Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ryan and Amanda's Report: Anime Expo 2013

Hey everyone, welcome to mine and Amanda's report on Anime Expo 2013! This year has been a phenomenal year for all of us. Isn't that right, Amanda?
It's funny, cause normally this isn't my writing style, but, it's very unique that we get to write together for the very first time.  Well, let's get started, shall we?

Day Negative Zero..."Really, Matt?"

So our original plan was to leave earlier than 3:00 am but...borker here wanted to sleep in more!
...noooo. :o You're the one who wanted enough sleep to drive, goober, hehe. Due to some late packing and flat tires we finally hit the road to Sacramento. Luckily we got in on time before the 100+ degree weather hit us. The minute we get in, Matt comes out literally in shorts that look like boxers...really Matt? As I mentioned to Matt, we need to do some extracurricular activities around town.  He suggested that we hit a local food spot called L&L - not to be found anywhere in Oregon! To my surprise, borker here borked Miku before we got into town (yes borker is spelled like that on purpose)...really sweetheart?

Not my fault it hardly fits and the zipper broke...Well, as that is getting repaired, we hit some other spots and then headed to straight to Wal-Mart.  Once there, me and Matt tell Yuki to scram. For reasons she didn't know about until I mention later in my report.
Day 2 answered everything

After all our little shenanigans we decide to hit the sack early for what became...

Day Zero..."Give life back to...convention?"

Due to excitement and lack of sleep, we decided to leave earlier than intended. When we woke up, Matt's parents were like "Why the hell are you leaving so early?!" as all of us con-goers said, "beat the crowds, check in early". Not to mention we wanted to beat the heat too.

Even though it was like, 1:45 am, I was awake...not for long though. Even though we left early, all I remember is hearing Daft Punk all the way down to the Grapevine. Speaking of Grapevine, we hit one of my family traditions on the way down, the Iron Skillet/Petro. We get chicken fried steaks, which was also one of my family traditions.

Matt's shenanigans also led to a video recorded while we ate.  We were about to leave when Matt decided he wanted to crash the plane "Hudson River-style" in a simulation game!
Haha, the plane doesn't even explode or crumple, it taps the building "derp!" and then game over. 

At around 9am, we finally get to our destination: Downtown Los Angeles. We go to the hotel and check into our room, to our surprise, things weren't about to go so well.
Room Tetris! There was only two very small beds and hardly any space to move around. We proceeded to move the beds and center table and make space for Matt's air mattress.
Luckily for the 3 of us and one of them being a Tetris master...
I'm the one who suggested to make the beds into an L-block...

We got everyone (miraculously) to fit! With lots of spare time before Nate and Ray got off the Megabus, we decide to get our Metro passes for the weekend and hit up Anime Expo early. It would be minutes before we get stopped by LA county sheriffs in the Metro station, looking like they came out of a Call of Duty game!
They had M-4s...with Holographic sights...and I was cosplaying as Miku and Ry was Kaito, the cops asked about our cosplays and took a photo with us

Thanks for rolling out the red carpet, guys. We hit the LA Convention Center to show the con virgin her surroundings and where things will be: the grand tour.
Con virgin? Well it is my first gentle!
After some sightseeing and showing around, we decide to look at the line for pre-reg and head back to the room to summon the car and pick up Ray and Nate.  Right after we pick up the Bay peeps, we hit up the notorious Philippe's Original as featured in Man vs. Food.

Might I mention the line wasn't all that long as shown in the show, but even then it's well worth the wait. The sandwiches are to die for. Especially if you add too much of their famous hot mustard. It will make you cry.
Haha, we made Ry eat a whole spoonful of it on top of a small amount of chili. 

After some good munchies, we head back to show Ray and Nate what hell we went through with the room to accommodate everyone. With too much time to kill on our hands, some of us took a nap, some of us played some games on the PS3 while we waited for Hilly and her bro Alex to come in from San Diego.

I'm one of the ones who took a nap. I eventually started playing the Project Diva F demo. :) Time flew by as we're still waiting, but no result from Alex and Hillary. We decided to get 'Manda's badge and show the Bay peeps around the convention. As soon as I was done with that, word was that Alex and Hillary had came in. I gathered Matt and Amanda and we headed back to the hotel. All of us with badges around our necks. After a mere glomping, and formal greetings, we made a dent in the mass amount of room-food and hit the sack.

I was excited to get to know the peeps I haven't met previously; Ray, Alex, and Hillary. Everyone in the room crew was awesome! And to my surprise...Filipino. I was the minority.

Day 1...'Murikah! and Bacon Strips

Instantaneously, we all woke up at 5 in the morning and got ready since Hillary missed the chance to get her badge on Day Zero. In the meantime, all press staff (and somehow sneaked 'Manda in) headed upstairs to the press room to take advantage of its amenities. Surprisingly we got a good view of the exhibit hall floor. As time drew closer to the opening of exhibit hall, Amanda broke off from us and we headed in early into the exhibit hall to get the exclusive Nendoroids among the VIP and press crowd.  As we exited exhibit hall after some demo-ing of Blazblue and looking around we decided to see how packed the crowd of people trying to get into exhibit hall was. We were surprised to see a sea of people from the entrance to the convention center, to the escalators to exhibit hall. Some of the press team stood around a recorded video as time was drawing near for the opening of exhibit hall for normal attendees. Did I fail to mention that me and Matt nearly lost our lives?

Meanwhile, with Hillary we walked around, got stopped for photos (I was C.C from Code Geass and Hilly was Mayuri from Steins;Gate) and nerverackingly enjoyed my first day ever at a con. We stopped at the food court to sit and relax, when suddenly a very large Eva-01 appeared and caused an uproar in the crowd.  At around 11, we headed to the "How to be Your Character Without Really Trying" panel, led by the one you all call "G". The information I found to be very useful to a first-time con-goer like myself, and G and the other hosts were quite entertaining. Afterwards, it was time to meet back up with the press dudes and get ready to go to the Steins;Gate gathering.  It would be my first interaction with a gathering, ever, even though I was just a photog. 

 Reunited with my then-girlfriend (I'll explain in the next segment) and my close sister, it was time for us to hold the Steins;Gate gathering. Though rushed, all of us had a great time, and I got to finally premiere my Rintaro Okabe cosplay.

Oh, and free DK Pepper for all! Even C.C got to drink one. After the gathering ended, I went off to line up for Vic Mignogna's autograph session to get my Vampire Knight season 1 signed. Being in a standby line, I was worried I wouldn't make it to him, but I remained patient.  He came out to our crowd and started hugging crazed fangirls. I didn't get a hug then, but I'd get my chance. It was the end of session and the AX staff was asking us to leave, and Vic was yelling out that he'd be there all week (well, 3 more days). I wiggled my way up front and with a "Come here, cutie!" I presented my item to be signed.  I got hugged and took a photo, then hurredly ran off with a fangirl squeal. 

Can I kill Vic now?
...Zero would kill you first.

While she was being a little fangirl, I was getting ready for the High School of the Dead gathering, as Kamuro Takashi, which I also mentioned was supposed to be premiered 2 years ago. Thanks to the original gathering being unorganized, thanks to the LACC staff, we consistently moved around from South Hall to the Panzer tank, until finally a real gathering started downstairs in the South Hall parking lot. Where mysteriously we would find a very dark, school-like setting.

(whatever gathering photo you can find)

Right after that, we all reunited to head over to the huke/good smile panel. Unfortunate for the girls, they couldn't get into either Huke or the JYB panel.
Line-con! And we were one person too late from getting into JYB's panel

Here at the Huke panel, Matt would humiliate himself by asking the president of Good Smile Company to take his money. The president quoted, "please bring multiple wallets." After such humiliation, Matt decided that we should all gather for dinner. With Day 1 being on 4th of July, we found it appropriate to hit up a burger joint. Since we learned about the opening of a recent Fatburger, we all decided we would get burgers there. Me and Matt decided to go hog-wild crazy and do Fatburger's 1.5 lb burger challenge! While waiting, I saw a familiar character waiting in line. I start talking to the group and mention "hey isn't that the guy from Epic Meal Time?!" Everyone doubting, Matt decided to get a closer look and ask the man if he was the host of Epic Meal Time. To our surprise we find out that indeed it was the one, the only, "Sauce Boss" Harley Morenstein.

 Everyone goes batshit-crazy and get photos with Harley. Afterwards, our burger challenge was about to begin. We had 30 minutes to completely eat a monstrosity of a burger. I finished mine in under 9 minutes, leaving Matt in the dust.
Meanwhile I was quite disgusted, yet all of us had an Epic Meal Time...
hurrdurr pun. I love you

Ahem. Knowing all of us had an Epic Meal Time we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel. Surprisingly it was just day one and epic events have already happened. Me and the rest of the crew were excited for the event that would happen the following day.

Day 2...Social Link GO MAX!!!

With nothing going on until the Fate/Type Moon gathering, I decided to meet up with some old friends from the area I used to live in. Since time had flew by, I finally attended the gathering as Velvet Waver. That gathering was fun, but a bit unorganized. Luckily my servant actually showed up to the gathering.

Meanwhile, I lined up for Kazuhiko Inoue's autograph session to get my Kakashi plush signed. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to make it with that long line, so I roamed exhibit hall, met up with Ry a little before he ran off to Fate/Type Moon.  I especially like the Gundam/Bandai/Gunpla booth and ogled at all the model kits.  They had a display of a very large Unicorn gundam.

Finally passing some time, I attended the last part of the Fate gathering, already set for the Persona gathering that would follow. Considering my day started with Waver, I had to immediately change for the Persona gathering that would follow right after. Quickly I headed to the nearest restroom and changed into Yu Narukami. As more and more Persona peeps began to flock around the West Hall entrance, I guided everyone to the gathering location while waiting for host Katsu to arrive. 5-10 minutes later, the gathering would finally begin. Everyone lined up for a group shot, then individuals.

As the gathering was about to wrap up, my plan finally came to fruition. I told everyone I had a major announcement to make. I had then asked Amanda to come to the front of the gathering. I then quoted the following words "hey Yukiko, do you remember how you ask me to stay a little bit longer?"
"Well now this time I'm going to ask you to stay a little bit longer forever." On one knee, I pull out a little box and ask her "will you marry me?" opening the box to reveal the ring.
 I couldn't say "yes" fast enough as I squeezed my now-fiancee'. Our social rank glitched that moment and became 11. 

Ironically, everyone in the room crew and at the gathering was in on the whole plan. The only person that didn't know was Amanda.
Hey, I had a slight guess and I daydreamed about! *sticks out tongue*
After everyone's reactions, everyone rushed to center stage and congratulated us.

Despite everyone excited as ever, we couldn't hog the stage for the remainder of the gathering. We stuck around until the final group shot and "Death killing everyone" shot.
It's funny that we died before we could even report to our folks back home what had transpired.

Both of us were exhausted after the gathering, so we decided we would take it easy and go back to the hotel for some well needed rest. Sadly, I missed out on Karren Strassman's autograph session, but to Amanda and my surprise there is a poster board with her autograph when we woke up.
It was a really nice sentiment from her and Matt because it had her blessing on it!!

As we prepared for the midnight gathering, Matt toasted to Amanda and I on the occasion of a happy and successful engagement.
I still couldn't believe so many good things could happen in a matter of a day.

Midnight is slowly approaching, so we must prepare for the Dark Hour! I think a nice walk through the dungeon of the streets of LA was in order, as we arrive our host was fashionably late but hey Teddie doesn't get his good looks for arriving early; he is a VIP after all. Ironically, before we started we ran into Danny Choo was watching so we take the opportunity to get a few photos with him. G decides its time to begin Kings Game, and who becomes the first king? None other than myself of course! I call lucky number 7 and who is my victim, Matt ironically so for all the years he broke my controllers I made him run like broken analog stick Minato.
Truly it was a funny sight to watch even on Youtube!

So some Yosuke thinks he could out break me in a Break Dance battle? Please, I've been doing this Nanako was in diapers! I tore him a new one and someone requests the loser to do a worm. As he fails epically i show him how its done  and he bows down to the king.
I never knew my Ry had moves like that! Surely I was impressed =D

A few rounds later the night concluded. I was King three times during this edition of the King's Game. We call it a night by taking a cab back to the room and call it night.
And I never got to be King, but it was still fun!

Day 3...The Hat Trick

It was near ending of Anime Expo '13 and A majority of the room was doing Durarara!! for the gathering me and Matt are hosting it was small to begin  with but it surprisingly took off after time elapsed.
Meanwhile I was enjoying a nice catnap since I wasn't apart of this particular group.
Toward the end it was larger than the staircase we held it in. The gathering disbanded and Amanda finally showed up to the con refreshed. since we had nothing going on we decided to eat from the variety of food trucks but we hit the Filipino truck and loved every morsel of it.
Even more of a reason why I love Ryan's cooking.

Given we have a lot of free time till Porno Graffiti we decided to hang with some of my old SoCal friends. After saying goodbye to them we hit the Legend of Zelda gathering so I could take photos of Amanda as Zelda. Time passes through the day and we rock on to a triple encore with Porno Graffiti. We couldn't stop enjoying ourselves so we hit the bar again for another round of well-deserved drinks.

Day 4...Sayin' Goodbye is Hard to Do

The last day is always the saddest as we spend our final hours getting autographs and doing some last minuet shopping. we sadly said goodbye to Hillary in a Persona type fashion and enjoy our final hours at the hotel and downtown LA. Amanda had a wonderful time even though we spoiled her a little with a big con. That said the big con got back to us on how me and her purposed there. I'll post a link of the article below. As for me AX never fails to impress. So until then and next year, farewell!

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