Well just waking up after a loooong couple of fun filled days at AnimeLA2013.  I can’t believe I’m this tired, in a good a way of course.  ALA13 is definitely the smallest Con I’ve been too, but that doesn’t mean it was lacking people or things to do. Quite the contrary.  Held annually at the LAX Marriott  near….LAX Airport, it’s a nice little drive considering I’m up near Pasadena. Especially in LA traffic which never takes a day off.


Went with my friends Corey over at NSFWGamer and Big Al from The Church of Alex.  We were super excited as it was the first Con of the year and had been too long since we had been to any.   Parking was a little fun, as the hotel was only letting people who stayed there park by the time we got there.  My Tahoe wouldn’t fit in another couple of parking lots, so we drove around a while until we found one right across the street. Duh how did we not notice it before?  Anyway, got in and there were a ton of people in the lobby.   Off to a great start for awesome costumes and picture opportunities.  We decided to check in first though, so we headed downstairs and checked in.


This awaited everyone at the escalators.  Cute. As sad as it was that I wasn’t dressed up, perhaps this made me breath a little easier going up and down.  Not sure how full the escalators got from munching on costumes though.  Can’t imagine too many if any as it never stopped from being full.

For all of the people that were in line around the corner and down the hall that we cut in front of, my apologies. Didn’t even notice it until I turned around from getting my badge and whoa, hey there’s 60 or more people standing there waiting.  Sorry.

With badges around our necks we proceeded to check out what was going on.  There were a ton of rooms with all sorts of things going on.  The bigger Cons seem so massive and impersonal, so this was a very pleasant surprise.  There were several long hallways, with 4-5 rooms on each side with all sorts of panels, demonstrations and just watching videos.  We first hit the merchandise room and checked that out.


On Friday, the first day, it seemed sorta small, much smaller than others I’ve seen, but felt bigger the other days.  I think they opened up the room on Saturday and had more vendors.  Or maybe I was just sober.  Nice selection of dolls, weapons, clothes, accessories and the like.  Typical stuff.  We shot through there in about 10 minutes and continued on.ala13bench_2681 ala13bench2_2681Robin_Batman_2729

Throughout the downstairs area, the halls were decked with various benches for people to chill on.  They all had a different theme as you can see.  It appears they were donated and or painted from earlier ALA Cons.  Great artwork, interesting and original idea, to me at least, and seemed like a great little compliment to the show.  Not sure if others noticed them like I did, but I thought they were super cool!  Sometimes it’s the little things that you notice and appreciate most.  Sometimes there are bigger things like Robin and Batman resting after kicking some bad guy ass that catches your attention as well.

We perused the halls and came across all sorts stuff like I said.   The most interesting were the game rooms.  One was a table game room, I think primarily a Magic room


There was a video game room.  The walls were lined with various games for the younger crowd.  The center of the room had the big screen and a crowd and was filled up every time I went by


There was a costume repair room(very smart!) which was always busy.  Perhaps the Costume Chomping Escalator was having more fun than I thought.  There was a parent’s waiting room(I don’t know if I could have handled my parents hanging around my party time as a kid, but I understand the need/desire for one), gotta give it up to the parents that spent an entire day hanging out in a tiny room while their kids ran around a hotel.  There were plenty of panels which I didn’t sit on, but all were well attended.

Some of my favorite rooms started with the auction room:


I’d buy that for a dollar!  Ok, more than that.

There was the live band room which was rocking all day it seemed


And maybe my favorite, the Karaoke Room!  Who doesn’t love singing Disney songs allllll freaking day.  Not me but, BUT, these folks could sing so I give them big props


The most interesting room was on Saturday.  It had a team of guys “teaching” people how to fight and act out action scenes when they’re doing their own little skits and what not.  Maybe it was because I was with an actual martial arts trainer and stunt guy whose trained Jason Statham(yeah I’m name dropping) who, after about 38 seconds of watching these guys, walked out shaking his head and laughing or because these guys were actually kicking each other in the heads.  I don’t know how someone didn’t walk out of there with a concussion(maybe they did) but it wasn’t the most professional display.  One guy actually got knocked out for a few seconds after the “leader” launched himself over a table and kicked his underling right square in the face.  Made for good action, but I’m not sure the kickee didn’t have a broken jaw.  I hope he’s ok and able to talk.

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Me, Corey and Big Al walked around for probably 12 hours on Friday, but it wasn’t until after 10 that we realized that there was stuff going on outside by the pool. Fail on our part.  That’s to the credit of the Con, as there was so much to do, so many people and so many things to see, we never stopped moving or being mesmerized by all of the festivities inside and in the front courtyard.  Photographers were every where with lighting set ups, rooms for partying, occasional chanting and singing, cuties in bikini’s and whatever else.  One thing that caught our eye was a banner on the second floor.  Big Al is the quintessential goomba from Baltimore and he loves him some track suits ala The Sopranos.  So it was to our wonderful amazement to see:


Unfortunately we didn’t know anyone in there and didn’t want to be rude and crash it, but if they should be around next year, Big Al is bringing one of his prized suits, and we’re barging in!

Friday night was as busy as the day.  It was literally non-stop all night.  We stayed till probably 1:30 or so and there was no signs of stopping.  And that’s not even counting the various ballrooms at the Con!  A few places we did stop by and see were the main ball, where the King and Queen of AnimeLA2013 were crowned:


And then it was on to the dance party that was thumping…THUMPING with awesome tracks courtesy of some outstanding DJ’s.

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