Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ray Reports: Anime Expo 2013 Day 4: End of the Expo Line


The final day of any con is always the saddest and most hectic; having to check out of one's room, things closing early, coming to terms with the con ending and having to leave until next year, etc.
Though, for me and the rest of CCB's AX team, we had things to do in SoCal after the expo was over. In fact, we had two more days at the hotel before checking out.

So I went through putting on my Reimu cosplay and everything again. Turns out we had a roll of scotch tape the whole time, so I was finally able to complete my gohei.

For breakfast, I went into the cafe next to the hotel, the Cherry Pick Cafe. Not wanting to doze off in mid-con, I grabbed an Americano, and I also had an egg and cheese crossaint. Though it was tasty, it was pretty small for $3.25.

Like yesterday, I boarded the shuttle, because fuck if I was gonna brave the Metro by myself in crossplay.

Shortly after arriving at the convention center, I noticed that the food truck party that was there for the past 3 days was finally gone. There were still a few trucks in front of the LACC entrance, although I didn't really bother with them.

I went to the Exhibitor's Hall, primarily to pick up a couple of things I wanted: Another artbook and another volume of Akyu's Untouched Score, this time being the OST to Lotus Land Story. That is, the one with the original Bad Apple!!.

This brought up my final "con swag" collection to:


I will admit, I was torn between that CD and the Bad Apple!! shirt at J-List, but I decided on something I can listen to over pimping my fandoms on a shirt. Maybe when I have more money.

My AX shopping spree complete, I traveled around the hall a little more. I met up with a friend again, and we stopped by the Rockin' Android booth one last time. I played a bit of cloudphobia, getting as far as stage 5, which caught the attention of the RA CEO, who was around the booth. We then discussed doujin games (particularly shmups) at length, before he offered to get a photo of me as well as hand over a business card.

So I went over to the West Hall and I came across a friend cosplaying as Marisa, the other central protagonist of Touhou. We decided to get a photo together, but before we knew it, some 5-6 other folks asked to get photos of us. Whew. This is what I call the "photographer domino effect": If one person asks to take a photo of a cosplayer, that cosplayer will be stopped by several more people asking for photos. Still, it was nice getting a shot with her.

So I went into the gaming room as planned and looked at the cosplay photosets, where I thought "hmm, this would be nice to get a shoot at, but I don't have any photographer friends who would be down for it." My friend Shizuka, a writer at Anime Diet, offered to do a shoot for me, so we met outside to do our shoot. We chose a spot near the parking lot covered in greens to do shots. Shizuka assisted me with poses, instructing me on which direction to face, etc.

We did have a small problem: a random person from off the street came up to me and started staring at me, mumbling something to himself, etc. It was rather creepy and annoying, but eventually he left.
So with my business at AX mostly done, I went to the press lounge to unwind while the con started to die down. I mostly checked Twitter, talked with friends about the mishap during my shoot, etc.

The exhibitor's hall eventually closed, marking the end of major con activites, not counting closing ceremonies. Bored with nothing else to do, I eventually made for the shuttle to leave.


Mata ne, Anime Expo...

I arrived back at my hotel room, around 6 PM or so, to say goodbye to Hilly and Alex before they left to go home.

I didn't do everything I wanted to do at AX. And there's all the horror stories out there regarding the con--staff being rude or having miscommunication, the usual con creepers, the GoPro incident, etc. It's sad that people have to ruin the fun of conventions for others. My experience certainly wasn't A++ tier either; I had to deal with the heat (while not as bad as it was back in NorCal, keep in mind I was wearing two layers on two days and three on one day), lack of nearby and cheap food, and the lack of things to do after midnight. Despite the bad times I still enjoyed myself, I met everyone I wanted to meet, and I'm making myself known in the SoCal Touhou scene. I'm definitely going to try to come back next year, especially since it's during a more convenient time of year than, say, Sakura-Con (which i doubt I'll attend again until 2015), although I may look into other modes of transit because Megabus is a bit stingy on luggage requirements.

This is normally the part where I say farewell and call my con report a wrap, but...Hold it!

The con was now officially over, having arrived back at the hotel, but the fun was not over yet! For my roommates and I, there were still a number of things to do in the area, including an entire additional day just for these extra activites. Expect one more post from me about these adventures!

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