Oh my...how do I begin this?
In general, this AX has been honestly one of the worst ones that I've been to. Although, of course every AX has its own problems. But this had to be one of the worst set of problems that I've seen as an attendee. I actually had more fun doing stuff with my friends at the hotel room rather than actually participating in the con, which is always cool and all, but hm...I don't know. This AX didn't feel like AX at all. It makes me consider if I want to go next year...especially if it is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center next year.
But without further ado...the standard layout!
Where did I stay? -- The Westin (my greatest sympathies to those who were booted out during the 2 week period prior to AX...otherwise known as the Westin incident)
Who did I stay with? -- My friends! ^^
Although I didn't wear Soi Fong for most of the time...it was a bit difficult to do considering the amount of Bleach cosplayers out there....although I think I should have...it pains me to say that there weren't a good variety of good cosplayers this year...
The people who will be mentioned often:
I actually had class earlier in the day (taking summer school to get rid of another GE class; hopefully my final one) and a presentation to do, but after that, I was so hungry that I had to drive to Westminster to buy food. Koma called me as I was on my way to get food (he was at the hotel already), so I got lunch for him as well. We were at the hotel lobby for about half an hour or so eating before checking in to get our room and then deciding to head out to the line to get our badges.
....Note to self: Always go hours after the registration area opens.
Well, the line for pre-reg was super duper long and it literally extended all the way down the street for...a while. I'm not sure how long I waited with Koma (we ran into some of his brother's friends in line and joined in), but then Kupochan called me and so I had to rush back up to the hotel to get her to our room. I actually made a detour back up a super-duper steep hill with my backpack, and I vowed to myself that never again would I climb up that kind of hill (because in my backpack was my laptop...and I was wearing sandals >.<)
I actually hadn't checked it out myself, either, and once we got in (after fiddling with the card key for a few minutes...I have horrible luck with card keys) we realized that we actually had a somewhat aerial view of the Terrace Theatre. Of course, couldn't see the line, but I assumed that since we were far off, it wouldn't be much to bring my stuff up which we did. Koma then called saying that he was close to entering the registration line so we headed down to the much longer line until Kaede called. Kupochan and I once again made a re-route back to the Westin to greet Kaede and her friends (who will be named as "A" and "D" because...well, my mind's not too creative at the moment right now) and also moved their stuff to our room.
The Westin has actually very good rooms, by the way. I made my corner near the window and Kupochan had made a place on the sofa-chair-like thing.
But anyway...afterwards, it was close to time to go to a Day 0 Bleach meet with Slade and whoever else who wanted to come. It actually ended up being just me, Koma, Kupochan, and Kageryu (who is also from the AX forums). Kaede disappeared to meet another friend of ours, and so the remainder of us decided on where to go (after Kupochan and I got our badges and stuff now that the line had practically disappeared) ...which is actually very hard considering just how indecisive we all are ^^. But eventually we made our way to the Pike and got some fruit smoothies at this place called the Smoothie King. Their drinks really tasted like those from Jamba Juice XD.
After having our drinks, we decided to go and see if we could find RukiaNeeSama (RNS for short) from the AX forums at Cosplay Chess. It turned out that we arrived towards the latter end of Cosplay Chess. It looked really fun...but we had no idea which side was which, though....(I wonder who did win...). But we didn't see RNS, and instead ran into DDR_Queen (aka Queenie) from the forums.
(I make a note that I typically lurk on the AX forums and don't post too often except in the Bleach Cosplayers thread and some others that I find interesting...so I have an idea who people are, but I don't know them very well ^^;;)
I think sometime afterwards, Ken called me and wondered if the Day 0 meet was still going on. He was on his way to the convention center to get his badge and so we headed back towards the Terrace Theatre once again to meet him. It took some time, but he eventually came up along with friends from his club. Around this time Kaede, A & D were also coming around and we all sat and talked. I mentioned going back to the hotel to rest up like about 10 times, but we never really got to it until about 9-10pm, I think XD. That's what happens when people gather together to talk, I guess ^^.
And so, when we finally got back to our hotel room, configured sleeping spots (it was very funny because all us girls in the room slept in the weird spots and the guys got the bed -- they were willing to switch with us, but we were actually quite comfortable where we were at ^^), talked some more, and then went to bed...I'm not sure at what time, though. My body was towards the point of collapse because of all the walking and I actually didn't quite wake up until about 7-8 the next day...
And so the chaos of Day 1 began....let me just say that I absolutely hate my hair >.<
I had an Art Show piece to display, so after getting my back-in-the-day Soi Fong on (after much fussing with the wig...I really apologize to my friends and roommates about it), made a call to Maulie Kat (who was staying with Torch and friends at a hotel about 5 miles away) to see where she was so that we could check our stuff in. I really can't believe just how long it took for the staff to check us in.... Apparently all the stuff that they needed to set up hadn't arrived until late yesterday and so they were still scrambling to get everything together, along with checking people in. I think the both of us were in there for about 20-30 minutes or so...
Oh, by the way, my piece was the colored penciled version of Team 7 from Naruto showing the team from the picture during the genin days and the later time jump where they are no longer together anymore. Maulie's was the one next to mine featuring a really cute paper/sand colored child Gaara in the black frame box and a wood burning of Naruto's Sexy-no-jutsu. Because we didn't really want to mess with the tax forms, our pieces were not for sale and only for display. Maybe sometime in the future (when we have a better grip at the Art Show). we'll sell our pieces at Art Show ^^.
After we got out, Maulie and Torch helped me put back on my wig. The first try was so funny XD. Torch put my hair in a bun on the top and tried to put on the wig that way, but it looked so funny when I put in on. Afterwards, we did a different approach and it looked fine after that. Only now I felt that I had to put on my captain Soi Fong and so went back to the hotel to change... >.< Maybe I should've changed before they got the wig on me, huh?
I went along with Kaede to the Dealer's Hall just to get an idea what it looked like and how crowded it was. Oh my, the labyrinth to find the way over to the convention center @_@. The shortcut to get our way there was cut off by staff (which I found was totally stupid because in all honesty I don't think there would've been anything suspicious for us anime fans to take there D=< ) so we had to find the long way around. Eventually finding it and agreeing that we should head inside (Kaede wanted to check out the Ouran Tea Ceremony before heading to Dealer's Hall, but we found that the line was long and didn't seem to be worth it), we noted the main Artist Alley to our left. Making a note that we should visit whenever the area was less crowded, we made our way down to Dealer's Hall.
I actually ended up buying some of the manga that I needed to buy, although we both made a note that we should check out the Kinokuniya booth when it wasn't a hard time to fight through the massive crowd inside >.<
So then we made our way back to the hotel again so that I could change into yet another outfit (this time Tomoe) making the total costumes I changed into about 3 for the day. Talking and stuff at the hotel room occurred before we asked to see who wanted to go wait in line for AMV.
I kept on getting phone call after phone call from people regarding the AMVs. If you've been visiting here every time I make an update on my con reports, you are familiar that my group and I always make an effort to go to the AMV contest. When we arrived, we didn't see a line. Instead, we were told that the SKIN concert was delayed.
So to kill some time, we went back to Dealer's Hall (after me waving my purple umbrella to get another friend of ours who just got out of registration and was dressed as Kurosaki Ichigo) and wandered around in there for a bit until we got a call from a friend in line stating that the line to AMV was starting. So we walked back to get in line, waving people down as they called me to find out where our group was at in line, and basically was silly for the oh, next 2 1/2 hours or so. I gave my camera to Torch so that she could play around with it, and oh did she use my camera to full advantage XD.
We heard lots of screaming fangirls inside the arena as the SKIN concert went underway ^^. Especially when we heard Gackt's voice come on.
But as the concert ended and the crowd there finally dispersed (including those who automatically went in line for AMV), our line finally started to move a little bit. We eventually got inside, sat down, etc, all looking forward to the AMV contest. Only when the head of the contest came up and announced that someone stole his laptop and thus the necessary media used to display the entire contest did the first day of chaos finally plummeted to a low. Although I do feel really bad that his laptop was stolen....something inside of me also wondered how could he not have a backup? Or two backups?
So we could only see the AmTV part of the contest and luckily one of the creators also had a disc on him and so we watched some old AMVs as well. AMV contest was rescheduled to Sunday morning in the Terrace Theatre >.<
This was the actual day where finally the feeling of AX hit me. I think it was because Kupochan and I headed towards the actual convention center instead of the Terrace Theatre and discovered tons of cosplayers there. Only when I took lots of pictures of cosplayers and whatnot did I begin to feel happy that AX was here. Kupochan and I split ways sometime after the Final Fantasy Complete gathering (I disappeared into the Dealer's Hall and bought more stuff...mainly from Kinokuniya booth) and we gathered again in the hotel room. Lots of people came into our hotel room and we had lots of food (more than we could eat...) but during some time while reading Saiyuki Reload Volume 7 and moving onto the last volume of PSME was I poked and pushed by Kaede to go to sleep since I looked extremely tired. I tried to resist for a few minutes before relenting and falling asleep. Apparently Torch had a hold of A's camera (which was a really nifty camera, btw) and took lots and lots of extremely random pictures and there was lots of noise and random laughter and giggles (and apparently Kaede was hyper off of strawberry jelly ^^) but I slept through it all.
Kaede woke me up so that I could make a run through the Saiyuki gathering (which I missed >.<). With about 2 hours worth of waiting before the AX Forum Meet and Greet, Kupochan and I just basically wandered around the convention center to the Lagoon and back again to the convention center room. We still had about an hour left after all that wandering around (and I realized I got my first cosplay wounds from my shoes because I was cosplaying Lacus and the back of her shoes scratched and peeled away the skin on my ankles resulting in some blood and a signficant scab afterwards) but we tried to reroute our way back to the convention center without much luck. Ran into Slade again at the AniMatsuri booth and talked for a bit, watched a small concert of someone (we didn't know who she was, but apparently she came just for AX and was leaving the next day), before finally rerouting our way back to the room where the M&G would be.
It was during this time (I was drawing) that Kupochan left, but Koma came to meet me (his costume and my wig kept on running into each other, XD) and we both headed inside the room for it to begin. Ken also texted me asking where it was and he and a friend of his (I think he's Theendgamelvl3 on the forums) joined us.
The M&G was actually pretty amusing. We witnessed tackle glomps and whatnot. Unfortunately, Ken and I didn't really know anybody since we only lurk on the forums and not post much, so we left early. It was kind of amusing because:
Slade: *on mic* Oh, I see, you
guys are leaving, that's so not cool.
Ken and I made our way back to the Westin, where he was meeting his friends at the Manga Cafe. We did run into them at the lobby and talked for a bit. I also ran into Torch, MaulieKat, and company who were going out of the elevators. Apparently they were in our hotel room hanging out. After saying goodbye to them and to Ken's friends, the both of us headed back to my room where I really really wanted to get out of my Lacus outfit (mainly because I needed to put band-aids on my feet and my wig was bothering me) where I introduced him to the rest of the people in my group and talked for a little bit before searching for Ken's friends again who would meet him down at Manga Cafe. After much talking, he was told that they were at Karaoke, but when we checked the place for Karaoke they didn't seem to be there O_o. Then we were told that there was an extra Karaoke room somewhere in the Westin, in which we made a search to find it. After finally asking another staff member, we found the extra Karaoke room ^^. Although Ken and I really didn't want to sing...(which we didn't; we ended up just getting out of the hallway and sitting outside to talk some more).
It was really nice talking to Ken ^^. Like I said earlier, I had a much more fun time hanging out with friends than actually doing con stuff.
He took me back to my room and when I entered the room, I saw that Kaede was gone. Apparently another friend of ours took her to Rum party and after dropping her off at our room, she went out to wander about. I wanted to be stubborn and tried to stay up to wait for her with Koma, but we were both too tired and fell asleep around 2am ^^. Kaede didn't come back until 4 hours later O_O.
I somehow woke up around 8ish. I don't know why, but I did...
I remembered though that the AMV rescheduling was at 9:30, so I decided to get ready and changed into Tomoe costume (after making some adjustments, too, with this costume). Koma was also the only other person up and others did wake up and fell asleep again as soon as I said hi ^^. I set my camera on charge, thinking that I didn't need it since I was going to AMV anyway, and left to head for AMV.
Boy...I wish I brought my camera >.<
AMV contest this year wasn't as good as previous years, but they were okay. Heck, I hail anybody who can actually take the time to edit, cut, paste, and add special effects to make an AMV ^^;; But the more significant ones were: The Guardian Gene (Scrapped Princess), Does L Creep You Out? (Deathnote), and Skittles (Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi). There were lots of Fate/Stay Night ones, too, which makes me curious as to what the anime is all about. All I recall is that it's somewhat based on a game? (Not too sure...) And there was only one (I think it was one) AMV for Naruto...which made me happy because there were too many last time. However, the same problem to last year's AMV arose again with the same song being used for 2 different AMVs....
After the AMV was finished, I decided to head out to go back to eat breakfast, which I forgot to do when I left. And as I was on my way back to the hotel, I saw this awesome Ryuuki cosplayer from Saiunkoku Monogatari. And it made me cry when I remembered that my camera was at the hotel T__T. I also had to charge the battery for my camera, too, since Torch had used most of it night before when she was taking random pictures of us.
As soon as my camera was charged (and I was somewhat full), I headed out to the convention center once again. I couldn't believe how many times I was stopped O_o. It was cool, though, since it made me happy ^^. I hadn't gotten many pictures taken of me the day before. The only problem with Tomoe, though, (at least the one I made) was that I had to be extreeemely careful in how I walked because I snapped on the kimono rather than hooking it together at the folds so I really did walk a lot of small steps. But the umbrella was very nice...and I actually had to chase down a Galbadian soldier cosplayer while in it ^^.
I also finally decided to make a run through the main part of Artist Alley, and it was here that I ran into hakubaikou from DeviantArt because I saw her Shinsengumi picture ^^ (if you would like to know what it looked like, just check out her DevArt). Kupochan was also with me (we ran into each other while taking pictures) and as we were both checking out hakubaikou's stuff:
hakubaikou: Are you Tomoe?
We talked a little bit about Ruroken before I bought some of her stuff and then continued on. We still had like about an hour and a half before the actual RK gathering would start, but the both of us headed there anyway (after buying a few more things from Artist Alley) where we found Ken and his group. Haha, it's really not hard to find him in costume because he has like an 8 foot long makeshift sword from his Kenpachi costume ^^; We all talked for a little bit, taking pictures here and there because there was already a huge crowd gathering due to the Bleach Arrancar gathering already going on.
But I have to say, the result of the RK gathering was quite....disorganized, to say the least. It makes me sad, because it's such a good anime/manga (the manga's much better) but because it has finished it's popularity has also declined. Which was good in one sense because you don't have the chaos that is quite well known for Naruto and Bleach but a bit disappointing in another sense because you don't have as many people doing different characters. We had some funny moments, though ^^. After a while, though, I decided to go back to change into Lacus so that I could make it to the Gundam Seed gathering and also take pictures of the Bleach gathering.
....Well, I intended to take pictures of the Bleach gathering....but instead, as I was changing, I noticed from our hotel window that it was already starting and so I decided to just have some lunch and take aerial shots of it ^^. More people also returned to the room and we talked for a bit before I rushed on out to head to the GS gathering. On my way down in the elevator, I ran into more GS cosplayers and we headed to the area together. They were really nice, and they had Haro alarm clocks! Those Haros were soooo cute! They were all happy and talking together and stuff ^^.
The GS gathering was much better than the RK gathering, but I think I was getting tired, so I don't think I looked too happy in my pictures >.<. But I did have a lot of fun! I just have this feeling that nobody around me thought I looked happy or something like that >.< But it's kinda hard to smile for 5 minutes or more without something to make me smile.... plus, I was missing my Kira (Ken said that he would do Kira, but due to time constraints, he couldn't finish it...but next year I'll definitely have a Kira ^^).
I left after a while, heading back to the room to change out of Lacus to normal clothes. I wasn't intending to go to Masquerade and was content in just hanging out in the hotel room and finishing reading the manga that I bought ^^. But Ken called and asked if I wanted to go to Masquerade, and I ended up agreeing to go. We talked a lot during the time waiting for Masquerade to begin and stuff and it was really fun. I don't remember much of the conversations we had anymore, but I do remember having a good time.
We left for Masquerade at around 7ish, meeting Koma at the Theatre before heading on into the arena where it was being held. When we arrived at Masquerade (after being hassled by some of the security from Staff Pro), it made me remember the reasons why I never attended Masquerade after '04. Mainly because of the typical hecklers that seem to be at every AX Masquerade...
The MCs were doing a good job at keeping a good portion of the audience entertained. I have to admit that they made some particularly amusing comments they made, although it made me wonder if the people who were doing their skits or walking on to show off their costumes felt a bit offended by their comments...(they weren't serious, of course...it just makes me wonder, though). Sometime during the black screen and waiting for the next skit, everyone started making the arena look like it was from some other planet, waving the lights of their cell phones around and then subsequent flashes of their cameras afterwards. That was cool ^^. (I think Ken recorded some of it)
But, hm....some significant things that stood out to me:
fighter (ah, my Robotech/Macross fangirl in me ^^)
Loud music and lots of lighting issues.
We left during the halftime show, though, to chat at our hotel room. I heard the Pirates vs. Ninjas thing was very cool.
Meant to go to bed early, but that never happened, of course ^^;
The final day started off by my dad waking me up about 1/2 hour before my alarm went off -_-. Nevertheless, I couldn't say that I wasn't too happy when he did call...it took me a while afterwards to actually get up and out of my sleeping spot (it was so warm ^^). I think it was about 9 when I finally decided to get up, get dressed, and get packing. Torch and company came into our room at around 10 (because I thought I was going to be ready for her to come at that time) and we all scrambled to fight through the elevators, put our stuff in the car, check out, and head on over to Dealer's Hall. We took a look outside before leaving, though, and saw that the line to Transformers was already starting O_O. We met up with Ken at the Dealer's Hall and then wandered around from there. I wanted to see if the Kinokuniya booth had lowered their prices for the last parts of their Saiyuki artbooks, but alas, they didn't T_T.
There was a booth that had some bags and I took interest in one, but because I wanted to save the rest of my money, I didn't get it. Ken and Kaede conspired, though, and got it for me >.<
Had to run back to Art Show to get my art piece, said good bye to Ken (he went along with me after we left Dealer's Hall) and headed back to the hotel parking lot to meet Torch as I was taking her home.
And thus, AX07 ended for me.
* I never noticed that the hairpins on my Lacus costume was on the wrong side, and nobody told me >.< *fails*
* Almost every night I attempted to watch the Rock Musical Bleach: Dark of the Bleeding Moon XD
* I think I almost fell a few times being poked by Kaede. She finally succeeded in making me slip and fall into the chair that I was sitting on in our hotel room on Day 4
* Kenshin should never become feminine with huge boobs...that was scary.
* For once, I didn't see Man-Faye. Though I heard he was here, just not in costume O_o
* Mixing in characters from different series is fun (see pictures)
* My Tomoe umbrella was quite useful in both flagging people down and providing shade for those who needed it
* Unlike the unfortunate cosplayers that happened to them, I somehow managed to get through the convention without being sunburned. I have a slight tan, though...
* My longer hair and wigs don't mix. Seriously.
*Torch takes the most random of all pictures. Maybe it was good that she took my camera, though. I have amusement to look back on ^^.
* Next convention I go to, there will be a big FF8 cosplay group from us ^^ (hopefully)