Anime Expo – Day One
Let’s just start off by saying that getting up at five or six in the morning isn’t the same when you’re on the west coast. While it should be tiring… it’s not. Right up until you reach the end of the day… (Time zones are evil)
On with the day! Up at seven in the morning it’s time to get ready. (Well I woke at like five in the morning but really I’m not getting out of bed when it’s dark.)
By eight or nine we’re out the door and heading down to the con. Anyway, the con is a short walk away at the Anaheim Convention Center and so we walk over, we passed some cosplayers but as we round the corner we see the crowds…
The excitement building already the crowds line up for their passes, for photos and for the opening ceremonies. Heading towards the Hilton to pick up our press badges we take the time to grab a few photos – poor cosplayers can’t get more than two steps without “Can we take your photo.”
Mind you there are some amazing cosplayers this year ranging from Final Fantasy Advent Children to Card Captor Sakura to Naruto and beyond. (Of course you have your usual Inu Yasha, Sailor Moon, Cat girls and your random samurai’s.)
Press badges in check it’s time to get to work… after some breakfast. The day is filled with tasks and while we started out as a group of five we ended up splitting up into three groups… well Jakiao was on his own but Minako and Ace paired up, and Aaron and I paired up.
Jakiao off to watch Anime, and gather reviews; Ace and Minako off to talk to Exhibitors, promote the sites, get the goods and take the pictures of the cosplayers; Aaron and I off to take the pictures of the cosplayers, interview them and gather in the overall con experience. (Needless to say this being my first con it’s overwhelming and generally a good time…)
Surprisingly people don’t mind their photo taken but they do mind being on camera. We grab some photos, and a couple interviews (Only two people wanted to talk to us) then we’re off for CLAMP’s public panel. Thank god for the press passes, cutting the massive lines as hundreds, likely even thousands line up for a chance to see CLAMP in person. After the public panel it’s onto the press panel and CLAMP… well let’s put it this way they’re amazing…
From one panel to the next, we’re constantly on the move. The staff at AX has been most helpful and the exhibitors are pulling out all the stops from banging drums, booth babes, and throwing free merchandise into the crowd, they fight for the attention of the attendees. Day one gave us amazing costumes, intriguing panels and a couple interviews with eager attendees. Exhausted we arrive back at the hotel, order some food and it’s time to plan day two…
Anime Expo – Day Two
Up at seven again it’s back to the long process of getting ready, we’re getting better at it. After the audio struggles of the day before (Its hard to hear the attendees we’re talking to) it’s time to try and find a microphone for the video camera. No luck. Without one we’re trusting on Ace to enhance the sound and make it audible.
Once again it’s time to hit the con, with a list of things to try and do we enter into the crowds again… and Ace was right – Day two involves more cosplayers and larger crowds as over 30,000 attendees swarm in.
First sight as we enter into the crowds is a rather massive photo shoot of the Final Fantasy Advent Children cosplayers. Taking out the video camera I get down and crawl into the photographers and start filming them. Some music, some fighting and a few ‘dramatic’ poses later after I’ve crawled out its back into the convention, handing out cards and taking pictures. Getting to talk to some of the cosplayers it’s interesting to learn more about their experiences. While they won’t talk on camera they would let us know what they thought.
Split into our three groups again Ace and Mina head off to take photos and hit up Anime AX Idol, Jakiao off to watch more anime and hit a Naruto Voice Actors panel and Aaron and I take some pictures and head up to the game room to talk to some gamers.
Meeting some people from the sites in person was awesome fun, and the costumes were even better today. Minako dressed up too! But I’m sure she has some awesome tales to pass on.
Time to head back to the hotel… It’s now the ‘end’ of day two, but the day isn’t over. In a few moments the Anime “Rave” starts and we’ll be heading out to join in the fun!