Welcome everyone! Here are my experiences attending Anime Expo for the 2nd time. My first time was in 2013, My First Experience at Anime Expo - Day 1 (Complete Edition). Unlike last year, I could not purchase the 2 day badge. I heard on Anime Expo's Facebook page that they discontinue it after sales didn't meet their expectations. It forces folks to buy the 4 Day Badge or the 1 Day Badge.
Check out the Anime Convention Survival Guide! which BigHeart711, sickVisionz, and I co written for folks who have never attended a convention.
This is a condensed version. For panels, I expand my experiences and write down my evaluations in a separate blog. I only got to attend two panels:
To recap on Day 1, I finished finals on July 3 by 3:30 PM. When I got to Anime Expo around 5:20PM or so, I waited in line until 6:30PM where they told everyone that they will not process anymore badges. This frustrated a lot of folks. Later on, I found out the reason for this was Anime Expo's printers broke down being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of pre-registered folks who paid for their badges. I remembered hearing one person in line that they used to mail badges 10 years ago or so. I assumed with the increasing popularity and participants that made mailing less profitable and manageable to do.
This is the day I brought my little sister since she only wanted the 1 Day Badge. When we looked at the programming, she decided to pick Sailor Moon and SAO Panel. I let her pick because I wanted to make this day special. Being so busy with college, I don't get enough time to spend with my family members. We arrived at 8:35 AM to get badges. I think we finished at 9:20 AM. I checked Twitter on my phone to see if Tom and Sam had a location to meet up. It turns out he Tweeted at me a day before. I felt bad I didn't check Twitter on July 4th. I couldn't reply well since I have a flip phone. I manage to reply using my sister's phone which had a keyboard.
The exhibit hall wasn't open, so I thought we had enough time to get to the Sailor Moon Panel which started at 10AM. I should have realized it was full by the time. Panels' lines tend to fill up 2 hours ahead. Since Sailor Moon had a new anime series for the summer, the hype made it almost impossible. I looked at the programming and suggested to check out the Crunchyroll panel. My little sister reminded me that I wasn't paid to do news coverage on Anime Vice. Her words mirrored Foxx and Sotyfan16's words. She told me to take a break from the site. I knew that, but I must at least attend one industry panel for the site. We lined up for the Crunchyroll panel that occurred at 10:45 AM.
For the full version, see the Anime Expo 2014 (Day 3) Crunchyroll Panel (Part 1/2). The Crunchyroll panel started on time, and it was fun anticipating what Summer 2014 anime series they will announce. The key speakers were Luigiamania and Danica. The panel focused on simulcast, simulpub, drama, and social media. After the panel, we went to exhibit hall and lost track of time while shopping. I realized we're going to miss Sword Art Online panel when it was around 1PM or so. It's not worth losing lunchtime over it. My little sister got tired due to the heat and big crowds, so after lunch, I walked her home. I made it back to Anime Expo within 2 hours or so. I thought I can line up for the FUNimation panel that occurred at 5:30 PM. I almost forgot about Tom's meetup location. When I checked Twitter, Tom had schedule a meet up at Bang Zoom Auditions in the exhibit hall around 5PM. I got out of line and meet up with Tom Pinchuk, Sam Weller, and Joseph. Joseph is not a staff at Anime Vice, but he's the cameraman for the Vice Pit. I enjoyed seeing fans doing their voice acting for Magi 2. The Vice Pit Crew and I went to do a Sailor Moon photo shoot. Tom and Sam thank me for the hard work I contributed to the site. I told them I couldn't have done it without my teammates, BigHeart711 and Acura Max.
Note: I forgot to use my camera, so the photos were taken by Sam Weller. Hopefully, I get the photos and post in this blog.
Around 6:30 PM, I enjoyed hitting the arcade with Tom and the gang. We were shooting zombies for 30 minutes or more. Sam Weller went out to buy a gift for his wife, 4 of the Mystery Minis figures and got a glowinthedark Derpy. (At first, I forgot the name of the pony. I think it was Princess Luna and Twilight Sparkle. Sam corrected me.) We did something special together which I cannot reveal yet. Sorry, I have to keep this a secret until Sam gets back.
Once Tom and his gang are gone, I killed time in the gaming room. I met Caleb from Northridge, California. It was his first time at Anime Expo. We were charging our phones. We just talked for an hour or more until 9PM. He told me to attend the dance sessions. It doesn't matter you are a good dancer or not. There are no cameras and it's done in the dark. You can dance with friends or random strangers. He talked about hot gals he didn't know but danced with. I got him interested in Chaika - The Coffin Princess and Kill la Kill. He wasn't a big fan of mech series, but he loves any other anime series. He finds himself leaning towards shows with action, fan service, and fantasy. He loves sport and game anime like No Game, No Life and Kuroko's Basketball. He recommended me to check out Hikaru no Go.
Project-H Book panel started late due to the Megaman panel that started late as well. I came in around 10:30 PM. For the full details on it, please check out the Anime Expo 2014 (Day 3) Project-H Panel (Part 2/2). It was pretty fun and embarrassing to watch a clip of Shocking Pink! in a crowd of folks. One guy kept making lewd comments which made me lose my composure.
I start laughing and couldn't stop to take notes on the panel. I attended the panel to get the Digital Sampler for PikaHyper. I gave my Digital Sampler to my friend who couldn't make it as well my poster. I got home around 1AM.
I woke up late and got to AX at 11AM. I forgot to replenish my wallet and bring my memory card for my camera. I couldn't take any new photos for cosplay.
My friend Jose who I met again on July 3 on the metro and bus told me that the last day had discounts on merchandise. I didn't see much discounts. In fact, there wasn't much price changes. I saw the same price on some of the merchandise. Most new anime and manga titles were cheaper on Amazon and RightStuf. There are a few booths whose prices were cheaper, but I had to read it carefully. One manga store only did 25% off each manga if you want bought 8 manga volumes. There is not tax paid. Some booths have tax included. If I had a lot of cash or a big manga list to read, I would have benefited from the discount.
My last booth was the Kodansha. I bumped into Ben Applegate, who was the host of Kodansha Q & A Panel at Anime Expo 2013. He didn't remember our community site's name which means I need to work harder to form relationships between Kodansha and Anime Vice. I didn't have time to talk with him about Kodansha and Anime Vice since he was dealing with customers.
I only took 2 photos. Sorry, I was still too shy in asking folks. The most sold out figure I saw was Asuna. She even beat Levi. The Gargantia art book was about 100 dollars. I thought of Acura Max when I took this picture.
On Day 3, I bought one gift for my siblings. I bought Deadpool ($10) for my little brother and Magi fanbook ($25) for my little sister. I wished I could have bought the Kingdom Hearts fan book, but the price was higher than Right Stuf. Sometimes, I don't listen to my cheapskate conscience when I bought Vinland Saga. At Kodansha booth, it was buy 4 regular manga titles for 30 dollars. An omnibus cost $15 dollars. I paid $20 due to tax. For Case Closed, Right Stuf was weird. The DVDs were $6 and I saw it had 6 episodes. The one I bought for 25 dollars had 25 episodes. It was roughly a dollar per episode excluding tax. I bought Case Closed Season 4 to see why fans love Ai Haibara. I never got to see the character on TV because the channel on the antenna box always skipped her episode which was an hour special.
My first time at Anime Expo was actually more fun than my 2nd time before I met up with Tom's gang and we play games. That was my best moment in AX 2014, playing Zombie games with Tom and Sam. I felt bad for my little sister who didn't get to enjoy her 2nd time. She loved the Blue Exorcist panel last year. This year was more packed while the panels overlapped so much. I didn't get to attend the SAO or Sailor Moon panel with my little sister.
Thank you everyone for reading this. I hope you guys and gals share your experiences for Anime or Comic Book conventions in Anime Vice. I really encourage it. It makes our site better when people embrace the inner nerd in them.