I took my cosplayed friend to the opening ceremonies, which started about a half hour late:
What I remember from the opening ceremonies was one of the Guests of Honor commented that he wanted to come to the U.S. to see how cute the anime fans were here (he probably was in for a shock considering how cute the girls in Akihabara are...) and the painting of one eye on the daruma doll (wikipedia that to understand the significance).
Since hotel check-in was hours away, we hopped around the convention center, watching a little bit of Emma: A Victorian Romance (rich guy falls in love with maid in Victorian times, hence the slow pacing), watching a little bit of the AX Idol Singing Auditions where Vic Mignogna was one of the judges (good thing I wasn't auditioning for voice acting as they lost all the sign-up data), and meeting up for the Clannad gathering that I set up earlier (though only one person showed up):
My friend and I also dressed as Hikarizaka High School students, but my friend notoriously hates it when I post up pics of her (though I think she's very cute), so you won't see pics of her in this blog...at last count, there were only two other people I'm aware of who took her pic, so you'll be lucky if you see her picture...
My friend really wanted to compliment a pair of girls on the craftsmanship in their Chobits cosplay...they told us to thank China as they ordered their costumes...
My friend and I also took part in the Masquerade Ball dance instruction workshop where we ran into our roommates...as one of the attendees said, it helps if you had marching band experience, which I had, but I still lacked speed.
After the dance lesson, we went back to the hotel to check-in, and signs that the neighbors were aware of AX were evident:
There were also signs that the city was getting ready for, at the time, a rumored tribute to Michael Jackson at nearby Staples Center:
Upon check-in, we learned the hotel rate was based on number of occupants, not number of beds. As such, all the rooms with two beds were taken the day before, so we were stuck with a king size bed and almost didn't get a rollaway bed because of the demand. However, they did locate one and wouldn't charge us for the rollaway. We were also surprised to hear that they charged more for the second car parked as usually there's only one car associated with a room. (Lesson learned: ask what the parking rate is for the second car and inquire about early check-in in order to try to secure the desired number of beds.)
So while all of us unpacked (Lesson learned: don't forget the cell phone charger), making multiple trips to and from the car, I caught my first instance of a Full Metal Panic cosplay (which I wasn't expecting considering how old FMP: The Second Raid is):
To get ready for the Masquerade Ball, we showered and changed (lesson learned: either lose weight or don't cosplay wearing a blazer in the summer to avoid massive sweating) before heading back to the LACC to take the shuttle to the Westin Bonaventure. Before boarding the shuttles, I came across another surprising cosplay...other guys at the hotel asked the Kaname cosplayer where Sosuke was, but I guess he was hanging out with her doppelganger:
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: