Anime Expo 2014

Anime Expo was the most amazing convention ever!!! Oh my goodness!! It was so great!!

Day 0 I woke up super early and my boyfriend drove me to Seatac so I could board my flight! I flew out at noon and got to Long Beach at 3! I flew into long beach just because LAX is a bit scary. xD It was my first time traveling alone and I wasn’t ready to fly into LAX, I feel like I would have gotten lost!

I somehow managed to pack all my costumes into one carry on suit case and a backpack! It was quite the feat! But in the end was super helpful, I didn’t have to wait for baggage claim and there was no way the airport could have lost my luggage. With my luggage in hand I got a taxi from Long Beach to the con center… Let’s just say that I was a bit shaken and didn’t know what to do so I just got a taxi rather than trying to find a shuttle, and now I wish I would have found a shuttle, but it all worked out in the end! I got to the con and waited around for a bit until my friend H of GG Cosplay, arrived! She was kind enough to let me stay with her the first night since I didn’t have a hotel room and had to be up super early the next day. After we got into the room we went to Korea town for some Korean BBQ~ It was my first time in a restaurant like that and it was super cool and really good! We then went back to con and had a meeting with some ACP volunteers and got our badges! I’m so glad that as a volunteer I don’t have to wait in line for my badge, the lines were crazy long and I feel so bad for everyone who waited! I would have thought that with such a huge and well known con like AX they would have registration down to a T and get everyone in and out in a few minutes, but they didn’t.

Photo from: Sparkle Pipsi

Photo from: Sparkle Pipsi

The next day I had to be up and have my make-up on by 6AM! Why? Because we were in invited to KTLA5 for a segment on Anime Expo! Who is we you ask? The SAILOR GUARDIANS! I had the honor of being chosen as one of the official cosplayers for Sailor Moon Promotions at Anime Expo and our first event was a morning segment on the news! It was super fun! Not only was it awesome to meet all my fellow sailor guardians but it was super neat to be on the news, through out the con people kept asking us if we were on the news! It was great to be able to spread AX, Sailor Moon, and Cosplay in such a positive light! The Segment was pretty awesome, you can check it out here!

Photo by: Kei Tsubasa

Photo by: Kei Tsubasa

After our news spot we went back to the convention. I hung out with the amazing Kathrine Zan, for most of the day! It was so great to meet her! I’ve been a fan of her work for a while and used her Princess Serenity as a reference for my own! We had a great lunch and talked about Sailor Moon, Conventions and other cool stuff! After that it was time for our first shift at the Viz Media BoothWe weren’t really sure what to expect so when we got there it was a little crazy, but after a few minutes things cooled down. My lovely group of  guardians includes Kathrine Zan as Sailor Moon, Courtoon as Sailor Venus, Maryssaraptor as Sailor Jupiter, Sakura Tea Cosplay as Sailor Mars, and Angelic Threads as Tuxedo Mask. While at the booth our job was to hand out cards and prizes for the stamp relay. The Stamp Relay had participants go around to other booths in the dealers hall (who were all related to Sailor Moon somehow) to get stamps, then they would come back to us to get their Coin. I had no clue there would be so many people participating in this event! There was always a line to either get the card or to get the coin! It was crazy! The coins are really cool. They are super heavy and look really awesome! Also once during each shift we would pose for photos. There would be a line to come into the booth to get photos with us! It was super crazy! I never expected anything like that! Everyone was so excited to see us and get there photo with us and everyone was so nice! There was just so much love for Sailor Moon it was incredible!!!

Photo by: BunnyTuan

Photo by: BunnyTuan

After our booth shift I went and changed into Princess Serenity! I was so happy to wear her, I just feel so pretty in that dress. I wandered around the con for a bit then met with BunnyTuan for a photoshoot! It was my first day at the con so I was lost and met her in the wrong spot, but I was so glad she was still able to shoot with me! I just got the photos back a few days ago and they are simply stunning! I can’t believe it!! I hope to work with her again sometime in the future!

Photo by: Elite Cosplay

Photo by: Elite Cosplay

 

After this I went to my hotel, the Millennium Biltmore, to meet with Elite Cosplay for a shoot! The shuttle to the hotel was delayed by some sort of accident or something so it took like an hour to get to the hotel, but luckily they were still there and happy to shoot with me! I could not believe the architecture of this hotel, it was stunning! It worked so perfectly for Princess Serenity! And on top of the beautiful architecture someone had their wedding there earlier in the day, when we saw the alter still set up we all wanted to shoot there, then the staff who was cleaning up saw us and said we were welcome to shoot in it! It was beautiful and a perfect setting for Serenity! After our shoot I went up to my room and crashed!

Photo by: GoSenchi

Photo by: GoSenchi

The next day I wore Wedding Dress Asuna for the morning! It was super fun to wear this dress and people really seemed to love it a lot more than I thought they would! Though many people didn’t recognize who I was when I told them they all went “Ohhhhh”. xD It was nice to be able to walk around the con for a bit! I then met with Gosenchi to get some photos! He wanted to experiment with low contrast photos and back lighting, it worked super well for Asuna! I can’t wait to see how the photos turned out! After that I went back to the main hall for a bit. Then as I was posing for photos I felt water in my shoes so I grabbed my bag and realized my water bottle split over everything!!! Including my already damaged phone and it totally fried it! This was super scary since I was alone in a big city and there were no pay phones to call my Mom with! So I went back to the hotel and was able to call her! I then changed into Mercury and went to the Target down and was able to get a new phone! Luckily I just had to put my sim card in and it worked! Then it was time for more booth work! since we knew what we were doing today was a lot easier than the day before. After our shift I hung out with Kathrine again before our Sailor Moon meeting and we got the Skins from the Riot booth!! Then I went back to my hotel and attempted to order a pizza. I say attempted because there was an hour and a half wait for a pizza!! So even though I was super hungry I decided to pass.

Photo by: Darkian Multimedia

Photo by: Darkian Multimedia

Saturday was SAILOR MOON DAY! The whole day was jam packed with Sailor Moon events! Early that morning we all went to the Sailor Moon panel and helped to hand out posters to those who came, then we watched the new dub of Sailor Moon! It was wonderful! It’s interesting to see it un-cut, while I’ve read all the manga I’m much more familiar with the anime and seeing it in such a different light was really cool! We also got to watch the premier of Sailor Moon Crystal!! WOW! JUST WOW! It was so beautiful I was crying in the first few minutes! The opening sequence really got me! I can’t wait for more episodes! If you haven’t seen it yet go check it out on CrunchyRollAfter this we went to the booth for our photo-op session! This was great! I still can’t believe all the people who were there! We then went to go get lunch! I hung out with Kathrine, Courtoon and Sakura Tea Cosplay! It was super nice to hang out with them and I feel like were all gonna be friends for a long time!! Next we had a photo with the new dub cast, which was cool, and then the LARGEST SAILOR MOON COSPLAY GATHERING EVER! There were over 300 cosplayers there! It was amazing! Once we were seated we started singing the opening them, needless to say I got a bit teary eyed. It was really fun to see so many people who love Sailor Moon and to see how amazing their outfits were! Right after the gather we ran to our last booth shift! This was great! During the photo-op an older woman came up to get a photo with us and when she was posed with us she said “Hi I’m Jennifer Cihi, the singing voice of Sailor Moon in the original dub”! I couldn’t believe it! I (again) started crying!!! Her Cd was my favorite Cd as a child and was the only thing I listened to when I was making Sailor Mercury! It was so amazing to meet her! She was the only old school guest I met, which was kinda disappointing, but still awesome that I met her!

Photo by: WayneKaa With Jennifer Cihi

Photo by: WayneKaa
With Jennifer Cihi

Once our shift ended I ran to the J-List booth to see if they had any Proplica Moon Sticks left and they did! Only two left!! This was the one thing I wanted to buy at con and I’m so glad I made it before they closed or ran out!! After this I got my bag from bag check and changed into Wedding Asuna to meet with my SAO Family! We all volunteered together for SAO at Sakuracon so it was great to see everyone again! These dresses started as a bit of a joke when Henry from ACP asked if anyone wanted to cosplay from SAO Hollow Fragment and we all said yes and made these! xD It was great to see how everyone made them differently and with their different styles. We then had a photoshoot and then I headed back to my hotel! I was super exhausted!

Photo by: Andy Lau

Photo by: Andy Lau

We had to be up bright and early Sunday morning for our Viz interviews! This was super great!  We all told our favorite parts of Sailor Moon and then we were asked what we would say to the creator of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi. Wow. None of us could get through the question without crying and listening to each others responses made us cry! We then came up with our own OC Sailor Team and dubbed ourselves Team HotMess! It was so great to hang out with everyone and I’m so glad I had this amazing opportunity and I hope to see these girls again soon!

Photo from: Courtoon

Photo from: Courtoon

After our interviews I changed into Princess Serenity again this time with my new Moon Stick! Now I finally had time to go through the dealers hall! I got some things for my friends at home, a key chain, a new Asuna Wig, and an Alpaca named Pinku! I was pretty happy with my loot! Then I walked around the con for a bit and had a few impromptu photoshoots! Then I headed back to my hotel to get my shuttle to the airport! When I got on my shuttle I feel asleep but then when we got to the airport I thought it looked a bit big to be Long Beach, turns out I was booked the wrong shuttle and was at LAX! Luckily I was able to hop shuttles and made it to Long Beach in time for my flight! I slept the whole way home! When I got to Seatac Jeremy was waiting for me and drove me back to Leavenworth! It was a long drive! xD

This was such an amazing trip! I’ve wanted to go to AX since I was maybe 12 or 13, and I’m so glad I was finally able to go! It’s even more amazing that I was able to go and help with all the Sailor Moon activities! I’m so glad my childhood series is coming back to life! Time for even more Sailor Moon cosplays! I can’t wait until next year!!!

My next con will probably be KuroNekoCon in August, if not it will be Kumoricon!

Will I see you guys there?

Till next time!

~Eli

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