Anime Los Angeles, in it's 12th year has finally departed the LAX hotel area to move to Ontario, CA (as many other conventions in that area have also done due to hotel issues)
If you're just here for photos and to tag your friends you can get on it!
For the full coverage of the masquerade, with all the commercials edited out
Now for the TLDR
This was a fine move to the Ontario Convention Center. The convention needs to grow and it sure did.
8000 attendance, with 7500~ warm bodies through the turnstiles.
Parking is usually $9 at the OCC, but due to some swag negotiations, it's $7 with no in and our privileges and very affordable for the local otaku.
There's also plenty of space to park, and the stalls are a good size so you aren't claustrophic and worried about door dings.
The two main hotels are the Radisson and the Doubletree
The Radisson is the "Party" Hotel and houses the con suite, gaming, pool and the prize patrol. It's also a bit on the older ratchety side.
If comfort and spacious living is more your thing, then pick the Doubletree. Both are a walk away from the convention center.
There's not much choice of food in the convention center but Food Trucks and walking distance restaurants make dining options much better than they were at LAX (Carl's Jr)
Once you get into the convention center, you'll find something that the old ALA didn't have much of.... space.
Plenty of space for photos, much better lighting (not yellow) and a TWO story Gazebo area (take that Katsucon!)
Photos are great for school, hi tech, industrial and you'd have the journey out a little bit for fantasy/outdoors shots
The Main Stage for the Masquerade can accommodate much more people, and the masquerade grew from average 25-30 entries to 40 entries!
Exhibition Hall is expanded to 4 longer aisles and is combined with 2 aisles of Artist Alley and the Autograph area
All in all a great move for the first convention of the year in the Southern California area, so make plans for next year!
The Love Live ?'s Final concert will happening March 31st and April 1st in Japan, and many of you were interested in attending. Now ask yourself this question? How important is your waifu? Because attending one of these events, especially the FINAL, will be competitive. If you're hesitating now because of cost, then it's probably not in your future. Be prepared to shell out love for your waifu! It may seem mysterious but it's deceptively simple in a capitalist market.
General tips while in Japan.
1. No spray in public areas. This includes hairspray, febreeze, sunscreen and scents
2. Separate trash into flammable and not flammable. There are strict rules on this.
Concerts/Lives BEFORE JAPAN:
- General Sales vs Lottery? Some lottery tickets come with goods (i.e. Love Live the Movie BD LE) , so prepare to buy a lot of the same thing for lotteries unless there are special restrictions (example: 1 code per person)
- Will it have ID check? Normally larger events do not and you can proceed with Yahoo Japan Auctions. Special seating and fan club only events will most likely have ID checks and you will not be able to get auction tickets.
- Most lotteries will go through i-tike or eplus. Sign up for these services. You will need an address in Japan to do this. If they accept foreign credit cards, you can send it to Tenso or a Japanese address. If not, you can pay via conbini (7-11, Lawson, Family Mart, etc). Sometimes the tickets will be mailed, sometimes you can pick them up at the conbini. Some may require mobile numbers.
Ok, so you failed this, now your only option is:
1. Go to Yahoo Japan Auctions, find the ticket you want and pay whatever it takes to win. Since you probably don't live in Japan, you will likely need a deputy service to help you purchase. Examples:
https://www.rinkya.com/en/front/search/ ... 7s%20final
2. Get the ticket delivered to you in the US (name on ticket should match your ID)
3. Pack your ID and have it with you at the venue
Concerts/Lives IN JAPAN:
- For idol type concerts, PREPARE. You will need lights to do calls. Don't go too crazy and just follow what others are doing. Recommend Pen-la or King Blades depending on the concert. imas lives has a battery based ban for lights so no KBs allowed. LL lives have official king blades to use. You may need to stock up on Ultra Orange cylumes for certain songs. Recommend at least 20 per day.
- Bring water+snacks. Don't get dehydrated. Some of these lives will last up to 5 hours with very little breaks in between.
- DO NOT COSPLAY if you want to have a good time.
- There are usually fan activities before the concert. Come early to watch the craziness.
- Usually no photos or videos allowed. Don't do it.
- DO NOT FORGET YOUR TICKET.
- Follow signs and/or staff instructions to your seat. Don't need to talk, just show the ticket.
- Enjoy the show.
Concerts/Lives Buying goods
- Usually will sell goods (buppan) "day 0"
- People WILL first train to the venue to buy goods regardless of weather conditions. I waited in a 500+ person line in a typhoon to buy idolmaster goods before.
- Camping overnight is discouraged and may be penalized (by letting first train people go first).
- Prepare for a long wait. You may arrive at the venue at 5:00 but sales wont start until 15:00. Once they set up the lines, your place in line is established. You can leave for the bathroom and to grab food as long as you're not absent for too long. It's a honor system, don't abuse it.
- Usually you will get a sheet to mark off what you want a few hours before sales start. Prepare to decipher Japanese.
- Popular goods will end up being sold out around the 1hr-2hr mark when sales start.
- If you maybe want something, buy it or else it'll sell out when you change your mind.
- If you didn't get your item Day 0, most multi-day lives will have inventory stock for other days. Try again, first train always.
- Think about how you're going to lug everything back.
- Can get access to Web version of catalog for free
Click on Comike Web Catalog, then register with email for free account and online access to all of the booths, circles with maps
1. If costuming, pack your costume and keep it safe in luggage as train cars will be packed. DO NOT wear the costume to the event or change in the bathroom.
2. Comiket is a free event, no tickets needed to attend, but you will pay if you want to cosplay (around 400 yen)
3. Go inside venue (after lining up/security bag check).
4. For cosplay, find changing room (have your receipt ready), get into costume
5. Go to designated cosplay area, marked by English signs
7. Profit (or not)
Special Tips for Comiket:
No credit cards, so be sure to pack cash, even at company booths.
Lines for company booths will be LONG.
Summer Comiket is very hot so bring water to stay hydrated and bring your own food.
Winter Comiket calls for masks and hand sanitizer as sickness doesn't stop Otaku.
You may want to arrive 1-2 hours after opening to avoid giant crowds unless you need an exclusive.
No photos unless you're in a designated photo area, this applies to you taking photos and being photographed
The changing room is not private so if you will need to be comfortable changing around other cosplayers, or bring a towel to cover yourself.
Keep an eye on your belongings, theft happens all the time in the cosplay area
Tokyo Game Show/Anime Japan/Wonderfest/Other smaller events:
For other events during the time you might be traveling review: http://www.cosp.jp/event_list.aspx
1. If costuming, pack your costume and keep it safe in luggage as train cars will be packed.
2. Go to English/Overseas registration booth
3. Present passport, get badge
4. Go inside venue (after lining up)
5. For cosplay, find changing room, get into costume
6. Go to designated cosplay area, marked by English signs
8. Profit (or not)
Don't be surprised if staff check to make sure you're wearing underwear (bra and panties). It would be wise to bring skin colored tights if they think your costume is too showy. If you don't and your costume is too skinful, you won't be allowed to participate.
Cosplay Studios (Booty/Hacos/others)
(has dressing room and mirror)
1. Make reservation in advance and include if you will have a photographer or not.
2. Check in early at the studio location. You may be required to sign up for a point card. Fill out the information accordingly. Point card can be used to get discounts in the future.
3. If applicable go to your assigned locker or changing space and change and do makeup. Be mindful of other groups space and dont be too loud in the changing rooms. Research first, not all studios have dressing rooms or mirrors.
4. Feel free to bring multiple costumes to change into throughout the day.
5. Many changing rooms come equipped with a variety of supplies for you such as qtips, hairspray, hairpins, and makeup removers, among other things. Feel free to use them but dont hog them.
6. Depending on the studio, you can rent anything from a camera and camera equipment to props. These props can be anything from school bags to heavy duty sports equipment. Treat all property that isnt yours with respect and research ahead of time what your studio has so you can plan accordingly.
7. You are generally allowed to use any set you want at any given time but be mindful of who you are sharing with and dont hog the spaces for more than an hour at a time. Dont be too loud in the studio spaces.
8. Clean up everything and return all sets to how you found them and throw out any trash (separate it properly) you may have accumulated at the event space.
9. Check out. Return all keys and prop rental and equipment.
10. Get home safe and show off your amazing pictures.
If you have questions or other tips to help our your fellow cosplayers, please reply! This is a work in progress.
Special thanks to Sahvin, Teca and M.Ichi, Mei, Shiro, Make Light Studios,Tristencitrine, Minh for their input!