First I want to say that the Long Beach Convention center is evil... and that it's stupid that the convention is going to be in LA next year... dumb people. What happened to Anaheim, did they kick us out or something? Anyway... aside from the very annoying local (you had to take a fifteen minute walk even to get from one room in the center to another because you had to go outside and around...) the convention rocked! I was a little concerned because I had just started a new job, and I had to take Friday off with no pay, but it was so worth it! We wanted to go all four days ('we' being my father, my brother Brian, my best friend Josh, and myself), but we couldn't' afford a hotel room for that long so we only went Friday through Sunday. Josh and I went down after work Thursday to pick up our badges because last year we had to wait in line for almost three hours... and that was with pre-registering and getting our stuff in the mail. What's the point of sending badges in the mail if you still have to stand in line once you get there? Speaking of which... our badges didn't come until the Wednesday before, which was cutting it a little close if you ask me, especially since we registered in January... anyway, it only took us about ten minutes to get all set on Thursday, though we did get lost on the way there... directions are lousy and so are LA freeways...
So the dealer room was a little disorganized, and it was annoying because it was only open from noon to six every day, but artist alley was huge! Last year we only went Saturday, spent hours in line, and then the badge holders were falling apart and my dad lost his... so really we only checked out the dealer hall and the little tiny artist alley (it was, like, 25 table, I swear). This year we saw a ton of screenings, went to a Japanese voice acting workshop (in which everything was actually Japanese, so we had a little trouble figuring out what was going on, but it was still fun), and went to a panel on Mushishi. Friday everything was so close (time-wise) and so spread out (location-wise - three of the four video rooms were in the surrounding hotels...) that we were constantly running around and had to eat both lunch and dinner in, like, 8 minutes flat. That was also probably because the surrounding restaurants were not prepared for so many people. By Saturday morning the Great Steak and Potato company was out of steak and French fries... We had to hurry to the ADV booth in the dealer hall after our Voice Acting workshop (which we had a heck of a time trying to find) to buy tickets for a late night screening of "Five Centimeters a Second" which is by the guy who did "Voices of a Distant Star". Like most of his stuff it was rather depressing, but the art is amazing. It was the one thing Josh really wanted to do, so we hurried over. The showing we got was Saturday at 11:30pm, and it was in the cinema in the shopping center across the street. Anyway, we had also heard they were debuting/premiering the English version of Death Note, but it turned out they were only showing the live action movies. We saw them both anyway and they were great! Prompted us to buy the manga, which is also great, and I can't wait for the anime in November!
Saturday we dressed up and since Josh and I were both in Geta (the wooden shoes with slats...) it was hard to walk around. But it was fun, and the things we wanted to do were more spread out, so we were alright. We saw three or four screenings that day, plus the second Death Note movie, and then Josh and I came back after dropping my dad and brother at our hotel (we had to stay about 4 miles away because my dad stalled too long on booking rooms...) and changing into normal clothes. We got back early so we went and bought some manga at Borders (buy 3 VIZ get 1 free!), then we read the manga while sitting in the theater. Actually... this is the second special anime engagement I've seen this summer. I went and saw the Naruto movie with my dad and brother on June 6th and that rocked! Anyway... We also checked out the Dealer room and more of artist alley on Saturday (it was so spread out and had so many tables it took us all three days to see it all between our other things)... Josh kept count of how many people wanted our picture. We dressed as Samurai Deep Kyo characters (Brian was Kyo, I was Yuya, and Josh was Benitora), so not many people recognized us, but those who did were way excited... hey, people who love SDK LOVE SDK. We saw a few other people dressed as Kyo in black, but only one other Yuya (though I heard there was one more) and no other Benitora's. At dinner we saw a couple dressed as Kyoshiro (in the white) and Yuya, and we took some pictures with them. I think total we ended up with 14 people who asked to take our picture, and my dad said a few people took our pictures as we were walking by, or when we stopped for someone else. Plus, we ran into five random fanatic fans who had no camera but gushed at us about how great our costumes were, and one person who yelled at us from across the street... It was fun ^_^
Sunday we saw Ergo Proxy, which was exciting because it was the next four episodes that won't be released until August in the US... It was a little strange to hear it in Japanese after growing accustomed to the English voices... but it was still great. I hate that Deadalus' voice is a female in the Japanese though... Then we checked out the dealer room one last time, and finished up Artist Alley before hitting the Mushishi panel. They had shifted it an hour earlier than the schedule said (they were moving things around a lot, for example, Saturday morning we were going to watch .Hack//roots and then Tsubasa, but when we got there .Hack had been replaced by Gundam Seed: Destiny, which I liked much to my surprise), so we missed most of the panel and a few minutes of the first episode, but they showed 3 total and then had a half-hour for questions. Mushishi wasn't at all what I expected after seeing FUNimation's preview for it, but I still loved it! After that we got Cold Stone ice-cream and then decided to wrap it up and go home. We had to pick up my mom from my Aunt's house because she'd had surgery two weeks before (my mom, not my aunt) so we couldn't stay too late...
Overall I think we saw three movies, six anime screenings, and the Mushishi preview. I bought a T-shirt (Ichigo from Bleach) in the dealer room, and got some free stuff, and I bought lots of fanart (I tend to do that... I can get official stuff cheaper through my club online so the Dealer Room is practically useless...). In the Dealer room I did see a very cool sword stand with excellent Zelda reproductions... and I saw some awesome concept art for a game, but I'm sad because I lost what the name was and I really wanted to look it up and see if I could find the art online... We took a lot of pictures, which i will post below, ad were hardly in our hotel room at all - so it rocked!
And now... on to pictures, there are lots...
This guy was working a booth in the Dealer room
(obviously), but when I asked my dad to take