For the second year in a row many of my friends and I decided to come down on Thursday night to get our badges early and also to check out the Super Happy Fun Sell. While the wait for badges was fairly lengthy at the time we arrived, we got our press badges and quickly headed to the sale. If you haven’t been to the Super Happy Fun Sell it’s essentially one giant otaku yard sale. Needless to say there was a lot of awesome anime goodies, and my friends picked up many cool items. While last year I spent much of my money at the sale, for some reason this year I browsed around but didn’t find anything I really wanted to buy. I did have fun running into all of my friends who also came early, and I got to hang out with many of my friends who had their own tables too which was awesome. Being still quite tired from my drive though I wrapped up after a couple hours at the “pre-con” and then retired to my room.
Seems I was more tired than I realized because I slept in much later than I planned, only then to realize I was missing part of my recording equipment. Thankfully though I discovered that I could still record, and so I packed up the recorder, my camera, and some cash and headed with my friends to the con.
Our first stop was opening ceremonies, but we only caught the last few minutes at which points they were announcing the guests not present. Thankfully though after opening ceremonies we were able to meet with a guest we’d hoped to interview and we scheduled a time to do so for Saturday. After scheduling the interview we had some time to kill before going to Michael Sinterniklaas panel, so we hung out in the Dealer’s Room for awhile. Opposed to my time in the Super Happy Fun Sell, I found plenty I wanted at the Dealer’s Room. Specifically I was hoping to find some merchandise from Highschool of the Dead, Black Rock Shooter, and a couple other shows, so when I saw a Black Rock Shooter figure I knew I had to purchase it. Having made what will probably be my big purchase for the con I then left the Dealer’s Room and headed with Nick and friends to catch Michael Sinterklaas’ panel. Sadly after waiting about twenty minutes or more Michael hadn’t yet appeared, so we decided to go to the Artist Alley.
Having not been to the Artist Alley’s new location (moved there last year), I was immediately impressed by the new space give for artists. I had always loved the previous location since it was right by registration and usually my first stop after getting a badge, but I can definitely see why they needed their new location. We browsed around for a bit before running into our friend Shouyume (aka Leslie) who designed our home page’s chibis. We chatted for a bit and Nick and Jaziel purchased a couple items from her table. After hanging out with her we went to meet Ejen Chuang, creator of Cosplay in America, who I’d talked to a few times online but never had the chance to meet in person even though he was at AWA last year. He immediately recognized me and introduced me to two cosplayers from the Cosplay in America book. Since I forgot my book sadly I wasn’t able to get their autographs; however, we may try to see if we can find them tomorrow or Sunday and interview them. After talking with Ejen for a few minutes we decided not to take up too much time as people were wanting to take a look at his book, so we said goodbye for the time being and continued to explore the dealer’s room. I found many awesome art pieces, but finally decided on purchasing a fairly sizable print of an Eva unit striking an Angel. I decided to restrain myself again and left only with that item.
We return to the Dealer’s Room this time not for shopping but to get food, rest up, and people watch. I grabbed the last Chicken Burrito from Moe’s cart (to Nick’s chagrin), and sat around with friends while occasionally trying to grab a shot of nearby cosplayers. After eating I noticed a Media Blaster’s booth and hoped to find some quality live-action at their booth; however, I didn’t exactly find what I was looking for and moved on to the FUNimation booth. FUNi certainly stocked their AWA shelves with a multitude of series I’d love to have, but I’m hoping to save any FUNi purchases till Sunday so I grabbed a few promo cards and headed on. Nick texted me shortly after informing me that Michael Sinterniklaas’s autograph session was starting, so I went and awaited as Nick and Jaziel got autographs with and met Michael Sinterniklaas. Pleasantly they informed me after they went through the line that Michael agreed to an interview, which we did after the line went through. While you’ll get to hear the interview soon on Tokyo Tower, and read the transcript online here soon as well, I’ll simply say that Michael was an awesome guy and we had a great time talking with him.
Following the interview we really didn’t have any specific plan except to check out AMV Hell 5 set to debut at seven. So we again killed time and then headed in around six to get good seats, and in the meantime we ended up checking out Tim’s Anime Treasure Chest which featured a cornucopia of mech game clips. I know that if our guest writer and Centakume blogger Xia could’ve been there she would have squeed delightfully. Since I started feeling out of it a little before, I tried to rest up as best as possible so as to be fully awake and aware for AMV Hell 5. The crowd gathered behind us, which grew momentously during the previous panel, then erupted into cheers as AMV Hell 5 hit the screen. I’ve seen every AMV Hell prior (excluding the sequel to AMV Hell 0), and I have to say aside from AMV Hell 1 none of them have been as awesome as AMV Hell 5. Filled with the usual hijinxs AWA 5 delivered to new audiences and old the usual delight expected of AMV Hells. This was an excellent way to end my first day of AWA and a rare treat I’m happy to have been a part of.
Following AMV Hell 5 I was even more tired, so apart from a few more photos I was ready to retire. So my friends and I returned to our room, ordered pizza, and here I await AWA Day 2.