The morning began with a delightful walk to the Los Angeles Convention Center. I missed the next shuttle to the convention center, so I had to walk in downtown Los Angeles in a red evening gown and red high heels. Classy.
I wanted to hit the Inside the Voice Actor's Studio in the morning. They were featuring Cristina Vee. Cristine Vee was once an amateur voice actress doing fandubs and radio plays of anime just for fun. Vee talked about her journey in becoming a voice actress for Bang Zoom as well as her other works on stage. Tony Oliver moderated the panel. He also reccomended for actors to get their B. A. Thanks, Tony. I have respect for anyone who encourages artists to pursue higher education.
The panel was very informative about Vee's journey. The other fun part of the panel was the audience participation part in which five lucky audience members were selected in dubbing a scene and recieving a critique. I raised my hand, but I was not picked. The clips that Bang Zoom was dubbing for this activity were from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Vampire Knight. Here's a sample of one of the dubbing sessions:
After the panel, I met a few aspiring voice actors from the Voice Acting Alliance. They filled me in on what went down during AX Idol. AX Idol is a singing and acting competition to win a chance to be in an anime dub. Most aspiring voice actors do it for the critique, networking, and overall experience. The top finalists in acting were all men this year. After mingling with fellow aspiring voice artists, I decided to cruise around the dealer's hall to find any Sunday deals.
I ran into a fellow Baccano! cosplayer, Joy, who was dress as Miria from the Grand Punk Railroad arc. Because the gathering was about an hour away, we sauntered the dealer's hall together.
This is the second year that I organized the Baccano! gathering. While I did not attend many gatherings this year, Anime Expo always has it' share of Baccano! cosplayers. Not to mention, I had friends from out of state attending Anime Expo and they typically cosplay from the series.
We had a Baccano! gathering last year, in which Funimation dropped by and gave us swag. We had a pretty good turnout this year. I was happy to see that the Baccano! fandom is alive and still kicking.
Shots of Firo, the kid from Manhattan. Too bad we did not have a Maiza on site. "I taught him everything he knows, but not everything I know."
Then we had everyone's favorite band of idiots; Issac and Miria. It was nice because we had the Grand Punk Railroad arc Issac and Miria's. I was the Miria from the Alice in Jails / Peter Pan in Chains arc in which Issac is in jail. It would make sense that I would not pose with an Issac. To our delight, we had a Selty (Durarara!) cosplayer stop by for a photo op. Considering that anime is written by the same author and both Baccano! and Durarara! worlds collide in more than one instance, this photo op was too hard to pass up. In the words of Miria in Durarara!, "Sugoi! Sugoi! SUGOI!"
Then we had shots of the bandits, Nice and Jacuzzi.
Then we took shots of the gents in the white suits; specific to one of anime's greatest badasses, Ladd Russo.
Then we took shots of Claire "Vino" Stanfield. His Japanese voice actor, Masakazu Morita, was also an Anime Expo guest of honor having done the voice for Ichigo (Bleach) and Tidus (Final Fantasy 10).
Then we took photos of Chane and Vino.
And the photos of Graham and his doll, Sickle.
We took one final group shot to satify the cosplay photographers and fans of Baccano!. Overall, the gathering was much fun. I am very satisfied with the turnout. I apologize if I was not vocal enough only because my voice was running dry after two major days of convention. Many thanks to all of you who attended this year's Baccano! gathering.
After the gathering, a bunch of us just stuck around and talked. We engaged in some of the usual cosplay shenanigans and took funny photos of each other. The gathering lasted a good hour. It was nearing lunch time, so all of us parted ways to take one last look at the dealer's hall before it was closed for good.
While heading to the dealer's room, I ran into more cosplayers to take photos of. Before going to the dealer's room, I stopped by the Compass Cafe. I have not ate at the Compass Cafe since Anime Expo 2008 because the food had made me sick. I ordered sushi and ramune. The total came to $15. What a rip! Yet, it was convention food and I needed something quick to eat before going back to the dealer's hall.
I spent some time looking at the booths I did not get to see. The AnimeFX crew reccomended looking at Jlist because they had the Bible Black novelty toys. I also checked out eigoMANGA's booth to find out that they will be coming out with a new Re'ai (dating sim) game in the future. I stopped by a discount dvd booth and picked up the last volume of Baccano! for $5. Compare that to last year's retail price that sold individual discs at $25.
I also ran into friends in the dealer's hall that I would be seeing one last time before the next SoCal event. As the dealer's room was closing, I bought new headbands from Aerisk . Because not much else was going on until closing ceremonies, I helped the Aerisk booth pack and clear out. I never seen the dealer's room from this perspective before. Seeing everything being torn down and boxed up in a dimly lit setting was really surreal. I wished the dealer's hall would have gave us more light to work with, considering that we were stashing away delicate jewelry and accessories.
After helping out Aerisk, I wandered around South Hall. A few of my friends were just sitting down and just messing around with Stan by making him dress all pretty. Meanwhile, I was talking to my friends from San Francisco State University. We had a good two hours to kill before leaving. Stan, Julia, Caitlin, and Deb wanted to hit Buca Di Beppo for dinner. Our plan was to leave the convention center at 5:30PM. As things were winding down, the hallways started clearning up. The once packed South Hall started to only have a handful of people.
Christians of a different kind were also roaming around the convention center hallways singing a classic monk chant composed by Eric Idle.
I wished Anime Expo's closing ceremonies was at an earlier time. 6PM is too late for my taste. During previous Anime Expo's, I was already home by 4PM on the last day. I met up with Deb and Ramses to take the shuttle bus to the Wilshire Grand. However, the bus to the Wilshire was not present at the shuttle stop. Luckily, the shuttle driver for route #1 offered to drop us off at the Wilshire Grand.
Anime Expo was coming to a bittersweet close. This was my 12th year attending Anime Expo. I really do feel it is a part of my growing up. Knowing that I may be going out of state after graduating from college and missing out on a convention that I feel very attached and loyal to seems to be bittersweet, but letting go is a part of growing up. However, "que sera, sera...whatever will be will be."
We went back to the Wilshire Grand to pick up our stuff from concierage. This was pretty creepy. Normally, the bell boy typically leaves luggages in a safe storage place, or if there are too many luggages, they will place them in a meeting room and have them lined up in orderly fashion. Never in my life, in all my years of traveling, have I seen luggages and personal belongings all over the floor in the laundry room of all places. When they got Deb's luggage, it was spread out around the laundry room. I was getting paranoid because I did not see my luggage. It was in another room.
Stan grabbed Deb and I from the Wilshire Grand and we trekked up the 101 freeway. I was listening to Journey's "Faithfully" as my mind was playing a montage of sweet memories of all my years attending Anime Expo. The song about being on the road and being loyal to who you are as a person really suited my feelings about Anime Expo.
We went to the Buca Di Beppo in Universal City. While we were situated in the Italian restaurant, we went around the table talking about what we liked and disliked about Anime Expo. We also picked one word to describe our Anime Expo experience.
It was great having a post-convention party with a good group of people. Many thanks to Julia for coming up with idea. Julia and Caitlin also brought a friend from Florida who was cosplaying as American from Hetalia Axis Powers. Because the character's birthday is July 4th, we joked around that she should be sung "Happy Birthday" and get a free ice cream brownie treat. After all, she had the documents (Declaration of Independence) to proove it was her birthday.
And the restaurant did give us birthday freebies after all!
For the most part, we roamed around Universal City Walk. Sarah wanted to go to the LA Sock Market to pick up a few things. If you are a Los Angelino cosplayer, I highly reccomended checking out the LA sock market for your unique sock needs. There were no fireworks at Universal City walk, however, the drive on the 110 South freeway had many fireworks going off in the sky as we were making the home stretch.
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.