Anime Expo 2015: Day 3

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Happy independence day. Nothing like some animu, cosplay, and gratuitous spending to celebrate our beloved nation. We didn’t quite stick around long enough today to see some LA fireworks (we have in the past) but we had some good fun in the Entertainment Hall just perusing in cosplay the whole time.

F

I could write an entire love story behind this one picture, made even easier by the fact that my comrade’s morph suit shirt is like half on, but I’ll refrain for now.

P1150281Our usual meeting spot this year was at the edge of the Exhibit Hall entry, way near where people pick up their badges.

P1150282Starting by suiting up once again. We forgot his belt on the first day but remembered to grab it this time.

P1150287Starting with the skirts. Everything is hooked together via carabiners, and because of the thickness of the belt we actually have to slide them on as we put the belt on.

EIt’s a good thing that the carabiners are essentially fixed in place by the width of the belt, but this also makes easy removal of the rear skirts nearly impossible, so he can’t actually sit down whenever he wants.

DLegs and feet on. A happy accident that we found out during our first day of suit-up was the addition of the trash bags we used to carry the armor around in as an integral part of the suit. My comrade was complaining about how part of the armor within the left lower leg was basically digging a hole into his shin, so we shoved one of the trash bags in there as a bit of a cushion, which apparently helped a lot.

Because of how massive the black bags were, we were forced to wrap what was left sticking out around his feet and ankles, essentially hiding them and tucking them into the wooden shoe blocks. This ended up hiding his shoes entirely and made his ankles look like actual Gundam-ish joints, which wasn’t intended at all but ended up working extremely well.

P1150289Never did show the backpack strap system. These buckles were made deliberately tight, but apparently he could barely take deep breaths with them constraining his torso as they did.

CBuckling the torso on. The entire suit-up takes around 15 minutes, I’d guesstimate.

P1150294Helm’d. This is the second and probably last time we’ll be wearing the armor, but it’s still holding up really well. Very little battle damage, especially compared to the wear from previous years.

P1150295Adjusting the v-fin just a bit to make sure he’s as fabulous as can be.

P1150296Suit-up complete. The repairs to the funnels were also a success, as they don’t seem to rotate in their bearings anymore.

BOur crew this year. It’s diminished significantly from before, but we just haven’t met up with a few of our buddies from years past.

P1150299Because the Perfect Grade Unicorns sold out like hotcakes yesterday, we were determined to make a beeline straight to our preferred vendor and drop some cash as soon as possible.

Some Exhibit Hall fun as we made our way around.

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I was basically his handler and guide during our trip to Toyarea, where the gentleman in charge is ridiculously chill with us and always cuts us some awesome deals every year. This time we had our eyes on some pretty big game; I had mentioned during Day 2 that my comrade was basically set on a Unicorn and I was torn between either that or a PG Strike.

P1150305Gundam shopping for Gundams. Nu is looking to upgrade for some more psycho-frame.

P1150306Hella crowded in the Hall; took us nearly half an hour just to wade back out after we had gotten our loot.

Some more incredible cosplayers.

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Sieg Zeon! I can’t believe these guys actually did this, it’s awesome. Wish we had a chance to unleash our Nu and show ’em who’s boss.

P1150357De-suited for a bit after our first Hall run. Cue giant messy pile of cardboard armor.

P1150354We got what we wanted all right. I barely had to do any actual haggling to get our desired prices; Mr. Toyarena was just that chill.

P1150355So damn fabulous. Not five seconds after we took this picture, a whole mess of girls basically made a dogpile on him.

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Moved down to the Entertainment Hall after we had checked our loot at the Bag Check.

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Hit the cosplay repair station for some minor servicing. Nothing as extensive as the work we had to put in last year (we basically spent half the Expo here last year because the Unicorn armor was anything but sturdy and durable).

P1150440He’s actually sleeping while sitting up. Poor guy can’t even lean back.

P1150442NYAAA~~

P1150443He’s so friggin’ adorable. Ladies, he’s single.

Entertainment Hall cosplay was awesome, especially with the prop sets, but there was one that kind of topped it all…

P1150392We didn’t quite have the chance to meet our fellow mobile suit in armor before, though we saw him while he was in his, but now the ultimate showdown begins.

P1150394His gun is bigger than ours. And his general size is kinda just…larger.

P1150401The irony when Nu is actually supposed to be quite a few meters taller than the Ground Gundam, but if I recall correctly he said his platform shoes are like twice as tall as ours.

P1150398Both have one gun, no shields, and no usable beam sabers. But we have funnels, usable or not, so we should win in a fair one-on-one, right?

P1150411Major props for such an awesome armor. It’s so damn clean, it makes me sad. Apparently it’s mostly EVA foam; we saw a bit of the inside of his skirts and it looked like he was wearing a morphsuit as well with some sort of ziptie connection or some-such. This guy was actually the Strike Gundam we saw last year.

P1150455Hit the space/hanger set for some cool Gundam-in-space shots.

P1150459Posing 101.

P1150460Some of the textures on the armor make me sad, but I’m glad most of it is relatively clean. The Amuro insignia (hand-painted by yours truly) and crotch crest in particular make me happy.

A bit more of the exhibits in the Entertainment Hall. Mostly the Nendoroid display, but Good Smile actually had a really neat wall that outlined their figure-making process.

P1150537Our haul by the end of the day. My camera-buddy and other friend got some stuff yesterday that wasn’t shown, but most of the stuff here is all from Toyarea, so big shoutout to those guys for helping us out and cutting us some sweet deals. I’ve personally been looking to build up my Robot Tamashii Knightmare collection myself, and finally found a justifiable price on the lead mech, Lancelot. The other Yamato figurine is from my cameraman, and the two Perfect Grades kinda speak for themselves. Kinda ironic that my comrade got a more advanced PG than I did, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Strike.

P1150539Calling it in for the day, hauling absolutely massive trash bags towards our ride home.

AWe’ll still be back for Day 4, but this will be our last time in costume; only two days out of four this year, which is a little below our average, but it’s been fun so far. Got most of our loot lined up, just gonna hit the Exhibit Hall one more time tomorrow to see if we can’t catch some last-minute deals, possibly hit some last panels if there are any interesting enough.

Read on the rest of the Expo:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 4

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