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Unread 07-04-2012, 03:26 PM   #91
ScarletRhapsody
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I'll reserve my thoughts on Mayor Tony Villar for another discussion, but here are my thoughts on this year's AX:

The Good
+ Nice variety of dealers. I picked up a few classic Lolita accessories and some Sailor Moon stuff. Feels good to support local artists and my favorite series. (BPAL FTW!)
+ I had a good experience backstage at masquerade - though it was freezing. Dancing with Ryo Horikawa during halftime made it all worth it. Win, loose, or draw, that was the best part of the show.
+ Though Moon Prism Poptarts was at 9AM, I am still grateful it was still added to the program and thank you to everyone who showed up at 9AM. Hope you enjoyed the free breakfast on me!
+ Sailor Moon gathering! It's always cool meeting fellow moonies.
+ Friendly con staff and con staff. I probably had a different experience since I see this point in the negatives.
+ Meeting some really cool people.
+ Lounge 21 - cosmopolitans and Pizzicato 5 - ah yeah!
+ Food trucks! Thanks for bringing the Mighty Boba. That's my favorite of all the food trucks! Keep them for next year and years to come!
+ Arcade. People watching - amusing to see the drama of people at the UFO catcher machine.
+ AX Fashion show. Though it started on Asian time, I really liked seeing the fashion show.

The Bad
+ Old, outdated masquerade guidelines and rules. We were told that the audio had to be recorded in 320 rather than the CD standard of 128. Had I known this, I would have made adjustments, but it resulted leaving con early on Saturday to re-record.
+ Yeah, zealots were there. Remember, they want attention. They're there during Laker games - so anything that draws a crowd, they will attend. At least they weren't as bad as the Fanime zealots. (Hi, I'm Jesuit!)
+ Missed out on Fiction Junction concert because of point #1.
+ That crowd on Friday...I was getting worried that someone would get hurt / trampled en route to the dealer's hall.
+ Dealer's hall aisles - lots of inconsistency in size.
+ Inconsistency in programming / panel schedules. The printed one was outdated. I used the mobile app, but for some panels, there were no descriptions.
+ Lack of interesting panels
+ Was it me, or the weather inside the con center felt more humid than usual?
+ Because of X Games, not many sit down restaurants in the area. I don't mind paying a bit more for food, but we had to go back to my neck of the woods for dinner. We usually have dinner at ESPN Sports Zone...
+ I really miss the Nokia Plaza and theater.

It was a very 50/50 year for me.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 04:22 PM   #92
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Personally, I had a great time. Probably the best since 2009, surprisingly enough. It might have a lot to do with the fact I opened up and talked with a lot more people though, not so much the con itself.

Should probably state my bias' before I start, since I have a lot:
-Never went to/waited for AX Dance or 21+ Lounge (Lines looked ridiculous for dance though.)
-Never attempted to find parking (Stayed at Bonaventure, left the car there, took shuttles)
-Only went outside LACC area into X Games area once, and even then, went in a group.
-Never had to deal with road closures.
-Didn't deal with peace bonding.
-Didn't go to AMV/Masquerade/Animetal/FictionJunction.
-Never bought food at LACC/LA Live, basically lived off of granola bars.

Pros:
-Registration Day 0 line was long (got there around 4pm), but was almost always moving.
-LiSA's Day 2 autograph session went nicely.
-LiSA Concert was amazing! I can't comment on acoustics/technical issues, because I am not very knowledgeable about those things, but she had a lot of energy and was obviously a huge hit with the audience. LiSA's band should also get a shout-out, those guys had as much energy as her and were a lot of fun to watch as well.
-Staffers I talked to seemed knowledgeable and nice.
-This is a more personal thing, but because of my Touhou cosplay, I got to talk with a lot of people interested in Touhou. This is probably the major reason I feel so good about this year.
-Japanese art students in AA are always nice to see. I love their work, and they're always so gracious.
-Drivers were great, especially Party Bus 2.

Cons:
-West Hall was basically only accessible from South Hall via one corridor, and a much less known back route, which I think didn't help the crowdedness.
-Exhibit Hall paths need more space. Between people walking slowly to browse, people stopping to buy things, and cosplayers stopping for picture requests, there wasn't much room.
-JW Marriott was a hassle to get to/from, so many turns and detours through parking structures.
-JW Marriott lobby with mostly X Games attendees was a little intimidating, even with a whole group of cosplayers.
-Badges were kind of blah.
-Jesus protestors outside were kind of annoying. Was funny though, because after they did their "HEAVEN...OR HELL." thing for the billionth time, a guy finally got tired of it and yelled "LET'S ROCK!!!!" a la Guilty Gear. Gave all of us attendees there a good laugh, and confused the protestors for a second.

-Finally, this is probably my major gripe about this year. It seemed like there were a lot of last minute panel cancellations/moves that didn't show up in the program. I know some people were disappointed on Day 4 when they heard Aksys was moved back to an earlier day, and the same with a cancelled Vocaloid panel. Another panel, "The Now and Future of Bishoujo Games", I only found had moved after I had a chance look at a friend's phone. I didn't personally go, but I hear the Homestucks kind of got screwed with their two panels as well. Would recommend finalizing the schedule earlier for program printing deadlines, since I don't own a smartphone, and it got hard for me to keep track of things.

Last edited by Shinigamiyoko : 07-04-2012 at 05:03 PM. Reason: forums are giving me internal server errors...
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Unread 07-04-2012, 05:27 PM   #93
El_Duque
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So word has it that AX is staying in LA until 2015.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #94
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So word has it that AX is staying in LA until 2015.
Was that from a news article or did AX announced it?
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Unread 07-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #95
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from what i heard 3 years ago after AX's first 3 year contract ran out they signed for 3 more years which would be until 2013 then it Expires. they are FREE to go where they want. but like El_Duque said "So word has it that AX is staying in LA until 2015."

I see this happening due to the fact that (AM2) has Anaheim. So AX will stay at LACC for at least 2 More Years after 2013. I like LACC except the surrounding area (crime/Safety Wise) for younger Cosplayers and Attendee's in General. I Myself feel safe but for others it's an issue.

AX Possibly could Stay longer past 2013 if LA Starts treating them Better and with more Respect for the GREAT Con they are (AX) that is!! Los Angeles would be stupid to Lose AX for all the Revenue We the Attendee's bring to the Local Business's.

ok (I won't go off topic anymore) I'll keep it to Pro's & Con's about AX!
Although a Pro for me is having AX for another year at LACC!! a Con for me is to have them leave after 2013 :'(
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Unread 07-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sicdedman View Post
I see this happening due to the fact that (AM2) has Anaheim. So AX will stay at LACC for at least 2 More Years after 2013. I like LACC except the surrounding area (crime/Safety Wise) for younger Cosplayers and Attendee's in General. I Myself feel safe but for others it's an issue.

AX Possibly could Stay longer past 2013 if LA Starts treating them Better and with more Respect for the GREAT Con they are (AX) that is!! Los Angeles would be stupid to Lose AX for all the Revenue We the Attendee's bring to the Local Business's.
LA also now has Comikaze Expo which I'm sure will evolve into the next big Comic Con in several years. I went last year, it's first year, and I felt like I was back in San Diego Comic Con. They only had Kentia Hall but the place was packed. I guess $12 admission will attract a lot of people.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #97
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Okay. I've been home for over 24 hours, and I had more than a few things happen during the course of the convention that I'll try to break down in sections rather than just Pros and Cons:

REGISTRATION:

+ The line moved very quickly by comparison to previous years. You could be at the end of the line and 90 minutes later be done with picking up your badge.

- Staff had serious difficulty with anything outside their narrow training and when you bring them an issue, it takes no less than three people to solve it.

- My wife had a medical exemption (she is not allowed to stand in a line for more than five minutes per her doctor) and was told to go through Disabled Registration. We were pointed to a sign. The sign said to go to the Information Desk. The Information Desk said to go back to Registration. Registration brought us a manager and told me to stand in the indoor line and have my wife sit down. The people at the Registration Desk wanted me to produce my wife. I pointed to the manager who said they should talk to her and they finally gave me my and my wife's badges.

- Badge was super cheap card stock and a $.10 badge holder. The lanyard was provided by Shonen Jump trying to give away a free issue and the two didn't technically go together, but many people improvised and used the lanyard.

DEALER'S HALL/ARTIST'S ALLEY:

+ It was large.

+ Novelty specialty booths like lolita clothing and steampunk accessories were few and far between. Anime products were definitely the majority of the items available.

+ There were some great booths with awesome or original items.

- Due to the X-Games ownership of the surrounding area, many people didn't feel like they had anywhere else to hang out, so many stayed in the Dealer's Hall and convention center. As a result, the Dealer's Hall for the majority of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, was shoulder-to-shoulder people. It made it very difficult to browse and shop. After it was all said and done, this is the least I've spent at an Anime Expo since 1998.

- As a result of the crowding, I didn't see all of the Dealer's Hall until Day 4 and walked while people checked out of hotels.

- It did seem like a lot of vendors were carrying very similar lists of products.

- If there's room to put tables and chairs on the side, there's room to put more vendors, or give us room to walk.

- (observation) I appreciate the carpet in the Dealer's Hall, but if you have an operating budget deficiency, this is one of the things I understand why we wouldn't have it, and frankly, don't need it.

CONVENTION CENTER:

+ People spread out as much as they were able.

- There was people sitting in every nook and cranny available inside, including the lobby of Kentia Hall, due to the X-Games influence mentioned above.

- It was more humid and hot inside than it was outside.

- SleepyD's cosplay gathering list and map was put in the AX registration packs with recognition given to him in small print. However, the average staffer had no idea where to find the locations on the map. As a result, several photographers and cosplayers showed up late, or even not at all.

- The winding path to the Convention Center from the J.W. Marriott underneath the X-Games big air ramp wasn't noticed with signs when it became the primary path on Day 2. Only by walking to Figueroa/Chick Hearns did we find out it was blocked. Myself and two others I met on the walk continuously pointed people the opposite direction until a small group of us were walking through parking lots.

I overheard 6 different conversations of people of various ages and races talking about how upset they were and feeling like they were being treated like lower-class fans as a result.

- Due to the difficulty getting back and forth, I often felt trapped at the Convention Center for cosplay groups/photoshoots. I made only one trip per day and when I arrived back at the J.W. Marriott, I was finished for the day.

X-GAMES:

+ X-Games staff were very curious and helpful for the most part.

- There was regular heckling by the people I ran across who had X-Games attendee badges. In costume, people tended to poke fun. Out of costume, people kept asking what I enjoyed most about the X-Games.

- People so excited to get an early glimpse of the Rally Cars on Flower Street knocked my pregnant wife down. If I was there when this occurred, people would be bruised. Additionally, two police officers were in the vicinity and did nothing to help her.

- My wife was in the lobby of the J.W. Marriott and entered an elevator. While sliding her badge into the elevator's reader, someone with an X-Games badge put their hand on her chest, pushed her aside, and pinned her to the wall while he used the card reader. Again, if I was present, this would have made the newspapers.

PANELS:

I didn't attend one. With the walk from the J.W. Marriott pushed from 5 minutes to 20 to 30 minutes, I didn't have an interest in trying to attend one with the crowding inside the Convention Center.

CONCERTS:

I didn't attend any. None were of my interest.

SPECIAL MENTION:

+ The Touhou group met me at the J.W. Marriott for pizza. Great fans and fun to meet everyone.

+ The J.W. Marriott is a fantastic hotel to stay at and my group very much liked the stay.

+ The people I stayed with and hosted were interesting and very nice people.

- The J.W. Marriott wanted $50.00 per night deposit for my stay. The woman I talked to claimed it was always so, but it's impossible as my last stay in 2010, I didn't have that money available on a credit card. However, she used the phrase, "If that's what you believe." I'm writing a letter to Marriott about this event.

IMPRESSION:

I think that attendance was in the approximate mid 40,000's. It seems like there were more people, but with so few places for people to sit at near or around the convention center, they were all inside and, therefore, made it seem like there was a lot more people attending.

OVERALL:

My wife, myself, and at least one other person I talked to agreed we had more fun at the J.W. Marriott and in Little Tokyo than at the Anime Expo. With the X-Games and AX on different dates, that may improve, but there was a lot of fan frustration being exhibited by people I overheard.

SUGGESTIONS:

Walkthrough the convention center with staff - AX has been in this location for 4 years, but there is still a stunning amount of staffers that have no idea how to get around the building. I dressed in a yellow shirt for a cosplay and people were asking me questions I could readily answer about where to register, how to get back to the J.W. Marriott, and where cosplay locations are. If I can do that, I expect a staffer to do better.

COMMUNICATE! - A regular issue I have with AX is that people will either kick an issue to the next person, or departments will often have no idea another department is doing or how it affects them. Get your department leaders on the same page.

Stay aware of the local event calendar - The X-Games seems to be moving back to their usual dates, but there may be other events coming. If AX is going to stay at the LACC and L.A. Live, someone has to monitor what's coming and make appropriate adjustments. If the con-goers experience another year like this one, there could be more than a few people leaving.

Don't get venue-happy - Even if the Nokia Theater is available, I'd suggest you think of utilizing Club Nokia instead. Smaller, tighter concerts unless you can bring in a very large name to play the venue.

Get CMR Housing to loosen up a bit - I simply wanted to change the names on my reservation about 2 weeks prior to the convention and couldn't. Due to how CMR sent the data to the J.W. Marriott, the reservations were 100% locked and no names could be added or subtracted. On that note, I couldn't add a room either. When I asked about any last second cancellations, again, because CMR had locked the entire block, nothing could be done. That would mean that even if someone could decide to go at the last second, no one could help.

Last edited by Freight : 07-04-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 01:35 AM   #98
Shinigamiyoko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freight View Post
- My wife was in the lobby of the J.W. Marriott and entered an elevator. While sliding her badge into the elevator's reader, someone with an X-Games badge put their hand on her chest, pushed her aside, and pinned her to the wall while he used the card reader. Again, if I was present, this would have made the newspapers.
That's just wrong and unacceptable to do to anyone, much less a pregnant woman. I hope she wasn't bruised or anything because of that jerk
Being worried about guys from X Games was part of the reason I almost never went outside, except to catch a shuttle...

I know every fandom has their jerks and good people, and I did see at least a few X Games attendees who genuinely kept to themselves and were polite...but I can't tell you how glad I am X Games doesn't conflict with AX next year.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 02:22 AM   #99
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This year I noticed there were more homeless people wandering through the convention center. One I saw with a couple of tattered bags and wearing raggedy clothing hobbled through the West Hall. Later on, I saw the SAME guy and he had an AX badge around his neck. It looked like a 1-day pass.

On one day, a guy who didn't have a badge, was going around, asking if people would donate to some cause (starving children, etc.) and this guy asked me twice within a short time period. I was ready to report him because people aren't allowed to solicit inside the LACC, right?
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Unread 07-05-2012, 03:29 AM   #100
El_Duque
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Originally Posted by Eurobeat King View Post
This year I noticed there were more homeless people wandering through the convention center. One I saw with a couple of tattered bags and wearing raggedy clothing hobbled through the West Hall. Later on, I saw the SAME guy and he had an AX badge around his neck. It looked like a 1-day pass.

On one day, a guy who didn't have a badge, was going around, asking if people would donate to some cause (starving children, etc.) and this guy asked me twice within a short time period. I was ready to report him because people aren't allowed to solicit inside the LACC, right?
Doesn't the city clear out that area when they know that a big event is coming? I remember the first few years of AX at the LACC, they would clear out the bums by the end of Day 0. Lately, they haven't.

Don't forget last year when some homeless guy's stuff was mistakened for a bomb which caused an uproar.
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Last edited by El_Duque : 07-05-2012 at 03:38 AM.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurobeat King View Post
On one day, a guy who didn't have a badge, was going around, asking if people would donate to some cause (starving children, etc.) and this guy asked me twice within a short time period. I was ready to report him because people aren't allowed to solicit inside the LACC, right?
I was wondering who that was. He asked the people directly behind me about donating to some cause, but skipped over me. I must have looked poor (accurate post-con description)
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Unread 07-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Shinigamiyoko View Post
I was wondering who that was. He asked the people directly behind me about donating to some cause, but skipped over me. I must have looked poor (accurate post-con description)
He must've thought I had monies, considering I was wearing my (as someone once said) "fancy collared shirt and khaki pants"

From what I've noticed the last couple of years the LACC staff/security only check for badges for people coming into the South Hall for a few hours, and then they disappear so anyone can come inside. When it got crowded and there were a lot of cosplayers, I spotted a lot of photographers w/o badges, snapping away pictures of the cosplayers.

I remember AX 2009, the year that Michael Jackson died, people were selling T-shirts inside the South Hall.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #103
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There were "monks" going around trying to get money from people as well. I was sitting down waiting on my BF to come out of the bathroom and he came up to me and said "We're handing out free books." Never being hassled inside a con before, I looked up and looked at it. Was some spiritual book he claimed they all made themselves. He had like 4 different books in his hand though and they all looked battered and torn up. Right after I touched it he says "Well, we would like a donation though since we print the books ourselves." Instantly becoming aware of what he was I got annoyed and said "So, it isn't free then?" Him- "Oh no, it's free, we would just like a donation." Me- "You can word taking my money however you want, you're not getting any of it." Then he moved on and continued to the next guy. We ran into a few others while still in the con and walking to it.

Also, the people outside the con that were asking money for a cause and giving out those blow up ray guns were EXTREMELY ANNOYING. They came up to us while we were eating, the guy would NOT let us go. I tried to get out of it saying "We have a panel to go to" (trying to be nice and not be a dick) and he goes "Oh, well I'll just follow you and get your information while you're on your way." No, you won't. We told him over and over and over we were not interested and honestly just didn't have money to spare, cons make you broke. But he refused to take no for an answer and started saying we could give him our credit card numbers and it could be charged at a later time when we DID have money. BF lost it at this point and told him to leave us the fuck alone (we were still trying to eat). After a 6'1 220lb guy gets all rage caps, people back off.

UGH. Totally forgot about those people >_> That was highly annoying. I'm there to have fun, not try and have more money sucked out of me.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 03:26 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makira View Post
There were "monks" going around trying to get money from people as well. I was sitting down waiting on my BF to come out of the bathroom and he came up to me and said "We're handing out free books." Never being hassled inside a con before, I looked up and looked at it. Was some spiritual book he claimed they all made themselves. He had like 4 different books in his hand though and they all looked battered and torn up. Right after I touched it he says "Well, we would like a donation though since we print the books ourselves." Instantly becoming aware of what he was I got annoyed and said "So, it isn't free then?" Him- "Oh no, it's free, we would just like a donation." Me- "You can word taking my money however you want, you're not getting any of it." Then he moved on and continued to the next guy. We ran into a few others while still in the con and walking to it.

Also, the people outside the con that were asking money for a cause and giving out those blow up ray guns were EXTREMELY ANNOYING. They came up to us while we were eating, the guy would NOT let us go. I tried to get out of it saying "We have a panel to go to" (trying to be nice and not be a dick) and he goes "Oh, well I'll just follow you and get your information while you're on your way." No, you won't. We told him over and over and over we were not interested and honestly just didn't have money to spare, cons make you broke. But he refused to take no for an answer and started saying we could give him our credit card numbers and it could be charged at a later time when we DID have money. BF lost it at this point and told him to leave us the fuck alone (we were still trying to eat). After a 6'1 220lb guy gets all rage caps, people back off.

UGH. Totally forgot about those people >_> That was highly annoying. I'm there to have fun, not try and have more money sucked out of me.
Those Hare Krishnas were there last year as well. I can understand bums and Hare Krishnas getting in because if I was working security at AX and I didn't have a damn clue who is cosplaying what, I would let them in assuming they are part of the convention.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 04:03 PM   #105
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Quote:
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There were "monks" going around trying to get money from people as well. I was sitting down waiting on my BF to come out of the bathroom and he came up to me and said "We're handing out free books."
same exact thing happened to me when I was waiting on my GF to come out of the bathroom I just said I didnt have my wallet and left the moment my GF came out of the bathroom
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