of course):



The main event finished with a group picture of all the cosplayers (you'll have to see my outtakes to appreciate the size of the cosplayer crowd since I only used my Canon).



I get the feeling that this event also pleased the cameko that were in attendance as many of them I've seen at previous conventions...



If you want to see the pics that didn't make it to the blog, you can find them on Flickr.

This was the first time I attended this event, and overall, I've enjoyed it a lot, but here are some things I wished they did:

1) Since the event is held at a park, maybe pick a location near a baseball field with bleachers that could be used by the cosplayers for when the group picture was going to be taken. Of course, this may be an unreasonable request considering that I rarely see bleachers available near a large picnic area in a public park, but then again, I've only been to two county parks in Orange County, so I may not know what I'm talking about.
2) Provide (or encourage the bringing of) toys such as frisbees, volleyballs, etc...Attendees won't do anything unless you suggest something.
3) Start cooking burgers about 15 minutes before you announce that there's food.
4) Mention (if not promote) the Anime L.A. group that set up a canopy nearby, even if their appearance was not part of the schedule. They did have extra drinks, but I notice there was still a lot of water at the SoCal Cosplay Gathering side as I was leaving for the day.

Of course here are some things I wish I did:

1) Brought a frisbee, rollerblades, volleyball, or something to pass the time during a photography break.
2) Check to make sure that I had a pen an paper on me to take people's MySpace, email, etc...at the same time, I wish I brought more Moo MiniCards with me.
3) Actually talk to the Ouran High School Host club cosplayers who also attended AniMaid Cafe.
4) Brought my old HP camera as it had a built in panorama mode for the giant group photo at the end.

Now after attending two events that were not conventions but were somewhat anime related, I believe that if the sponsorship garnering abilities of SoCal Cosplay Gathering were combined with the entertainment abilities of Funky Fresh Cosplay (the group behind Animaid Cafe), they could be a major force in the Orange County otaku scene. But what do I know? I just like finding interesting things to do until my own dream of a real cosplay cafe is realized...

Now I just have a little less than an hour before The Amazing Race (rerun) starts...

SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering 2009 Part 4: The Individual Category

Well The Amazing Race Rerun is going to start in a little over two hours, so I'll have to finish this part and the last part quickly...

On to the individual round starting with some cable TV (non-anime) favorites, like Cartoon Network's Ben 10:



Or Nickelodeon's Fairly Oddparents



Or maybe some video game favorites (don't games based on movies count?):





Here's some more cosplay girls (the title of the book series that first got me intrigued about the world of Japanese pop culture inspired cosplay and the photographers who take their pics)...





(I'll need help tagging this post since I forgot where last character came from...)

And then there's FMA:



Somehow, I think of Office Space when I see this pose:



Okay, it looks like I'll have time to finish the last installment and start work on a new set of Moo MiniCards before The Amazing Race...

Now the final installment...

SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering 2009 Part 3: Now for Some Group Shots

It was a little warm, and I've been outdoors for about 5 hours already, so I wanted to conserve my energy so I can stay up late and watch a rerun of last Sunday's The Amazing Race on The Travel Channel. Besides, I suspect that many of the cosplayers I've seen today will reprise their roles at Anime Expo almost two months from now (I hope my cousin and I are done with my costume by then...).

So here are some groups of people I've taken pictures of, starting with Gurren Lagann



At least this group was comfortable when someone from a completely different story shows up



Now a little Baccano!?



Or maybe another couple?



Or maybe a couple of fighters?



Or creatures that are trained to fight?




I wonder if they are related to rabbits because they seemed to multiply in a short amount of time:



For the last pic in this set, we were told that what they were holding was a potato gun...too bad no one had a potato to test it out.





So now on to part 4, the individual category...

SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering 2009 Part 2: Animals, Ninjas, and Princesses, Oh My!

I guess a good thing about having an event in a public park is that you can take your pet with you. I would expect dogs usually, but a goat? Kairi was definitely a center of attention with her furry companion. Some people did bring their dogs with them, and the goat appeared really aggressive with a dog. I learned that a goat will head butt a dog. I hope the other guy who was taking pictures got video on that and posted it on YouTube. The goat later appeared to show affection to anything in black, especially with a particular ninja.




Out of fairness, I took his picture in a more appropriate pose.



Of course not all animals were pets, like one of two furries I saw today:



Okay, now some more ninjas:



Or maybe three ninjas?



Or as one cosplayer put it, three ninjas and a black guy:



For some reason, there were a couple of Disney princesses




Of course, there is one princess you can't go without in any anime-related event:



(Okay, the Goomba says Peach, but I keep thinking Zelda)

Now moving on to part 3...

SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering 2009 Part 1: It Starts...

After I finished my volunteer work today, I drove straight to the park to try to meet up with my friend at the SoCal Cosplay Gathering. When I checked in, there was a contest to name a betta fish. Winning name got the fish. I also noticed that organizers of this event also use Moo Minicards to advertise, so I knew this was gonna be good (I did hand them some of my cards as a courtesy...everyone wants my Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland card...I was so hoping people wanted the Santa Monica Beach card).

While I waited for my friend, I noticed they had an Xbox with Rock Band 2 set up. Kind of a risk to bring such expensive equipment to an outdoor public park, but the owner of the system and hdtv was there the entire time, unlike the computers set up for some Let It Groove multiplayer that my friend managed to cause to freeze.



Of course, like at any anime related event, there was also some carmelldansen.



Of course, you only reserve a picnic area in the park to eat, and there was plenty. Too bad there was a wait for hamburgers. I just had hot dogs, a chocolate chip cookie, and a brownie bite.



Now on to Part 2...

SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering 2009 Part 0: I'll Get The Pics Up Soon

Well almost 3 hours after I returned from the SoCal Cosplay Spring Gathering in Irvine (in Orange County, CA, USA), I still haven't sorted out the 100 pics I took (compared to the other cameko who probably took on average 500+ each...but with my Canon, 100 pics in 5 hours isn't bad).

This is just a little note to those I handed my MySpace calling card that indeed you have reached the right blog. I'm just a little to hungry to work on the blog just yet...enjoying my Yoshinoya right now.