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Episode #0028 – PMX 2011
Released: December 4, 2011

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PMX Day 2 Report

PMX Day 2

Well, Day 2 of PMX has drawn to a close, and while there were definitely more people attending today (Saturday being the traditionally busiest day during a weekend con) the crowds were still manageable, although it was definitely more of a challenge navigating the hallways with the increased population.  I still couldn’t begin to hesitate at a guess as to the number of attendees; all I can say with reasonable certainty is that there were more people than yesterday.  Several thousand.  Perhaps even over 9000.  But, if so, then just barely.

It turns out LP 3, the room we were in yesterday, was not the typical room size.  There were definitely larger rooms.  LP2 looks like it could hold at least a hundred, maybe two.  And the main events rooms even more. This is good, and I didn’t see any events that were stuffed beyond capacity.  Even CosFest (their version of masquerade, a cosplay competition) was still workable space-wise.

I visited the dealer’s room and artist’s alley for the first time today.  The dealer’s room was definitely on the smallish side, about equivalent to what you would find at a smaller regional convention I’d say.  Something like Anime Los Angeles’ dealer’s room maybe 2 or 3 years ago, if you’re familiar with that.  They definitely had a reasonable selection of goods: anime and manga (saw some Xbox huge manga tables – that was impressive); character goods; lots of cosplay materials (costumes, acessories, etc.); and I even saw a vendor selling cels and sketches (genga/douga) – definitely gotta check back there tomorrow, when I’m not fully laden with A/V gear like a high-tech pack mule.  Artist’s Alley was quite lively as well, and of a respectable size – it felt actually larger than the dealer’s room.  There was a pretty good selection of artists offering a nice selection of goods and services.

The hotel is located in an area that’s fairly well stocked with restaurants and eateries of various types, all within reasonable walking distance.  In addition to the catered food available at the hotel (which was, surprisingly, not the worst I’ve seen price-wise, and was almost reasonable even), PMX also contracted with several food trucks to come and service the convention.  And this turned out to be quite a success – every time I checked, the lines were of epic proportions.  Next year I suggest that they employ a “tag team” approach – have two food trucks simultaneously on premises, to spread the load between the two (and offer people a choice of cuisines).

As I suspected in yesterday’s post, today brought a more even mix of cosplayers.  There were still quite a few Asian fashion/music/live action cosplayers, but they were balanced out by quite a few recognizable anime and video game characters.  And CosFest was practically dominated by anime – I only recall seeing one or two acts not strictly speaking related to anime.  As always, the creativity and talent of these cosplayers continues to amaze me.

Speaking of CosFest, it actually started more or less on time, although there was some confusion regarding seating the members of the press – we weren’t sure where we were supposed to wait, and were in fact let in a bit earlier than we should have, apparently.  The whole thing felt a bit disorganized.  Again, I can’t ding them too much for this, as some level of disorganization is bound to happen in any endeavor of this type.  However, us press folk did get choice seating – front row in fact – which really helped.  It ran pretty much without a hitch, and quickly at that – there were only a bit over a dozen acts (I believe either 16 or 18, definitely less than 20). The halftime show was provided courtesy of the Angel Heart cosplay troupe, who danced to some songs from Idolm@ster and probably one or two others I didn’t recognize; and singer Mikurin, who sang several songs that appeared to be related to each other along the common theme of the seasons in Japan.

During one of her monologues, Mikurin said something that really hit home with me.  I wish I could recall the exact quote (and unfortunately for whatever reason my recording of CosFest crapped out 30 minutes in, so this exchange didn’t make it onto the recording), but it went something like “We humans always worry that winter will never end, but we needn’t worry, because spring will always come.”  Those of you who know me in person know that I’ve been going through a lot of hardship lately, and have been really down emotionally as of late; her simple yet profound words really touched me and helped uplift my spirits.

We only attended one panel today, a general intro to ball joint (and vinyl) dolls and their care and maintenance.  Quite informative, and it was just fun seeing all the attendees and the wide variety of dolls they brought with them.  Panels definitely seem to me to not be the central focus of PMX.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not intend to diss any of the panel givers; the ones we attended were very well done, as were the rest of them that we didn’t attend I’m sure.  It’s just that there were quite a few holes in the panel schedule, and also the panel rooms served double duty as video screening rooms.  All of this, plus the general laid-back nature of the con, leads me to theorize that PMX is really more of a “kick back and relax and shoot the breeze with your friends and fellow con-goers” con, with a secondary focus on art and cosplay.  Which is absolutely 100% fine by me.  I was quite happy since this is the first time I’ve been at a con when I wasn’t constantly fretting “OMG OMG I’m gonna miss something cool!!!” and could just take it in stride and “go with the flow.”  Conducive to this is the nice large lobby area replete with comfy chairs/couches and tables – a perfect place to meet up with people who share your particular interest.  One such meetup I attended was a doll meetup.  Again, seeing all the lovely dolls with their awesome costumes, and chatting with their humans, learing their backstories, etc. was fun.  We even got some attention from a pair of reporters from the LA Weekly, which really made our day.

Tomorrow is the final day of PMX, and being a Sunday, is usually the most laid-back day of a weekend con, so it should be pretty low key.  There are a few events I want to catch, plus making another blitz through the dealer’s room and artist’s alley.  And of course taking more pictures.  And then, sadly, back to life, back to reality for me.  PMX has definitely been fun, but in a different way than Anime LA, FanimeCon, AX, etc. (which were also fun, but like I said, fun in a different way).  Just goes to show you that there’s a con for everybody.

I more than likely won’t be able to post pictures tonight; first of all I’m almost falling asleep at the keyboard here, plus I took probably anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 photos at CosFest, and going through those will take some time.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime though, you can check out the videos from today’s various livestreams.  I may livestream some more tomorrow; those will of course be announced on our Twitter, and you can tune into them on our shiny new Livestream page on!

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