And here's another personal review of Anime Expo 2013! I arrived back last week and had a great deal of fun. Here's the review:
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the convention:
The cosplay quality was really nice! It felt great to see a great deal
of anime cosplays than it had been the past couple of years. I don't
necessarily condone anit-anime cosplays at all, but they were dominating
a bit too much over the last couple of years. Or, there were too many
people not in cosplay. I got the opportunity to take lots of pictures,
and there was such a variety of old cosplays and new ones, even rare
ones! I was so excited when I see the Nanami Haruka and Heroine from
Amnesia. All the sweet otome-game excitement!
- It's a
double-edged sword, but the masquerade process was significantly easier
than Fanime. The only major con to this side of the issue is that it was
easy for me and most of the contestants out there, but the staff had
a major hell of an experience. It's strange to think that masquerade
was almost not going to happen considering the ridiculous circumstances.
Tony, the main cosplay events manager, was gracious and professional
throughout the entire process, and his team helped me get everything set
up in a timely and effective manner. I had no problems with him at all,
and even complimented him on his hard work!
- The Dealer's Hall
was wonderful! So much Detective Conan stuff, some great visual novels,
pencil boards, and cute little keychains and effects. I bought the
loveliest artbook from Matsubara Hidenori featuring his art for Ah!
Megamisama, Evangelion, King of Thorn, Count of Monte Christo, Sakura
Taisen, and Fushigi Umi no Nadia! I was so shocked to find this! I also
got a free little Kira Project VN, a Windmill pencil board, an Utapri
keychain of Masato, and my glorious Lychee VN Ruby binder. I don't
collect Lychee cards, but I am using the binder for my other VN works
- My cosplays went way better than expected! I only
wanted to make 1 new cosplay for the convention, which had turned out to
be Belldandy. She was so much work, so I knew I wanted to take my time
with her. I wore Moemura on the first day, and I wound up getting so
many compliments about her. I managed to go to the gathering, and took
some pictures with some really awesome Maodka cosplayers, including a
super friendly Moemura, Kyoko, and Miki. I then wore Mari on the second
day and got to spend my time with my friends Nanami and Yori. Nanami
wanted to take some shots by the EVA cockpit dressed as Rei, and then we
all got some awesome shots of the EVA girls trio. And then as
Belldandy, a lot of people really liked it. My friend Emi made the wings
and gave them to me! They're super lovely. I got compliments backstage.
- The skit went all right! I performed it by winging it
completely, ad improvized on the spot because my original skit idea
wasn't able to work out since my partner had dropped due to family
circumstances. So, I was able to perform and used my aings, costume, and
fans to try to create a dance.
- Although I didn't win, the
craftsmanship judges came backstage to tell me what a wonderful job I
did! They told me they were so impressed with my hard work, and that I
needed to keep working and come back again for next year. It was such an
inspirational thing to hear, because I've always been one to feel
unsure of my skills. It's inspired me to work harder!
That horrible autograph line! I didn't even get close to getting Ito
Noizi's autograph, which was the one thing I wanted from Anime Expo's
main events! I was saddening, and I eve bought a cute autograph board
for her to sign, although we weren't close at all. She had a plane to
catch and even more unfortunate, they told me had I gone to her panel I
would have gotten better tickets! But I was in craftsmanship judging at
the time...it was saddening. And the line organization was hard to keep
- I accidentally lost my belt for Belldandy backstage,
although it's not a horrible loss. It's easy to tangle although really
pretty, but I wanted to remake it anyway because I wanted a better chain
that wouldn't tangle. I feel more confident in remaing a great deal of
her jewlery since I am confident about them now. I'm going to remake the
earrings and the collar while I'm at it.
- One of the backstage
skits had super large sets and were trying to move them through a super
small backstage setting. One of the sets hit me hard on the leg while I
was sitting in the waiting area, and I was in a lot of pain. It really
sucked to have that happen before going on stage! They apologized and I
knew it wasn't intentional, but it still was a bit of a damper on the
entire experience. I'm not really fond of huge sets that much. ^_^;
On top of that, I twisted my anle the neck day. Ow! Thankfully, it
wasn't too bad at all and it's healing right. I didn't know how it
happened, but I'm at least okay!
- I wish I had Belldandy's dress
better completed. I have plenty of time now, but I didn't get to finish
and instead draped a skirt as opposed to a full-length dress. it
successfully gave the illusion that I had a full gown, but I still want
the most genuine effect. I'm going to rework a lot and fix, style the
wig (I had little time!) and better makeup and gloves. I also think I
solved the key to her anklets!
- THOSE LINES.
Ugh. I'm so lucky I actually had some fun in them pointing out cute
cosplays, but I was horrified that the original Day 0 line that we tried
to get to actually closed an hour before they had placed their notices
up. It was horrible because we had ran all the way past this seedy
- The crowd was admittedly terrible. It is great
to see how much it has grown but dear goodness, it was hard to walk
through and hope that you wren't going to hurt people with your props
and vice versa.
- Food prices are always nutty at the
convention. There isn't much to say, other than I think I successfully
spent triple price for a burger at the convention restaurant simply
because I couldn't leave the area before craftsmanship judging.
- The heat. x_x The heat was rather bad, but it's California and then summertime, so you can't necessarily complain that much.
AX behind-the-scenes controversies - Although it's not directly
affecting the normal, regular attendee, it's still a saddening piece of
news to hear about how corrupitve they have further sunken to.The fact
that they publicly fired Tony is unacceptable, and the way they later on
tried to distribute prizes and made a fiasco of the departments is just
as worse. I really hope that even though like I said, the attendee
situation may not necessrily be that affected by this news, that they
still see tis as a window of opportunity to improve.
Expo was fun not just for me, but for friends I took with me who were
very new to the con scene. They got great results, and we got the chance
to wear cosplays together and find our own niches. It's the first con
in ages where I didn't bring a sewing machine to fix and or finish
things, and it was such a freeing experience to run around and enjoy
what the convention provided.
But it was a great experience. I
got the chance to be a regular attendee, take pictures, compliment
people, and ask them how they made their items. Backstage, I got the
chance to talk with a really old-school and amazing cosplayer who was
awesome enough to share the experience of pre-masquerade with me after
thinking that I'd be completely alone and bored. The cosplay quality was
also great and refreshing to see, and the lovely souvenirs I got aren't
ones I often buy, but I was glad to have picked up!
have very much improved since last years. I wore my Juliet last year
and it was likely to look at, but it was all made of a cotton fabric
that wrinkled a bit more than I liked, and it was obviously tough to
discuss how I made it -- I admittedly made a great deal of it under very
stressful conditions and was so sleep deprived that I didn't realize at
one point that I was still sewing! It's an ongoing joke with my friends
now, and we call it, "pulling a Kagura".
And I do intend on returning back! It was a great milestone to see hood friends, gathering around with people, and getting the chance to really be a cosplayer and a fan.
And cosplay updates!
My cosplay list keeps ever-changing, but I'll be having a more formal cosplay plans for the year and the next.
Our next cosplay convention is Japan Expo USA in Santa Clara, CA. It's a European-organized convention, since the original convention originates from France. It went on during the same weekend of Anime Expo! Japan Expo is pretty famous for being a huge convention in Europe, and it's exciting to see a new branch down here in the US.
We have a cosplay group forming for the ext big Japan Expo masquerade, and already some of us have the materials set for it. It's so exciting, because it might also be one of the best cosplay ideas ever since an old special friend may be joining us!
I'm in for a great deal of work, but it shall be mega worth it!
Also for Nisei Week here in Los Angeles, I'm planning on working and finishing my Kinomoto Sakura cosplay from Cardcaptor Sakura! I'm going to get started now and hopefully will get it all ready for then!
I'm hoping to post more pictures soon, but for now, there's the review and some updates!