Anime Expo 2015: Foreward

This is where I’ll be, starting on Wednesday, for the rest of the week.This probably won’t do much about the blog’s unofficial hiatus, and I haven’t promised myself about making daily updates about my AX experience. But I figure that there’s a couple things I can share before I take off tomorrow.

Thing 1: The Cosplay

My latest version of the Danbo cosplay is bigger, better, and more of a pain to carry around than last year. I spent more money than I’m comfortable admitting in order to find all the right parts this time around. Unlike last year where I slapped together the costume at the last minute (technically last week), construction started months in advance and it allowed me time to think about how sophisticated I really wanted the costume to be. My answer, as I’d figure out from all the purchases I’d make, fell just short of “real fucking sophisticated”. I used double-layered cardboard this time around for the added durability, and would reconstruct not only the head but also every other part to match.

What gave me the most trouble was looking for the right pieces to construct the light system for the eyes.  My list of issues included the following:

  1. Finding a piece of round glass that was both 3 inches in diameter and not ridiculously expensive.
  2. Creating a new fixture, 3 inches in diameter, that could affix both the glass lens and the lightbulb to the eye sockets
  3. Finding a 3-in diameter reflector
  4. Suitable bulb sockets
  5. Learning about how dimmers work
  6. Learning about how basic electric currents work
  7. Finding a suitable, lightweight power source
  8. Etc.

This took almost a month to square away for good. Thanks to my limited understanding of electrical wiring, It took me multiple different LEDs and a phone call with an electrical engineer before figuring out that it was the defective dimmer’s fault that all of the bulbs were flickering instead of emitting a steady stream of light. Once I replaced that, everything else fell into place.

As a result, I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the costume. Of course, all of that effort couldn’t account for one glaring flaw in the costume: cooling. Cardboard traps heat far too well for comfort and having thicker cardboard certainly doesn’t help. Last year’s costume got slightly soaked at the shoulders from an hour’s worth of wear, and I can expect a bit of sweat damage on this one as well. I’m not really worried about it, though, since last year’s costume is still fully functional despite this fact. I’ll just have to figure out how to address the problem before another con. Otherwise, this baby is finished in time for AX.

Thing 2: My Schedule/Interests

Day 0: I arrive at the convention center on Day 0 and I doubt that I’ll be doing anything other than waiting in line for my badge and possible wearing the cosplay indoors (West Hall) for a bit.

Day 1: Aside from the Yoko Kanno music panel, nothing else interests me other than perhaps the AMV competition. Otherwise, I’m probably going to cosplay.

Day 2: The Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade premiere is by far my most anticipated event of the con and I bet it’s everyone else’s as well (aside from the UBW event of course). I’ll probably have to line up two to three hours early just to have a chance, and much earlier if I want a good seat. There’s just one problem though: The JoJo dub is premiering on the same day and it’s four hours before LWA. Do I risk it and try to do both, or cut my losses and go straight to the LWA line? I may just end up doing the latter.

Day 3: I bought a ticket for the Cool Japan Festival. One significant part of the concert is the vocaloid IA, but what I’m really interested in is seeing Wagakki Band live since they incorporate traditional Japanese instruments into their upbeat vocaloid rock music. Oh, also the lead singer sings like she’s reciting a Japanese poem. It sounds a lot less cacophonous than you think.

Day 4: Probably just cosplaying for the remainder of the con.

If I’m not cosplaying or waiting in line for events, I’m probably going to spend the remainder of my time in the Exhibit Hall buying whatever I can. I also plan to visit the Cheero booth and see if they give me free stuff again. I may also end up hanging out with, uh, they call those people friends, right? Yeah, those. I tend to have friends who go to AX as well.

Well, that’s all I have to share right now. I did say there was only a couple of things.


  • If any of you guys are going to AX, feel free to look for me or contact me through Twitter about meeting up. I’m always eager to meet internet people and then act shocked that you don’t actually look like your profile picture. In that specific order.
  • Bringing sunscreen in case of computer malfuntion stalling the line. I am NOT going to get sunburned again.
  • Also bringing water. There’s no fast way to acquire water near the preregistration line, so if you’re not hydrated you’re basically fucked until you either get your badge or your line neighbor is nice enough to hold your spot.



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