Saturday, July 11, 2009
-S=seen but unable to take good picture
Kuniko Hojo (Shangri-La)-P
Ohashi High School (Toradora!)-P
North High School (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)-P
East High School (High School Musical)-N
Ryouu High School (Lucky Star)-P
Hikarizaka High School (Clannad)-P
Jindai High School (Full Metal Panic!)-P
Seishun Academy (Prince of Tennis)-P (athletic uniform)
Seiso Academy (La Corda D'Oro)-N
Ouran High School (Host Club)-P
Youkai Academy (Rosario + Vampire)-P
Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)-S
Sakura High School (K-On!)-P? (Mio's gothic outfit from ending credits)
Cross Academy (Vampire Knight)-P
Ashford Academy (Code Geass)-P? (not from the school, but Code Geass cosplay was found)
Animate store employee (Lucky Star)-S (because I thought my costume was better)
Gamers store employee (pink haired Hinata Miyakawa, Lucky Star)-N
Anna Miller's waitress (examples can be found in Lucky Star and Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu)-N
Fast food restaurant (Tsumugi Kotobuki, K-On!)-N
Battle waitress (Mikuru Asahina, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)-P
Bunny girl (found in way too many anime series)-P
Female gondolier (Aria)-N
Gundam (because it's the 30th anniversary):
Cowboy Bebop (because last year was the 10th anniversary)*:
Spike Spiegel (Keanu, don't screw this up)-N
Shinichi Watanabe (because he's funny):
Nabeshin (Excel Saga, Nerima Daikon Brothers, Puni Puni Poemy)-P
Inspector Widgett (Yukika Karakuri, Nerima Daikon Brothers)-N
Mako/Hideki/Ichiro (Nerima Daikon Brothers)-N
Ilpalazzo (Excel Saga)-N
Excel (Excel Saga)-N
Hyatt (Excel Saga)-N
Sunako Nakahara (The Wallflower)-N
Kyohei Takano (The Wallflower)-N
Hayao Miyazaki (because he'll be in California this month):
Kiki (Kiki's Delivery Service)-S
Yubaba (Spirited Away)-N
San (Princess Mononoke)-P
And characters you'll see tons of:
L (Death Note)-P
Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)-N
Sora (Kingdom Hearts)-N
Akatsuki warrior (Naruto)-P
Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)-S
Yoko Littner (Gurren Lagann)-P
Kamina (Gurren Lagann)-P
And because I see it mentioned a lot, and there was a section dedicated to it in the latest cosplay book I bought, D. Gray Man:
Total Possible = 60 GRADE: E
I really should be more observant of cosplay....
The only things I wanted to see today was the voice actor panel for a chance to hear Kari Wahlgren speak, Robot Chicken panel, art auction, and closing ceremonies, and to catch some convention-closing sales at the exhibit hall. Unfortunately, there wasn't much in terms of sales, but I was able to snatch items that they were almost running out of, and the Artists' Alley did show some KyoAni fanart that I would want to put up on my wall:
I really learned to control my spending this time, buying only things that would be cheaper/easier to buy in person than online...If only I knew the Kinokuniya would've run out of the "Don't Say Lazy" CD, I would've bought it earlier instead of having to order it...
I caught a little bit of the voice actor panel with Kari Wahlgren...Learning that it was really nothing more than a Q&A session, I left after Ms. Wahlgren satisfied a fan's request of saying "I love you, Konata" in her Kagami voice...the same format was true for the Robot Chicken panel, though it was neat to hear Seth Green mention a new series...
I did meet up with my friend for Shin Chan before checking out the exhibit hall and Artists' Alley one more time before lunch.
While my friend wanted to enjoy her purchases, I attempted to try to get a unique collectible at the charity auction. Unfortunately, things quickly got too rich for my blood even when I wanted an autographed Shuffle wall scroll...
Since the auction ran long, I couldn't stay for the closing ceremonies. My friend and I had one last meal at Little Tokyo before heading to the airport. We found more AX attendees hanging out at Little Tokyo:
I hope my friend becomes more comfortable having her pic taken for the next cosplay event as I'm already thinking of new costumes to work on...
Now some final cosplay pics:
First up are some Metal Gear Solid pics (and best use of old appliances...):
Considering how long it takes me to put pics in a blog post, I've placed the last of my pics in my Flickr.
Hopefully I'll do a better job posting cosplay pics on my blog next time...
Friday, July 10, 2009
Lesson Learned: Learn HTML so posting new blog entries will be a lot easier…
July 4 is one of those days that I really wanna show my patriotism, so I had no cosplays planned so I can wear a patriotic t-shirt. However, I guess my friend really became comfortable with cosplay enough that she wore the same Clannad uniform for a second day…
Before my roommates woke up, I wanted to hit the treadmill at the workout room at the hotel. However, the room was closed for the weekend, so I decided to walk down Figueroa and reminisce about the times I used to walk all the way to downtown
On the way back, I asked a cameraman for Fox News on how spots are assigned, and he mentioned that it's pretty much first-come/first-served. He picked the spot he was at because he wanted to get a Staples Center sign.
Now that everyone was awake, my friend and I finally started walking to the convention center...along the way, I found a Michael Jackson tribute wall where you can sign it:
Apparently, one person wasn't sure what famous Michael passed away:
So when we got to the convention center, we started watching videos, first was Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. I really liked the action, and I will have to find the other movies. That video was followed with watching episodes of Ouran High School Host Club. Now I understand the popularity of the series as I really enjoyed the humor.
After that, I was dragged into the Yaoi Press Industry Panel...oddly enough, I wasn't the only straight guy in the room...I explained myself to others in saying that I had to show my support for a hometown company (based in Las Vegas) by attending the panel. Fortunately, I was called by my college buddy and was able to leave early...I was actually disappointed to hear that a Vegas based Yaoi company wasn't expanding into Yuri but into Yaoi novels...
I met up with my college buddy and hung out in the exhibit hall while my friend was going to the Japanese traditional dance workshop. The most interesting thing we saw was someone's remote-controlled R2-D2 unit:
Since my college buddy was meeting up with his roommates soon, I went off to a video room while my friend finished the dance workshop. Because of a schedule change, Lucky Star was playing during the time slot originally set for Bleach: Memories of Nobody...this caused a headache for fans who didn't pick up an updated schedule at the information booth. So the volunteer checking badges could figure out the schedule, I gave him my copy of the schedule he can show to people to prove that there was an official change in the schedule...
Once I met up with my friend, we headed off for lunch in Little Tokyo. Lesson learned: let friend know that you want to take her to different part of Little Tokyo than place visited the night before. I wanted to show my friend another part of Little Tokyo, but I should've known from her excitement over Korean BBQ the night before that I should've just drove back to the Little Tokyo Marketplace. We parked at the Japanese Village Plaza parking and started walking towards the Little Tokyo Marketplace. After a block or so, we got lost in the Toy District. After asking for directions, we went back to the shopping center where we parked and decided to eat at the Korean BBQ place located there instead. After lunch, I took my friend to the famous Anime Jungle store and began to look for a place for dessert...
I remember a press release for a maid cafe set up only during Anime Expo at Salon de Cafe Focus (there was a guy passing out flyers who thought my friend was Japanese even though she's Korean). After a tough time walking in the heat in uncomfortable shoes looking for the Little Tokyo Marketplace, it was a relief to find the cafe above Anime Jungle.
Since it was Independence Day, they only had one maid working, but at the same time, there were very few customers. My friend ordered a milk tea while I got an item that I got when I first visited Cafe Mai:lish in Akihabara in Tokyo, a melon soda float:
Unlike the Tokyo version, this float was much more reasonable priced. The special maid cafe menu had pretty common Japanese cafe fare such as curry rice, udon, and flan. It also turned out we weren't the only AX attendees to learn of this place (since probably many were drawn to the AniMaid Cafe held at the convention center and at the Westin Bonaventure):
After dessert, I finally drove my friend back to Little Tokyo Marketplace so she could get her cream puffs from Beard Papa's. After dropping off the car at the hotel, we returned to the convention center where I missed the Kari Wahlgren panel, but I was able to go to the BangZoom voice acting workshop. I wanted to go to this again because they gave away cool stuff like figures and t-shirts last year. Unfortunately, the economy must have affected the freebies, but it was still an enjoyable panel. My friend ducked out so she could get to the fanfiction writing panel and workshop. After her panel ended, we went back to the hotel to relax...
Not content with spending the last night of AX cooped up at the hotel, I went back to the convention center while my friend slept and our roommates attended the masquerade to see what goes on at night. I originally planned to watch Please Teacher, but the alien elements was a little too weird for me, so I left after 10 minutes. Along the way, I came across people who were waiting for the Mini Skirt Army panel. Unfortunately for them, they didn't pick up the updated schedule showing that it was cancelled, so someone had to inform them of the bad news. Lesson learned: always pick up the updated schedule every morning.
One advantage of holding Anime Expo at the L.A. Convention Center is that it is a glass building, so you have a lot of sunlight for taking photos. Unfortunately, at night, the lighting is not as great, but you do find some interesting cosplay at night:
Since I felt a cold coming, I went back to the hotel for the night to find one of my roommates back from Masquerade an hour early. According to him, it wasn't that great...After attending a few masquerades, I've learned that the best ones focus only on the costumes as many entries have excellent costumers, but not-so-great actors. If only masquerades only focused on the costumes, I would attend more of them...
Cosplay pics taken this day:
The most interesting cosplay I've ever seen at Anime Expo-one of the AX mascots:
And here's some more cosplay:
Thursday, July 9, 2009
There was also some visits to the Exhibit Hall, where one cosplayer at the Crunchyroll booth and one of the exhibitors at a cosplay shop booth recognized my cosplay...before that, there was only one person who took my picture before origami and another guy dressed as Meito who recognized me (but I still believe my cosplay had more of a real retail employee feel). Lesson learned: get more spiky hair for Meito and partner with a girl cosplaying as Konata (even though I prefer Nanako Kuroi)...
The highlight of this day was the Morning Musume concert. My friend and I never heard of this group before, which is why I wanted to attend. Such high energy music is great at small doses, but it was a great concert nonetheless. During this concert, Morning Musume, along with founder Tsunku, and Hangry of Hangry x Angry, announced the winners of the OPV contest:
Tsunku's favorite came from China/Hong Kong:
Morning Musume's favorite came from the U.S:
And the grand prix award selected by both Tsunku and Morning Musume was from Japan, a video that fits well with Anime Expo:
[OPV]3, 2, 1 BREAKIN’ OUT!アニメーションmix
To illustrate, here are pics from the Haruhi part of the gathering:
Cosplay pics I took during this day:
(It's a giant strawberry Pocky, nothing more...)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Before heading off to the Masquerade Ball, we saw the Chibi Masquerade where we saw a wide variety of novice cosplayers, including a Tohru Honda with a live rat as a partner, a kid doing Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, a Gintama skit that had to be restarted about 3 times, a very good violin performance, and a girl dressed as the Guitar Hero controller:
(Lesson learned: Get better seats for Masquerade and learn how to take better indoor photos...very few pics from Chibi Masquerade turned out well. The rest became blurry.)
So after riding the shuttle to the Westin Bonaventure, we missed the actual masquerade part of the masquerade ball, but there was still dancing, where I tried to remember what I learned earlier in the afternoon. I chatted with someone about American foreign policy while dancing for some reason...oh yes, I wanted to cover a topic that wasn't about Michael Jackson...Later my friend and I had some Korean food at one of the restaurants at the Westin before heading back to the LACC and walking back to our hotel. My friend went ahead of me while I wanted to explore L.A. Live: