Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cara's Anime Expo 2013 Review

I'm so sorry this is so late. The week following AX I got a concussion and I'm finally feeling well enough to finish this.

Anyway, I suppose I'll start at Day Zero.

Day Zero went the same as it goes every year really, we get there early, wait for about six or seven hours and get our tickets. My friends and I were right at the front of the line and got in and out within five or so minutes. Well, I had to go pick up my press badge and that was a hunt for the right booth, then a twenty minute wait, and so on. I don't understand how long it takes some people to get their tickets but whatever happens happens. All in all Day Zero went off without a hitch for me. I didn't hear complaints from anyone really. I'm glad that they take pretty good care of the Pre-Reg people.

Day One threw me for a loop because I'm so used to cons following the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and for Anime Expo, Monday format. But it was a Thursday. That was the most confusing thing I've ever experienced… Anyway, my group and I got there around 10am after driving down to Long Beach to grab our friend. I was in my Yin cosplay from Darker than Black and the con had begun.

Photo Credit to dle42 on
My first problem with Anime Expo was simply the fact that there were no panels that I wanted to go to really and the ones that I did were all scheduled right on top of each other. Either way, that resulted in my just showing my first time con friends around and hanging out with a bunch of friends until it was time for the Dealer's Hall to open. With my press badge, I could've gotten in a hour early but I decided to stay with my friends for the extra hour and a half. Yes, I had expected the hall to open late because it does almost every year, but this year was especially annoying. There was an interview going on on the level above the main floor and it seemed that this was the reason why the hall refused to open. I could understand a ten minute over lay but forty minutes was a tad too long. At one point, the crowd erupted into a chorus of "LET US IN!" I didn't participate but I could only think of how they worked that into the interview. I also know that quite a few people flipped off the camera. I wish the editing team well… When we were finally allowed into the hall, it was a mad flow rampaging fans. They even opened the stairs up for people, which I personally have never seen them do. I was scared for people's safety. After we finally got inside I spent all of my money, like I do every con, and walked around with my friends. We spent the better half of the day there, missing the only panels I did want to go to due to lost time. I did meet up with the CCB team for dinner, though when we met them, it was only to push it back for people who wanted to go to another panel. It worked for me as I got to go to the Johnny Yong Bosch panel. As he's my favorite voice actor, I was ecstatic that I got a seat close to the front, right in front of him. The panel itself was great. Johnny was nice to the fans, put up with some of the more ridiculous things they asked for, and even let people sit with him at the panel table so more people could come into the room. One of the best panels I've ever been to. After that I met up with Jade and the rest of the CCB team for dinner at Fat Burger. It was pretty fun. Harley from Epic Meal Time was there. Everyone flipped out except me and Jade. I'd already met him so it wasn't a huge deal. Anyway, after that my friends declared they were tired and we headed home. 

Day Two was annoying. Well, the beginning of the day. My cosplay for the day was Roxy from Homestuck. I was supposed to be part of a cast for a gathering and the host was a complete idiot about planning. The entire thing was a mess. Anime Expo apparently moved our gathering that day so we were put in the middle of Concourse Hall. The whole thing was everywhere and no one knew what was going on. I was angry for the rest of the morning because no one would listen to me and nothing got done. The gathering as subpar and I had no fun at all. The only good thing that came out of it was a few good friends. After the gathering, I wandered over to the Cosplay Is Not CONsent panel. I promised myself weeks before the con that I needed to go to this panel. I believe so strongly in this organization. I've had so many things happen to me at cons that I wanted to see what this panel was. I think the real irony was that on my way to the panel, I got groped. Of course it was in a large crowd so I couldn't even face the pervert that had done it. The panel line up was strange. The staff didn't know what was going on I suppose. They put the Press and Premier Fan line in another hall that was apparently forgotten so we ended up getting to go in after everyone. The panel itself was perfect. The hosts talked about their cause, people shared stories, and it was full of encouragement. There's a group of men who go around at cons that most people know as the "Sexy Pokemen" and they went to the front of the panel and talked about the male perspective of the movement. I thought it was great that that was touched on. I got to talk to the girls running the panel afterward and they were all just pleasant and nice.   After the panel wasn't quite as nice. I knew that cosplaying Homestuck would get me some haters and I was ready for most of it. But what I wasn't ready for was the absolute amount of hatred directed towards me. Everyone was glaring at me. Everyone was sneering and saying things about me when they thought I couldn't hear. One of my friends had to vouch that I was a good person even though I was dressed as a Homestuck character. It was horrible. I almost had a panic attack from the sheer amount of people just glaring at me. Anyone who wasn't glaring or pretending I couldn't possibly exist was looking at me like I was something to have a fun night with. Those made me want to cry. I'm used to people looking at me. I get told that I should be happy with the attention. But being alone for the half hour that I was made me almost have a panic attack because I couldn't deal with the glares, stares, and comments. I've decided I can't cosplay Homestuck to a con ever again because I can't deal with it. I really wish that this wasn't a problem. I can't be held responsible for what a fandom does as a whole! I'm sad that people can't realize this.

Anyway, this was where scheduling became a problem. The only other things I wanted to go to that day were going on during that panel so I didn't really get to do much else. I wanted to go to the Super Epic Fun Time Love Love Dating Game Show: Extreme Edition but it capped early. We got there thirty minutes early and I wasn't even allowed in the press line. Needless to say, the lack of interesting panels gave me a chance to really look at everything in the Dealer's Hall.

Day Three was a pretty nice day. I was Yin once again because I just love wearing her. Scheduling became a problem once again as I wanted to go to the SUNRISE, Aksys, and NIS panels but they were all at the same time. There was a problem within my friend circle that kept me from going to any of them so it was just a bad con morning. Once again, I found myself uninterested with most of the panels besides the ones I couldn't go to. I ended up gathering hopping with my friends and dying in the heat.

After dinner though, a group of my friends and I attended MYTH: Legends of Burlesque and Magic. I had a problem where I lost my ID earlier in the day and to be able to attend this show, the con had to call my mother and explain to her that I would be going to a program with a lot of "Raunchy activity". That was mortifying. However, it was an embarrassment I'd gladly repeat. This show was amazing. I loved every second of it. The sound track was beautiful, the women were wonderful, the entire cast was amazing. They had everything from small tricks to glass walking and sword swallowing. The girls were gorgeous and owned the stage, especially the host, Vixen DeVille. She was entertaining and brought the mood from light hearted, to mysterious, to terrifying all in an instant. There was even a Doctor Who skit by the wonderful comedian Nathaan Phan! He'd make a brilliant Doctor in my opinion. The show ran over by an hour and I was perfectly okay with that. Every performance had me on the edge of my seat and I had the most fun at a show I'd ever had at a con. They're scheduled for next year and I STRONGLY suggest anyone, over eighteen, go.

Lastly, Day Four was once again an uneventful day. I was Ariel for the last day and it was alright, except my shoes decided to hate me. There was not one panel I wanted to go to. I ended up finishing out the con in the Dealer's Hall, getting the last few things for friends and having a really relaxing day. After saying good bye to my friends, I headed home and stopped existing for the next week or so.

My Anime Expo experience wasn't as good as last year but it wasn't a bad one. I do think that the bag and badge checks were excessive but I understood why the Convention Center felt the need to put them in place as the first day was the Fourth of July. I wasn't too bothered by these and I personally didn't understand people's irritation. I had heard they took water away but they never took mine? I don't know. I didn't have a problem with them so it wasn't a huge deal to me. I hope that they find a way to be more organized and get more staff by 2014, as the con was understaffed this year. Beyond that it was a good time.

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