Got back from Anime Expo last weekend in Los Angeles, and I had a great time! I only brought two cosplays: The Green Ranger from "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers," and I debuted Eren Jaeger from the mega-popular "Attack on Titan"/"Shingeki no Kyojin!"
Drove down to LA on Wednesday the 3rd, and proceeded to get checked into my room. I then tried to get my badge in the convention center, but they cut the line off at 8p even though the pre-reg pickup was going to go until 9p. I played around with the idea of just skipping my prereg badge and buying a $75 at-con badge, but ultimately decided against it. Returning to the hotel, I decided to do an impromptu stress test of my Eren cosplay, as I hadn't taken my 3D Maneuver Gear outside of walking around my apartment. I ended up doing a small photoshoot with my friend and hotel roommate Kim, aka ChillyWilly on youtube.
Day 1 (Thurs July 4th):
Eren Jaeger for the first day of AX. I got up at 545a and was out to the convention center by 630. The line was enormous, and registration wasn't going to open until 8a! I waited the whole time, but eventually, 8a hit and the line started to move. AX's badge pickup procedure is surprisingly fast: you walk up to these banks of barcode scanners with laptops, so you can either scan the barcode on your email printout or manually type your registration number in. Once submitted, you move to one of the printer lines, where an AX volunteer is pulling printed badges right out of the printer and handing them to the attendees. After picking up your badge, you can head to the swag bag lines if you want one (I didn't, I don't really like carrying them around). ALl in all, the actual process takes less than 5 minutes from walking up to the barcode machines to getting a swag bag. Fanime needs to take note!
Overall, the theme of this year's AX was "Attack on Titan" and "League of Legends," lol. There were so many cosplayers! A lot of AoT cosplayers had 3DMG as well, so it was nice to take photos and talk shop with them. After the con started to close, myself and some friends went to go get Korean BBQ for dinner.
Day 2 (Fri July 5th):
Green Ranger. Got up a little later since I wasn't in a hurry to get my badge. Got into costume and headed to the con, making the first of my breakfast pitstops at the Starbucks downstairs. GR is always a popular cosplay, so I was stopped a lot and posed for a lot of pictures. I saw the Wong Fu guys doing interviews, and stopped to chat with them a bit and take a photo. I'm hoping I show up in the next Wong Fu Weekends, lol.
In the afternoon, my friends and I had planned to have a pool party at the swimming pool of my hotel. But we got word that someone had broken a glass bottle in the pool, and that it would be closed until tomorrow. Sure enough, I could see them draining and cleaning the pool from my room's window. We postponed the pool party to the next day, and decided to return to the convention. I got into my casual GR cosplay (GR tee shirt, belt/morpher, dagger, and helmet) and went back to the con. While I was there hanging out, a little boy in a Link cosplay (his mom was a fairy) saw me and came right up, and he started to talk to me. He thought I was an actual Power Ranger, and I wasn't even in full costume! It was the cutest thing! He told me about his sword, his shield, his dragon bracelet, the "Master of Bad Guys" he saw (there was a Ganondorf cosplayer walking around that day) and all the other things he had seen at AX. We posed for a ton of cute pictures for people as well. When he had to leave with his mom, he kept asking me to come with him so we could beat up bad guys; I told him I was right behind him. Broke my freakin' heart, so damn cute, haha. Definitely made my entire con at that moment.
After the con ended for the day, we all went back and got ready to go to the rave. We had a great time! We did decide to cut it a bit short, as a few of my friends and I had to be up early the next day for AoT events.
Day 3 (Saturday the 6th):
Eren Jaeger again for the big AoT gathering. I got up and dressed for the day, then jumped in a cab to meet my friend Andrew (www.facebook.com/KingDingCospl…
), who was going to be the Armored Titan. I was to do his body paint, which ended up taking about 3 hours. By the time we made it to the con, it was already 1p! We walked for a bit, hit up the Crunchyroll booth to see Geaorge Wada, the producer of AoT, went to the cosplay repair station for some last minute touch-ups, and then proceeded to the AoT gathering in South Hall. It was started a bit earlier than scheduled, and was so big it had to move outside, but it was amazing to see literally hundreds of cosplayers decked out in Scouting Legion gear! I made sure to put myself in the front of the gathering when Eren was needed, and even helped recreate some of the iconic scenes from the anime/manga, including Eren getting his ass handed to him by Annie, and Eren emerging from the Rogue Titan's neck for the first time. After the gathering, we went to the pre-made sets for cosplay photography, and did some funny photos in the pink bedroom set.
We returned to the hotel afterward and got ready for our rescheduled pool party. Lots of rum, lots of Sentai posing, lots of bouncing around inflatable penguin beach balls from the dealer's hall. I ended up passing out for a few hours while my friends went to the rave, but I joined them later that night for some late-night fooding. All in all, it was an amazing gathering and day! Eren is definitely a costume I'll be wearing to Japan Expo in August and PMX in November.
Day 4 (Sunday the 7th):
Green Ranger again. This time, I found some other Rangers, the same ones from Wondercon a few months prior, and we hung out together taking photos. We drew a lot of crowds in the South Hall. We headed to the Crunchyroll booth at the Dealer Hall, and after taking photos at their backdrop for a bit, we ended up on stage during their AX livestream, doing some impromptu dancing and t-shirt throwing. We then moved to the 2nd tokukatsu/Sentai gathering at AX (the first was on Saturday), where we got some good photos and video. I got out of GR soon after and ended the rest of the day in casual clothing, since my friends and I had to drive back to SF that evening.
And that's it! Overall, it was an amazing con, and all things permitting, I'm excited to go next year! Up next is SDCC in 6 days! I'll be taking Rufio and GR (no Eren, the 3DMG is too bulky for the SDCC crowds), and I'll be busy taking photos, seeing all the sights, etc. If you're going be sure to look for me!
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