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Anime Expo 2014

Day 0

The Infamous Line-Con?

After a long drive through the desert and around the mountains, I was greeted by the familiar site of Anime-Expo’s infamous pre-registration lines. Wrapping around the Los Angeles Convention Center and down the busy LA streets, I was a little shocked with how long this year’s lines were. Typically they only wrap around the south garage a few times but as you see the lines lasted for forever.

What really irked me on Day 0 though was probably how tough it was for the people who followed the rules and did what they were told only to end up worse off from where they started. While this doesn’t apply directly to me since all of my paperwork went through, I feel terrible for the Industry, Press members, and Pre-Registered Attendees who couldn’t register / pick up their registration because of problems with the system. Partly because if they broke the rules they would have gotten their things a lot quicker and partly because I sat there with a friend as I suffered together with him for four hours :|.

Being stuck in line wasn’t all bad though — I managed to have a really interesting talk with an industry member about just how seriously registration issues like this could affect the convention as a whole. While I may not necessarily agree with everything he said, there was a lot of truth in how the negative nature of the experience can taint your entire day before it even starts. All I know is that I feel bad for everyone who stuck in the gigantic lines and I hope you were able to at least get your badge at the least :|

Day 1

Panels, Panels, and more Panels

Since I’m writing this after the fact (for the most part), I can say that Day 1 was easily my favorite day by far. With the convention center teeming with everyone in their cosplays, it was a blast walking around and snapping photos of everyone who put so much effort into their outfits. After going around and snapping some photos with my little setup, it was time to enter the epic dealers hall. Chock-full of booths run by the anime industry, retail stores, and even fans there was an almost impossible amount of things to check out. What was pretty cool about this year’s though was how they moved the autograph lines into the Entertainment Hall / Game Room which meant a lot more space for both booths and artist alley! For those of you who attended, I don’t know if it was just me but the artist alley felt like it went on for forever.

But really, the panels on Day 1 are probably what made it my favorite. Seeing how it felt like this year’s theme was Kill la Kill and I had a limited amount of time, I decided to hit up the Eir Aoi panel followed by the panel hosting Koshimizu Ami and Suzaki Aya who voiced Ryuuko and Satsuki. While the Eir Aoi panel was fun, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a panel as much as I enjoyed the seiyuu one. What I’ve noticed as a panel regular is that the panels are more for satisfying your need to see the stars in person more so than actually getting to interact with them. Usually filled with a pre-roll of questions, I was amazed with how quickly the panel jumped into Q&A and just how enthusiastic Koshimizu-san and Suzaki-san were about interacting with the fans. They answered everything ranging from the strange all the way to the awkward — something you don’t usually see!

Days 2-4

A Blur and Meeting up RC-ers!

I can’t recall the individual things from the next three days all that well but there are definitely a few things I can clearly remember! The coolest for me though was meeting randomc readers Bakakubi, Niki, and Kurotsuki from Montreal at the convention! Honestly, I never thought I’d actually find people who knew about the site at the convention let alone have people asking me to meet them. But somehow it happened and it was awesome spending time with you three<3! The thing is though, I think this was the most I’ve ever talked to complete strangers! I don’t know what it was (maybe something in the water?) but everyone ended up being super talkative and super awesome.

Space Dandy Panel

While it wasn’t as crazy as the Kill la Kill seiyuu one, I really enjoyed the Space Dandy panel featuring Satake Uki (QT’s seiyuu) and Minami Masahiko (President of BONES). It was really interesting getting to learn about the guy who’s in charge of the studio we all know and love and as an added bonus he seemed really interested with interacting with the fans. Throughout the entire interview his best line probably was when he mentioned he focuses more on the fans rather then the market — and it sounded pretty genuine! Also, did you know QT’s seiyuu is also a part of 9nine!? (I didn’t >>)

Overall Impressions

After a few years of being a bit meh, this year’s convention was just awesome. With the return of big name industry members holding really fun panels and an even larger Dealer’s Hall / Artist Alley for attendees to navigate, this year’s con gave me some of the chills I felt back when it was my first time going. Sure there wasn’t as much free stuff as there was in the past, but I’m really hoping this is a sign that the con itself is heading toward bigger and larger things.

Sure, along the way there were some awkward moments (*cough* registration *cough*) but every time I saw something negative happen the staff and volunteers were trying their best to accommodate the attendees. Toss in how they provided shade and water to the people out in the blazing sun and even handed out some snacks when they had extra and it makes me happy to know that their thoughts are in the right place.

But really, my favorite experience this year has to be meeting up with actual randomc readers and getting to spend time with them. I say it every year that I want to meet up with people, but with a majority of our readers located outside the US I rarely get to see anyone. To everyone who made an attempt to meet up with me (and let me meet up with them), you rock!

And thank you to the readers who make this post all worth it! <3 I know some of you weren’t able to go so I hope the pictures and videos are enough to hold you over until next year! If you have any questions feel free to hit me up on twitter @rctakaii or email me at takaii at randomc dot net!

 

Koshimizu Ami and Ryoka Yuzuki Kill la Kill Live Panel Snippets!
Care when listening! Audio levels are a bit high and not level!



 

July 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm
30 comments »
  • July 8, 2014 at 2:28 pmSmokex365

    That yoko…she’s doing it right!

  • July 8, 2014 at 3:00 pmKaris

    Man, those pictures are awesome. The pictures I took were lousy due to my skills with a camera. And it was hard to have fun at a convention, when you’re exploring the place yourself.

    But going there made me see a few anime I left out of watching in the past, and I ended up marathoning Gatchaman Crowds in one sitting.

  • July 8, 2014 at 3:18 pmMasterDragonKnight

  • July 8, 2014 at 3:32 pmmagoiichi

  • July 8, 2014 at 3:36 pmmagoiichi

    • July 9, 2014 at 9:16 pmCorey Lucas

      Hell no! Jupiter is my one true love! We are a match made in heaven!

  • July 8, 2014 at 3:43 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    Homer vegeta ftw!!!…..or is it hovita??

  • July 8, 2014 at 4:00 pmRyuko2046

    I want to marry Yoko girl.

  • July 8, 2014 at 4:15 pmMormegil

    Another Anime Expo comes and goes, and still no Hunter x Hunter license.

  • July 8, 2014 at 5:05 pmintroverte

    • July 8, 2014 at 5:45 pmbakakubi

      I was able to ask Gen on why he treated abused Kariya so much, and was wondering if he took any frustration out on the character while he was writing the story. He then laughed and said he’s mostly a happy guy, and just liked for his characters to be in different situations. Gen is freaking awesome.

  • July 8, 2014 at 5:37 pmchromenova

    That day 0 pre-reg line was killer, we literally had to wait the entire day to pick up our badge. Anime Expo was awesome though! I only went to one panel, I spent most of my time taking pictures with other cosplayers, resting, and checking out the exhibit hall. Looking forward to the next con, hopefully I’ll be able to attend more panels.

  • July 8, 2014 at 5:39 pmStripes

    Great post Takaii, its always interesting to see different insighs into any con/expo especially one as large as AX. Thanks for bearing with the long lines and heat to take some great pics!

    P.S: Just a heads up Takaii, it was Ryoka Yuzuki who voiced Satsuki. I think Aya Suzaki voiced Mako if im not mistaken.

    • July 8, 2014 at 5:59 pmTakaii

      I should probably fix that. #derp

  • July 8, 2014 at 5:47 pmbakakubi

    It was awesome meeting up with you, Takaii! Sorry I had to leave early, wish we could’ve chatted some more. Here’s to hoping next year’s AX will be just as awesome (and hopefully better organized)!

  • July 8, 2014 at 6:35 pmberrish17

    Thx for the upload of the seiyu videos!!
    Koshimizu-san is one of my favorite voice actress <3 (especially Karen from Code Geass)

  • July 8, 2014 at 7:04 pmGus

    I hope AX mails the pre-registered tickets next year.

  • July 8, 2014 at 9:22 pmSparky3000

    I miss alots of panels due to stupid volunteer staff screwing up constantly and working at a booth all weekend

    btw takaii did you go the space dandy photoshoot at the Funimation Booth? you get to wear the dandy jacket, and hang out with the waitress, as well get a banner, and a sticker

  • July 8, 2014 at 10:05 pmBakanekokun

    WHAAAAA I didn’t get to meet you! Though, I glad you didn’t get to see the SAO II Premier Mob being Press and all, but it was horrible. Just as horrible as starting in line at 3:30pm and didn’t get my pre-reg badge ’till 9pm on Day 0! I missed a lot of panels due to inconsiderate and immature people cutting lines, making the line bigger and harder to control, and thus, forcing panels to start late. But I got next year paid, so see if it improves next year.

  • July 8, 2014 at 11:34 pmmike

    i need the name of this character…. now !!
    :
    http://randomc.net/image/Miscellaneous/AX2014/AX2014%20-%20Large%20182.jpg

  • July 9, 2014 at 11:15 amRita

    Aw, I did run into you when I was at the con :(

    Well, it was really hectic this year (they actually had so many people the fire marshal’s were complaining about hitting the capacity for the building, hence why all of the lines were forced to move outside, whereas a few years back they could just wrap around the inside corridors) but a lot of a fun. I’m definitely suffering post-con depression though. Man I wish it were longer. The (infamous?) highlight of my weekend was waiting for over 2 hours in the blazing LA sun for the K: Missing Kings movie premier (the things I do for anime). It was worth it for the Angela concert afterwards though so NO REGRETS.

  • July 9, 2014 at 12:15 pmRayzakk

    What a bunch of weirdoes.

  • July 9, 2014 at 12:24 pmalicieux

    Whaaaaa– do you guys do meetups for RCers?

    Speaking of the con though, crowd control was pretty awful this year, especially for all us panel heads ): We were waiting in line to see Resonance for an hour in the scorching sun after a staff member assured us we would be seated (the room cap was 600, we were at 500) and that they were double checking with head counts only to be told that they already hit over 1200 WAY before we could get in, meaning literally hundreds of people cut the line in advance.

    • July 17, 2014 at 3:24 amAsrialys

      I don’t know how the Terror in Resonance line worked, but there were two rooms with showings. I somewhat doubt that over 700 people cut. I’m guessing there might have been a first line and a second line, and the staffer may have unfortunately not known.

  • July 9, 2014 at 9:59 pmIncognito

    Is that Deadpool cosplayer “D Piddy”?

  • July 10, 2014 at 9:34 amwinters

    Why don’t we give a big thank you to Access Control (AX Con) for all their hard work, considering how much crap they had to put up with this year. I heard pre-reg(no shit when I saw the line) and Sword Art Online 2 lines where really crazy. They asked for about 300 ppl yet only got 100.

    As a person that staffs at AX, I’m sorry for that huge wait on Day 0 (not my department).

    On a side note, by Day 3 no more At-con reg, and all ticketed main events *Magic show doesn’t count* sold out….
    I’m tired from all that work at the ticketing booth but it was worth it.

    • July 17, 2014 at 3:38 amAsrialys

      Heh, thanks. Although, things definitely could have gone smoother.

      While we sort of knew what we were getting into considering last year, I guess the load was a little unexpected. There was a jump of over 10,000 attendees last year, and then over 20,000 for this year? Nuts. 8-hour days turned into 15+ hours for some people. Even veterans were being pushed over the edge.

      Anyway, I’m glad that Takaii enjoyed their experience. I was on the other side of the room for Ami Koshimizu and Ryoka Yuzuki’s panel.

  • July 10, 2014 at 2:27 pmwfseg

    Oh man, I saw Enju and Rentaro, didn’t see that Kagetane at AX :>

    Black Bullet

  • July 18, 2014 at 7:13 pmWanita

    That’s a queit-wctkid answer to a difficult question