At 10:30 I arrived, paid for parking ($10, bah) and walked in. How long did it take me to register and pick up my badge? Hours and hours? Nope. There were three windows handling reg, and one had one person at it, and the other two none. Less than 60 seconds, and I was done. (I would have been ready to kill someone if I had made the trip last night, then arrived today and saw it took no time at all.)
This is where the fun starts: The website listed the dealer's room as opening at 9 AM, and I was sad to see a line around the building. I got to the end and settled in, and the line didn't move. And didn't move. And didn't move. At 11 I mentioned the lack of speed to the person standing next to me. She said 'Oh! But it opens at 11!'. I grumped, then the guy standing next to her whipped out the schedule and said 'No, it opens at noon!'. I pulled out the printout of the con's website and showed them that there it had been listed as opening at 9 AM. Boy am I glad I didn't try to get there right when it opened!
Anyway, waiting an hour and a half on the line wasn't too awful. Lots of cosplayers walked by, so I watched people and took pictures.
The con's website had been playing up how huge everything was going to be this year. "Biggest dealer's room ever!" and all that, so I was very disappointed when I finally got in. Back in NY, I used to work for a little sci-fi con, and though we were only very small, local con, our dealer room had been at least the same size as this one, if not bigger. Oh well.
I wandered through the dealer's room and spent a total of about $20. (Not because I was trying to save money or anything, just that most everything I wanted either I could get online cheaper or was too big for me to really buy. I don't have room for posters or big stuffed animals or things like that anymore.)
So here's the breakdown:
Tickets for the con (weekend pass) - $50
Parking - $10
Drink (I was dying of thirst, a few hundred people in the building and no air conditioning at all, we were all dying) - $5
$65 and two hours (line waiting and driving) to spend 45 minutes and $20 in the dealer's room. Not exactly a good tradeoff, but still, I'm not sorry I went. I took some interesting photos, stalked one guy, and felt comfortable in a crowd of people for the first time in... well, probably since my last con. (Even though everyone told me stories of anime cons being full of fanboys who don't shower and walk around with their hands down their pants, I saw nothing of that. There was only one display of total lack of awareness on how to act/dress/be in public: One very, very overweight girl was wearing a short skirt and one of those mini t-shirts. Rolls of fat were hanging out everywhere. I have no problem with fat people, I'm fat myself, but man, you can't dress like you weigh 90 pounds when you really weight 400!)
I saw very few Final Fantasy cosplayers (the guy with the black leather jacket and white fuzz around the collar, and maybe one other), and quite people dressed in Harry Potter robes and scarfs! That surprised me, and while I don't think they really fit in, I gave each of them a big grin.
Photos, in random order:
Cat shoes! The girl on line in front of me had these great shoes! If I wore anything besides sneakers, I'd want a pair of these.
Crowd, FMA, Zabuza There were a couple cosplaying as Zabuza and Haku (my OTP out of all the fandoms out there), so I was semi-stalking Zabuza. Haku's outfit looked just like the character, but the girl playing the role didn't look (or act) much like Haku, but Zabuza was great! It's nice when a cosplayer actually looks like the person he or she is playing, not just dresses the part. Anyway, I was trying to get another picture of him, but got a good shot of the back of someone dressed up as Ed from FMA as well.
Oddly, I saw almost no FMA cosplayers at all. Tons of Naruto and lots of characters I didn't know, but almost no FMA.
A spirit guy and a character I couldn't place. That guy in the grey vest wandered back and forth a lot. He looked familiar, but I never did put a name of character or series to him.
Pretty (deadly) in pink! She was ahead of me on line, and part of the group I talked about opening time with. I don't know the name of the character, but it's that series with the pink teddybear that kills everyone in the most bloody of ways.
Naruto characters. While leaving the con, I saw these two walking down the street (headed back to their hotel, I supposed). It was really, really odd seeing anime charcters out in RL. (With me in the car driving by, they looked much more like the characters then when I photographed them standing in the bright lighs.) Now that I see their footwear in the photo, I understand why they were walking barefoot on the sidewalk.
Qulity Naruto person. The majority of all the costumes at the con were "okay" at the very best. Some were passable. I saw only two or three that were great. This was one of them. Though the photo doesn't do it justice, that puppet was *amazing*. It had hands and feet, and looked like a perfect copy of the show's. I wish the photo had come out better.
Mostly for Chia, the guy who writes/draws Megatokyo. There was a 20 or so person line for him to sign something (probably buy and then sign, I suppose). I didn't bother waiting, I just took a quick photo. He was one of the con's guests of honor.
Hellsing cosplayers. The girl's costume was especially nice. She and two or three other people were dressed so closely to real service people/cops that I wasn't sure if they were cosplayers or not part of the con at all. There was some guy dressed as a cop from (the future? space?), and his outfit was so professional that I wish I had stopped him and took a picture. He didn't look too friendly though, and I was shy about going to people and asking them if I could take their photo, so I didn't.
Where I spent most of my time. The line waiting for the dealer's room. Sure looks like a bunch of normal people, huh? (You can see Princess Moonononomonokonomo in the group near the center.) The convention center was a really nice building, bright and sunny. It's just too bad the AC seemed to be broken.
Prince of Tennis There were a couple PoT cosplayers running around, but this was the only one I was able to catch for a photo. The one playing Fuji looked really realistic! Wish I had caught him.
The first time I asked Zabuza and Haku for a photo. Haku's player should stay kneeling for photos, she's too tall. She should be shorter/slighter than Zabuza! The guy playing Zabuza was the best. He actually had muscles! It was nice to see a cosplayer who actually fit the role he was playing.
Later I asked Zabuza if I could take another shot, and got this great pose! (Slightly bigger photo than the others.) Too bad con security was around, otherwise I would have pounced the guy and spent the day licking him up and down.
Final Zabuza shot. I saw him in the dealer's room, so I snuck another picture. Zabuza likes yaoi! Why am I not surprised? Heh heh heh.
Non-con picture, but was on the memory card while I was downloading: My cat discovered laundry fresh from the dryer. Heh. That's how you can make a cat happy, I tell ya!
So, while my time there had been short, I did have fun at the con. I'm not planning to go back for the rest of the weekend, not unless I can come up with some plan to kidnap Zabuza...