Anime Expo Day 4

My time in Los Angeles flew by much too quickly, and before I knew it, Day 4 and my flight had already arrived.

Exhibit Hall & Haul
On my last day, I arrived early before the opening of the Exhibit Hall to meet up with papermario, and for the first time, staff had us line up outside.  I can only assume this it to control some type of rush for hopefully discounted items.  Once I got inside, it was immediately obvious that this was the last day, since I could actually see the ground and walk around with pressing up against someone.  There were hardly any cosplayers in the ground floor lobby, either.

With funds running extremely low, I only picked up a few choice items, a couple of which were lucky finds for me.  I found an adorable thigh-length sweater that upon purchase came with a free pair of socks of my choice.  Then in the artist alley, I picked up a Miku decal for my laptop, as well as only one of two Moyashimon knit plushies.  Finally finding a product for one of my favorite shows, which is getting a second season this summer, made me crazy happy! I especially loved that it was the Aspergillus niger, a type of yeast which is the main microbe seen on the anime.  He is a black yeast that is used in the brewing of shochu and produces citric acid in shadows (info).  I also included some images of items I actually picked up in Little Kyoto: an adorable pair of sandals that are extremely comfy, a few adorable notebooks from a Japanese book store, and a copy of Non-no–a fashion magazine.  This magazine is actually a nostalgic find for me since it reminds me of my first Japanese exchange student who used to read them all the time.

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Little Tokyo
To close up my trip and kill time before my pickup to the airport, I walked around Little Tokyo for the second time.  After spending a long time in the book store, I had lunch in the Curry House.  Their service was incredibly fast and attentive, and my tofu and ground chicken curry, complete with a soft-boiled egg, was delicious and filling.

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Lessons Learned
For my first con, I think I did really well.  There were a lot of sources out there for advice on how to survive these kinds of conventions, and my fellow con attendees were so friendly and willing to help a first-timer like me.  Some valuable lessons learned:

  • Always, always, always have a drink, preferably a water bottle that you can refill at water fountains in the cc.
  • Don’t wear skinny jeans or any other uncomfortable type of clothing.  I can’t even count the number of times I had to wait in line and wanted to just lounge on the ground; because of my skinny jeans, I couldn’t sit cross legged without showing off some butt crack.
  • Don’t forget to eat.  I always had one major meal a day, but being as I’m a snacker, not eating breakfast or remembering to munch on my dried fruit would sometimes leave me a little nauseated and lightheaded.
  • For you girls (or guys) who wear makeup, it can melt pretty quickly in the hot and humid L.A. weather.  Either bring along loose powder, some blotting sheets, or set your makeup at the start with a setting spray.
  • Plan your panels and events accordingly; if you want to hit some back to back, you’ll probably want to sit near the back in an aisle seat so you can jet out a little early to make it to the other.  I found almost every one of the panels I wanted to attend were placed far apart in the convention center and couldn’t be reached in less than five minutes.  YES, the crowd traffic is that bad.
  • Be ready for shuttles two hours in advance.  Waiting for a shuttle can take as long as a full hour, and the ride maybe 30 minutes depending on the number of people getting off and on at stops and the amount of traffic.  When X-games opened, the traffic doubly worsened.  If you take a long time to get ready like I do, then set your alarm three hours in advance.
  • If you’re interested in photographs, keep your camera on a strap around your neck, or around your wrist.  You never know when an awesome cosplay will walk right by you.  So many times I saw something I wanted to shoot, but took too long fumbling for my camera before he or she was up and moving away.
  • Work on shyness.  I usually had much more fun when I was able to talk to the people around me–case in point: transportation to and from the con, and waiting next to people in lines.

11 thoughts on “Anime Expo Day 4

  1. Hi there Marina chan! Glad to see you had a great time at Anime Expo! Tisk tisk, if I would have known you were coming, I would have gone. I only live a couple of hours from LA. Can’t wait to see all the photos you took! -WZ619

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    • Oh, hey Wing! Man, I haven’t talked to you in such a long time! Since you live so close to LA, have you ever been to AX? And If you look through my posts, I have pretty much all of my photos posted in them. That, or you can click on one thumbnail to lead you to my Photobucket album and just view them directly there.

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  2. Hadn’t realized this was your very first con, congrats on surviving one of the biggest US conventions with no prior experience! And adding to your tips in the end, stuff I’ve learned from other cons, if you plan to wait in a lot of lines make sure to bring a book, gaming device, something just in case you get stuck next to boring neighbors.

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    • Thanks! I’m proud that I came out of it all intact >< And YES, bringing something to kill the waiting time is smart. I, unfortunately, don't have a handheld gaming device, an E-reader, or even a smart phone. All I had was my dinky cell for texting (which I did a lot of) and a notebook to write notes for my blog.

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  3. Nice little haul to end your trip. I like those sandels, but don’t ever wear them anymore.

    Those are some good tips. I instintively do the exact opposite of the food and water one though. I go without until I’m back at the hotel. Got a chuckle out of the skinny jeans one too.

    I’m glad your trip was a resounding success.

    Oh! I gotta ask. How easy was it to tell X Games fans from anime? I’m actually both.

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    • Are you saying I shouldn’t wear the sandals anymore, or that you have them and that you don’t wear them anymore? Either way, why? I absolutely love them and they’re really comfy.

      I didn’t really pay attention to the differences between anime fans and X-games fans. There were quite a few people who actually attended both and jumped back and forth between venues throughout the day. I think it’s best to not focus on the differences, but the similarities and overlap.

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  4. Well, I’m glad to see you enjoyed your first anime convention ^_^ Those lessons learned are certainly good ones that I picked up when I started attending Anime Expo (except for the shuttle and make-up ones since my hotel is close to the LACC and I don’t wear make-up =P) Anyway, it was awesome seeing you at the con, brief as it was. Hopefully you’ll come again and we can hang out more~

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    • I most definitely plan on going again, hopefully even next year. I really wish I wasn’t such a shy person about calling people up >< I do hope also that next time I reserve my hotel a lot earlier so I can get a closer one. Or, maybe I should familiarize myself with the underground metro. I really liked the Kyoto Grand Hotel and its location in Little Tokyo, but if I messed up something on my schedule, it really hurt.

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  5. If you go to Anime Expo again next year (or any other con I’m at!) I will have no choice but to force you to hang out with me and have fun conversations. It would have been super fun hanging out with you, especially since we were looking for a lot of the same stuff in the dealers hall and artists alley! Too bad we didn’t get to talk during dinner day 0, but we’ll definitely have more chances to get to know each other in future cons!

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    • Late reply, but I definitely look forward to it! I’m always up for some adventures. The karaoke and tanto cuore you guys kept chattering about sounded pretty fun ^^

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  6. I meant that I don’t wear sandals anymore. I got hit by a racing remote control car and it broke my toe and made me have to remove my toenail. So I always keep my feet covered now. I even have my shoes back on before leaving the bathroom after I shower lol. Yes I’m weird.

    I LOVE that response! As I said I am actually part of that overlap you mention. And I figured that’s the ones you’d likely see. I was curious if there were say people in a Pastrana jersey at the convention or better yet I’d like to have seen cosplayers at the X Games.

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