AX 2006

July 4, 2006: Anime Expo convention report: The good, the Bad, and the Uglies..

The good:

My friends form the east coats came out and another friend from northern california came out, so we had a group for this year's anime expo. My friend Brian helped out immensely with the running of my model workshop. Without him, it would have been a complete cluster fuck. Terry and JMa helped out greatly as well on the days they were there, but Brian was there for every workshop. I owe whatever success I had for the workshop to his help. Having a group of friends attend events such as these make it all the worthwhile.

Excellent turnouts for my first ever Model Building Workshop. AX gave me 3, two hour time slots to teach model building. In hindsight, I really should not have labled it a "workshop" and used a phrase like "demonstration of techniques". According to the AX staff, I had about 69 max attendence on the first night, 109 (attendence at the end of the workshop) the second night, and about 40 or so maxed out on the third workshop. The max occupancy in the room that was given to me was 80 (80 chairs) - so on the second night I had a standing room only crowd. Pretty damn impressive. I had a couple of folks bring in models expecting to build, but I was able to turn their attention to me and my presentation of techniques. I've gotten some positive feedback from folks who have attended the workshop, so I'm looking forward to doing this again next year. The staff gave me two free AX hats and an AX shirt. I just hope that the workshop will promote more gundam, resin figure, and general anime model building so that the showing at the Model Contest isn't sooo goddamn pathetic (more on that later).

The thing that pretty much made the event for me was getting to see Yutaka Izubuchi. I got my "Mechanical Design Works" signed as well as the shield of my "Gamera Custom" Sazabi. He seemed genuinely surprised and impressed with the piece, and signed it.

Free swag is always a good thing. I picked up a couple of shirts from the Bandai booth, one from the ADV booth, and the free stuff the AX staff gave me for doing the model building workshop.

My friends Brian and Ka Mun cosplayed as Moondoogie and Gidget from Eureka seveN. Whilst wandering around the Bandai booth, they were approached by a short Japanese gentleman, his translator and another person. They requested to take photos of Brian and Ka Mun. Apparently this gentleman was none other than Tomoki Kyoda, director of Eureka seveN. Bandai booth girl "Talho" was a nice touch too...

Eureka seveN cosplayers:

Hard Gay, a few fellows decided to cosplay as this late night Japanese TV show comedian... "SAY SAY SAY!" Fairly easy costumes, and the personality of the person really completes the package.

The one "worthy" Gundam cosplayer I found... and his run in with some cones.

The one and only "Saber" cosplayer I found.

Random costumes:

Random crowds and lines:

Interesting displays and such:

Forum folks I met:

The Bad:

Again, I will complain about the Model Contest. First and foremost, is that I keep seeing the same kits and such at these shows. Some guy who won at the 2004 AX model contest seems to think it's cool to keep displaying their winning kits along side the AX 2004 trophy. Just plain tacky in my honest opinion. Another felt that since the judging was crap last year, felt it they needed to be reconized for their piece they brought last year, so they brought it this year. Lame. Everything I brought was built after AX 2005. I firmly believe that this should be a hard and fast rule. I've seen the same Jin Roh kit at three AX's so far, this year, last year, and in 2002 when I last attended before 2005's. Again, lame.

The judging was done via photographs sent to "an associate at HLJ" to be judged. Granted HLJ does have some more experience in model knowledge then say, Broccoli, a manga distributor; but still, the judge should be in house, with credentials for judging such contests - not emailed out. It becomes an online contest; I should have just put up pictures of my work since they were going to only judge by pictures. Again, lame.

I know, I'll bitch and complain, even though I won 4 of the 5 categories within the model competition... but really, they were some horribly empty wins. 1. I was the only person there with mecha kits. 2. some of the kits were brought back from previous AX model comps. And 3. The showing was absolutly pathetic. This was the main reason behind doing the model building workshop, I want to see more models and better competition at this event next year. My kits were not overly well done, they were just lucky enough to be the ONLY kits there. Getting free stuff is cool, but all in all, it really was some empty wins. I didn't even know which kits were in the competition or which kits were not. There were no labels stating that this kit or that kit was participating in the model competition. LAME.

Again, I did end up winning 4 of the 5 categories. Thanks HLJ, whatever you guys were smoking, do it again if they ask you guys to judge this comp next year. I'll definatly enter again and try sweeping it.... The prizes were cool, nice trophies and some excellent items: Resin Rei Kit, Resin Misato kit, Mirage kit from Armored Core and weapon units 1, 2, and 3; and a 1/144 wave LED Mirage ver. 3 IP kit. Not a bad haul considering that the resin figure Evagelion kits were all originals.

Ok, the Uglies.... didn't take many pictures of uglies this year, too busy to just hang out and people watch... maybe at otakon I'll do a more extensive uglies secion...



Update Information:

Had a gret time, looking forward to next years.




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