Unlike many conventions Anime Expo has early programming even on day one. I got ready and left the comfort of Orange County to make my way into downtown Los Angeles to go to the biggest anime convention in the country. I arrived about 8:30AM and made my way up to the third level in order to find the press registration area. When I came to the booth it was already open even though the official opening time was nine. I was able to quickly get my badge, but they were missing lanyards and program guides. I had to trek downstairs to the assistance booth to get everything I was missing. Although this was inconvenient I had no complaints as I was able to get my badge earlier than I expected.

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I wandered the convention hall a bit as I had some time before anything started. While wandering I ran into Matt and Ryan (California Conventions Blog) and I decided to hang with them for a bit. We wandered around outside and ended up getting lost and stumbling into another event. As no one quite knew what they wanted to do I decided to make my way back into the convention center for the Gundam panel.

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The Gundam panel was run by fans of the series that showed off the trailer for the Gundam 00 movie and talked about the new mecha featured in the movie. They also went over new manga and models that were coming out. Finally the panel concluded with questions by the audience and trivia for prizes. I did get in line to ask if anyone else hated Kamille Bidan from Zeta Gundam, but I did not get my chance before the panel ended.


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After the panel it was time for the Fruits Basket gathering. I decided that I would wear Hatori Sohma because I rarely get to wear Fruits Basket cosplay. The gathering was small with only five people (including myself) but we had a nice shoot under the trees. The wind was a pain and I regretted not bringing extra gel if my hair got out of place. Still we had fun and I got to show off Hatori once again

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As the gathering ended I returned to the convention center to wander a bit before lunch. I ended up eating lunch while hanging out with a couple friends in the hallway between south lobby and west lobby. We hung out for a bit, but I wanted to hit the dealer hall so I slowly made my way there while chatting and taking photos.

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I began my exploration of the dealer hall with a sense of déjà vu. The first booth I entered was the Natsume booth, a booth I had visited during my time at E3. After reminiscing with a Natsume staff member I began my tour of the hall. I ran into Yaya Han and chatted with her a bit. I took at look at several booths, but did not see anything too interesting. I had to cut my trip short in order to get to the Yuu Asakawa panel at 2:30PM.

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I got to the panel room just in time to see the line going inside. I joined the line and found myself in a less than great seat. The panel was fun and the audience asked a couple interesting questions, including one about the voice work she has done for games like Ever 17 and Ai Shimai (aka Immoral Sisters). All she would say is that she did not do adult work using her name. The only questions that annoyed me were the questions by attendees that were asked in Japanese. Although some may have been native speakers, most were clearly Americans. Yuu Asakawa had great English and it made me wonder how a Japanese guest could have better English than the American attendees.

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After the panel I returned to the dealer hall to wrap up what was left. I found a nice Genshiken figure and saw a few other figures I thought about picking up. As soon as I heard it was closing time I went to the Funimation booth to meet up with my buddy Miguel who was working that day. We headed out together and went to the Wilshire Grand to hang out with some of our other friends.

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Miguel and I went to Point Moorea at the hotel and enjoyed some happy hour specials as we talked about our adventure.

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Before I knew it Victoria entered the bar and joined us, now that her class was over. We talked a bit more then went around the hotel taking pictures to end the day.

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Victoria was cosplaying as Soletta Orihime from Sakura Taisen. This is her first time wearing Soletta in a while.

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And then I finally got pictures of myself as Hatori from Fruits Basket.

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Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rhapsody . If I took your picture, feel free to use it on your site or cosplay gallery. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Bambino. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the image resizing and watermarking program.