Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quickpics...My Non-Anime L.A. Anime Day (Possible NSFW)

Okay, I didn't plan on attending Anime L.A., but I did have a full anime-related day yesterday...

After taking part in my regular volunteering activity, I headed up to Anaheim to the SPJA office where they were holding their first Anime Expo/SPJA open house of the year so those who were interested can ask questions about volunteering and staffing. In addition to enjoying my new favorite from the Kogi truck parked outside (Pacman Burger), I got to learn more about the ins and outs of convention operations, and I was even able to get a sneak peek of I guess the new webshow Toybox hosted by the girl from How a Girl Figures blog...

After the open house, I drove down the street to Disneyland so I could get my first look of the new construction walls covering up the concrete California letters at the entrance in front of Disney's California Adventure as it is being removed to make way for a new entrance area. Pics of the before and after will be in a separate post.

Now the big event of the day was meeting up with friends in L.A. to catch the Anime Babes Burlesque & Cabaret show presented by Devil's Playground Burlesque...the event was held at Bordello Bar near Little Tokyo. The venue had no signs outside indicating that it was indeed Bordello Bar, so I drove around this industrial section of downtown L.A. in circles until I started seeing people lining up outside, indicating that it was indeed the place. While I was wandering, I was able to get a neat pic of the skyline at night...



Once I figured out the location, I still had to wait for my friends who were arriving from Anime L.A...in the meantime, I was able to make friends with some people who were waiting in line next to me and passed the time chatting about undergraduate education, anime, and video games.

My friends didn't show up when my new acquaintances and I got in...it quickly got crowded, so I could only text my friend even though we were probably 15 feet away...

Now I was expecting a show that went with the burlesque surroundings, but the band that played before the main event was not playing jazz or anything close to anything you would expect to hear at a burlesque venue. However, I liked Sassafrass for the big sound they got from two musicians...



After a little bit of a wait, the show started...It should be noted that yesterday would have been the 100th birthday of legendary burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. However, I didn't expect an anime themed burlesque show to be more like an adult version of a masquerade you would want to see at an anime convention...I was expecting more sensuality, and the announcer sounded more like a cheesy strip club DJ...I was hoping for something like Joel Grey's Oscar winning performance in the film Cabaret. Hopefully, the announcements were done in jest and each performance would be classier...

First up was a girl doing Pikachu...



None of the pics from her performance to "Eye of the Tiger" are suitable for what I want to be a family-friendly blog, but let's just say it was so crowded, a tall guy who stood behind me said, "all I saw was a ****** on fire"...

Next was a cute cosplay, and it looked like it was getting progressively better...



I liked this one a lot more than the next one, which was my friend's favorite, Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist...from my reading of elements of burlesque on Wikipedia, there should be an element of satire on it, not a bloody mess...



Because we got tired of the crowd, my friend and I only stayed for one more performance, Sailor Moon...



Overall, I thought it was an interesting show, but, considering that I grew up in Las Vegas, I would've expected more theatrics and more adult versions of anime costumes (I saw an audience member in this cute yellow race queen outfit, another audience member in a Sailor Moon outfit but without the anime eyes, and a guy doing Phoenix Wright, but I doubt anyone, including myself, would've noticed). I also would've put a cap on the number of people in the venue to maybe half as many and bump up the cover charge. I wonder how Gypsy would've reacted to this show...

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