July 4, 2006: Anime Expo convention report: The good, the Bad, and the
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 crowds and lines:
Interesting displays and such:
Forum folks I met:
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...