Friday, July 16, 2010

AX 2010 review (Rukazu)

Whew! So yeah now i'm back from AX and let me tell you, it was quite an experience! With all the rumors about what was happening to the con and the staff and the CEO, I'm actually quite pleased that they were able to pull off a decent con.

Day Zero:
I had class from 4-6pm and right afterward I had to make a stop to buy some white hairspray at a mall. By the time I got to LACC, it was already a little past 7:00, and I was not getting my badge then. So instead what I did was take my friend John and my sister and her friends back and prepared for the next day.

Day 1:
Day one was mainly just getting a feel of the con, scouting out the vendors and exhibit hall booths, and so on and so forth. I mainly just took a lot of pictures and hung out with Matt and Ryan part of the time. I also helped them with their autograph signings for and Asakawa. Today seemed the most tedious day considering so many people seem to kept asking me for help and I had to keep taking more and more of my own time to help them out. My sister and her friends wanted to use my car as a storage place for their stuff when they went to a dance, but couldn't give me proper directions as to where to meet them. Finally, I helped my buddy John move his stuff to his hotel and met up with my friends Poland and Belarus as Austria. We talked for a little bit before I met up with John again for the AMV contest. This was by far one of my favorite AMV contests I've seen in a while.

Day 2:
This day was somewhat more eventful in the sense that it was also my first time cosplaying as Hitsugaya from Bleach. I spent about two hours looking browsing the con, and trying to find any other Bleach cosplayers. I also attended the Bleach panel where I asked Ichigo's Japanese Seiyuu why he never calls me 'Captain Hitsugaya.' In fact, I had to say that about 30 times that day. Right after the panel was the gathering itself, almost half of the cosplayers were captains. The other eventful part of the day was meeting up with Ryan and Matt for the Yui Horie panel. However, that turned out to be the lowest point of the con as we waited an hour for the panel, watch the first episode of Toradora and not ask any questions for the panel. We dashed upstairs for the signing, only to find out that their wasn't any. That was perhaps the worst thing that we felt AX screwed up this year as they didn't seem to follow their policy that all guests of honor panels had priority tickets, but that didn't seem to be true.

Day 3:
This day was make or break for me. After that whole stint with the Horie panel yesterday, today was the day that was going to determine whether or not I would go to AX next year. The morning consisted of going over to the Baka to Test gathering which was by far the funniest of all the gatherings I've been to, although it was the smallest as well. After that, I met up with a Zero and my buddy Katsu, dressed as Knight of Zero and walked around the exhibit hall and con center to talk to any other Code Geass cosplayers about the gathering. Considering that we had a turnout of about 70 people, even though half the people did not show up that was signed up on the forums, it went pretty well. I was considering doing CLAMP as well, but I ended up being way too tired and did a small photoshoot with Empress C.C. And artbook Knight of Zero Suzaku. Right after that I swapped for Austria for the Hetalia gathering, and somehow ended running that one as well just like I did with Fanime. This time however, I nearly yelled myself hoarse because I did not have a megaphone. After that I ran to the Konishi panel, then ran to meet up with my friends, got some much needed food and got tickets for the Masquerade which was better overall this year than last year.

Day 4
The last day was more relaxed as I pulled my Japan outfit for a photoshoot with the Belarus and Poland. We also had some fun passing out cake and wishing all the America cosplayers happy birthday as it was July 4th. We left the con a little after 4:30 and got back in time for dinner and to watch the fireworks. Luckily the next day for me was a holiday and I just rested a bit and started to organize my pictures for AX.

So now that my overview is done, I wish to discuss some of the pros and cons of this year. This is my first con that I've been to twice and its definitely an improvement from last year. The masquerade last year had a few memorable skits, but the majority were not that good. Plus it was held in the west exhibit hall, and not the best place for a masquerade. This year, they held it in the Nokia theater, which was much better suited for the event, and they brought back the winners of the AMV contest, and man that was hilarious! I presume by now, you know which characters I like to cosplay, and if you were there for the winner of the comedy category, you'll know why.

Plus i did four panels, Yuu Asakawa, Yui Horie, Bleach and Katsuishi konishi. All of them, especially Konishi was really fun! The only one that got me down was the Horie panel considering that it was the only one where the fans couldn't really interact with her and ask her questions.

As for my cosplay experience, holy crap this year was crazy! I did a total of 6 costumes, I ended up doing Itachi, Naoi and Austria on day 1, hitsugaya on day 2, lelouch and austria on day 3, and japan for a photoshoot on day 4. Hitsugaya was pretty fun to do, considering that it was the first time people actually called me short, when I almost never do.

However, when compared to Fanime 2010, the staff seemed much more strict than in previous years, the overall business and corporate feeling seemed to ruin the con experience more than helped it, and their seemed more rude people overall than Fanime. When comparing one con to the other, putting in all factors, I feel that Fanime was better than Anime Expo. The staffers at Fanime were much more polite and courteous and they also were very helpful in contrast to Anime Expo, plus everyone seemed much more chill than the sort of more competitive nature of Expo.

Anyways, overall, it was a little more tedious than fanime, but still fun as hell!

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