15 July 2014

Con Report: Anime Expo 2014


Hey guys! I'm finally back in the Pacific Northwest, full of.......... sunshine and hot weather?! It looks like this summer we're going to be in a heat wave, so temperatures are hitting the high 80's and low 90's! Crazy. Anyways, I spent my last 2 weeks of summer break vacationing/apartment hunting in SoCal, so I'll be spacing out my blog entries about my adventures in the next few days, starting off with my AX 2014 con report!

DAY 0

If you've been following my past con reports where I fly down to Cali, you won't be surprised that I took an early flight (7AM), nor the fact that I didn't sleep beforehand... haha! I ended up sewing until the eleventh hour, as usual. Unfortunately, as I finished packing I stepped on a sewing pin that was sticking straight up from the carpet. I was in so much pain that I fell down, but I figured I was okay since the needle looked like it was just a short one.... But it wasn't. You can imagine the fun I had having to take THAT out of my foot. And cleaning my carpet frantically.

My mom dropped me off at the airport, and everything went pretty smoothly (despite the awkwardness of people watching me take out my Ouka feather cape which was on top of my laptop... I figured I'd say I was in a play if they asked? Maybe? Got some fresh game in my suitcase??). I thought I had some time to kill, so I ended up buying breakfast across my gate. I must have read my ticket wrong, or I was just so tired that I didn't process my surroundings, but I almost missed my flight!!! I was sitting at an empty gate, waiting for the announcement to board, when the flight attendants at the counter announced that it was FINAL BOARDING for my flight! AHHH I TURNED AROUND SO FAST and the lady looked at me and I looked at her and I grabbed all my stuff and ran over! I was so embarrassed, so I speedwalked through the gate to the plane and ohhhh my gosh I felt so stupid. But everything turned out alright! I fell asleep on the plane instantly and woke up in LA. The smog was so thick that it looked cloudy when we landed.

I met up with my friend Liz, who was also flying down at the same time but a different flight, and we waited for my friend to pick us up and drop us off at my hotel. :)! I haven't been able to chat with him since we were Jewelry/Metal Design classmates in high school so it was super cool to get that chance!!! Thank you Richmond, and I hope we get to hang out more when I move down *o* !!!

After we got dropped off, we waited for the rest of my hotelmates to arrive and check in to our hotel. We had some trouble checking in but it got resolved in the end! I decided to try out my new contacts (they came the day before my flight! OTL), and then took Liz to drop off her stuff in her room at the JW Marriott across the street where we met Keo for the first time! She was suuuper sweet, and we all went out to eat lunch at Lawry's Carvery since none of us had eaten anything (((๑ △ ๑)))

I dream about this pulled pork sandwich a lot. You guys don't even know.

Liz and I got caesar salad and shared the sandwich!

Keo got a watermelon salad and it was SOOOO GOOD AND REFRESHING *O*!!!

After lunch, the 3 of us went to wait in line for our badges, but Keo had to go back to help everyone else into their room, so Liz and I stuck around for........... 5 1/2 hours omg. LOL................... My contacts were hurting so bad in my right eye for some reason, so it was really uncomfortable :(! Right away I saw my cousin manning the back of the line!! So we chatted for a little bit and he helped me get water bottles for the two of us. And about 45min before we finally got to get our badges, I realized I forgot my ID in my other bag..... in my hotel room............... SO I BOOKED IT DOWN THE STREET (aka speedwalked cause I didn't have my inhaler) TO MY HOTEL AND GRABBED MY ID AND WENT BACK OMG LOL I probably looked like a maniac to my other hotelmates cause I was so sweaty and gross and panting and TT___TT As soon as I found Liz again the line was moving faster, and we were able to get our badges pretty easily!! We ended up collapsing against one of the pillars by the main escalators, trying to figure out what to do next....

People watched for awhile before finally getting back up, Red Mango on our mind and an emptiness in our stomachs. Both of us got really yummy fruit smoothies there, and then said our goodbyes! I stayed up for a bit to sew, but in the end my eye was hurting way too much so I decided to sleep ;o;.

DAY 1

Woke up at 8AM and my eye was still hurting, so I started silently panicking that my new contact might've been scratched and irritated my eye, or worse that MY eye might've been scratched! I decided to rest until 9AM before getting up and fixing up some of my costumes. One of my hotelmates told me that my eyes were probably just strained from lack of sleep + lack of oxygen (from pulling an all-nighter and THEN WEARING CONTACTS) so I felt way better and just chilled for a few more hours. ;n; I didn't get to the con until around 4PM with Yinrili and Aruvieeee.

AS SOON AS WE WALKED IN we spotted soooo many Haikyuu!! cosplayers!! Everyone was so lively and friendly so we all tried to get pictures with each other ;o; !! This Hinata cosplayer was sooo sweet and she had a Molten too!! 
Yinrili and I!!! (` v `) ♥ ♥ ♥ and Aruvie... in the back....

Since the Dealer's Hall was going to close at 6PM I rushed over to the AA to scope out booths I wanted to visit/buy from. I sort of just wandered around by myself for awhile hehe.


AHHHHH OOFURI COSPLAYERS TT___TT Always a gem to find them, esp Mihashi and Abe together!!!! You can tell how excited I was to see them by how blurry this photo is HAHAHA. I couldn't stop gushing........


I love polaroids ahhh! Someday I will buy one too... a working one, this time....

A really funny and terrible story happened right after this polaroid was taken, actually. Hana had to go back to her friend's place, and the rest of us were on our way out to eat dinner together, so we said our goodbyes and Hana went to stand up to hug us all before she left. I'm a lot taller than Hana, and she was sitting down, so I figured I would just kneel back down and hug her, but as I bent down she stood up really fast and accidentally punched me in the face -- right in my eye LOL!!! I was so surprised and it hurt a lot AND THIS IS THE REALLY SAD PART BUT I STARTED BAWLING AS A REFLEX TO THE PAIN. I feel like it didn't hurt THAT BAD but oh man. Everyone got super quiet around me and I kept trying to say "sorry" and that it was okay and that I was fine because I really was but it must've sounded awful and seriously unconvincing because I was actually sobbing while I was trying to reassure Hana/everyone.... AND THEN HANA STARTED CRYING TOO AND IT WAS JUST REALLY BAD LMAO ;____; This happened before when I was sparring during karate class, so I kept trying not to cry because it was just a weird reflex but oh man... it just kept getting worse after that... looking back on it now that scene was probably really weird and really funny, because everyone else didn't know why Hana was crying too. But it's okay, girl, I gotchu. LOL I'd cry too. I mean I did already. But yeah....

We met up with my friend Jason and all ate dinner together, then headed back to our hotel to hang out. One of our hotelmates asked if we all wanted to watch a movie together, but we watched Tokyo Ghoul while waiting for other people to come back. It was so crazy and I haven't gone back to watch the latest eps, but it seemed really good so far @___@. In the end we watched Insidious 2 using my netflix... It was kind of funny watching with everyone but also really scary still UGHHH. I can count the number of scary movies I've watched on one hand, because I have the most vivid dreams -- and they always end up being nightmares for weeks after I watch a scary movie D: It made it easier this time around because I wasn't sleeping by myself, but I was still tired when I woke up in the morning OTL. 

DAY 2

Friday morning wahooo! Today I cosplayed Natsume Asako from the shoujo series Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. I wore her last year with Hana and Aruvie at AX 2013, and my friend Harumi asked me to bring her again for a group ^^.
I forgot to bring my pink bow that Natsume wears, so I had a spare blue tie from another cosplay, but it was untied so I asked our hotelmates if they could quickly tie it for me but... it was taking like half an hour, and then they tried to do an Eldredge knot for whatever reason and omg LOL! It was funny. I think in the end one of the girls did it for me HAHAHA. 

Ate breakfast at the Grub Lot, then headed over to the Dealer's Hall to hang out with Harumi and check out the free stuff/booths! (Didn't get much free stuff though t.t)





All the One Piece figures and displays were so coooool!!




On our way out of the DH I ran into Yuu from Canada! And then on our way to the Arcade Hall we ran into Jace and Ryan!! I've never taken so many selfies with other people, I'm so not used to it LOL!
Patrick, one of my photog friends I met at ALA this year, snapped this shot of us without saying hi!!! ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ It's such a cute photo, ahh! Ninja photogs.

In the Arcade Hall there's a ton of mini "set booths" that the AX team set up for cosplayers, which is so cute! The lighting is not so cute, but I imagine it'd be pretty difficult to set these up elsewhere. 
 Group photo!! L to R: Harumi, Me, Friskie, and Pebble! Photo by Ceci ♥ ♥ I hope we all get to cosplay again -- it'd be so cute to take photos outside or at an actual school! hehe. Not sure if I should make a separate post for all the photos we have in Tonari @__@

After the photoshoot, I went to change into Kuriyama Mirai from Kyoukai no Kanata with Hana as Ai ♥ w ♥.
Seruffiieeeeesss
One of the most intense cosplays we saw was this... Power Ranger... homunculi... thing...... gopro'ing other cosplayers LOL I don't even know.
I wish I got a front shot of this Levi cosplayer though, he was so good ;___; !!

By this time the Dealer's Hall was closed, but there were still a tonnn of people.
While I was getting my pic taken by other people, he managed to get good shots of my costume and bloodsword too ;o; thank you!!! I LOVEEE how the gradient of the sword shows up in photos, and I'm super super thankful to my friend Mocha for making it and giving it to me TToTT I couldn't bring any props on the plane because I had no space/time to make any so I really really lucked out ;___; everyone complimented the blood droplets she had on it too, and also how lightweight it was LOL! 

After making as many rounds as we could taking photos, I asked Lex if we could go get a sushi burrito at the Grub Lot. I was determined to get it no matter what this time LOL. As we were crossing the street we noticed the sunset spilling into this tunnel.
I practically ran over to it because I suddenly had this really cool idea for more photos LOL! We had to wait a while for people to pass by to get some empty backgrounds but I like the result a lot.
The colors were soooo pretty and warm! ahhh!
This is my favorite shot so far omg ;o; !!!

We continued on our journey to the Jogasaki Sushi Burrito food truck, but I couldn't figure out where it was exactly. I'm the type who, when given directions, will completely misinterpret them and do everything really complicated and convoluted and get terribly and hopelessly lost on the most basic directions. We walked around everywhere except for where it actually was... which was like 50 ft from the entrance to the con... exactly where my friend said it was.... and by the time we found it... it was closed up for the night................. LOL

SO INSTEAD I got a burrito-type dish from another food truck, but I was so devastated... "when am I ever gonna get to eat a sushi burrito" I kept thinking in the car..... so distressing... The next hour or so was spent getting lost (again) driving around trying to find a Chase bank for me to withdraw money from. We kept making wrong turns and missing turns and I swear I'm a bad luck charm when it comes to driving or directions in general but who knows, maybe we're both terrible at it... LOL the Chase we finally found was sketchy as heck and I basically ran in, withdrew money, and dove into the car. After he dropped me off at my hotel, I started working on finishing up some of my costume for the next day, but I ended up being way too tired to finish. t.t

DAY 3

I couldn't find my painter's tape to finish painting the stripes on my costume piece, so I ended up just not worrying about it and decided to wear Manami instead ;o;!!!
1/3rd of the way to the con I realized I'd forgotten my badge in the hotel, so I ran back and decided to get lunch on my ownnnnnNNNAND I FINALLY GOT MY SUSHI BURRITO AHHHHHHH. 
such beautiful, wonderful heaven.

I walked around a bit by myself trying to find friends, but in the end I decided to just wait at one spot to eat while I contacted everyone. My mom always told me that if you're lost, to stay in one place and eventually someone will find you so... I think about that a lot.. probably too much because of how lost I get LOL.
My phone wasn't getting ANY signal at all (like this wholeeeeeeeeee weekend) so I couldn't get ahold of any of my friends to meet up with them... I decided to stay longer and people-watched. While I was eating I spotted some familiar sports uniforms in the distance and INTERNALLY SCREAMED WHEN I SAW THESE DAIYA COSPLAYERS WALKING BY ME and, mouth full of rice, I clamored to my feet and shuffled over to them, camera in hand, asking through pantomime if I could take their photo. They got into their poses and omg I probably looked so dumb but I was really happy LOL!! 
I ran into these REALLY SUPER NICE YOWAPEDA COSPLAYERS while I was circling the area looking for my friends too. ;O; We all gushed about each others' characters TT___TT!! I was so happy to see an Ishiyan cosplayer especially. hehe. Hope you guys had a great AX and thank you for letting me take your picture!!
I took more selfies with other Yowapeda cosplayers -- and also with Melly as Illumi from Hunter x Hunter!! Sorry it's blurry TT___TT my hands shake so much.

At about 2PM or so I headed over to the AA to corral people for a tiny Yowamushi Pedal shoot we'd organized over twitter. You can see the full shoot here!
Cuties!!!

I had a photoshoot with my friend Patrick at 6PM, so I changed out of Manami and into Kuriyama again. This costume is so much warmer than Manami's was. @__@ It took a long time to find him because his phone wasn't working, and mine wasn't either... and I don't have wifi.... T-Mobile whyy?!
Vicky snappin pics of me LOL I forgot to lighten my eyebrows t.t

Ran into Chong and Erika closeby, so we planned on heading to their hotel room cause I left my strawberry lemonade in their fridge, when I got super distracted by these Samurai cosplayers TToTT
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOL. I really want to make Samurai-related costumes!!! I have so many reference pictures, ahhhhhh. Someday!!

Ruri also walked by, so we stopped for a few minutes to chat and complain about how sore we were from cosplaying LOL! It was so nice to see her - I think it's been an entire year ;o;??? I'm glad that social media allows me to keep up to date with all my out-of-state friends.

Headed back to the hotel to change out of cosplay and chill with hotelmates. We played Cards Against Humanity, and eventually decided to go out to eat dinner at Denny's. We were seated by an... interesting.... gentleman. Who wouldn't stop talking to everyone around him, and yet only to himself at the same time... We tried to eat as quickly as possible LOL!
The buildings downtown have really awesome exterior displays.

DAY 4

Last day of the con ;o;! I wore Suga again for the HQ gathering outside the con center, and also because it was my comfiest cosplay.
Al wore his Hinata finally!!!
Me and sushi burrito again. Ultimate OTP tbh. weird face.

We killed some time before the gathering and made some more rounds at the DH and AA and bought some more prints *o*!! 
Puddingggggg. At the HQ gathering!
The 2 Tanakas were my favorite cosplayers there, hands down LOL!
Sooooooooooo many HQs!!!
Yamachann!!
Rikki as Ukai-kun!!! *0*
One lonely Oikawa!
Kuroooooooo *Q*!!!!!!
They were all so good!!
So cute TT___TT
This backpack's pattern was super cute, I had to snap a pic hehehe.

Rikki and I chilled together and walked around the DH, checking things out and looking around the AA one last time!
Stopped by Omo's booth again to check out her game and say hi *o*!!

Rikki had to leave to meet up with friends again, so I met up with Hanaaaa in her Kagura cos!! I want to cosplay Gintama again ;___; !!
Ren was there toooo!

Left with Vicky and Al to do some individual shots around back!
The way Vicky sneezes is so interesting LOL also Al.
Getting the lighting down, pretending to vball.....
And that's my AX 2014 report! Thank you to all my friends for making it such a fun con, year after year after year! I wish I'd been able to meet up with old friends longer, but ahh! So hectic! :'( We gotta do ice cube parties again soon!

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