This year was probably one of the funnest years that I've ever went to AX. Not only did we get to stay at one of the sponsored hotels, but I got to meet lots of new people and took lots of pictures and lots that were taken of me!! I can't believe how many people had such good costumes that I couldn't catch in time!! But all's well, right?
Cosplays for this year:
Also included but not in the picture above are two re-used ones: Yuzuriha Nekoi from X/1999 (complete with a wolf plushie!) and Ellone Loire from Final Fantasy VIII (one of three that I saw this year ^^).
Names of the group that I was with:
Kaede (the little one)
People from the AX Forum Bleach thread:
Komamura (first-time AX attendee
and really sweet guy)
Day Zero, known as the day before AX officially started, began like any normal day. The week had gone by really slowly (maybe it was because time knew that AX was going to start that week? I'll never know) and I had finally finished packing up my stuff the night before. Four bags total, not including my sleeping bag and my shoe bag. There's one thing about cosplay that's a bit of a pain -- too many types of shoes to bring!!
Anyway, after finishing up some
last minute grocery shopping (had to buy ramen and fruit for my group),
I headed off to the Marriott at around 3:00. Of course, since it was
a Friday, there was a lot of traffic during the intersections to other
freeways, but I eventually arrived at around 4 something. One of our
rooms wasn't available yet, so we had to wait an extra half hour before
we could get up. The problem was that the room I was staying in was
on the fifth floor and half of my group was on the second floor *sweatdrop*.
Nobody in my group had arrived yet, but a friend stayed behind with
me in my room so that I wouldn't get some weird person hitting me
or something ^^. But I showed him my Chicago typewriter airsoft and
we kinda talked for a while. Oh! There was an international gay square-dancing
convention of some sort going on at the same time as AX so we saw
a whole bunch of old guys in the pool (all of our rooms faced the
pool, which was nice) dancing. It was so funny yet so weird
at the same time. Maybe it was a good thing that this convention was
going on at the same time as ours -- they didn't stare at us funny
(and lots of them were really nice) and we didn't stare at them funny
so all was well.
After waiting for an hour, we decided to get in line for registration. And the shock came. Line? What line? There was no line! We probably came in and came out of Hall C in about one minute. *sarcastic* The most horrible line ever! Yes, it was! (haha, it was awesome). Absolutely love the new system for registration; AX has definitely improved in that department.
Then the majority of the people in my room arrived, so I returned to registration with them to show them where it was. Haha, it was so funny looking at the reactions on their faces. It was a huge hall...and practically almost empty. When we got back to our room, maulie and Kaede worked on their costumes nonstop (Kaede had to finish her skirt and start on the top while maulie finished up her arm and leg bands...and the belt for Yoruichi).
Afterwards, dived into the pool (it was really shallow; I'm only 5'3", and I could walk around the pool....the deepest it went was 4 feet), planned for the next day (got a text message from Kuro of the AX forums Bleach thread discussing where we will meet the next day) and fell asleep at around 1:30/2 ish while Kaede continued to work on her Jill Valentine costume. I chose a spot to sleep that was in between the wall and the first bed, which was quite comfortable, actually, once I got used to it =)
Day one started off at around 9 in the morning where Kaede, Kupochan and I sneaked out to the balcony where Kaede would continue sewing the hem of her skirt by hand. Then I got a text message from Komamura (this would continue for the remainder of AX) who was still waiting in line to get his badge. We decided to meet each other as soon as he got out where we wandered about. Since there was nothing to do until opening ceremonies finished, we eventually made our way to the second floor at just sat down where we ran into a random guy (I think his name is Darrel) and talked for a bit. I took random pictures of cosplayers, going back and forth, since I had nothing to do before the FF8 gathering. Man, the majority of the people you meet at AX! They're so nice!!
Darrel had to leave to get in line for Dealer's hall since it just opened, so Koma and I decided to wander in Artist Alley (while taking pictures of random cosplayers and Koma had to stop a few times since he was in his Komamura cosplay, which was really good, by the way) where we ran into Albel who was in his Kenpachi outfit and waiting in line for the CLAMP panel. Now, I would've waited in line for the CLAMP panel, too, but since it was in conflict with a whole lot of things and I knew that there was going to be a big crowd that I decided against it. All three of us talked for a bit before I had to run off to the FF8 gathering where we ran into Aura who was in her Rinoa outfit (I was Ellone for the morning and part of the afternoon ^^). It was after the FF8 gathering where the three of us got together for the remainder of the day before the unofficial Bleach thread meet and went to the Dealer's hall. I got a Salty Dog IV artbook (the only thing I would be buying that day...that would eventually change ^^), but Aura and Koma didn't get anything. Ah, well, at least one of us got something ^^. A lot of things in Dealer's hall was really tempting to buy, but I luckily resisted a lot of the things I saw and wanted to get. I don't know, though....it seemed that lots of the prices for things this year were, um, very pricy.
After Dealer's hall, I broke away from Aura and Koma for the time being to change into my Ada Wong outfit and would meet up with them at the general unofficial Bleach meet. Ah, I had tons of fun with all the stares I was getting from the people in the hotel when I walked out in that ^^. Not to mention that I do look like her...although a very short version of her, anyway ^^. The only problem was that since I was wearing pantyhose, my holster wasn't staying up as I had wanted to, and I was carrying a duffel bag that contained my Chicago typewriter (AX weapons policy this year was just...ugh...it seemed that very little would be allowed in T___T; first time that I ever read such a strict policy....past AXs I saw people with live steel and whatnot and they were fine!!).
Even Kuro at the Bleach meet was shocked when he saw me! XD I'm going to have to do some tweaks for next year with it...unless I decide to wear her RE2 remake outfit they did in the credits of the Seperate Ways side game for the PS2 version of RE4. It was soooo fun wearing Ada.
Anyway, the Bleach meet. Aura and I felt really left out, although the people were really cool, we just weren't in our Bleach outfits and lots of people were taking pictures of them. It looked so much fun!! Koma, Aura and I broke off from them when it was around time for the official unofficial AX forum Meet and Greet...which, I don't know....I thought it would be something where we would all talk and stuff, but since it was so big that it was really hard to actually talk to people. I got glomped by a member of the forum after I told him who I was, as it was his goal to glomp 1000 people before AX ended (and he was already in the 150s O_o)...I wonder if he did? ^^
Probably the highlight was seeing Man-Faye entering in the room fully clothed O_O. I'm neither a fan nor a hater of him, but just seeing him enter wearing normal clothes was just...surreal.
I had to leave early to run up for the Resident Evil gathering on the rooftop ^^.
What can I say about the Resident Evil gathering...hmm...it was fun while it lasted. We hadn't even started on doing a group shot when AX staff came in, ruining the entire thing >.< Although we did get some cool pictures afterwards, it just wasn't as fun when it was just beginning. My typewriter didn't get taken away (I slowly put it down on the ground before they could see it ^^) and others were hiding their weapons as well. Lots of Mafia outfit Leons asked to borrow my typewriter, which I didn't mind at all. There were a couple of good ones out there ^^. (Even if Leon is a dork XD)
After the RE gathering, went back to the hotel room to change and to decide who got the blue and red tickets for AMVs. I decided to go with the blue since I had to eat and change. I went to my Soi Fong outfit...but man...that outfit gave me lots of problems. Not only was it hot in it, the black kimono kept on bleeding off into my white captain jacket even when I already washed it >.< I didn't notice until after the AMV contest, but the damage was done. (It's salvageable, though, the captain jacket ^^).
I gave away some extra tickets we had to a random group standing in the standby line and just waited while fanning myself for the line to start moving. It was a little better when we entered in the room for the AMV, but since it was so crowded full of people, the air conditioning wasn't strong enough for it >.<
The stall for the start of the contest was interesting ^^. It was done by the same people who usually do stalls during the Masqerade (they do Wushu, which is such a pretty style, but not very practical). The guy who did Ansem was awesome ^^. I couldn't stop myself from laughing at his comments. And agh! The girl who did Ling!! I actually understood what she said somewhat!! (took Chinese over the spring semester at school) Hahaha, I felt accomplished in that class now.
AMVs wasn't as exciting as last year, but a lot of the categories were really good. I had a hard time deciding in the Action and the Drama categories (oh my gosh, the Jin-roh AMV in there....*shivers* beautiful) but the other two categories were equally as hard since not a lot of them..were...well, I don't know. There just wasn't anything quite special about those categories. I do appreciate you AMV creators!! I can't make an AMV worth crap and even if I did have the time, they still wouldn't be up to par with yours ^^. There were lots of AMVs that sent yaoi fangirls screaming (while I smacked myself in the head and sighed) and there were a lot of AMVs that were using Full Metal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club (or however that anime is titled...it makes me very curious to watch it now, though), and Naruto involving the Naruto/Sasuke fight. Hahaha...I thought there were going to be some more Bleach vids like last year, but I guess since it's not exactly out yet in the states that the quality to find some good quality RAWs is a bit hard.
The highlight of the AMV contest was after the categories were done, the guy who made "Wizard of Ozaka", "1985", and various other AMVs made a special AMV for us to see: "The Wedding Rings". I was a parody that told a story, but it was a very funny story. Shinji is apparently invited to some wedding of some sort and he needs to get these wedding rings (which were stolen) back. There were sooo many references to FF, Resident Evil, etc. that I couldn't stop laughing! It had given the AMV directors some ideas for new categories...which is the parody category or the original category where someone makes an AMV that has its own storyline that doesn't follow the original anime storyline.
The AMV contest surprisingly went right on schedule and we got out at 11. Preparations for the next day were at hand...sort of ^^;;
Day two was probably the day where there really wasn't much going on. There was the Azumi movie that was going on, but Koma gave word that the room was packed with people and so nobody in my group really watched it >.<. Although...this was the day where I spent most of my money in both Artist Alley and Dealer's hall. I think I got...11 manga total, another artbook (well...not really an artbook...it's the FF7 Advent Children movie book) and a few large posters (well, they're really not posters and they're really not pencil boards....). I was surprised by the amount of artbooks that were going for $30 or less. Maybe it's because of anime's influence growing?? I was in my Yuzuriha outfit that morning, though I didn't get that many pictures taken (it's amazing how CLAMP is so popular and yet some of the more normal characters they have wearing normal clothes aren't as recognizable) but I had fun carrying my wolf plushie around! It's so darn cute ^^.
After Dealer's hall and Artist Alley, I went back to my room to eat...and delayed my progress to change into my Soi Fong outfit ^^. Eventually, I did get into my Soi Fong outfit and met up with maulie and Swedmex where we proceeded to wander around since we really didn't have much to do. We got to see the very last moments of the second episode of Samurai 7 XD before maulie and I split off to try to attend the Azumi panel....but then I saw the Bleach people and there we stayed ^_^.
It was soooo much fun, let me tell you. The manager for the seiyuus of Ichigo and Byakuya came by and we got pictures!!! XDXDXDXD That was soooo awesome, but another Bleach member and me tried to speak to him and our Japanese completely flew out the window!! We wanted to invite him to go to the official Bleach gathering, but he had to go back to Japan the next day T_T. Still, it was very fun meeting him! I think we were there for about an hour or so...we kept on getting stopped for pictures without even moving!!! I lost my balance so many times, and eventually, I took off my captain Soi Fong and wore her battle version (since it was kinda underneath...I had a shirt very similar to Soi Fong's that I was wearing ^^). maulie and I kept on bursting out laughing when we tried to pose some action poses until I decided to look past her and all was well.
Well, sort of. It's hard to look mean and pissed off >.< But it was fun!! I also had trouble keeping my balance...didn't know that pigtails were that heavy on my head.
After the mini-meet before the HUGE Bleach gathering the next day, went upstairs to rest before going back to the hotel room and reading more manga ^_^. I got attacked by stuffed animals as well and had to wield them off with my typewriter ^^ (long story...the picture will probably make more sense)
Can you say...Bleach? That has GOT to be the most insane gathering I've ever been in; at least twice the size of the Naruto gathering that I was last in. But anyway, what happened beforehand?
....Hmm...I don't recall what happened beforehand...
OH!! There was another last-minute mini Bleach meet in the center of the ACC ^^. It was there while posing that I sprained my left thumb >.< I'm not quite sure how I sprained it, but I did because I heard some sort of crack or pop on my left hand T___T. I went to the first aid place to get an ice pack, and it did some good, but for the rest of the day, I ignored and totally forgot about my injury unless I decided to carry my backpack with my left hand instead of my right. It's amazing when you begin to realize how much you take your thumbs for granted...they do so many things!!!
But anyway, rested my hand for a bit while taking pictures of random cosplayers passing by before heading up to the Bleach gathering on the roof. It was then that the chaos began....
We at first began on the third floor, about to head out onto the roof. Then we made our way down to the ground floor XD. It was such a funny picture, a whole bunch of Bleach cosplayers going down the escalators to meet out in front. Then we discovered that the FRONT of the ACC was too small for us, so we had to move to Hall E where the stairs were. It was there a long line ensued, a whole bunch of Bleach cosplayers and photographers heading for the congregated area. I didn't realize the scale until we all were getting onto the stairs.....
Then the Ichigos and Hitsugaya cosplayers had to get on the stairs above us and then it looked like it panned out for a bit. I found a whole bunch of Soi Fong cosplayers and so we banded together so that we would know where each person was. It was so funny that we were all in our battle outfits ^^ (it was at the gathering where I took off my jacket and kimono once again to wear the battle outfit...at the mini-meet, I was still wearing full captain version). But we had lots of fun; the stair's rails were amusingly easy to slide down on so I did that a couple of times while on there ^^. And we had to say "BOHAHA!" about five times, which was really funny ^^.
While the gathering was still going on, I had to escape. I can handle one chaos a day >.< Koma and I headed to the general cosplay area where he went back up (after entrusting his sword with me ^^) to get some water and I took pictures of more cosplayers ^_^. It was when Koma came back, I went back to my hotel room to rest and then change to Kurenai, since I realized that there was a very small amount of Kurenai cosplayers out there. There probably were some at the Naruto gathering the day before, but I hadn't seen any during my course of wandering around and decided to give Kurenai some justice ^_^. Kupochan and I wandered around the Dealer's hall for a bit --- eyeing some stuff that we wanted to get (like a Squall action figure...*sniff* I had very little money) but resisting to buy them ^^. I was invited to go to Denny's with some Bleach cosplayers, but I declined since I was low on money and really wanted to get out of my Soi Fong outfit since it was so hot.
If I stayed out in my Kurenai a bit longer, I probably would get a lot more pictures of her, but oh well ^^. I wandered around one last time before heading back to my hotel room where I would stay there for the remainder of the night and where would begin my night of no sleep....
Yes, you're probably wondering...wha...didn't I just do day three?? Weeeeelllll....Day three melds with day four. You can say that this Day three is the night part that leads to day four ^^.
Like I said, I made an all nighter, pretty much. We were waiting for a friend of ours to come up since he wasn't able to go to AX at all (even though he paid) and wanted to go to IHop for some food. I suggested earlier that we should go in cosplay, and thus the deal was made ^^. I invited Koma since he was locked out of his room and that was when we began to experience some of the wackiness of what would be something you can only get at AX: exhaustion hyperness ^^.
For instance, Kaede let us listen to one of her voice mail messages. When MasterChief tried to get her phone:
Kaede: But you don't know my
Ah, yes, our random coversations in the middle of the night/early morning....(sorry...I like Sasuke -- not fangirly like -- but it's so fun making fun of him ^^)
Our friend finally arrived at around 2:30, so we went over to IHop which was really fun. The group behind us were talking about zombies, asking where were STARS and Kaede burst out "Right behind you!!" and they turned ^_^. I couldn't eat much due to my Ada outfit (I swear, the thing's like a second skin to me), but that's probably a good thing. My body can't really tackle eating in the middle of the night.
Kaede and I did a Jill vs Ada photoshoot...which was super duper fun ^__^ As soon as I can get the pictures, you'll see how much fun we had. I think the hotel staff gave us some weird looks, since we entered in their bar area (which was closed) and I had to pretend that I was drunk and Kaede had to drag me off XD. And many stairwell scenes. One day, we are thinking of doing the staircase scene from FF7....but I have to get in really good shape to pull off that Tifa outfit (darn Kaede for convincing me >.<).
Once we were done with the photoshoot, we headed off to random directions. MasterChief and our friend went to the arcade while Kaede, kupochan and I went to the Karaoke area....that was where we met Koma again (we split after IHop since he wanted to go to bed) since he couldn't get into his room (the card key wasn't working). So the four of us wandered about after a long time in Karaoke and not actually singing (my nerves got to me since I haven't sung in years) but next time I'll try Karaoke! Just hopefully not in the middle of the night >.<
I think it was about 6 when we returned to our room. I set my alarm at 8 so that we could get packing and whatnot. Yay for 2 hours of sleep!! And I did wake up at 8!!! Kaede was also the only other person awake in the room before our other 2 friends eventually woke up, so we went to the balcony before making one last trip to Dealer's hall to get some stuff. Ah, the random sketches we did....here's some that I remember:
Starts off with Sasuke head:
WTF mate is that?!? *is later changed to 'WTF is that mate??'
Note to self: Never ever ever ever get two girls with lack of sleep to start doodling floating heads across a sketchbook...it's a bit scary (and funny) ^^. By the way, no offense to any of the random characters above....it's our wacky minds at work and nothing else.
When we looked at the time to see that Dealer's Hall would be open, we ran inside and said: "Everyone, wake up! Dealer's room is going to close and we want to get some stuff! TAKOYAKI!!!!" *runs out*
Sooooo....we got some more stuff (there were Konoha PE Academy T-shirts in Artist Alley) before checking out and cleaning up. By the time I fell asleep when I was home (had to stay at Kaede's house for a little while since my brother had to pick up my dad), I had been officially awake for 22 hours. O_O
Til next AX!!