July third – day two has come and gone, relatively quietly to boot. Today was supposed to be our shopping day – none of us dressed up so we could have an easier time hauling merch and dishing out cash, but irony bit us in our behinds when we walked away with nothing to show for our time at the end of the day.
This part of LA is absolutely no fun, be it convention time or not. The hundreds of thousands of otakus and expo-goers make for ridiculously crowded crosswalks that are downright terrifying to traverse sometimes because it feels like you’re about to go out under a stampede of anime characters and fanboys/girls.
Arriving bright and early as usual to get first cracks at the Exhibit Hall. It felt so nice not having a cosplay, ironically. I’m still kind of bitter that my personal costume is now forever half-assed for this ‘con, so I was sort of in the “glad I’m not wearing a half-complete costume today” mindset.
Doesn’t look like my cameraman focused quite as much on cosplay today. I feel so uncultured when so many people walk by and I have no idea what they’re from but I can tell that they put a lot of effort into their looks.
Damn I am so bitter. This could’ve been me…kind of. Without the sneakers and whatever – not bashing or anything – but god I’m so jealous of the mask. Of all the years things could’ve gone wrong, I had to get juped this year.
Exhibit Hall madness. Mostly the Bluefin booth featured here; if it isn’t obvious, my camera-buddy clearly has an unhealthy obsession with the Yamato ship displays and carriers and whatnot.
The Perfect Grade Unicorn display, with a very cool CGI movie to highlight the kit’s features and complex build.
Pretty impressive, considering there were three kits built and shown, but I’ve become a bit desensitized to this kit. I was never particularly impressed with its looks ever since it was announced; I didn’t think it looked defining enough as a PG to separate it completely from its MG roots. All the same, my comrade was oogling all over it, and I know he basically has his mind set on grabbing his own PG Unicorn at the Expo sometime. I’m strongly considering it too, but still very on the fence.
One of the Destroy Modes had the LEDs plugged in and alternating on and off. I’d never seen them in person before, and now that I have, I can’t say I was too impressed. The light diffusion inside the psycho-frame was as bad as I figured from the photos I’d seen online, so I’m glad seeing these kits in person have only confirmed my suspicions.
Gunpla Builders World Cup! I never really paid much attention to this event as an actual contest before; all I knew is that every year this display would feature a good amount of unique Gunpla of very varying skill levels.
Some of the dioramas this year are absolutely mind-blowing; the one with the two Zakus and RX-78-2 is obscenely detailed, with flickering lights in the destroyed buildings, discarded bullet shells, the works.
Of course, the reason why I’m paying a bit more attention to the contest now is because I’ve actually entered – just as I did at Robo Toy Fest this past May – with my HG Vice Burning Gundam. I did make a few slight tweaks to the display since the last time I submitted it at a contest, thanks to some critique from one of the judges from aforementioned contest. They kindly suggested that I drill a hole into the impact base so the clear action base pole could be attached directly to the base without the unsightly clear plate in the middle, which wasn’t a difficult adjustment to make. I also took some metallic purple paint to the crevices of the rock to make it pop a bit more, as though it were “glowing” purple.
Of course, I don’t expect to come even close to winning or being recognized by the judges at a competition like this – more than half the other submissions absolutely curb-stomp my work anyways, so I’m actually not salty about that. A little recognition for what is so far my best work wouldn’t be bad though, so I’ll be plenty happy if people just take a sparing glance at my kit and snap a few photos as they pass.
More Exhibit Hall fun. My cameraman was much more thorough with his coverage of the place yesterday, so you can find more of the displays and figurines from the ‘con back over at Day 1.
Trudged over to the Entertainment Hall for a look at what was going on. We were tempted to join in on some rounds of Smash if there weren’t obscenely long lines behind every TV. Classic arcade games and even a whole section dedicated to retro gaming (think NES and Dreamcast) had crowds around them.
Color us surprised at a very detailed display by Good Smile Company of every single 500+ Nendoroid figure ever produced. I’ve never really been into them, but damn there are some really good looking ones. As to be expected of Good Smile.
This guy was absolutely killing it at DDR; I’d need like three lifetimes to develop half the skills to match him. So damn good there’s no one even willing to go through the demoralizing experience of playing against him.
Not much here on Day 2; we actually didn’t end up buying anything because every vendor had sold out of PG Unicorns, which my comrade was basically set on. One of our usual vendors (ToyArena) assured us that they would have more tomorrow though, so our spree has been pushed back. I liked being able to just hang around the Exhibit Hall and peruse all the merch and goodies comfortably though, without having to worry about the pressure of my buddy’s cosplay or looking for a damned Zero mask/helmet all day.
We would’ve also hit some panels, but sadly there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interesting stuff this year. Now that Gundam Unicorn has finished airing, our usual tradition of going to the latest episode screening has been snuffed. Halfway point goal unlocked; we’ll be suiting up tomorrow for the latter half of the Expo once again.
Read on the rest of the Expo: