I have gone to Anime Los Angeles for several years now. Each year gives me a very different experience. Be it dealing with overzealous guards, competing in my first Anime Music Video contest, or surviving drama. After last year I was a bit jaded about this convention. I started to think to myself “perhaps this will be my last year” I cannot fully explain this feeling of malaise, but it was there and quite strong. Upon my arrival I stated my motto for this con: “I have come here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of gum” a favorite line form They Live which would be my theme for everything I did at Anime Los Angeles this year.

I planned to bring home an AMV award, rock at cosplay chess, and take down anyone who tries to ruin my weekend. This is much easier said than done, but I succeeded in some unusual ways. The convention began for me with running around the hotel getting things set up and preparing for cosplay chess. I was a pawn at cosplay chess, but I did get to take one character down before biting the dust. Also of note I was the last member of Scarlet Rhapsody standing before I was taken out. Our team won, which fills me with pride in a very odd way. This would mark a good opening to the convention.

The Anime Music Video contest was a very different story. Before I state my grievances with this event I want to say that I appreciate all people who voted for my videos and who help “Goldenpants” win its third award and hereby retiring the video from contests. I cannot think of a better contest to retire a video after, thank you to everyone who made that possible.

That being said there were some major problems with this years contest. The first part of the contest that bothers me is the archaic method of sending in video via snail mail. It takes a long time and if there are errors on the disc or format issues the editor cannot be easily informed in order to replace the content. The second part that was clearly unprofessional was the fact that the contest video skipped and crashed constantly throughout the contest. Several editors were furious and some, myself included, walked out of the contest because of that. The third issue was the disorganized manner of the awards. In previous years a specific time is chosen for the editors to gather for awards or they are announced at a major event. This year I only learned about my win due to my curiosity about the condition of the contest. I was informed that the winners were shown at the masquerade, but no one mentioned that would be the case. It was merely more of the disorganization that plauged this year's contest. This is one of the poorest run contests I have been to in a very long time. I expect more of the ALA AMV contest. In previous years it was run very well, but this year the whole contest fell apart. I have been told this was due to some staffing issues, but that is not an excuse. If you did something really well last year you should be able to do it again regardless of staff. However, if the staff is that inept I recommend replacing them with people who know what they are doing.

Despite my problems with the AMV contest I had a good experience with running and moderating four panels. Rooms were well set up, I had no issues with my late night panels, and overall the staff was helpful. There are only a few recommendations I can make for next year. The first is having water in the room. I had to leave the room to get a glass of water for me to drink during the panel (you’d be surprised how fast you get dry mouth when talking for an hour). Secondly, there were some technical issues with hooking up the laptop. It seemed like the tech staff did not know exactly what to do, an issue that should be dealt with prior to con. On the good side I loved the set up for the programming office was nice. Rarely do they have a room set up with drinks and food for panelists, it is a very nice touch. The staff was very helpful and I look forward to doing panels for ALA next year.

One of the best parts of ALA is the great social vibe of the convention. There are many places to hang out and chat with other congores. The pool deck is beautiful, the lobby is large, and everything is well set up for a convention of this size. I really enjoyed myself at ths con and I was not expecting to have such a good time. Other than some minor problems this con went really well for me. I had a fun time, no one brought me down, and even though I almost got a migraine I was able to prevent it and have a good time. I am actually excited about returning next year and I can only hope the minor problems I faced this year will be resolved so I can enjoy myself even more.

As always I leave you with my list of thoughts and if you have comments, questions, or complaints be sure not to e-mail me at: Jared (at) Scarlet-rhapsody.com. Until next time give my love to Ala!

The List: My Motto

  1. I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum and I’m all out of gum
  2. Hm, maid times
  3. I can’t believe I was part of cosplay chess
  4. I can’t begin to explain my hate for that stupid song
  5. I can’t believe I was part of a ball joint doll gathering
  6. They are ants… they are ants…
  7. Ain’t no rest for the wicked
  8. That’s a triple crown for Goldenpants, on to the next!
  9. Why can’t there just be hot ladies in the hot tub?
  10. Note to self: Next AMV contest bring maids on both arms.
  11. I really like the Marriott
  12. I’m still out of bubblegum
  13. AMV contest = Epic Fail
  14. Hope your baby is happy and healthy
  15. That video is going to haunt me for a very long time
  16. The first Scarlet Rhapsody interview!
  17. Bring the violence!
  18. Where did you get that brownie?
  19. This is my lucky year and this is my lucky number.

And one more round of Golden Pants!


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