Welcome everyone! I'm sharing my first anime convention experiences. It's a wild, crazy day that made me glad and regret that I'm visiting Anime Expo today.
All names are changed except Tom's to protect them.
Exploring the Booths
It was July 5th, a beautiful day in Los Angeles. I had everything planned out for my sis and me. Taking off from the Metro station at around 10AM, it was a sight to behold when you have a large group of people marching towards the South Lobby. Out in front was a large tank prop where school girls with toy guns were posing on it (Girls und Panzer). During the morning, my little sister and I explored the booths to check out the merchandise, the cosplayers & artists, and the free stuff. One interesting booth had the Megami Magazine and Nyantype Magazines. I did buy my little sister a Fire Emblem Awakening Art book, the Knights of Iris art book that is illustrated by Yusuke Kozaki. At some point, my little sister told me that she wanted to check out a booth alone. I thought it was the super cute Moe par or My Little Pony since she doesn't want to embarrass me. After setting up a meeting at the Maple Story booth, I head out to buy something for my little brother and the family. Then, I stumbled upon the Project-H booth in the 300 aisle. Recalling my meeting with Gia's friend on Twitter, I thought I stop on by and say hi to Yoko. However, I had to think since I'm going inside a booth that sells hentai. Someone might see me. I look around and notice a blonde woman who looked familiar. Though, I doubt she is someone I know since I can't get a look at her eyes under those big sunglasses and Luffy's hat. After getting inside, the cashier ladies comment how I look like a high school boy. I was sad that Yoko wasn't here. They told me she will be at the panel tomorrow night at 8:30PM.
Getting Caught by Childhood Friend
As soon as I exit the booth quickly, the same blonde woman halted me. It turns out she is my childhood friend from Church (let's call her Rachel). I'm so screwed. Her boyfriend, John, was shocked that I was an anime fan and more importantly, a fan of erotic manta. Yet, he was happy when he dragged me into the booth to buy hentai manga. Rachel was appalled about John and my interests in hentai manga, but she was relieved that she doesn't have to go inside to buy hentai with John. Even though I did give into John's peer pressure, things were not looking good. John, Rachel, and I meet my little sister at the Maple Story booth. When my little sister asked me what I bought, I revealed Finn, Black Butler Vol. 13, Yotsuba&! Vol. 8 & 9, and Blood-C Vol. 1-2. Thus, my alibi is created. Then, John had to pull out the black bag underneath my underarm and reveal the naughty manga along with his. (John's taste is a bit kinkier. See How to Make Him My Master) My little sister, who remained silent and composed, confessed that she bought some yaoi doujinshi. Rachel exclaims how my pervertedness has tainted my sister's innocence. After her "like brother, like sister" remark, it reminded me of Oreimo in some degree.
Later, Rachel, John, my little sister, and I take a trip around the convention for a bit of exploration. One of the most extreme cosplay was a man dressed in only briefs with a Fairy Tail stamp, Gray Fullbuster. The man didn't get through when the staff told him to go home and put some pants on. While John was taking pictures like a madman, I was too shy. I only took 2 photos. I find the Ice Climbers photo very cute. Along the way to the West Hall to find out where the panels were, I tripped on a guy's red cape exiting the escalators. I bruised my leg while the guy fell on his back. I should have been more careful. I felt bad for the guy I tripped.
Blue Exorcist Movie Line
After exploring around the convention with John, Rachel, and my sis (getting lost at the same time), Rachel and John had to leave to take care of errands. I let my sis pick the next destination. She chose attend the Blue Exorcist movie premiere that was located in Room 403 at around 3:30PM. Unfortunately, I wanted to attend the Right Stuf panel, so I have some industry news to report for Anime Vice. Yet, I couldn't leave my little sister alone for work. I forgot that I'm here to relax. The lines for the movie started early as 2PM while it became longer. I was bored out of mine while waiting. For my little sister, she found a guy, Nick from Oklahoma, near her playing Animal Crossing New Leaf. The two chat a lot about their games and street passes. That was one of the things I noticed in the booths. A lot of folks were walking with their 3DS out. I found out Nick and I were Attack on Titan fans. Nick was more ahead in the manga. He wanted to meet George Wada, producer of Attack on Titan, and Noizi Ito. At some point, I asked Nick if I can check Twitter since my phone does not have internet access. I found out that Tom wants to meet me up at Viz Media booth around 4:30PM. I faced a decision to abandon my little sister to meet up with Tom Pinchuk. Somehow, my little sister's friend found us. I told my sis's friend that I'm giving my spot for her. I figured they have a great time at the Blue Exorcist film screening. I head out to find Tom.
@Takashichea We're probably going to be around the VIZ booth at 4:30 or so. See you there?— Tom Pinchuk (@TomPinchuk) July 5, 2013
Meeting Tom Pinchuk
Arriving to the Viz Media, I had to ask someone to use their phone to reply at Tom with some hint of my character. All I can think is my shirt and backpack color. At last, the man of the hour, Tom Pinchuk, has arrived. While Tom chats with his friend who worked the Neon Alley booth, I was filling out the Neon Alley survey. Tom spoke with me and thanked me and my teammates for their hard work in doing the seasonal guides (See Summer 2013 Anime Guide - - AV MOD MATERIAL) and the Quick Picks. He said that he encourages all users to hit him up with a PM if they want to post some cool ideas. I talked about how Daniel Newton came up cool ideas such as the polls and caption contests. I couldn't think outside of the box like Daniel does. Tom told me to take some risks. After his pep talk, he went back to talk with his friend. During those long 2 or 3 minutes, I was thinking questions to ask my hero. Recalling the recent Vice Pit episodes, I already knew how Tom got into Anime Vice as a staff and his books. I haven't read Hybrid Bastards, Tom's comic book. I can't ask him about the book. All I could ask was, "How was Sam?" In my head, I mentally slap myself for not asking in depth question. It turns out I missed Sam. He was at AX on July 4th.
The photo of Tom and I flexing our biceps was the coolest thing I got in my first con. Afterwards, I tried to get in line for Vic Mignogna, but the line was extremely long.
Eric Vale's Guest of Honor Panel
I jumped out of the line to do the last thing on the agenda. The last thing I planned to attend with my little sister was Eric Vale's Guest of Honor panel. Though, my plans didn't go well. My little sister was still at the Blue Exorcist screening while the lines for Eric Vale is packed about 200 people or so. I was in the last 2 lines. Luckily, I got in the panel. I felt bad for the folks behind me. They had to cut them off. Somehow, my camera's batteries died out. I recalled that my sister had all my spare batteries with her. I took my notebook, and I discovered that I had my digital recorder for school usage. I thought I took out everything from my backpack. I decided to use the digital recorder. More bad luck ensued, it turns out I ran out of memory. I had tons of lecture audio recordings. I didn't delete the old ones. The recording stops before the last question.
Here is a quick list of questions and answers that I summarized. I have an MP3 saved if you're interested.
(I will rewrite the questions and answers to fit the audio. Right now, I'm a bit busy)
- Q: What's Your Favorite Book?
- A: Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
- Q: Tell us about the times you passed out.
- A: He did a whole story about some gruesome injuries: stepping on a wooden shard and dislocating a leg from the hip joint.
- Q: Does nothing surprise you?
- A: "Nothing. I have been asked to voice act in an questionable scene. My wife told me to do it as long as it pays." He comments on how his wife is a whore.
- Q: Did you consider voice acting as a career back when you were young?
- A: "I didn't know voice acting was a thing. I wanted to be an actor my whole life. I see voice acting as just acting."
- Q: What's Your Take on the Brony Scene and can you do an improve of America and Canada as a sport team? (Not sure what the gentlemen said after "sport")
- A: No bronies PERIOD. I have mad respect for the staff. Brony is a child's show. My 6 year old daughter loves the show, but it's annoying that I know some 35, 50 year old men who loved the show."
- Q: What's Your Favorite Episode
- A: Trunks cutting Frieza in half. Rarely, you see people cut this way [horizontally].
- Q: How did you get the role of Trunks?
- A: Check out my Youtube video
- Q: Favorite America Line
- A: I'm the Hero
- Q: Say your mother is a dirty whore from Desert Punk
- A: He says it three times in Kanta Mizuno's voice
- Q: Which character was your favorite and which one was the most challenging?
- A: Kanta from Desert Punk because he enjoyed doing the improv and talking dirty stuff, mostly boobs. For the most challenging characters, America has to be a loveable asshole.
I have uploaded the MP3 on DropBox. It's a website that is free if you're using the 2.5 Gigabytes storage. I just need your email, and I'll email you the link via Dropbox invitation.
Going back home, I found out my little sister watched the movie by herself since the staff caught her friend cutting in line. I was a bit sad, but I was glad she enjoyed the movie. She told me it was way better than Fairy Tail and Naruto's 1st movies.
Thank you for reading this. I encouraged you guys and gals to visit an anime convention at least once. It's a great experience. Well for me, it's up and down. I learn my lessons for the first day.
- Not all plans work out. Be flexible.
- Expect long lines that begin 1 or 2 hours before panels and autographs
- Wear some shades or masks as cosplay when going in hentai booths
- Think some questions for Tom and the celebrities
- Be careful around packed escalators
- Next year, do some muscle building exercises. I look like a shrimp compared to Tom.
Things I did Right
- Shopping Around - sickVisionz's advice was handy. I got a good deal on Finn.
- Making a good budget