09 July 2016

Con Report: Anime Expo 2016

WOW! So this AX was insane. I'm still in shock, but it was probably one of the better cons I've had in a while.

Day 0


Michael and I buddied up for our plane trips this year again! Unfortunately, Daniel had class and was arriving later that night! :[ Our flight was at 9AM, and TSA went by fairly quickly, surprisingly.
We were cutting it close to our boarding time, but we managed to arrive early enough to get burger king. Which felt absolutely awful LOL. There was slight turbulence that made me feel sick, but we landed with no issue.
Waiting for our shuttle to the Westin!

When we checked in, we had a weird problem with AX travel info transferring my room from a double double to a king. For some reason all my booking info was changed?! But the employee setting up our room was SUPER nice and helpful, and everything got corrected. We even got bumped up to a higher floor with a view of the pool! And it was next to the elevators! So cool. The room was also HUGE compared to what we were used to. Lots of room for rolling around haha.

We were both starving after our long journey, so we went to little Tokyo for KBBQ. It was amazing and just what I needed. 
yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

After getting food, we went to the supermarket really quick to grab snacks/food for the weekend, and then I uber'd back to the hotel to work.
I bought umaibo as a snack for everyone and then Michael spilled it all over the floor... bruh
Ahhhh my badge!!! so exciting ><!!!! This time I was a volunteer for Aniplex through ACParadise representing Okumura Rin from Blue Exorcist (one of my fav series!!)

Daniel's flight ended up being delayed by 1 hour ;__; after I was able to let him into the hotel room we all passed out. 

Day 1

Got ready for my Day 1 shift!
We all woke up pretty early to get ready, so I decided to go to con with Michael and Daniel for their shifts.
The VIZ Media booth had a big display for BEx!! Ahh!

My first shift was at the ANIPLEX media room with @constants. This was the first time I saw their media room, so it was really cool! It was basically a gallery of different medias featuring different Aniplex series. All of the key frames and displays were a great touch, and a lot of attendees came by.

I also got to meet Irene today for the first time! We've been IG friends for a few years now, but since we live in different countries, we haven't been able to go to a con at the same time until now. 
Polaroid shots are always so cute!

After our shift, I was super hungry so I got lunch with Daniel and Constants at the café near the exhibit hall. We didn't have much time to make it to our next shift (in a separate location), so we went into the express line.

For some reason there were multiple hold ups in the express line and we didn't get a chance to eat our food until we got to the right hall. ;__;
We got to the panel room but there was no place to sit, so we scarfed down our food on the table in the back of the panel. Unfortunately, the panel immediately got let out while we were eating!!! So embarrassing... 

During the panel we passed out raffle tickets for prizes! It was hard to cover so much ground but we were determined, and did our best. By the time we finished I was ridiculously sweaty and my asthma was acting up -- but we did it!!!!!! The panel went great and people really liked our costumes ;__; so nice...

My work day ended, so I met up with Daniel to hang around the exhibit hall with him and his friend Dazzy. We got to browse a lot of the exhibits before my boots started killing my feet @__@ so we went back to the hotel to change out. 

We went to Little Tokyo for dinner and put our names down for Daikokuya. In order to kill some time, we walked around with Dazzy and went to Family Mart. Came back, name was still a long ways away, so we decided to go to the bakery.
so cute ♥!
Dazzy wanted to buy some of the donutholes here, so we admired all the unique flavors!
out of cosplay! My hair was so frizzy from the heat and wig cap nooo!

Our name was still a long ways away from getting called, and by this time my friend Irene had joined us. So we went to Maruya to put our names down. The wait time there was advertised as 10 minutes, but to our dismay it ended up being closer to 20 minutes..

Daniel went back to Daikokuya to check on our place, but apparently our name was called 13 minutes ago and (obviously) was skipped since we weren't there. SO SAD AHHH. Irene had to go, but we finally got seated at Maruya and ordered the ramen there. It was so good!
Mine was.... excessively full of chashu and I loved every bit of it.
karaage!

We talked for awhile, but had to cut it short because I was having some stomach problems. Then we all tried uber pool for the first time, and got synced up with the same driver!! It was really convenient. Got ready for bed, and slept very well.

Day 2


Today was a very big day!! I woke up early again to make it to the Weekly Shonen Jump panel. I had some difficulty getting directions to the panel location, but I managed to find a very good, possibly secret shortcut. I waited for Henry and Constants outside the doors, and people-watched in the meantime.

AX had a new lineup system that, at least in my experience, was not advertised very well.  Attendees had many questions about where and how to lineup for panels, and were very thrown off to find that the panels were OUTSIDE the convention center. It was a unique decision, and I'm sure that procedure will change and improve for next year.
selfies with bro!
Kimi ran into the panel room briefly to say hi, and she snapped this super cute picture of all of us! It was great seeing you!!
Photo by Everon

For the panel, we were tasked with giving away a limited supply of exclusive energy drinks!
 Rin's cute face on a cute can ahahahaha
The packaging is A+++
Photo by Everon
Constants and I had a serious leg and back workout from passing out the drinks rapidly LOL Constants bent over while I bent down so we were feeling the burn ahahaha.

Once we finished handing out the drinks, we ran over to the back stage where we met Kazue Kato (!!!!). I tried not to stare too much/was super starstruck/couldn't speak Japanese so I didn't know what to do except sit quietly ahhh!!! Kato-sensei was very impressed with our cosplays and asked about various parts (Wayne's Kuro plush especially, my fake nail fangs, and constants' phials).

The panel began, and we escorted Kato-sensei on stage and stayed to the side standing. It was a very big test of stamina and endurance as I'm very fidgety and have trouble standing LOL but I did my best!!! Constants was as still as a statue (so very Yukio….). Kato-sensei answered a lot of questions while doing a live sketch, which was so cool to watch! After Q&A, they did a trivia. Prizes were handed out at the end of the panel for the trivia winners, to which I felt a bit flustered handing them out in front of so many people lol!!! A few attendees came up to us for photos and talked to us about BEx, as well as our cosplays, which was really fun (but also makes me nervous every time haha!)

After the panel was over, we were instructed to follow our Aniplex contact, who was described as "the guy in the black shirt with a Mac laptop." At that exact moment, Constants and I looked over to see two guys in black t-shirts carrying Mac laptops. Oh boy. We weren't sure who our contact was, so we followed one of the guys, and assumed we were heading to autographs through a backway. We were all heading to the autograph session anyways, right?

The path was super long and strange, and we were confused but figured that we were just heading through an alternate route. Kato-sensei even had a sun parasol (so cool!!!). We got outside, super sweaty and gross again.. then we arrived to a loading dock area with black cars???? So we turned around to the translator for Kato-sensei and asked if we were going to the autograph session. She corrected us saying that they were going to LUNCH and we were SOOOOO EMBARRASSED and made our shameful way to the autographs hall....
At the back of the booth, we met the full team!!! Me as Rin, Constants as Yukio, @basketbaes as Shiemi, and @cadetcosplay as Izumo!
We stopped by the Viz booth and bought some merch ^^
Daniel was so sweet and waited in line in the super hot sun to get me a sushi burrito TT___TT thank youuu!!!

Autographs went pretty well! It was much like when I worked the line as Saber Lily from AX 2015, and I don't remember if it was this day's session or the next, but someone recognized me from that time too! I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, I try to look different with each cosplay TT TT

I met up with Daniel and Irene for dinner!
We ate at Lawry's Carvery - an AX tradition, haha!

Day 3

Going strong on Day 3! We manned the ANIPLEX Media Room for a bit before our next panels and autograph session.
There was a beanbag chair that we could sit on, but I always felt bad using it cause I didn't want to look lazy! We were encouraged to use it by the staff though, so I took a break every now and then.. sorry!!
This time around we bought snack food so we didn't get caught up in line again. My first time having yakisoba bread!
In the beginning of the panel, we handed out a mini-poster!

We then escorted the Blue Exorcist team on stage. Oh man! There were soo many people at this panel. ┌╏ ;º □ º ╏┐
The panel began and the first announcement was incredible - BLUE EXORCIST SEASON TWO!!!! KYOTO SAGA!!! There's us in the audience! hehe
Ahhhh I was so nervous!
We were also on the big screen, since we were right behind them.
Group shot!!
Before the last autograph session!!
Convention lighting is so unforgiving, but it's fine! Group shot!
Photo by Kei Tsubasa

We handed out these HUGE posters! The posters were a little tricky (and they were heavy!!) but we got through the lines with no issue! It's always a great experience being able to see attendees' reactions while working the autograph sessions. Everyone's so passionate about the series, and it really shows! So heartwarming.
wahhh!!!

As a celebration for our last day, we ate at Yard House for the first time!
Fried chicken! soooo yummy!
The corn was a big favorite *^*
spicy pasta! Well, spicy to me...

Day 4

The last day is always the most bittersweet.
The Westin was really cool - hopefully we can stay there again next year!
Today's shift was just the three of us!
Selfieeee!! This shot was so nice TT TT!!!
I forgot to mention earlier in my post, but at the ANIPLEX booth there was this giant display of Yukio and Rin in formal attire that said "Five Year Anniversary" in big cursive letters. I think a certain sect of fangirls died seeing this LOLOL a lot of people came up to us and pointed at the display, with a confused look on their face. We didn't know how to respond! But it was beautiful. So we must pray in thanks.
and then some attendees asked us to keep posing LOL!

Our last shifts ended on such a good note -- I made so many new friends this con, and everyone at Viz and ANIPLEX were so nice! Thank you again to ACParadise for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I hope we can all volunteer together again!!
We met up with Hana and her friends to eat at Maruya (again LOL) yummm!
"make sure my forearms are in it" Daniel says, everytime LOL
Stopped by to look at Lotte! Their macarons are so pretty.
We took many free lyfts during this con haha

Daniel had to leave for his flight, so I waited for Michael at the hotel before we headed to a friend's house for the next nights.

Also, an ANN interview with Kazue Kato came out on July 22nd, and among the questions --
!!! That's us!!!

Thanks for reading! See you next AX. ♥

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting! I attended Anime Expo 2016 and hoped to see you, but didn't! Oh well. 10/10 on your cosplay!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! TT TT and oh no! I'll be at Anime Expo again this year -- maybe we'll run into each other!!

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