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Anime Los Angeles Day 2 Report (Updated)

Anime Los Angeles - Day 2

Well, Day 2 of Anime Los Angeles has ended.  There were definitely more people here today than yesterday.  I still could not begin to hazard a guess as to how many.  Last year’s Anime LA was capped at 3200 and I’d say that there were at least that many people here today.  Perhaps more.

The day started out on kind of a sour note for me.  It seems that there were some mix-ups regarding some of the cosplay gatherings.  At least I couldn’t find them at the times and places they were supposed to occur at. There were two in particular that I was really looking forward to, the Angel Beats! and K-ON! gatherings. According to Condroyd (which got its data from the forums) there was supposed to be an Angel Beats! gathering at 10:30 AM, and a K-ON! gathering at 2:30 PM, both on the pool deck.  But I was there at both times, and saw neither hide nor hair of them.  Very sad.  At least at the K-ON! gathering, K-ON! Violinist Dude showed up and serenaded us with renditions of “Don’t Say ‘lazy'” and other songs from the series.  So at least K-ON! was representin’.  Sort of.

After the failed Angel Beats! cosplay meet, I sat in on a panel titled “Buying anime and manga from Japan.” Unfortunately this did not live up to my expectations; it didn’t even come close.  It basically consisted of the panelist sitting in front of the room, mumbling out a few seemingly obvious places to go (  CDjapan? etc.) and picking the audience’s brain for ideas on other ideas of where and how to order products from Japan. The panel was informative all right, but mostly thanks to the great audience.  He promised to post the results of said brain-picking to his website.  Unfortunately I don’t have that information. I did manage to get up the energy to find him on google. See what I do for you guys?!  I was using my digital recorder at the time, so I thought I didn’t have to write it down.  Unfortunately the digital recorder was set to the wrong input channel, resulting in it recording about an hour’s worth of silence.  Oh well, like I said, you didn’t miss much.

The next session we went to, on the other hand, was like the polar opposite of the above.  Courtney Kraft, a journalist at G4 TV, gave a wonderful, dynamic, and informative panel on “How to Interact with Anime Industry Professionals.”  Not only was the panel immensely informative, but it was delivered in a clear, concise manner, and with plenty of humor and liveliness.  I’d say this was probably the best panel of the con so far. Fortunately, by this time, I had figured out that my digital recorder was set wrong, so I actually captured this session, which I will do a more in depth write up on later.

After a quick bite of lunch, I then headed into “Your First Trip to Japan,” presented by Helen McCarthy, Tim Eldred, Walter Amos and Todd Allis. A very informative panel – these folks have traveled in and around Japan many a time, and had a lot of knowledge to share. Plus they had pretty pictures. Alot of the information was stuff I already knew, either thanks to our trip to Japan in 2004, or through the TJX guys who talked about many times before on their show. But there was a lot of information I wasn’t aware of before today. Again, a writeup is forthcoming. Updated 1/9/11: Turns out that the guy that did the “Buying anime and manga from Japan” panel (whose name is Todd Allis) was also one of the presenters at this panel, and he had some really good information here, so I’m happy now. Also, it turns out that the convention staff didn’t provide him with a mic and sound system during his earlier panel, but at this one, they had a full sound setup going. Properly equipped, I could hear and understand him clearly.

And then it was time to prepare for and then deliver our podcasting workshop. Which… well, let’s just say it didn’t exactly go according to plan. A complete failure to get our Internet connection going scrubbed our Skype demo, and taking the time to try and get the Internet connection going caused me to start late, which meant that there wasn’t enough time to do the live demos and leave enough time for Q&A. Fortunately I had anticipated something ike this long ago, and had a second set of slides with static screenshots of how the audio editor, Skype, etc. look and work. I feel personally responsible for not being able to do a right and proper demo and for that I apologize. At least the audience seemed to still get some useful information from the panel. In fact, it turns out that one of the people attending the panel was a panelist on the Anime TV video podcast I wrote about earlier this year. It was bugging me all evening: I was sitting on stage and kept thinking “gee, that voice sounds awfully familiar…”

Unfortunately, in the process of getting dinner before masquerade, we learned of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and this news cast a grim pall over the rest of the evening. Our hearts and sincere condolences go out to the congresswoman and her family, as well as the families of Federal Judge John Roll and the others killed and wounded in this horrific act.

We were a bit late to masquerade as a result, but fortunately they were a few minutes late themselves; the hotel had apparently forgotten to set up chairs in the back half of the room, and this needed to be done in order to provide enough seating to everyone. Still, they got started fairly quickly, and the event went off with only one minor lighting glitch. It sounds tired and old, but it still is true: the creativity and craftsmanship of the cosplayers continues to amaze us year after year. This year’s skits in particular were quite entertaining. Poor Beep is probably afraid that I’ll be pestering her with bad ninja stand-up comedy routines for months to come. All told, there were some 30-plus acts; quite a collection. Unfortunately we missed choice photographer seating, but I was still able to get a few good shots, which I will try and sort through and post before Anime LA 2012 rolls around. 🙂

During the halftime show, the lovely ladies and gents of the AniMaid Cafe entertained us with various dance numbers. They also announced the AMV winners during the masquerade halftime show, and replayed them for our enjoyment. Unfortunately I spazzed and didn’t have anything to write these down with.  I suppose they’re posted online somewhere by now but I’m too lazy and/or tired to look.  Tomorrow. I did however start finding some of the AMV’s on the org and have linked to them in the AMV list I presented in our day 1 report. I’ll continue to update these as more of the videos come online.

We also didn’t stick around to hear who won masquerade.  The judges were taking an inordinately long amount of time rendering a verdict.  Perhaps that says something about the quality of the costumes and acts this year. Who knows. Anyway, in addition to the AniMaid halftime show (which was excellent btw), they pretty much re-ran the entire AMV contest from last night.  We decided to leave after that, before Tadao-san launched into one of his corny stories.  I suppose the masquerade winners will be posted somewhere as well.  Again, too tired/lazy to look that up.  Tomorrow…

it is now 2 AM on Sunday morning and there is still lots of life in the con, judging by the noise level of the hotel. Part of me wishes I was out there among the masses, taking more cosplay photos or maybe even (gasp!) socializing with people. But my body didn’t like that idea one bit. Yes, I am having to face the fact that I ain’t no spring chicken any more. The phrase that I use pretty much every time a con comes around and I try and promise you guys some actual reporting, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” is turning out to apply more and more as the months and years go by. In any case, it’s time to drag these tired old bones off to bed. Tomorrow we head home, back to life, back to reality. Which means of course that we have to pack up all our crap and store it (either at the hotel desk or in the car) after checking out. A big ordeal. And maybe get a few last minute photos and maybe even some panels. Either way, Anime LA Day 2 was a bit of a mixed bag, but still fun overall. Oyasumi nasai.

1 comment to Anime Los Angeles Day 2 Report (Updated)

  • Todd Allis

    Haha, thanks mentioning my panels! I have realized I’m not really the sort to carry a panel by myself. And yes, I do better with a microphone.

    I actually prepared a lot more for the “Buying anime and manga from Japan” panel than “My First Trip to Japan,” probably because I didn’t have much to work with.

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