Tuesday, July 5, 2016

AX 2016

I went to Anime Expo again this year, and from all impressions, attendance probably broke all previous records. I arrived in L.A. around noon on Friday, and was in for a rude surprise. First of all, convention center parking was completely full, I ended up spending $40 just for parking after giving up trying to find a cheaper lot that was still within acceptable walking distance.

From circling the convention center in the car, it appeared as if the wait to get in would be long. The line of waiting people went all the way out to Venice Blvd, but it wasn't clear if they were pre-registered attendees or not. Trying to find out where to get badges was not easy, since none of the several access control people could tell us where the end of the line was. We were sent in all different directions before finally queuing in a random line.

After getting in, attending one panel, and wandering the exhibit hall, I decided to change to my cosplay ahead of the ZUN panel. I told the volunteers outside the cosplay area that I wanted to use the changing rooms, but they stated that there were none. I said that the there should be some, but they claimed the area was for repairs only, and unhelpfully directed me to a bathroom.

Instead of forcing the issue, I stupidly followed their advice and changed in a bathroom stall. All I can say about that is FUCK! It was a long and excruciating ordeal, and I ended up pulling my left calf muscle. When I finally got out of the stall, I was so relieved that most of my anger faded. As I checked my wig in the mirror, someone who I believe was probably in the stall next to me came over and offered some words of consolation (I guess they heard me cursing and sighing and crashing into the sides of the stall), helped to pull up my back zipper, and attach the rear snap of my ribbon tie.

I went back down to the cosplay area, and asked if there were any full length mirrors. The same two volunteers said they didn't know. This time, I just went inside to ask the people manning the repair station directly, and was informed that there were full length mirrors in the changing rooms... I was ready to go back and throttle those two idiots at the entryway. I would have been more angry, but I knew I was also at fault for not being my usual self and investigating the situation when the information I had conflicted with what other people told me.

Anyway, I think a couple of people asked me to pose for photos, then I went to the ZUN panel, and afterwards slept in the car practically the whole way back home because I had a huge headache (thanks for doing all the driving SpireKat!).

U S A !

On Saturday, we arrived earlier, but the Pico exit was completely jammed. We decided to take another exit and take a local route, but by the time we arrived there was no convention center parking again. Because we already had our badges, this time we take advantage of the free shuttle service from the hotels. We decided to look for parking near the L.A. Sheraton, and parked at Joe's Auto Parks for a mere $5.

Ariving at the con, we went to the Artist's Alley, and it was jam packed. They used a larger hall, and gave the artists more space behind the stalls, but I think the traffic lanes between the stalls did not increase. Later that evening was the Shoji Kawamori panel, which was probably the highlight of the convention for me. Unfortunately, no photography or recording was allowed. A teaser of his next project was played at the end of the panel.

Anyway, here is a picture of the loot I acquired after three days.

I bought up my first FSS Mortar Headd at the Volks booth. I know it is 1/100 scale, but I'm willing to let that pass since I don't want to deal with resin kits. Frankly even at 1/100 scale, the Mortar Headds are big enough to look okay with 1/72 scale models.

I picked up an artbook by Reynart in the Artist's Alley, and a couple of  books from Dirty Kitchen Press. I also filled in the gaps in my set of Knights of Sidonia GNs. Issue 11 is one of my favorites, because it introduces the character Teruru Ichigaya, who must be a descendant of Bender from Futurama.

Seven Seas and Ninja Division did quite a promotion of monster girls this year.


Papi and Miia

I also saw these sprout hair clips that many people were wearing. It was surprising, because the first time I encountered these clips was last year in China. They were being sold to the various tourists from the countryside visiting Beijing for their National Day Holiday. I guess the left over stock is now making it's way overseas.

I saw that some maids from Maidreamin were doing photos with people, but typical of my luck with meido, their handler allowed one last photo op as I was walking over to them, and hustled the maids off before I could even get my camera ready or say anything.

I kind of wanted to take a picture with these kigu as well, but I chickened out. The Loli Mercury mask is one of the nicest doll masks that I've seen. The costume is great as well. Maybe next year I'll work up the nerve to ask to be in a picture with them (if they show up)...

Sonico, Loli Mercury, and Maki


I've got to say that kigu really nail the character poses.


I always have this irrational fear of looking bad compared to real cosplayers who really take their hobby seriously, so it's tough for me to ask to be in pictures with them.

I spent most of Sunday taking pictures of cosplay. There were several American McGee Alice cosplays. but one stood out particularly because of an amazing hobby horse prop. I was actually able to talk to her a bit about its construction since she kind of opened the conversation by complimenting my outfit...


I'll end this post with some more cosplay pics that I took.

Captain Okita



Jamie and Cersei of House Lannister

Ash of House Ketchum

Sriracha Dude

Soda Can Warriors


Kotori, Nozomi, and Rin

cv01 as Mumei

Ootori-sama, one of the Aburaya Yuna, and Oshira-sama

Krul Ţepeş

Raimu Sempai


Nurse Sakuya

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