Anime Expo! The largest anime convention in North America, with the highest level of cosplay content on the west coast! For me, it's the convention where I debut new cosplays, and meet up with friends that I only get to see once a year.
This year, I brought three new cosplays--Assassin, Homura, and Benten. Unfortunately, I wore Benten on Sunday and didn't take any pictures. Homura was part of a mini Madoka group, with my friends as Sayaka and Madoka.
This is a picture-heavy post! I didn't take many pictures myself (and my husband didn't, either) but I got a lot of great photos back from various photographers throughout the weekend.
We stayed at the JW Marriott this year, which ended up being both good and bad. Being within walking distance of the convention center was really nice--no more shuttles or Uber!--and the rooms were very spacious and nice, but the service was pretty bad. It was clear that they didn't like or trust the Anime Expo attendees. It's somewhat understandable, given the high number of unsupervised teenagers and people eager to party it up, but at the same time, it would have been nice if they had given the AX block the benefit of the doubt. Our room was all adults, and we felt like we were treated like children the whole weekend. For being so expensive, it definitely wasn't worth it. Next year, we'll be trying a different hotel.
ThursdayI wore Utena on Thursday, and got a huge positive response! I think a lot of 90's shows are seeing a resurgence in popularity, due to the comeback of Sailor Moon. I never did find an Anthy to take pictures with, sadly, but I had a lot of fun running around even if it was by myself.
I'm still kicking myself because the ONE cosplay item I forgot to bring the entire weekend was my gorgeous Rose Duelist ring. My wedding ring had to be the substitute.
Photographs by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography
For panels, we made it to the Trigger panel, which was really funny. They showed us some behind-the-scenes stuff from Kill la Kill and Little Witch Academia, as well as some clips from Imaishi's newest projects. They also played a hilarious LWA/Inferno Cop crossover video that was ridiculous, and a 30-second incredibly vague teaser about their new upcoming anime.
Thursday night was party night, and after drinking together, everyone else went to the dance, and I ended up talking for hours with some internet friends.
FridayFriday was the Fate/stay night day. I wanted to try and make it to the F/SN panel, but it was at 10AM, and after the late night escapades the day before, no one was really up to making it out of bed that early. I did end up over at the convention by 10:30, though, before basically anyone else!
I wore Assassin, which is my first real crossplay. I think the makeup still needs some tweaking, but since I had only tested it out twice before the convention, I think it ended up pretty decent all things considered.
I hosted a Fate/stay night and general Type-Moon cosplay gathering in the afternoon, and saw a good turnout of great cosplayers. I met an amazing Saber (Tsubasa) and we got that fabulous stair battle shot. Check out Vincent Kan Photography's page for more meetup photos. I also met up with my friends from Aira Masquerade who originally asked me to do a Fate/stay night cosplay--their Gilgamesh and Saber looked great!
Friday night was the Anamanaguchi/Porter Robinson concert, which ended up being very good. I'm not super in to either of the artists, but I like EDM in general, and the whole show had very good vibes, so it was enjoyable even though I didn't know a lot of the songs. My friends were already big Porter Robinson fans, so I got caught up in their energy and danced a lot!
Saturday was Madoka day, so I got to bring Homura together completely for the first time! GhostPeach Cosplay was Madoka, and my best friend was Sayaka. GhostPeach put together a couple photoshoots for us in the afternoon, and in the morning we hung around together checking out the exhibit hall and photo area.
Photographs by Sujoyyy Productions
Saturday night, we were all pretty tired after three full days of con, but we decided to check out some of the late night panels anyway. We ended up in Yaoi Bingo (presented by Yaoi-Con) and it was hilarious! Not exactly what we expected, but pretty funny anyway. It was basically like strip poker, but with bingo, and other prizes. None of us won, but we got to see some very attractive men remove their clothing, which I think is another kind of winning.
Sunday was casual cosplay day, and Benten was pretty comfortable to wear. I did NOT wear the shoes, even though they looked perfect, because there was no way I was going to walk around the last day of the convention in four-inch heels. We cleaned up the room and checked out, and my husband went home early with all the stuff. The rest of us went back to the exhibit hall for some last-minute shopping. On the way home, we stopped at Knott's Berry Farm for delicious food.
Overall, it was a good convention. I didn't go to as many panels as I wanted to, but I spent a lot of time with friends in cosplay. On the downside, there were some problems (the bad hotel experience) and the guests were lackluster. On the upside, the exhibit hall was HUGE and well-stocked, and I got to see several out-of-town friends. The Artist Alley was also the best I've seen in years--so many amazing artists and types of media to choose from.
I'm already looking forward to next year, but I'm glad that I have a year to recover. With Comic-Con only two days after, it's been a busy week for Southern California cosplayers. See you next time!