My second time at the largest anime convention in the United States and it still felt like an entirely new experience. Sure standing in the ridiculously long lines, staring at the awesome swag, and running around from one end of the convention center to the other wasn’t anything new, but I had something special in mind! Equipped with a friend’s fairly nice DSLR, I planned to search high and low for cool things to display on RandomC — especially cute cosplays. Who wouldn’t want to snap a few photos of the people who take cosplaying seriously and refine it into an art?

I don’t know how real photographers do it and I’m by no means a shy person, but asking someone for their photo only to be given a dirty stare before reluctantly posing makes you feel pretty bad. Especially when they go and start commenting about why taking photos is a hassle or just stupid! I mean, why would you spend so much time making an amazing outfit and complain about getting attention? Fortunately, not too many people were like that, but it really takes the fun out of taking photos when you feel like a creeper doing it. It’s not like I’m taking photos to fap to them like some of the real creepers were!

The other thing I always do when I go to an anime convention is get something drawn. I have this strange obsession with hand drawn art, and I love things that are sketched and penned. As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time searching high and low throughout the artist alley looking for someone to draw something. In the end I didn’t find any artist who piqued my interest, except for the amazing Mr. Mason who I met last year. Not only is he an awesome guy but his artwork is stellar. So after a long explanation about the site without revealing that I actually write for RandomC, I asked him to draw an avatar for all the writers. How do you guys think they came out?

Besides accomplishing both my goals, there were a few random surprises that I can remember. Getting a ticket to the sold out Kalafina concert was definitely pretty cool. I’m not sure what it was but hearing Magia performed live sent some chills down my spine. While my attempts to utilize twitter failed pretty hard, I managed to surprise PockyG while standing in line for the Nirgilis live panel. I’m not sure if he was surprised because he got to see me or because I went over and vigorously shook him — I’m hoping it was the former.

Enough of my rambling! Go flood the comments while you ogle the pictures (:



      1. I told Kiiragi to be more selective but he didn’t bother removing the shots that look really similar. I took 970 screenshots for Macross and well over 300 for Gundam 00 and managed to cut those down.

    1. Won’t it be easier to understand people in the US?
      I should stop being unfunny now.
      Bah, I completely empathise with you. India is no fun for someone who likes anime.

    1. My friends and I nicknamed him “Sexual Harassment Ranger” since he kept making passes at women during the DJ sessions at Club Nokia. He’d motion to shake hands, then pull their hands to his butt.

      That and the whole pulling a bra and panties out of his suit at random.

  1. Sounded like an awesome experience. I heard from a friend that the Hatsune Miku exhibit on the second day was absolutely packed!


    1. Compact digital cameras SUCK! I have one! And it SUCKS!

      The article explains a lot. I’ll never understand how the camera actually works. Never. But in Mayushii terms, it has better focus and options for taking still images. Knowing the variety of lenses’ uses must take skill I can imagine. Great photography again. Thanks for the help.

  2. I’m not a professional photographer or anything but every year I’ll go to roughly 3 anime/manga conventions equipped with my Nikon D40 and I have never… NEVER met a single cosplayer who wasn’t delighted when I asked him or her if I could take a picture. I dunno… I’m a part-time cosplayer myself and I’m happy every single time somebody wants to take a picture of me. I think that’s one of the reasons why you’re making/doing a cosplay. Sure, you also want to be the character… but you also want other people to appreciate your work.

    1. ^This. I’ve been to Sakuracon in Seattle and 4 Anime North cons here in Canada and everytime I ask for a picture, the cosplayers were always extremely delighted and flattered. Sad and strange that you came across folks who didn’t want their picture taken…I’ll just assume they were really tired or not in a good mood from standing in 4-6 hour lines :).

  3. The avatars of each writer drawn by Mr Mason are really awesome. Your photos too.
    “Getting a ticket to the sold out Kalafina concert was definitely pretty cool. I’m not sure what it was but hearing Magica performed live sent some chills down my spine.”
    So you went to the Kalafina’s concert? I officially hate you 🙂
    Also it’s Magia not Magica.
    I was at Japan Expo last week, I got to see May’n live, among many other things, it was pretty awesome.

      1. Woah sorry for answering this late.
        You misunderstood, Japan Expo is a con at Paris. I do went to Japan once though. Hehehe.
        May’n was there for a live as well as others singers and artists.

  4. What probably would have made the picture even better would have been all those little panels of the writers avatars with a large avatar of Omni in the background preferably showing back walking off/away and maybe little avatars around the edges of various other writers through RC’s history but that part would be asking too much.

    1. If Omni was in the picture then he wouldn’t be walking away.

      He is like the wizard behind the curtain. You don’t hear from him unless you seek him out and the line “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” suits his current status quite well.

      Plus, only a select few make it to the end of the yellow brick road ;P

      1. We were actually in line to pick up my friend’s ticket to Kalafina when we heard the rumor from the guy running the line. And since it was first come, first serve to pick up tickets, we got GREAT seats as we were there Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

        It really pays to register early to these things.

      1. I didn’t know cos I got into this anime stuff quite recently. Before that I only like to watch one show every few mmonths. So blame my friend for the false info. And I did say that Japan was closer rather than really near. basically I’m an anime newbie.

  5. I went last year and had to travel to USA, why does this one seem so much more awesome?
    In Sydney, from what I know there’s only 2 events a year

    Break dancing power ranger…. always wanted to see one of them

  6. I can’t believe myself for missing out on Kalafina’s concert; this was my sixth year attending Anime Expo, and I missed out on buying the ticket! Well I saw the Hatsune Miku concert, so it wasn’t a total loss.

  7. Wasn’t the Kalafina concert just the most amazing thing?! 😀 I have to say that the stage security guy I was standing near during it was kinda scaring me though…but still! Magia/Sprinter/Oblivious/fairytale live!

  8. Saw a katanagatari costly pic. Really liked the drawings of the rc peeps. The cool masked man, the new ‘prisoner’ in the neighborhood, the stylish egoist, the rugged smart street man and the sakurai tomoki and war else living in a mischievous hat. Takaii, if you ever in for anime festival asia, I’ll show you around.

    1. I got a picture of Danny Choo taking a picture of us during Morikawa’s panel but it wasn’t the best quality.

      And I don’t have the photos of the Miku booth since they’re on a different camera 🙁
      I did manage to snag all the signatures though 😀

  9. If you were a blogger at AX, you should have come to one of our blogger meetups ^^ (organized by Shinmaru of Unmei Kaihen). It would have been great meeting a blogger from the famous Random Curiosity.

    But anyway, awesome collection of photos =D I don’t really feel embarrassed asking people if I can take their photos since I know that’s what they want. Why else would they have such fantastic costumes ^^,,,

  10. I will never forget my favorite AX moment, when I queue-d up for a 10 a.m. autograph session 5 in the morning. I lined up small chairs and slept on them at a dirty banquet room where they apparently had a hang-over wedding before. That only lasted half an hour before a White dude (some hotel staff) came over and asked me to leave.

    There were 12 of us in that line (5 a.m.!!), with two tents at first and second place. I ended up learning something new: playing Sakura Taisen cards with some guy from Berkeley right behind me.

    Good stuff!

    Billy D
  11. Hey takaii, you should upload some of the neat shwag they have for sale at the xpo. Who knows, maybe others like myself will get tempted to go next year to buy all the uber loot they got there.

  12. Oh shoot, I thought my friend was joking when she said she saw my picture up there. I don’t post much around here but I’ve been reading Random Curiosity since high school. Never thought I’d be on a post O///O But there were lots of cool cosplays this year. Glad I was able to see both Kalafina and Miku. I’m also excited for the new Last Exile series. The premiere left me wanting more.

      1. Haha, not at all! It’s always nice when someone recognizes your cosplay from lesser-known series/movies. Last year I did Kanata from Sora no Woto. Didn’t get as much pictures as I did cosplaying Natsuki, but it was always nice when someone asked for a picture.

      2. I should definitely be there next year. I always volunteer for the Jungle booth, which is why when I am wandering around the Exhibit Hall I’m usually in a hurry since I don’t want to abuse my break time.

  13. Yay, I’m in the gallery! Haha, you really did catch me by surprise. Sorry I had to take off so soon, something came up and had to leave early. I’ll definitely be going again if the concerts are even half as awesome as they were this year.
    Your pictures just shows how badly I need to get a real DSLR. But luckily the backlighting on me thankfully washed out most of my disgusting face haha.
    Hope we can hang out more next time but looks like you had an awesome time. I’ll try to improve my drawing skills so I can get a sketch in for you next year as well. Till then I’ll be trolling IRC whenevers.

  14. I was pretty satisfied, got my Last Exile poster autographed, met Hirano Katsuyuki, but wasn’t able to get an autograph, got some sweet stuff, saw some good cosplay… My only regret is that I didn’t make it to Day 4 to watch Sword of the Stranger.

  15. Omg. <3 all the Katanagatari~~. but we're missing a Hitei-Hime. She must've denied the fact she had a weekend pass and not gone. sadness…

    Erio of Denpa Onna looks great :D. The CC cosplay is beautiful. WTH is Keima doing with a DS?! <_<. There's a pic of Mini-Armstrong with a fullsized one at Very Cute~

    Awesome pics Takaii ^_^. Thanks for the summary :D.

  16. AHHHH, THE DRRR!! CAST! <3 I was at Crunchyroll at the time for them, too! In the very front. 😀 I also went to the panel they had on Sunday, which was beyond fun! I didn't get to go to any concerts though, but I definitely will try to next year! (:

  17. i have never been to an anime expo, i dont really know what happens at one, it looks fun, but i also dont have any one to go with D: maybe when i grow up and find some more otaku friends 🙂 seems theres not to much of a problem with being in england and being a hours away from london.

  18. ^^ Great pictures, and great cosplays. I think that the cosplayers that give you a dirty look are the ones who have a little too much ego- when I cosplay, I love it when photographers ask for photos. And it’s great that you support hand-drawn art- I’m an artist, and it’s always important to support other artists…

    Angel Reaper
  19. It was a great 4 days if I must say so myself. I never did see you though Takaii, which was a shame haha. Speaking of Nirgilis, I managed to get all of their autographs on my 4 day pass at the final ending ceremony. :3 I still stare at my pass with such passion haha. Great pictures though man!

  20. If you got a ticket to Kalafina, then you must of been a premier fan, as only those people can get a ticket to any event that is sold out, unless we somehow sellout all of the premier seats too. I’m part of the staff in the department that handles the concert tickets. Maybe I saw you at the booth or outside in the lines for the booth.

      1. Staff is allowed 1 free ticket to the concert of your choice, as long as it doesn’t affect your work schedule. Keep in mind that you are in the staff section. Unless you are working in the ticketing department 🙂

  21. As a staff member, I had an unusually low amount of time to enjoy the convention and take photos. I missed all except two cosplay gatherings I wanted to attend. Of course, experience on staff prevents me from expecting that much free time. I just have a list of things I’d be interested in attending if free time is available. At least just wanted to go to the Pokemon cosplay gathering, but alas…

    Nonetheless, I still enjoyed myself. I know what I get myself into by staffing. I did get to attend the Miku concert and get Miyuki Sawashiro’s autograph.

    1. Depends on the convention’s size and scheduling. All you need to do for almost all conventions is register and obey their policies. After that, you’re free to do just about anything you want. Many people, including myself, do try to plan out our days though, as there may be events we want to attend. Other people just wing it. At the very least, look over the schedule and learn where things are located.

      1. Getting to know the locations of places is why they have Day 0. My friend and I took the time to get a feel for the center’s layout as it was my first con. They say I was spoiled by going to the biggest one ever and it’s all downhill from here.

        “Start small, then build up.” they said. Oh well, I was never one to stick to the rules.

    2. The first time will alway’s be the most scary of all the con’s you will go to, but just stick to the rules they have there and enjoy the con i guess. You are there with people that have generally the same things that you like, otherwise they wouldn’t come there so relax, enjoy your time there and just try to have a great time ^_^

  22. I love the Prinny costume. What is with the strange looking red sentai with a buster sword?
    Too bad there werent anyone dressed up like a Kamen Rider 🙁 or the SRX/Banpreios.

    Suppa Tenko
    1. I actually did see a Kamen Rider, but I was in a hurry to go elsewhere and didn’t have time to ask to take a pic. I also missed the Anaru and Jintan that were walking by the Exhibition Hall. So many cosplays, so little time.

  23. Great pictures, Takaii! You were able to snap some pics of cosplays that I completely missed and wish I hadn’t, like Erio and Elsie (ahh, shiny red fire truck!). And I totally understand how some cosplayers can be taken aback sometimes about getting their picture taken. It’s almost as if they forgot that AX is one of the biggest anime conventions out here (at least in California).

    Did you get to see any other special events/guests of honor besides Kalafina? I was looking to see if they’d open up more tickets but that obviously didn’t happen =\

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