For those who are merely interested in seeing the pictures I took, just skip towards the bottom. I’m going to be taking the time to blog about my experience.
So the day started off with me waking up at around 6 in the morning after 2.5 hours of sleep. I had kind of finished packing the night before, however I got a bit too excited organizing all the nendoroids I had into these jewelry boxes I had purchased the night before. So instead of sleeping around 1~2 as I had hoped, I slept around 3:30 instead ahaha.
So my friend Leyzee, and her husband Jack, were a little bit later than usual but it was alright as it gave me a bit more time to hang out with my lovely dogs before I would inevitably leave for the weekend. When they did arrive, I had Jack’s help loading some of the snacks and water to bring with us to the convention. This year was going to be the first year we would be staying at a hotel near the convention. We had always talked about doing it, however we just never had the chance. Thus, it was a nice change and it made all of us pretty excited.
Shortly after getting comfortable, we went on our way to go pick up our friend Carmina before heading to Seattle for Sakura-Con!
When we had arrived, we took a few things that we knew we’d need for the con and left the rest in the car. Unfortunately we also wouldn’t be able to actually check in to the room we had booked until way later in the evening.
One of the first few things we ended up doing after picking up our badges was take pictures of our cosplays. Jack was the only one who wasn’t dressed up as anyone so he really took the time to look through what we could use as background. Leyzee was dressed up as a Kirin Hunter from Monster Hunter, Carmina was dressed up as Sinon from the GGO arc of Sword Art Online and I sported the original Kirito from SAO. I took a few pictures of my friends, however Jack still hasn’t finished working on his photos but when I do, I’ll put up the links here or tweet them out.
From that point on, we wandered the halls looking for cosplayers to take pictures of while also looking around the exhibit hall. I also used that opportunity to head towards the Good Smile Company booth in the exhibit hall to give GSC’s Mamitan an exclusive print of my toy photography. I don’t have it up on the blog so she has the only one in existence. I also found Atashi at the Pony Canyon booth dressed up as one of the characters from Garokawa. I just felt bad as I didn’t have any water bottles to give to them at the time and they looked a bit parched.
After a while, I went out to find one of my photography friends, Meta`. When we met up and kind of caught up, we decided to stick together and took pictures of cosplays together. It helped having Meta around since I could get my card out to give to the cosplayer while he would take pictures. During the time we hung out though, there would be a lot of poke and jabs we’d throw at each other. Now thanks to that bully, I’ve also become very aware of my own actions while taking pictures of cosplayers.
After walking around for a little while, we decided to hang out with Mamitan for a bit and had a nice chat. I had mentioned at one point to Meta how I had pre-ordered this year’s Snow Miku nendoroid and how it was slightly dewm on how shortly after making that pre-order, I find out that she’s being brought to Sakura-Con for purchase. Afterwards, just to spite me, Meta then decides to make the purchase. What a meanie. ｡゜(｀Д´)゜｡
During one of the rounds around the convention center, we went to the SAO photoshoot the Aniplex booth was holding since we decided to have that as a meeting point. Carmina and I wanted to check it out to see if it was worth participating. Though it looked as though it started earlier since there was a pretty large crowd. I eventually got picked out from the crowd and was semi-forced to join in. Later Carmina joined as well.
When the photoshoot was over, my group, Meta and I discussed what our plans would be and went out on our own way. Meta decided to hang out with me for a little while longer which helped me for what was about to happen in the near future.
After we had exited the exhibit hall, made our rounds in the skybridge and was headed to a different part of the convention, I was suddenly approached by a girl dressed in an Asuna cosplay. She seemed somewhat flustered and excited as she was complimenting me saying I was the best Kirito she had seen in the photoshoot. I thanked her and… she still stood there. I was a bit dumbfounded by the suddenness and the awkwardness she had presented that I found myself surprisingly speechless. I think Meta picked up on this and pointed out that she wasn’t wearing a wig.
Ah, he’s right. She’s not wearing a wig at all.
“Oh yeah, I don’t have the wig and I don’t have the gloves at all. I was totally in a rush so I forgot them.”
Oh… that’s another thing I didn’t notice. How odd.
I would have to surmise the reason why I didn’t notice these things is because I was just a bit shocked with the interaction I had with this young lady and… I just don’t really care to remember the character designs of the characters. It’s a bit ironic I would cosplay Kirito while not really caring about the series. I don’t particularly have as much of a connection to him as I used to considering I now know a bit more of his character. Still, he’s a fun character to cosplay and it’s not as though that connection is completely severed.
Also managed to meet up with Atashi again shortly before she would go “booth babe”-ing (as she likes to call it) at the Pony Canyon booth. I think she had asked for help with a selfie but I had planned on taking her picture anyway so this was a good opportunity as any.
If I recall correctly, I think my group of friends and I met up with Carmina and her other friends that came to the convention. We would then later went out to look for lunch. While looking around in the City Centre shopping building, there was a staff member who noticed I was looking around for the restaurants. The first thing he asked was if I was looking for sushi. I wasn’t even offended and found it hilarious. He also suggested Jimmy Johns which we had also declined and it was honestly shortly before he arrived that I realized where we needed to go. In the end, we actually did decide to go to Jimmy Johns. Then of course, we went back out to the convention center to roam around some more.
At around 5pm, Jack gave me a call to let me know we were finally able to check into the hotel room. So I went out of the convention center to meet up with Jack and help him load stuff into the room. We brought one case of the water bottles along with the other pastries and snacks. When we had finished, we let Leyzee and Carmina know and we just kicked back. We were quite exhausted and it was great to lounge around on the sofa and bed in the room.
Normally I’d try to immediately go back out to search for more pictures to take, however the bed had taken me prisoner to help alleviate the exhaustion the day had brought on. As such, we all (including Leyzee and Carmina who later arrived) just hung around letting the atmosphere of silence and relaxation do its job.
There was going to be a movie screening of a movie made by the same people who did Ano Hana. It happened to be at the same time when I would have to go to the Guest Reception. Considering there was less than an hour before we all would have to depart, we just sat around chatting amongst each other and getting comfortable within the room. When the time came, everyone got ready and we all went out.
I arrived at the location the email had specified for us to be at when checking in for the Guest Reception. I had missed out on the last guest reception they had last year, but even then I could tell that there were a lot of the same people in the waiting room that went the other years as well. Finally we were able to go up to the dining area on the top floor of the hotel (same one we had the room in). There were several people joking about the elevator stopping and “suggesting” that we should all jump at the same time. Unfortunately it was only until one lady pointed out that there was a young girl that seemed to be having a hard time that the men stopped. I felt bad for the little girl and the men that were having small conversation. It was obviously unintentional but it certainly created an awkward atmosphere in the already small elevator space. Luckily there weren’t many floors left before we got off so it didn’t really feel like it was an eternity staying there watching this girl close her eyes and slowly counting upwards.
Upon entering the dining area, I found my way to the table that had all the GSC reps. They had nothing in front of them which I found odd (to which I later found out it was because they had already eaten). Instead of immediately going up to grab some food, I took out the exclusive nendoroid prints I made for them and handed them out. I also gave them bags of (what I hoped to be) American exclusive candy. I had always figured that since the guests took their time to come out to our country, might as well give them something nice since they’re usually the ones giving something to us (ie, their time, autographs, etc).
Later in the day, I stood up to make more of my rounds. I didn’t have prints but I still had bags of candy and two bottles of paper stars. I gave the candy to Band-Maid along with one of the bottle of stars. I also did the same with Kawahara Reki. The story that I had both their interpreters tell them was that the bottle of paper stars, to me, was representative of all the memories and wishes that the fans had for them. I felt that it was necessary for them to have it so they can always remember what they brought to the public. Perhaps next year, I can make something a bit more meaningful than just a bottle of paper stars (they sure as hell take forever to make though!).
After getting a signature from the GSC group and Kawahara, I went to see if I could get Band-Maid’s autographs too but they had already left. It was a shame as that really put me off my schedule but it was fine. It was then that I ate a bit and went out to go back to the convention center.
I actually went around to see if there were any good cosplays to take pictures of but I was unsuccessful. I did, however, meet Eric, the guy who put up the ATMs around the convention center and the one in my store. It was certainly a great surprise to bump into him so we had a small chat before I would go back to see my friends.
We were pretty hungry by the time we did meet up so we went to see if we could find the hotdog stand a friend of ours was talking about. Since we could not find it, we had settled for gyros. It was barely midnight, but we were all tired and getting dangerously close to just simply passing out. We somehow managed to take a shower before finally passing out. It was certainly a great day and a huge relief none of us would have to drive back home for the first time in our past con experience.
Now for what you all have been waiting for…
DAY 1 COSPLAY PICTURE GALLERY
If there is a picture of you, let me know in the comment! Be sure to also leave a link to the actual image so it’ll be easier for me to spot along with a link to whatever website or facebook page you have! Thanks everyone for letting me take your pictures!