Just want to say thanks to the AE staff who stuck around till the very end and for making all this happen after the blunder that someone pulled that almost made it not happen.
Oh yea found this video made by the AE staff about this year’s convention dillema. Amusing:
Anyways despite all that happened just glad that it actually did.
Before going on to talk about the Saturday, I’ll say a few things about the Friday one from what I heard both online and from a friend who went on that day.The registration line was a killer, it zig-zagged around the grassy/tree-y area and it took my friend hours to get to the registration booths. Apparently lots of things were cancelled due to guests pulling out since no one actually knew if the convention was even going to happen. So that left lots of free time. Not only that but the Dealers Room was closed on Friday, much to the disappointment/anger of the 1-day goers. However seeing as there was hardly any room in the Student Union Building in UBC, almost everyone was outside, taking pictures and ‘socializing’ (and I must note that despite looking/acting weird, anime fans are some of the nicest guys and gals around). Well, still lots of people disappointed on that day… unless ofcourse you made tons of friends due to boredom.
Now the Saturday con. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning (6AM, the sun was just peeking out of the mountains) to go to a friend’s house so that we could take the transit together to UBC, which is WAAAAYYYY farther from my house than SFU. Father was being his grumpy self and refused to drive the hour to get there for me unlike the last 2 years in which he agreed to drive all the way up a mountain to SFU.
Anyways, since we got an early start in the morning, we got there pretty early, I didn’t have to suffer the long line-ups. The morning line wasn’t too bad. It got longer around 11 AM, but not as long as the Friday lineup. After that, I spent an hour or more in the washroom, waiting as my friend, who cosplayed as Orochimaru, put on make up and got ready. Someone must have thought that as amusing since I saw a picture of myself and my friend (as she was putting on white-ish foundation) floating around the net while I browsed people’s pictures.
Unfortunately due to the fact I woke up early, got less than 6 hours of sleep, I was moody the whole day and so wasn’t all that responsive nor did I take that many photos of cosplayers. My friend did though. I was once tempted to take pictures as I walked down to the end of the dealers room line, WHICH WAS SO F*CKING LONG, LIKE YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I saw a Bonten, a Neku, a Scheneizel, and the fancy-nobleman-dressed Suzaku. Seriously, I wanted to take pictures of them, but the line was so fricking long I figured I had to get to the end of the line before it got any longer!
Before all that catastrophe though, we went through the Artist Alley, which had some of the artists from last year come back. Unlike last year’s crop of artist though, I wasn’t extremely impressed. I had nearly spent $80 last year on the Artist Alley. This year, I think I only spent $30, and $20 was on Camilla Derrico’s table Omgosh love her art, she also had some bags and hats over at the dealers room which were of extremely good quality, TokiDoki-like, that they were the same price as the brand… there was this cute purse I wanted to buy to match my TokiDoki bag, only to find out it was $100 (I swear I will save up to buy one if I see it next year).
After Artist Alley we went to see a bit of the Gundam Seed Destiny dub panel. It wasn’t all too great but my friend said it had been better the day before. So despite my lack of interest I went. There were some funny moments but I basically just ate breakfast (pocky) as they discussed… stuff. There was a point in the discussion that ensued a fanwar which was interesting to see. I see those on forums, not in real life so it was definately cool XD. There was some funny moments too, gotta give props to the voice actors for trying to keep the panel alive.
Dealers Room was next. OMG LINE UP. Frick, it took like 3 minutes of speed walking to get to the end of the line and the sun was out to beat at our backs the whole time. So, I told my friend to go run off and look for her friends who are closer to the door or atleast under the shade of a tree to see if they’ll be willing enough to let us budge in (I know its bad, but I HATE lines, I was desperate). So after 5 minutes or so, she comes running back and WOOT, she had one of her friends infront of the door already. THANK YOU. My short bermudas were the only things stopping me from kneeling down and praising her friend. So yea, we didn’t have to wait 2 hours to get to the door. Again, THANK YOU.
Inside was quite big. WAAAYYYY bigger than the Dealers Room in SFU. Loved the big convention room feel. Basically there were lots of mangas, toys, swords, corsets, and more manga. Didn’t spend much this year. Just bought a $20 Bunbun (SO CUTE) and spent $15 on $5 dollar mangas (one of which I forgot I already bought so yea, I’m giving it away). Most of our time was spent plowing through the $5 manga table.
Lunch was spent in the Student Union Building which had a WEALTH of food unlike SFU. After lunch we went to the Buchanan Building (bet you can’t pronounce it XD) for the Gundam 00 panel. Again I had no interest in this, it was mostly my friend’s. I already finished the series, and seeing the first episode shown (dubbed btw) almost brough tears to my eyes seeing the whole beginning all over agan. The panel was quite full, and my friend plowed through the seats, blocking the video-shower-thingy, and disrupting the room for a few seconds. Funny, funny. I spent my time on the aisle seats.The english voice actors came there, and again lots of humour. I like this one better since they made fun of Tieria and Setsuna. They even had a model of an Exia. Most of the questions pertained to the fact the events that happened in Gundam 00 were almost a reflection of the events happening today. Love the politics.
After that panel we went around with a Mai cosplayer, who my friend happened to be friends with apparently. She was quite awesome. Loved her outfit, it was so realistic. If Mai were alive, she’d be her. As we wandered aimlessly, the Naruto photoshoot was happening in the Clock Tower and completely missed it, much to the frustration of my Orochimaru-cosplaying friend. She was pretty much sulking about it the whole day.
We went to line up soon after that for the AMV Contest. Again I just had to laugh at this one. Think of a big rectangle room. Start at one end of the rectangle and cross 3 walls of it. That’s how long the line was. We had to go outside (end of the line AGAIN even though we were 30 minutes early!) for the line. Some photogs here and there and finally we enter the Ballroom for the contest. This year’s batch was pretty good. I really liked the comedy ones more though since they woke me up (I was nearly falling asleep) and the parody which used the Utena anime. However, the crowd’s and my favourite was the last: The Harassment of Kyon by MysteriousRyder using The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Sure enough it won Audience’s Best Overall and Best Comedy. It was hinting at yaoi, but it was so hilarious and the editing was so awesome I just had to pick it, which was something since I had planned to not even vote at the start of the contest.
After that excitement, we had 2 slices of pizza each for dinner and went to Dealer’s Room one last time. Everyone was closing up by 8PM even though it was supposed to be open till 9PM. My friend had fun trying on a corset though… oh and she bought two Death Notes lolz.
Headed home around 8 PM since father dearest was angry. Bused home and I have to apologize again to my friend since I was freaked out at the fact I didn’t know the area and kept asking “ARE WE THERE YET?” Talked to some random people on the bus. One of which was a cosplayer and videotaped the 99 Yen Challenge. My friend still wore her Orochimaru outfit so she was getting weird looks on the skytrain (not the bus cause there were other cosplayers there too) and one person even took a picture of her there… again the weirdness of the day never ends.
Next year’s AE convention is supposedly on June 12-14 at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre. Again, I’m skeptical if I’m going to make it. That’s the weekend before finals/provincials/last week of school for me. I’ll have to see how my final mark goes in bio, chem, and math before I go and pretty much have fun instead of study for exams… then again I always wing my June exams… As for the convention area, I’m all for it. It’s more accessible transit wise, and the actual building will be able to accomodate AE since its ACTUALLY made for conventions. It’s by the water as well so its a good place for any photoshoots. Food won’t be a problem. There might not be any in the building but its in Downtown Vancouver, hellooooo. If people are desperate enough, they could go to Chinatown.