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Anime Expo 2014

Posted by mountainoluv, 05 August 2014 · 1501 views

anime Anime Expo Anime Expo 2014 Aoi Eir Crunchy Roll Los Angeles events Blau poster
Anime Expo 2014 Hello everybody! Please excuse me for the long gap between blog entries. I have been busy with a lot of different things, like trips, both for business and for pleasure.

In this entry, I will focus on my experience at Anime Expo 2014. This year’s Anime Expo was held July 3 – 6 in the Los Angeles Convention Center. I went with a family member. We purchased our tickets online the morning of the third, and proceeded by car to the event. The tickets (one day passes) were pretty reasonable. We parked in a parking lot across the street from the venue for $15.

It wasn’t long before we were inside the hall. I asked someone where to get my badge, and they indicated I had to walk halfway around the (huge) building. I didn’t mind that much, though. My main motivation to attend was to see the anime fans dressed up in their cosplay outfits, and I was able to do that as we walked to the registration area.

So we finally got to the registration area. The system was that you walked up to a monitor, and somehow entered your identity (I can’t remember if it was your name, a confirmation number or whatever.) Then, you walked up to a desk. There was a person there (a volunteer?) who called out people’s names. When your name was called, you showed your ID to the rep, and she gave you your badge. Well, there was a glitch in the system. My badge printed out, but the other one we paid for didn’t. The lady who was passing out the badges was no help (i.e., good for nothing.) I asked to see the supervisor, and that person was also good for nothing. The instructions I got were to go over to another (huge) line and wait. It was the ‘special services’ line, or something like that. Anyway, the line was extremely long, with turnstiles going back and forth, back and forth. Imagine a line for a new attraction at Disneyland . . . that was what this line was like. It took 45 - 50 minutes to get to the front of the line. Then, the lady who waited on us couldn’t figure out how to help us. She had to get a supervisor. They discussed back and forth for quite a while. It seems like they had to write a computer program or something to get our other badge to print out. Finally, they gave us our second badge. They didn’t even act sorry for the delay they caused us. My family member asked for something for free because they inconvenienced us so much. The lady just looked at him and pretended she didn’t understand what he was talking about. This was very frustrating and turned me off about the entire experience. That and the traffic on the way to the event. We hadn’t even done anything yet, and I felt deflated.

OK, so we headed to the Exhibition Hall. Crunchy Roll (an online anime service) was handing out tote bags with some swag inside, which was nice. There was an energy bar inside, along with some other stuff (notably, a hat that you could make out of cardboard that made it look like you had anime hair).

The Exhibition Hall was pretty cool. They were selling lots of things, like posters and toys, etc. There were a few large booths. I don’t mean to make this into an ad for Crunchy Roll, but we spent the most time at the Crunchy Roll booth. When we walked in, they were having an event for an anime called “The Wake-up Girls.” I had never heard about this before. In fact, I know little to nothing about anime, ha ha! They had the producer of the anime on stage, and a few other executives (from Crunchy Roll?) in addition. They were having an audience quiz. After a few questions, they asked one that nobody knew. “Who is the leader of the Wake-up Girls?” I got my nerve up and raised my hand. The host stuck the mic in my face and I said, “I don’t know, but it should have been aMI TOKITO or Asuka Hinoi!” The other attendees made some sounds, trying to make me feel bad, but I just ignored them, and walked away.

One cool feature of the Crunchy Roll booth was that they had a camera facing an aisle of the Expo. There was a mic there, too. The point was for cosplayers to stand in front of the camera, so online users of Crunchy Roll could see who was at the Expo, and what they looked like. The cool part about it was that the Crunchy Roll users could type in comments, and the comments scrolled across the monitor, so the people in front of the camera could see the comments. Some of the comments were pretty funny.

OK, so the highlight of Anime Expo 2014 for me was when they brought a singer, Aoi Eir, onto the stage in the Crunchy Roll booth. I wasn’t familiar with her, but when I subsequently looked her up on YouTube, I noticed that one of her videos had 800,000+ views. They interviewed her a little bit, using questions sent in by Crunchy Roll users. After she talked (via an interpreter) for a little while, they started a quiz. The person who answered each question correctly got a prize. About the second question was favorable for me. The prize was an autographed poster of a recent Aoi Eir single, “Blau.” The question was “What color captures the mood and feeling of Aoi Eir?” I took two year’s of German in my undergraduate career, so I knew that ‘blau’ means ‘blue.’ So, I was like, “Yeah! Call on me, call on me!” Then, Aoi Eir said something, that included the color of the shirt I was wearing, and pointed toward me. I started to walk to the front to give my answer. Then, she indicated that she wasn’t actually referring to me, but to the young guy who was standing in front of me. He went up to the front, and apparently, gave the incorrect answer. So, I raised my hand again, and started jumping up and down. She must have felt bad about misleading me the first time, so she called on me. I went up to the mic, and said “Blue. Blau means blue in German.” Well, that was right, and Aoi Eir handed me the autographed poster. There may have been a few more questions, but I wasn’t paying much attention at that point. In closing her segment, Aoi Eir led the audience in a cheer of “Ei, Ei, Ru! Ei, Ei, Ru!” It was pretty cool. She even wrote that on the poster that I received.

After that, I showed my poster to the Crunchy Roll users, via the Expo-Cam. They were very congratulatory about it. “Good job, X!” (I don’t want to reveal the nickname they gave me, ha ha!)
The only other thing that I’d like to cover is the food situation. There was a long line for everything. It took a long time to get food. It was overpriced, too. I guess that could be expected at an event like this. The worst part about the food was there was no place to sit down. There were a few tables, but the tables were all occupied. I could tell that some people were just sitting around and not eating. Once again, I felt frustrated. We ended up sitting on the floor to eat. It was tile, too, rather than carpet.

In the end, I am kind of conflicted about whether I will attend in the future. It seemed overpriced (both for the registration and for the food). They were piss-poor about the organizational aspects. In particular, they blew it badly on getting the badges and for the food. The event itself, however, was cool. I guess the parts where the people running it had to make it work were the parts that didn’t work. I think I am going to skip Anime Expo for the indefinite future. Considering the money, time, and frustration it took to participate, it just wasn’t worth it.




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