Monday, July 5, 2010

My journey through Anime Expo 2010

 <-Here's a picture from the Persona gathering of me with some guy dressed as Izanagi. Man, that gathering was awesome

Awww yeah, it’s that time of year again. Just got back from Anime Expo, which managed to be awesome despite the change in management (I won’t blame staff, they’re kinda cool) This year managed to trump the previous year, putting it on par with the convention in 2008, where I first met the love of my life, Persona 4. On another note, this was my first year actually working at the convention as a volunteer, which will warrant another post.

This year I decided to stay at the Clarion Hotel, which is about a mile away from the convention center. The rooms are nice and VERY cheap, to the point where you assume it is too good to be true. This is all fine and dandy until you drive to the Hotel, and look at the nice view of…. much better hotels. I could see the incredibly phallic Ritz Carlton that is still being worked on, along with other gigantic super hotels. Furthermore, the walk there forced you to go through a rather…. suspect neighborhood. Would NOT walk through there at night. Now then, this conventions highlight reel…

Cosplayers: Holy crap, cosplay was nice this year. I attended the Persona, Super Smash Brothers, and Pokemon gatherings. My favorite cosplay gathering definitely goes to the Persona gathering where there where not one, not two, but FOUR girls dressed as Chie there. I could have sworn I died and went to heavean. Even better, unlike last year’s Persona gathering, the entire party from Persona 4, plus a few side characters showed up (no main villain though >_>)  Pokemon gathering was really fun, and one of my favorite cosplayers was at that gathering…. Wobbu Fett. As you can see in the picture, it’s a combination of Wobbuffet and Boba Fett. There were also a lot of people dressed up as Pokemon, using a lot of creative costumes, such as this Bellossom.

AMV Contest: This year beat the stuffing out of last year’s AMV contest. Although no AMV was better than some of the best in 2008’s contest, the average AMV was better than the average in 2008. This contest started out strong by showing a video about Hitler and his generals in their bunker, and Hitler explaining how his AMV is going to make the finals. Then the AMV staff tells him he lost the finals to a no-edit video, and he then proceeds to go on a rant, and explaining how he is going to raise hell on the forums. Unlike previous years, I felt comedy was the weakest category, rather than the strongest, mostly because the comedy videos consisted mostly of Internet memes. There were a couple of exceptions, one being “Common Accident” which featured characters from Evangelion, which I’m not linking to here. My other favorite in comedy was “An Alchemist named Sue,” featuring Full Metal Alchemist. My favorite action video was “Switchback,” which was played to clips from black cat. Strangely, drama was my favorite category this year, featuring the videos “Setsuna of Arabia” and Alchanum, which were both very solid. Strangely, although the AMTV Pro category is usually the weakest, I found most of the videos, particularly “This is Halloween” to be very exiting. It should be noted that the trailer to Space Pirate Captain Harlock, shown before the contest was simply amazing. Most of these videos can be found on Youtube, although the experience is not nearly as exiting as seeing them in the Nokia theater.

Programming:  I didn’t go to that many panels this year. I went to the Legend of Zelda panel out of curiosity, and saw some information on the new Zelda game coming soon. It is apparently going to have an incredibly precise sword system that will demand that you REALLY make an idiot out of yourself in front of the TV. Furthermore, you’re going to have to actually do a longbow like stance in order to fire the bow. Looks REALLY fun, and looks like it would make you look REALLY stupid. A more surprising panel was the Chibi Masquerade, where I saw two rather interesting things. One was a lady wearing a well-made Vivi (Final Fantasy 9) playing Suteki De Na (Final Fantasy 10) on a violin. On another note, a guy I happen to know proposed to his girlfriend during the chibi masquerade. Thankfully, she said yes. Finally, I went to the AX forum meet and greet, where I failed to answer a question correctly, and was forced to sing the Pokemon theme  in front of the crowd there. I felt heroic. I was a little miffed that I didn’t know the answer to the questions, because the questions other people were asked were from anime I love, and I could answer instantly. I’m sure some guy thought that about my question though, hehe.

Exhibition Hall: This year’s Exhibition hall wasn’t very exiting. Freebies were scarce, I didn’t see many raffles, and it seemed emptier than last year. It should be noted that the most awesome booth in the universe belonged to LITTLE ****ING KURIBOH himself, who was selling T-shirts and meeting fans of Yu Gi Oh abridged. Thankfully, I was able to get a picture with him. I wound up buying a couple T-shirts, but I spent more time in the Artists alley next door. There the convention’s finest artists vied for people’s attention in order to make a living. There were some strong performances, and I will be featuring some of the artists I saw there in later posts.

The Dance: Well, I got to go to the rave for a couple of nights. This year’s rave was at Club Nokia, which was roomier and much closer to the convention than the Westin, where last year’s raves were held. The first night I refered to as “The Bro Rave” where I went with my friends in cosplay (Me as the Persona 4 guy, my friend as some guy from Blaze Blue, and the other guy as Barry from Resident Evil) This rave was really exiting, and I got to dance with quite a few people. The second night of the rave I went with some friends out of cosplay. Although I danced a lot, the most memorable part for me was when I asked a girl dressed as a Vocaloid to dance with me, and I got stopped by some guy she was with who looked like he was going to punch my face in. I found it amusing.

Overall: This year’s convention was really fun, and gives off a bit of hope for Anime Expo’s future, despite the change in staff. My favorite parts were the AMV contest and the Persona gathering, by far. Of course, I’m saving my opinions on staff for a later post on my experience working at the convention, which will be posted later. I will definitely be going to the convention next year, and will hopefully be playing a bigger role in its success, whether it be as a volunteer, staff, or managing an artist alley booth for my local anime club.

<-Anime Expo 2009

Related Posts:
My Experience Volunteering at Anime Expo 2010
Comic Con 2009
Getting the most out of an Anime Convention
Convention Trances: Channeling the essense of an anime convention

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