This is going to be the dumbest post ever and my memory is hazy so I really hope I didn’t mix up any names
July 1 (Day -1)
- Arrive at LAX. I hate LAX.
- @nyaascaroth picks me, @blitzwingjp, and @Point_3mm up from the airport and drives us down to OC. He drives fast and makes sudden turns but somehow it doesn’t feel like we’re going to die! The music is all anison but I don’t know the lyrics well enough so I can’t sing along. Made friends with the Kyuubey plush in his car instead.
- Drop off our luggage at his place and attempt to round up people for lunch at the beach. This is apparently very difficult and in the end we manage to grab @MadoHomuMagica and @KannaSP. By the time we eat it’s like 5 PM or something. Meishi exchange!
- Climb up 500 stairs for a better view or something.
- Roll over to Flightdeck and attempt to shoot each other down. Kyosuke destroys us wworz
- Drive to some island thing where Blitz painfully attempts to take some long exposure shots but the tripod is wobbly and the night time lighting is hard to deal with.
- Head to some classroom-themed cafe for dinner at like ~11 PM.
- Decide that we don’t actually want to leave for LA at like 7 AM and will hitch a ride with Kyosuke instead.
- I think at this point I crash in the hotel because I’ve been awake way too long.
July 2 (Day 0)
- Kyosuke picks us up from the hotel and as I’d anticipated, the car ride is nonstop Love Live music. But he is wearing a 765 Pro shirt :s
- Go for lunch and pick up some last minute supplies.
- The plan was to arrive at the convention centre at around 2 PM (line starts moving at 3 PM) but we’re kinda slow about things and traffic doesn’t help. End up arriving well past 3 PM.
- I may or may not have cut the line at this point thanks to a certain Umi fan but shhhhhh. Still had to wait hours and hours. @metanyani joins us here!
- Hilariously enough, us ippanjin receive our badges faster than Blitz and the others in the press/industry line. Ha ha ha.
- Go for food with… a bunch of people. My memory is very hazy here but I remember that I was the first to order, and the last to receive my food.
- The plan is to go to Round 1 but apparently Asca isn’t actually coming so we’re short a car and three of us are left standing futilely on the sidewalk. I think we went back to the hotel and played Tanto.
- Last minute scheduling for Day 1.
July 3 (Day 1)
- Arrive at the convention centre fairly late, at around 12:30 PM. Just in time to line up for Aoi Eir. She seems pretty cool.
- Go to the exhibit hall, stop by the Sekai Project booth and buy the Luna headphones artbook. Pet the stuffed alpaca and am told by Kanna that I can win it if I go to their panel. Spoilers: I didn’t win.
- Go to NISA localization panel. They start off with Disgaea and Danganronpa news which is okay but doesn’t really interest me at this time. htoL#NiQ (Hotaru no Nikki) is a good announcement though! They also announce the Kamipara sequel… I guess it can’t be called Kamipara though? Kamicross?
- Lose the raffle and immediately speed off in order to make it to the Sekai Project panel in time. It is a nice panel but I already had the two big announcements spoiled to me on Twitter. I’ve already read Grisaia and Planetarian but good on them for being able to license such big names! Also looking forward to reading WEE when they release the full set.
- Skip Urobutcher panel cause I feel like getting dinner instead. Yes it is Yard House. Blitz and one of the other guys are literally talking nonstop; you’d think they hadn’t seen each other in 10 years or something…
- Go to MangaGamer panel and there are “Reserved” printouts on the front rows that were left behind from a previous panel. Makes you feel special! Or so I’d say, but nothing can beat seeing Asca waltz in half an hour late (to a one hour panel) without a badge (they closed the badge pick-up) and sit right down on a reserved seat in the front wwww. MG’s announcements are definitely very interesting and totally different from last year’s nukige train. I don’t really care for the otomege or the BL game but the audience reactions are pretty amusing and I can appreciate that they had something for everyone. Personally I am interested in seeing how Gahkthun goes.
- A few of us return to the hotel room and we probably just played more Tanto.
July 4 (Day 2)
- Idol Expo 2014.
- Yamakan panel is fun! But he forgets who Miyu is. There are some people in the audience with Kingblades and we wave them around when they show the concert footage. Me and Blitz go to ask a question during the Q&A, and before I could say anything, he goes 「あなた、にこにーでしょ？」 and I’m just like どんまーいいいぃぃいぃ. After the panel, he sticks around and so I go to hand him my meishi (because it has Miyu on it, so he won’t think I’m an enemy spy… assuming he’s remembered who Miyu is) and take a photo with him. Again he calls me out on being Nico.
- Miss the Luna live drawing panel because the line is way more hectic than expected.
- Go to iM@S fan panel whose line is pretty much a messy crowd mixed with two other lines (who really aren’t supposed to be there). Meet a giant Yayoi and Takane who call me out on being Nico but are fine with it because they like her w. Regretting not bringing a flu mask and sunglasses. The last part of the panel involves pretending we are at a concert and doing calls /o/
- Apparently both the GSC and SAO II premiere panels are impossible to get into and the lines are cut off really early. Good thing I didn’t try! Instead the ippanjins go to Yard House. Again.
- Go to Love Live cosplay gathering. FINALLY I am not seen as a spy! It starts off alright but the cosplayer:crossplayer ratio quickly diminishes…
- I think we go back at around 11 PM ~ midnight.
- Note that Asca trolled me the night before by marking a bunch of “unusual” panels on my guidebook app, so throughout the entire day I’m getting notifications for things like “Crossplay 101” and “Furry Cosplay Gathering”.
July 5 (Day 3)
- Go for dimsum in the morning with… a lot… of people. We all kinda hold back and don’t order much so it ends up only being $11 per person w.
- Drive back to the convention centre with Kyosuke and then dash to the exhibit hall for the Luna commission opportunity raffle that is to take place at 11 AM – we get there at 10:59 (but it’s delayed anyway because other-Shini and Luna are stuck in traffic on the way back from dimsum).
- Watch the Love Live stage at the Crunchyroll booth. They are missing an Eli!! D: But their performance is pretty good. @cowboybibimbop and Kyosuke are decked out in their love liver gear and I try to keep up with them w. Kyosuke wins the poster from the Kotori cosplayer but I lose Nico’s to a crossplaying Nico…
- Lose the Luna raffle. If I had a cookie for every raffle I lost, I might not have starved during the con /o/
- Go to get an autograph ticket for Yamakan and randomly pick up an Aoi Eir one at the same time because you’re allowed to take two. There is a bit of a misunderstanding so I somehow end up with a priority ticket for Eir, #25 in line! So I’m like ok I’d better get it. There is an AKB0048 Mayuyu cosplayer in front of me in the Yamakan line. Needless to say it feels like we’re in the wrong line w. Yamakan calls me out on being Nico again.
- Go to the 日本語でOK gathering. They’re playing mahjong in the wrong direction ;_; Make some new friends and chill there for a few hours.
- Asca takes us to an In-N-Out. It’s in a “normal” place far from the convention centre, and I forget I’m still wearing the Nico outfit so that’s pretty awkward. I also jump a fence in that oufit <.<
- Go back to the hotel. Continue to befriend the Kyuubey plush on the way. This time Asca stays until like 4 AM or something. Why he does the one hour commute to AX, I will never understand.
July 6 (Day 4)
- Needless to say we’re all dead tired in the morning and so we skip the first Vocaloid panel. The second one isn’t very good because all of the producers were in the first panel.
- Roll over to Round 1. I try to play Project Diva Arcade but I’d lost my headphones somewhere during a previous day and can’t hear the music and die a lot :(
- We have the craziest karaoke session ever. About 30 people crammed into two 6-person rooms, waving glowsticks everywhere — of course it doesn’t take us long to get kicked out. Surely there was enough space! We only hit each other with the Kingblades on two occasions! Anyway, we get moved to two 15-person rooms and the chaos continues. Apparently @ToastCrust was there too but I had no idea. There were just way too many people. Popular songs for light sticks in our room: [insert Love Live songs here], Get goal!, 正解はひとつ!じゃない!!, etc…
- At some point we hobble out of there and 16 of us head to a hotpot restaurant. Ps, Livers, and WUGners unite!
- Next up is a bubble tea place. Various… “things”… happen at that place and I’m pretty sure I’m forbidden from telling what I witnessed there wworz…
- We stay at @TReusbucks‘ place this time! Dreamy Theater is oddly nostalgic.
July 7 (Day +1)
- Go to Little Tokyo for ramen and then wander around. I buy a Gochiusa artbook and another Steins;Gate artbook at Kinokuniya. Want to pick up the Papakiki novels but they don’t have vols 1-2.
- Watch LL S2 ep13 (Blitz hadn’t watched it yet) and Hanayamata aka WUG S2 ep1. Derp around some more before heading over to @Akirascuro‘s place. Have yakitori for dinner and then go to karaoke for a few hours.
July 8 (Day +2)
- Drive over to LAX for the flight back to Toronto. I hate LAX.
- They put the wrong flight number on my baggage tag. I really hate LAX.
- Make it just in time for boarding but all three of us are in different rows. The woman next to me doesn’t want to swap seats because that was the seat where she’d met her fiance and he booked this flight for her, making sure to get that exact seat. (On the bright side, I made $5 on the flight. When she was buying food, neither her hybrid debit-credit card nor her prepaid credit card were accepted by the machine, so I used my card and she paid me back with cash. Didn’t have change so she let me keep a $5 tip w.)
- Breeze through customs. Go home. The end.
(There are way too many people that I met so I didn’t mention all of them. I didn’t forget you!!)