Sunday, July 11, 2010

My AXperience

Wow... I don't know where to start. It's been a week already since Anime Expo 2010 was over. My post-convention depression is somewhat over, but I still miss the friends I've met there. I really did have more fun than I thought. Well I knew about the guests of honor and AX being the biggest one there is, and of course there were some bad things that happened as well, but I really didn't expect to have a great time! One of the best experiences I've had!

On Wednesday, June 30th aka AX Day 0, I arrived and I was able to check into my hotel room early, so I was able to relax a little bit before I decided to line up for 2+ hours to get my badge before the convention started. Wow... It was as stupid as I thought when lining up to get badges. And here I thought the one in Vancouver was long... I had heard it's much longer on Day 1.

I had thought I had time to go see the opening ceremonies before one of my comrades arrived, but alas I could only take a few pictures outside. I was able to get inside though but it started late. But then again I don't usually attend the opening ceremonies anyway. ^^;

But it was worth it skipping out on the ceremony to meet Wolfheinrich and his DD daughter, Kiriha. The plan was that I would lend my room to Wolf to put his stuff there in case he can't check in early. The hotel check in is supposed to be 3 PM, but he arrived at 10 AM. Fortunately he was able to check in early and I was able to take some photos of Kiriha before heading back to the convention center :D

At the time I haven't given Mugi to her new master yet, so I thought I'd let her join the photoshoot ^^ They're both very kawaii! Even Wolfheinrich admits it... Maybe he'll go watch K-ON! now, lol.

I also had TakoLuka on hand. I took her out just for a size reference. It's funny when I first saw the Wolf's Kiriha, I thought they were smaller than I thought. They are indeed large, but I expected bigger at 1/3 scale.
 But you can judge for yourself if you have a Puchi Nendo head around and see if you can compare the size.

Wolf's room had a view to the pool! A much better view than the buildings and roads from my room... It looks especially perfect for a photoshoot background ^^

And here's me being ecchi...

And here's TakoLuka being ecchi...

TakoLuka was being VERY ecchi! I had to stop her before Kiriha takes TakoLuka to be her personal tentacle toy 0.o

After meeting Wolfheinrich, we went to the convention and went to meet Mugi's new master, Yakuri! We've been exchanging emails, chatted and commented back & forth online, but haven't seen each other yet. Ok, maybe she's seen my picture somewhere, but I don't know what she looks like, so I didn't know who to look for XD I had told her I would be in cosplay, but she was expecting me to be in Kyon cosplay. I thought I'd surprise her if I go as gender bender Mugi, lol. Plus it was supposed to be a bait in case she goes into hiding, ahaha.

She was already in the long line-up to see May'n's panel so I looked around there for her, but kinda hard to find her ^^; Thankfully we texted each other back and somehow she noticed the guy who was holding the phone and texting back. She didn't recognize me or my cosplay right away. Probably because my jacket was covering the most important part, the hart in the center of the striped shirt. So it was fun seeing her reaction when she took a closer look at the shirt and the cosplay. It was WORTH IT walking around in that cosplay in hot L.A. weather XD

Then we were both nice and cool in the air conditioned panel room for May'n. It was a great panel! One of the reasons why I go to conventions, to see the guests! Vancouver don't get a guest of this caliber, but AX got so many this year!! One of the highlights in the panel was May'n shouting out Sheryl Nome's (Macross Frontier) line and also a duet with one of the AX attendees. Also we learned that the reason she uses the stage name, "May'n" is because she wants her songs to be main theme songs! I think they were very surprised at the turn out, especially considering that Macross Frontier was never released in North America at all. Yakuri and I were apologizing in whispers on behalf of the fans because we all have a way to watch Macross Frontier here ^^;;; Hopefully with this kind of turnout Macross Frontier can be licensed here. It's one of my favourite anime!

After the panel was May'n's autograph session. We didn't know how long the line was going to be so we actually walked around the exhibit hall for a bit, but we almost got cut off in the line for the autograph session! So close yet so far away. Thank you May'n for waiting until it was our turn! A few people just right behind us were told that they may not make it before the time was up. Too close!

Next I had to run for the end of Yuu Asakawa's panel! I wanted to ask her a question about TakoLuka, but unfortunately the panel was out of time and I wasn't able to... I did ask her on Twitter once already though ^^; She is one of my favourite seiyuu, especially since a lot of her roles are cool characters.

I got her to sign my Nendoroid Luka box (which I will show later). I wanted her to sign in a different way so that I can show her on Twitter later, heheh.

After Yuu Asakawa's signing, I really didn't have much to do, so I scoured the exhibit hall for stuff I wanna get. Lots to get, so little money and time.

Later that night on the first day, Wolfheinrich and I went to the JAST USA panel. We were both interested to be attending this panel. I was looking to see if there are any eroge I want to get, especially if they advertise it well in this panel. Plus there were supposed to be giveaways ^^

I'm looking forward to JAST's release of Demonbane. I've heard so much about this game, seen figures of them, so I'll definitely get it when it comes out.

I was very close in getting this flag! I was one number off in the raffle... AUGH! I want this so bad!!!

I was considering getting Cat Girl Alliance for a while now, but I was worried about bringing the game back to Canada... But after hearing their talk about this game, I bought a copy and took the risk ^^;

Another shot of Demonbane. It can't come soon enough!

Friday had a lot of concerts. One major concert was May'n and Megumi Nakajima's concert, which was EFFING AWESOME! Unfortunately they won't let us take photos unless we're Press. I should've applied for one, lol. We also didn't realize that it was assigned seatings... So Yakuri, Wolfheinrich and I were seating in different spots. If I knew, I wouldn't have gotten my ticket right away. It was a bit difficult to find Yakuri again after the concert

It was great to hear all of Sheryl Nome's hits and even other theme songs by May'n. I especially love Kimi Shinitamo Koto Nakare from Shangri-La. There was also a piano in the center of the stage. I wasn't sure who it was for at first. Perhaps for the special guest they mention or maybe May'n or Megumi will play the piano. I figured it out when Megumi Nakajima was about to come out when May'n started the What About My Star duet.

Megumi Nakajima was wearing a very cute dress. It's not frilly, but it looks appropriate for her character, Ranka. Then she asks in Japanese, "What's this piano doing here? I don't know." I already knew that it was for Yoko Kanno by then ^_^  Sure enough Yoko Kanno came out to play out Aimo for Megumi. It was very stirring. And my legs went weak when they played Voices from Macross Plus. It was AWESOME! I was in tears for some of them just because it was so good to hear the songs live.

The concert started late and ran late... So unfortunately we missed most of Danny Choo's first panel. Somebody did videotape it, so I can watch it on YouTube. We caught just the last few minutes of his panel and enough time to try a jankenpon (paper-scissors-rock) match to win a Black Rock Shooter figure or plushie. I lost on the first round both times ^^;

I didn't have time to stick around and talk after the panel either. The lineup to go into Yui Horie's panel was already two hallways long! That panel was a bit disappointing considering it was used for NIS America promotion. Well they did bring her in the first place, so I guess that's the way it goes. They showed a full episode of ToraDora instead of getting to the Yui Horie Q&A part. The Q&A part was also already questions that were screened instead of people going up to ask questions. We were also expecting that they would give out tickets for Horie's autograph like May'n. But people were already lining up in the room where Yui was supposed to sign. People were already leaving before the panel even finished. It was rude, but the alternative was horrible. Everyone pretty much ran to the room where she's going to sign. I thought I had a good spot, but they had break up the line because she had to leave before even getting to most of us. It was one of the bad experiences I had in this convention. Later Yuuichikun, whom I met when I was lining up had told me that this is a very common thing because Anime Expo's staff was disorganized. It's unfortunate for a convention this large has this small convention problem.

I was disappointed, but I had to psyche myself up for the next concert, MELL's! Of course I was sad and pissed off already, then the Nokia Theater staff HAD to tell me to check in my bag for the concert. I AM DISAPPOINT ALREADY GUNDAMMIT! At least the bag check was free compared to the $5 bag check offered at the convention. Money grubbing jerks...

I was trying hard to forget the previous situation during MELL's concert. It was hard, but I was happy to hear her songs. Her concert was almost half magic show and half concert. It was quite strange, but it was quite fun to watch. The second magic trick gave her enough time to switch to her next costume. She sang a lot of the ones that I knew including Red Fraction, Proof, Rideback, Virgin's High and Kicks. It gave me enough energy to forget the Yui Horie fiasco. Oh and I didn't have dinner that night just because the Quizno's nearby was closed and I didn't know there were restaurants in the other hotel.

On the third day, many things were happening all at once. I had to skip MELL's panel because I had to line up for Megumi Nakajima's panel. Sorry MELL... If AX had arrange this better I would've liked to be there in your panel T-T

Being in Megumi Nakajima's panel really helped me what happened last night, and also Yakuri was there to keep me company for most of the day :) I can't remember much of her panel unfortunately, lol. I remember there were a lot of people asking about her Filipino heritage. She says her mom always listen to songs in Tagalog. I believe she said she can understand Tagalog but cannot speak it.

After her panel it was the race to get to her autograph session that wasn't supposed to happen until an hour later. We lined up anyway :P We pissed off the staff enough that they made a line just for us. Thankfully Yakuri saved us a spot since I had to go to the bathroom real bad!

After the signing it was another rush to run to Katsuyuki Konishi's panel. The line was quite long already! There were still lots of room when we came in though. But they did expect a full room! I didn't see how much room was left after we sat down. He got LOTS of "muzukashii" questions, lol. A lot of difficult questions because everyone asked for a favourite character or line or scene or whatever. And I've discovered another side of Yakuri just sitting in this panel, lol. "Psst Yakuri, your fangirlism is showing" XD But Yakuri really is a well-behaved, mature fujoshi (and I'm not saying this under duress... Really...). I especially loved the line when Konishi said, "I feel that Kamina is using my body to get his voice out", ROFL!

After the panel we rushed to his autograph session, but alas we were late and he was unable to sign for everyone. Thankfully he was going to sign again the next day and we were told to keep the autograph tickets to guarantee the next day. So we had to experience a bit of disappointment, but then it's time for the L.A. C.G.M. Night hosted by Danny Choo & Fakku (NSFW link)! We came there quite late so we missed most of the crowd.

But we were still able to meet Danny! Heheh, I guess I'm not a familiar person, but once I spout out Chun's name Danny knew who I was. I gave him a couple of souvenirs from Canada, hopefully they're satisfactory :)

There weren't that many I met here, but I was able to meet Lene and Sayoko (who is actually from Vancouver, but we've first met in L.A.) and a few others whom I talked to but not really someone I knew from

Also Jacob Grady who runs Fakku is also there, but unfortunately I don't know him that well. I found out recently that I actually do have an account there ^^; Perhaps I should hang out there once in a while. By 7 pm we were kicked out of the ESPN Zone and hung out in the streets outside of the Staples Center.

Just a close up of the all access pass... Hmm... I should photoshop this and make my own all access pass :P

The Dollfies also vacated the premises and hung around outside. I love how Rei is lying down across the other Dollfies. ^^

A close up of the Rei DD. She looks cuter in person, but still doesn't have Rei's ideal face. I am VERY particular about faces on figures, particularly Dollfies that has a starting price of $500.

There were 2 Saber DD's there, but both of them were wearing different wigs ^^; I'd like to get a Saber Dollfie, but it has a starting price of $2000 in Yahoo Auctions nowadays... I think I'd rather itasha my car with Saber with that kind of money... Oh here I'm trying to get a Rei panchira, but she was covered quite well...

In the outside I met a few more other people like Keith aka Tsubasa126, Marc Bonifacio who took a picture of me in cosplay and Jun David. I think a lot of people seem to be in shock that I came all the way from Vancouver ^^; And a few others whose name I didn't catch... Sorry ^^; Feel free to comment and I'll edit this later. And this kind of meeting really made me wish I made some business cards beforehand, lol.

I really would've love to go watch the Gurren Lagann screening that night, but unfortunately I had to pack since I'm leaving on Sunday.

So on the final day, Danny's panel was the last thing on the agenda and it was quite early. Danny mentioned there's a troll in the line... Seriously, it was pretty early in the morning and someone came just to do that? Anyway... Danny showed his Culture: Japan TV show and a couple of awesome looking Black Rock Shooter trailers! I can't wait for that to come out! Later on we had a HUGE group photo and met Soulfringe just from looking at his badge! Apparently he was standing behind me the night before at L.A. CGM Night and completely missed each other XD

After the panel Wolfheinrich, Danny, Keith, his friend Vince and I gathered around again and took more pictures before I checked out from my hotel room. Danny also noticed my watch, which he says looks perfect for his Stormtrooper armor. If it was any other watch than my Rei watch I would probably give it to him ^^;

It was very nice to meet you all in Los Angeles! Thank you Danny for the great panels and coming to meet us and somehow gathered us all in one place. It was nice to finally meet you Wolf, my partner in crime. Hopefully I'll get more ideas for a new collaboration one day :) Keith and Vince, hopefully I'll meet you again if I go to Anime Expo next year and hopefully we'll talk more and hang out ^_^

And finally a big, big, big thank you to Yakuri who's my contact in L.A. and a very good friend who kept me company and made my AXperience a very good one. Oh and thanks for sharing your water when I was very, very dehydrated and forgot to bring water ^^; I can't thank you enough. It's been very fun and hopefully I can come again next year.

Here's a picture of me and Yaku together...

The real photo is my private treasure :P That and if I post it online I will not have long to live ^^;;;


  1. Lo!! Great entry LS, I remember my first AX in 1999, it was awesome I got to meet my online friends I talked to for years lol. Subsequently I kept saving to spend all my savings to go to AX for a couple years ^^;;

  2. I had no idea AX was so high level !
    nice post LS I enjoyed spending a long time reading it.
    must have taken even LONGER for you to write XD

    how much did your AXperience cost in total approximately ?

    I am thinking maybe I should try to save up to attend AX some year

  3. Looks like you had a good time at the convention. Must be a blast to meet all those fellow bloggers and anime fans. ^^

    The less pleasant experiences you had are pretty much the default ones you'll run in at most such conventions.

    If you were charmed by DD's and are interested in them, maybe best go for a self-assembled DD or other character DD. They're really great. ^^
    Love Saber too but her usual auction prices are just far too high...

  4. Was nice meeting you at AX albeit for a short while ^^; Sorry I wasn't at my table when you came by, but I'm glad I can match faces with the online alias now!

  5. Wow, this is probably the longest post I've seen yet.

  6. It was a pleasure to finally meet you in person, and thanks for covering my back when I arrived 5 hours before check-in! I had a great time though I wished we could have done more things together~ All in all, I am glad I decided to go for this trip.

    It's fairly hard to resist the Dollfie Dream charm once you have gotten up close to them and see charming they are, join us :D

  7. Omggg you guys are soo so cooool and you met Danny and a bunch of other otaku! Ahhhh so cool, wish i was there too! ^^ [/streamofconsciousness]

  8. Ho-chan fiasco? Do I even want to know? I think I'm better off not knowing.

    Glad to know that you had fun. Can't remember if I told you this, but I couldn't stand going to AX after one try. Way too much of a mixed bag.

  9. @Chun: Yeah, it really is like that too. I met with a lot of online friends :D Looks like I have to do what you're doing for next year XD

    @KaionIriu: It's much much bigger than AE, that's fore sure! Yeah, I didn't really notice the length because I was writing in spurts, but it sure is a long one, eh? ^^;

    AX registration was $75, concerts were $30, flight & hotel was around $700... Then spending money. I don't want to think about it, lol. This is also because I jumped in late. If I decided sooner, I might've been able to make it slightly cheaper.

    @Smithy: Indeed it was fun meeting everyone that I knew only from online text! Well you're right that every convention has that unpleasantness, but I was hoping something bigger and more expensive would be much better. LoL Dunno when I'll be able to adopt ^^; That'll have to wait. :P

    @Lene: Aye, I sorry as well ^^; It was a bit too short and I did have my own plans, lol. I did visit your booth. That's what matters XD Ah now you know what I look like! Nooooesssss!!!

    @RyoBase: I really should've split this up ^^; I thought I wouldn't write that much in one post, lol.

    @Wolfheinrich: My pleasure as well! No problem! It worked out well for both of us ^_^ Thanks for keeping my stuff safe on Sunday! You're like the Darth Vader of Dollfie world... Dollfie Vader!

    @"Mimi": ^^; Apostrophe? XD LoL thanks. It was kinda like meeting a friend when I was meeting Danny ^_^ Perhaps next time you can come ;)

    @Seizya: I pretty much wrote it down here, lol. It wasn't pleasant. Hmm Yuuichikun told me the same thing. I think just hanging out with friends make it somewhat worthwhile. Enjoying the guests & panels with your friends is much better! ^^ At least you won't get too bored waiting in line.

  10. Ah, I must be blind. Ha ha ha! That and I'm already losing pep fast despite drinking a medium sized cup of cola.

    A few friends of mine actually spent time talking with Ho-chan. She was surprised that she met people who know about her works that never went out of Japan. She's glad to know that she has fans like that. Maybe next time, she can go to Asakawa-san to be better in English. (Yes, Ho-chan hated English back in high school.)

  11. Oh hai there, just wanted to say I am not a fangirl at all! I'mm well mannreed and don't screech and faint over the sight of any bishounen or seiyuu lol

    Hhahaha now seriously, this AX was the best thing that happened this year, especially because I got to meet you! (until I go to Yaoi-Con then it'll be replaced lol sorry) I had a blast and I see you did too! Hopefully we'll be able to meet again ^^

    About the hikikomori thing, in the end I didn't care anymore, I was THAT wiped out lol but I seriously thought about it before, that is until after the fact I would've missed MUGI-O lol XD


  12. @Seizya: Drink a bigger size next time! XD I guess it's quite a surprise for most seiyuu to have fans outside of Japan until they see it for themselves! Seems to be the same reaction every time I see one in their panel. Heh yeah Asakawa-san need to help her in English, desu ne?

    @Yakuri: LoL Yes, I believe you, even when I was sitting right beside you. I didn't hear any screeching or see the guy beside you plugging his ear XD

    Haha I get replaced by Yaoi-Con XD It was definitely a blast that we got along so well despite never seeing each other before. ^^ That is the otaku way! Good thing you didn't shut yourself in then... No Mugi, no Mugio, no Kamina using your body... :P

    Hopefully we get to do this again one day ^_^

  13. What the funk?
    They take MONEY for bag checks over there? Thats insane!

    Its pretty awesome that Danny even spent some time with you guys after the panel :D

  14. @Blowfish: Yeah, it's a For-Profit kind of society who runs the con... Oh yeah, after every panel (he had about 2.5) he went outside in the hall to meet up with us, sign some things and take photos. Very pro ^^

  15. Long post indeed, but I did enjoy reading it. Now I kind of feel bad for attending the shitty local conventions we've got here XD But I guess Brazil just can't afford such a large con yet, it'd be far too expensive to bring all these artists all the way to Latin America. We do get some nice singers, but nothing as recent as May'n and Asakawa-san. As a matter of fact, when attending a con here one tends to have the feeling it's the 90's (or 80's!) all over again. XD

    As for the size of your post, it was long, but it was a large event, so I guess it was proper. You didn't do the same as me, who wrote three large posts about a small event filled with failures. ^^;;

  16. AX is certainly great!!!
    Next time, if you go or plan to go to AX again, please tell me and I'll go!!! I SO WANT TO GO!!!

  17. @shikinami: Well I know mine is not that great either in Vancouver, but I'm kinda hopeful that if I attend it, they would eventually get some better guests ^^; Vancouver seem to focus a lot on the English voice actors rather than the Japanese ones, plus none of the big companies, even though they're just south of the border, show up here to give some assurance that Canada exists. It's still interesting to hear what's going on around the world though, even if it's 90's or 80's, lol.

    LoL sorry again for the size. I felt that I couldn't split them up properly and maybe not enough to split them by days and such. Plus I write too much ^^;;;

    @Rin: I would've thought you've gone already, lol. I mean... Saku came last year XD There's a big chance I'll be going to AX again next year ^^

  18. Dude, I'm really looking forward to Demonbane too. I talked to some people at the Jlist booth and apparently it comes out around next month or so.

    There was a troll in line? Really? : /

    It's too bad we didn't get to meet. :( But I'm super glad you enjoyed your time in LA! :D

  19. @Coco: Whoah! Demonbane's coming out that soon?? I better finish some of these games first >.>

    It was some guy making some stupid comment. Seriously, nothing better to do *shrug*

    Yeah, it's unfortunate we couldn't meet... I was expecting a rabu rettaa! XD Perhaps if I come again next year since it was so much fun this year ^^