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Anime Expo 2000: ASO Radio's Convention Genesis

Dealer's Floor
Strike a Pose
Lina Inverse, Baby!
Meet the Guests For Everyone
You Want Me FanBoy!
Goddess Blanket
Emi for Sale
Don't Mess with Ryoga
Impersonal But Free!
Mini-Goddesses 3

An anime convention is supposed to be the utopia of anime fandom, a blissful event filled with many hours of anime and memorable special events.

This was my first trip to an anime convention, as well as my last trip to Anime Expo. Although some may call me rash for saying so, being that I have never been to a convention before, Anime Expo 2000 was a plethora of poor organization, bad technical layout, and an irritating lack of information, resulting in a completely exasperating expedition.

In the Beginning...

However, my bleak correspondence is not what my initial impressions were. Quite to the contrary, paying and registration were prompt and orderly. The line moved quickly and reliably when I got my badge on Thursday, the day before the convention when the smart attendees paid. As a matter of fact, the line for at-con registration on Saturday reached halfway around the entirety of the Disneyland Pacific Hotel.

Also available at registration were tickets to meet the Guests of Honor for a nominal fee of ten dollars. Naturally, being the intrepid reporter that I am, I purchased one for myself.

Taking the Fruit of Knowledge is a Painful Way to Gain Experience

Due to complications, I was unable to attend the Opening Ceremonies and did not arrive at AX2000 until 4:00 P.M. on Friday, the first day of the convention. Now to clarify things a bit, Anime Expo was laid out over five distinct areas: the Disneyland Pacific Hotel, the Sierra Towers, and the upper, middle and lower floors of the Disneyland Convention Center. Please take note that to a person unfamiliar with the layout of the buildings this is confusing enough, but then take into account the facts that the area was under heavy construction and that the con was held during the busiest weekend in the United States, the July 4th weekend, at the most popular vacation place in North America, Disneyland.

The First Day

Having three hours until Meet the Guests, I decided to take into the area and catch some anime in one of the five video rooms. Earlier in the morning I had taken a highlighter to the program guide to mark which anime I wanted to watch, even though I did not take into mind schedule conflicts, as I was using the Pocket Program Guide as more of a reference for things to watch while I waited for the bigger events.

Looking at the guide, I decided to take in some anime in Video Room 1, where to my chagrin, I learned that there had been several schedule changes. Thus, since nothing good was playing due to the changes, I decided to head over to the main area of the convention, the Convention Center, and gain my bearings.

Upon reaching the main region, I decided to go to the premiere showing of the Escaflowne movie, A Girl in Gaea. As I had expected, the theatre was full and I could not get in. Bored, I checked the Pocket Guide and thusly remembered that EX would be selling Amano calendars at their booth. So, I decided to check out the Dealers' Room.

Go Forth and Be Fruitful

As can be seen from these photographs, the Dealers' Room was quite crowded, and could have really used additional aisle room, especially where people were browsing while others were attempting to pass by in small tributaries. Not only that, but confusing as well, because the staff at Anime Expo decided to change around exits and entrances constantly at most of the activities from one day to another. But there were many good deals to be found, as low prices on cells, CDs, cassettes, and DVDs, as well as mountains of other merchandise, were abundant. As a matter of fact, I happened to come across a deal no true fan would pass up – a copy of Blackjack at Central Park Media's booth for only five dollars.

However, after three circlings, I found no EX booth. Asking at Information, it turned out they cancelled at the last moment. Thankfully, though, the Amano calendars were still for sale. Unfortunately, they were thirteen dollars and I did not feel like spending that much money.

And They Descended From Above...

After a bustling time in the Dealers' Room, it was time to head to Meet the Guests. First, we, the attendees, were made to wait in a large recess for fifteen minutes, before an announcement was made telling us all that the scheduling on the Pocket Guide was incorrect, and that the event would be held in the Sierra Towers. So, the 150 awaiting people waddled on over to the railing outside of the Sierra Towers, anticipating the moment when they would be allowed inside. Frankly, after an addition twenty-five of waiting, I grew impatient and took off to a local Video Room to watch the last few minutes of an episode of Bubble Gum Crisis 2040. At the end of that, the line thankfully had moved inside the Towers and was mingling about, trying to find a chair around a table to meet with the various guests.

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