So Anime Los Angeles (ALA) was amazing. This was actually my first time attending this con and I loved every bit of it.
It had everything that I wanted in a con. It had a high attendance of great cosplayers, plenty of photographers, a lot of my friends attending, and some of my favorite English Voice Actors.
I only wish that I had gotten a hotel room at the Marriott (which is where the convention was held) rather than getting a hotel that was about 1 block away. It wasn’t a bad walk at all but being in the same building would have been nice since it was a bit rainy and I’m out of shape.
So on Thursday night, I packed everything and was ready to go by Friday morning on Day 1.
I was able to get off of work on Friday since my bosses are really cool but my brother wasn’t able to so we didn’t travel together.
Instead, I carpooled with my friend Max who works on my sheaths for my cosplays.
We had some technical difficulties and weren’t able to leave on time! I was a bit concerned since I wanted to catch Sarah Williams’ autograph session.
Laughed at by Valet
So after we parked at the hotel, we got out of his car and 3 valet ladies working there were quickly driving in a car but they stopped at the sight at us and pointed and laughed at us and drove off.
That was how I knew it was going to be a good weekend.
Checking into Hotel
After that, we were able to check in early and then we ran to the con.
Autographs with Sarah Williams
As I entered the con, I noticed that it was noon which was the time that Sarah Williams’ autographs started at.
I REALLY wanted to get her autograph so I was pretty much running through the con to find the autograph room.
I saw some familiar faces but I just waved and yelled, “Oh hey! Yeah, cool! Okay bye!”
(I let them know why I was in such a rush so don’t be too hard on me.)
My paranoia was all for nothing because it was early on Friday so the line wasn’t TOO long.
If you don’t know Sarah Williams, she is the english voice for Lisbeth in SAO, Sayaka in Madoka, and more.
I had her sign my SAO and Madoka Posters that I brought to the con and she was really really cool.
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After getting autographs. I ran into a few friends who were about to be a part of a video. Since I happened to be there, they asked me to join and just dance so I did!
I don’t know how to dance so I’m going to look really extremely dumb when that video comes out.
Also, the last time I danced in a video, some people made gifs of it.. so please don’t do that again!
You can find me dancing in this video:
Photoshoot with Jayson
After all of that was done, I met up with my friend Jayson who is one of my favorite photographers and we took an Aincrad shoot!
After that, while walking around a bit, I ran into my friend Ethan who told me that he was going to be singing karaoke so I decided to go into the Karaoke room and sign up to sing too!
I ended up singing “All my Loving” by the Beatles. The only video footage to reach the internet was the guitar interlude and me playing air guitar like an idiot by my friend Ashe. (And it has thankfully disappeared).
(Autographs with Laura Post, Erica Mendez, David Vincent) Surprise
After that, I saw that it was almost time to get Christine Cabanos autographs so I headed into the Autograph room but I was a bit early and found Laura Post which was really exciting since I’ve never met her before!
For SAO fans, she was Rosalia and we talked about her SAO bloopers as well as her work on Kill La Kill.
As I was about to leave, Erica Mendez and David Vincent walked in to hang out and I ended up getting autographs and pictures with them too! It was such a great day for me. My senpais were all noticing me!
Autographs with Christine Cabanos
A few minutes after that was done, it was time for Christine Cabanos to come in. She is one of my absolute favorite voice actresses. She is in all 4 of my top 4 anime which are SAO, K-ON!, Madoka, and Toradora.
I was able to get my SAO, K-ON!, and Madoka poster signed which was really great for me!
It was cool chatting with someone I really look up to. I respect her and the other english voice actors so much since they work hard at dubbing the anime that I love.
After that, I finally got to check out the pool area. This was my first ALA so I had only heard about the Pool Area and it lived up to everything I had heard prior to coming!
Everyone was hanging out there. Got to run into so many of my friends and also meet new people!
Kill la Kill Dub Show
The next panel I attended was called the “Kill La Kill Dub Show.” I honestly had no idea of what it would be like. I would have stayed at the pool area to hang out with my friends if I hadn’t promised my brother that is record it.
I was interested because a ton of my favorite English voice actors were apart of it but like I said, I didn’t know what to expect.
Ironically, I wasn’t able to film the dub show because it was against the rules, so sorry bro.
The way the dub show worked that weekend was different from how they usually do it. Of the 8 English Voice Actors there they were divided into two teams of four.
Each team was given a few scenes from a random anime with colored bars and they had to do a live dub of that series and make it funny.
It was pretty hilarious. I feel that it was at its best when they started bringing in Hentai and tentacle jokes.
After those two teams had gone, they announced that they would be letting some of us participate and form teams of 3. At first I thought “nah, I’m not good enough for this. No one will laugh at what I say, etc.” but ultimately I raised my hand to participate.
The voice actors were told to scatter and each pick one and Christine Cabanos ran straight to me and pulled me up to the stage! That was awesome for two reasons. First of all, Senpai noticed me. Second of all, I got to participate in the dub show!
There were two other strangers with me on my team and we were told that the theme would be about Kanye West and Fish Sticks. If you don’t get the reference, go watch South Park!
But it started off alright. I’m not the best at improv so I was just trying to create some sort of a plot to this unfamiliar anime with Kanye Quotes.
I ended up saying the most offensive quote of the evening but I won’t say it here!
I eventually decided to turn my character into a magical girl so I talked with the wimpiest magical girl voice thinking it would make it funnier. Well it worked out since my character got attacked by tentacles! I wish there was a video of this because it just became me making it appear to be some sort of strange hentai.
After all of that craziness, I started to head towards Burger King for Cosplay Dinner.
If you aren’t familiar with Cosplay Dinner, it is an event run by my friend Jeff!
Pretty much, at the evening of each con, he plans out a place and time for cosplayers to come together and have dinner together.
The thing is, cosplay dinner has quickly been growing bigger and bigger. We filled up all of burger king so not all of us could really eat together!
I was able to hang out with my friends Max and Ashe so that was still a lot of fun!
Wrapping Bubble Wrap
There was a dance that night but I decided not to go since I needed to prepare for Saturday. I ended up going back to the hotel room to roll up long sheets of bubble wrap that I used when packing all of my props.
I was so excited for Day 2 that I woke up before my alarm.
Day 2 was literally my “Crazy Day.” I had so much planned that I didn’t even know when i’d have time to eat!
I honestly forget to eat at cons sometimes because I’m having so much fun and then I’m suddenly starving in the evening time.
So I started off my day with a New ALO shoot with my friend Jayson at about 10am. We got extremely lucky! The sky was the opposite of clear. It was super cloudy and it looked like it could rain at any moment but we were thankfully able to get the shoot finished without a ton of rain drops!
The pictures came out pretty well! It’s always a pleasure to work with my friend Jayson.
SAO Cosplay Gathering
So next on my agenda was the Sword Art Online Cosplay Gathering at 11am that I was in charge of. It was about 10:45 and I started to feel a light drizzle. I didn’t really plan ahead so I didn’t expect rain.
Eventually it definitely did start to rain so I had everyone run for shelter!
We ended up running under a small covered area to save ourselves from the rain. Since the gathering only had about 30+ people we made it work.
The photographers were great. There wasn’t much shade so the photographers actually stood in the rain the entire gathering and all of us appreciated it so much.
The overall turnout was a bit smaller than expected due to the rain but everyone that showed up was so cool and super positive despite the negative conditions.
If if weren’t for everyone’s positivity then it wouldn’t have been the success that it was.
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So right after my SAO Cosplay Gathering, my friends Ronnie and Jen hosted a Sword Art Online Picnic Gathering.
They brought an entire picnic basket filled with homemade sandwiches based off of Asuna’s sandwiches for Kirito in the anime as well as some cupcakes based on Yui and some koolaid.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever tasted. It had beef with a special seasoning of soy sauce, sugar, and more ingredients that I can’t remember, eggs, lettuce, and mayo all on a french roll. The meat had a slight sweet taste too it which was balance out by the eggs. The Lettuce gave the sandwich gave it a nice crunch and the mayo kept the sandwich tasting juicy. I was impressed.
They made A LOT of sandwiches. There was probably enough to feed about 70+ people but since there were only about 20 people that stuck around, a lot of us had seconds, thirds, and fourths.
I also had the privilege of being given a ton of the leftovers. I was able to feed my roommates and also not have to buy a lot of food the rest of the weekend!
One of the greatest moments of the con was when my friend Randy GAVE me Excaliber. He spent over $100 on it and he just gave it to me. I was speechless.
I seriously want to thank you again for it. It was so incredibly nice! It was also sitting in my Amazon cart the past few weeks so getting that REALLY made my day. I couldn’t believe that it was mine.
Q&A Carrie, Christine, (Erica)
After getting out of the rain, my friends and I immediately went to go see one of my favorite voice actors Carrie Keranen who is known for being the english voice of Mami in Madoka, Satsuma in Kill la Kill, and more.
Her panel was amazing. I sat right in the front row and had several of my questions answered.
Christine Cabanos had her Q&A panel right after in the same room but she kept Carrie with her on stage during her panel so it become a super panel.
Christine Cabanos is also one of my favorite voice actors. She is in all 4 of my top 4 anime as Silica in SAO, Azusa in K-ON!, Madoka in Madoka, and Minori in Toradora.
Erica Mendez happened to be in the audience and they called her up to join the stage as well. It was a very entertaining panel.
I once again also had a ton of questions answered which was amazing! Because I really love english voice actors.
Autographs Carrie (plus Christine and and Erica)
Next on my schedule was to go to Carrie’s autograph sessions. Christine and Erica happened to go with her to the autograph room so I got get autographs from all 3!
My day honestly couldn’t have gotten any better than that.
Walked back to Hotel
So I had been carrying around a giant bag full of sandwiches and I didn’t want them to go bad so my friends and I walked back to my hotel room and packed them into my fridge.
We also ended up eating some more sandwiches while we were there.
Erik Kimerer Q&A
I lost track of time but we rushed back and made it back in time for Erik Kimerer’s panel!
Erik Kimerer is another one of my favorite voice actors! He is Haruyuki in Accel World, Alibaba in Magi, Ryuuji in Toradora, and Ducker in SAO.
I’m pretty sure that I was his biggest fan in the panel. Everyone in the room was pretty shy because I asked 99% of the questions. He was cool enough to keep calling on me as I nearly interrogated him.
Senpai noticed me!
One of the events that I was most looking forward to was the Madoka Panel. This panel had Sarah Williams, Carrie Keranen, Christine Cabanos, and Marianne Miller.
They all lend english voices to the english dub of Madoka.
It was a really cool panel! They stated in the beginning that we would NOT be discussing Movie 3 Rebellion but they received so many questions that they just said screw it and went all out.
Carrie and Sarah had a heated debate about whether Homura did anything wrong or not. I can’t wait for part 2 of that debate at a future con.
After the Madoka Panel we were all hungry so we walked to Denny’s and had dinner. As you would expect it was FULL of cosplayers.
One of the coolest things about that trip was finally being able to just hang out with friends. A big group of us had been panel hopping so we hadn’t really had time to just sit and chat so that was really nice.
The last event of the night was an 18 and up panel by Fakku called “A Hentai Worth Watching.”
So I was first introduced to Fakku at Anime Expo 2014. My friend that I went with was DETERMINED to get into the Fakku panel. I didn’t care too much so when I saw the long line at AX I thought “eh no big deal. I don’t need to be in a room full of pervs craving 2d waifus but my friend didn’t give up and I have to admit that that was one of the funniest panels in the world.
Because I enjoyed that so much at AX, I had to drag as many of my friends into that panel as possible. I texted my friend Daniel about it and waited in line with him.
I also had my friend Kyndell come with us! When I asked if she was interested, she blushed and got extremely embarrassed. She then yelled out loud “YOU WANT ME TO WATCH HENTAI WITH YOU??” She was then embarrassed again. It was great!
Just like at AX, it was hilarious. Hentai logic doesn’t seem to make much sense so that made it funnier. The two guys running the panel were hilarious too!
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After that, my friends and I were sort of just hanging around and were people watching. We saw a ton of drunk cosplayers walking into the dance and witnessed some pretty hilarious conversations.
My favorite moment was when a drunk guy stumbled over to me and said “hey man I can’t even walk or do anything. Can you please put this ribbon on my badge?” So I did and then he gave me a giant hug.
He then slurred and asked me “soo uhh wheeerrrrezz Asssuna..” He then spotted my friend Kyndell next to me who was cosplay as Sinon and said “I don’t like Asuna! You’re the best girl!” and then he stumbled his way back into the dance.
After that I was ready to call it a night.
Not a lot of Plans
So Day 1 was a bit crazy and Day 2 was EXTREMELY crazy. Day 3 was the day that I had pretty much nothing planned.
Slept in, packed, checked out
I slept in until about 10am which was nice. I packed up all of my props, checked out, and then packed the car and headed to the con for the final day.
This time I was able to just run into friends and just chat for a while! It was cool to catch up with friends that I didn’t really get to hang out with all weekend.
My friend Ryan agreed to take a photoshoot for me and we happened to spot a really great Sinon having her pictures taken. I asked her to be in a photoshoot with me and she agreed to as soon as she was done with her current shoots!
Working with Ryan and Melissa were a lot of fun to work with and I can’t wait to see how the pictures turned out!
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There was one tragedy that occurred at ALA! During the GGO shoot, it was starting to drizzle a little bit.
My friend accidentally dropped Excaliber and broke in half in front of my eyes!
Thankfully since it was made of foam, I was able to fix it with super glue and I painted it and such so it’s all good now!
There was another Cosplay Dinner on Day 3 in the evening and it was set to be at a Greek Restaurant but they closed early so we ended up going to Denny’s again. Despite this being on Day 3 there was still a huge turn out!
It was a great way to end the con.
ALA was a great con! I’m glad that I got to experience it for the last time at the Marriott. I already bought my badge and booked my hotel for ALA 2016!
Thank you for reading this and I hope to see you at the next ALA!