Blog  LA x Sydney again!

LA x Sydney again!

By komicer, 25 Jul 2019

LA x Sydney again!

It’s that time of the year again. Once again, two teams; two conventions at different ends of the world over two weekends. This time, the teams were WaHa, Usanekorin and GTN heading down to Anime Expo in LA while Komicer, Desti and Marnixe headed down to SMASH in Sydney.

Now that we are back and rested, we arrowed the first timers to tell us about their experience going to the conventions. Usanekorin tells us more about his virgin journey to Anime Expo while Marnixe shares about her experience in SMASH.

Usanekorin’s Anime Expo

I asked our intern to give the OCs a boyband-ish look

Day -2 to AX

We have just landed in Los Angeles International Airport after a long and tiring 20 hours flight, inclusive of the stop-over time during transit. It was 1130am in LA timing and we were all jet lagged. We proceed to grab something to eat while killing some time as we could only check in to our hotel after 3pm. After our meal, we proceed to our hotel location. After settling in, we took a short nap.

And by short nap, I meant very long nap.

By the time we woke up it was past 8pm. We proceed to explore Downtown Los Angeles and got dinner. We went back to rest early and called it a day afterwards.

Day -1 to AX

It was Day 2. We woke up, still feeling a little jet lag but we were feeling much better compared to the day before. It was set-up day for Anime Expo today.

After having a quick breakfast, we prepared in our hotel before going down to the convention hall for setup. We took longer than expected and it was already 2pm when we were done prepping. Taking an Uber down to the convention center, we proceed to collect our badges for entry.

One thing that caught my attention was that the badges were RFID tagged and it was really nicely done. We proceed to the Kentia hall which was where all the artist alley booths were situated. It was an air-conditioned carpark to my surprise but the atmosphere was really great. It got me hyped up for the event the next day.

It was almost 6pm when we were done setting up our booth. We explored around the convention area and found a place to settle down for dinner. After that, we went back to our hotel and called it a day as we have to wake up early the next day for the convention.

Day 1 of Anime Expo. D-Day

It was Day 3 in LA and also first day of Anime Expo. We woke up and had our breakfast and then proceed down to the convention hall. When we arrived at the convention center, the first thing I noticed was the amount of people that were already in line to enter the halls. I tried to find the end of the queue but couldn’t as it felt like it went on endlessly.

Luckily, there was a priority queue for artists and exhibitors so we could get in and prepare for the opening at 10am. It was finally opening time and we were all at the booth, waiting for the crowd to enter. At 3pm, there was not as much people in the Kentia hall as I expected. Later, I found out that most people were stuck outside the convention hall for hours queuing to get in.

Anime Expo Day 2

It was Day 4 of our trip and the second day of Anime Expo. We were all ready at our booth when the doors opened. The crowd was much better than the first day as people were quickly filling up the hall.

A few hours into the event, everything was normal. Then suddenly we felt the ground shaking. It was our first time experiencing an earthquake. We panicked and look around to see how the others reacted. But it seems like no one was panicking and running so we thought it might be normal in LA. After the shaking stopped, the convention proceeds on normally.

I took some time off the booth to walk around the convention. I started with the artist alley booths and walk down in sequence starting from the front of the hall. There were a lot of booths and it took me a few hours just to finish looking at every booths in Kentia Hall. I saw many interesting booths and some of my favorite artists as well. It was an amazing experience for me.

Anime Expo Day 3

The next day I went to explore the Exhibit hall above Kentia hall where all the exhibitors were located. I first went to check out the Cygames booth but unfortunately, most of the stuff that I wanted was already sold out. I then walk around to explore the halls. There were so many exhibitors that I could not finish looking at every single one of them as I have to help out at our own booth so I continued the next day.

A win for WaHa

I went to check out the Entertainment hall which is located in a separate hall from Kentia hall and the Exhibit hall. I got a little lost as I tried to find my way to the Entertainment hall. I followed the crowd and along the way, I saw many food trucks. It happened to be around lunch time to I decided to try some of the food. After eating, I continued on my journey to the Entertainment hall.

Day 4 of Anime Expo. The last day.

It was the last day of Anime Expo. We were all feeling sad as this amazing experience will soon come to an end. We have met many interesting people and fans that came to support us at our booth and we had a great time. Finally, it was the end of the event. The staff gave a closing speech and thanked every one who came to Anime Expo. Everyone started clapping. We had a great time.

Overall visiting LA and attending Anime Expo was an eye opener and a great experience for me! I will definitely come back if I have the chance in the future. Thank you for this amazing experience!

GTN had fun too

Marnixe’s SMASH Sydney

SMASH had been a very rewarding experience for me. I am so happy that I went as I made some new friends, met more artists who are really talented and gain some interesting insights about boothing.

Day -1 to SMASH

On Friday, Komicer went over to setup the booth. I am so glad we did because if we had done the setup on Saturday, I’ll feel really panicky (and also because we got to sleep in a little more). It was my first time setting up a booth. I was there all lost and waiting for instructions from Komicer on what to do exactly.

It was not difficult cutting, sticking velcro or even putting the prints up. It was how a certain print was placed, whose artwork got placed, what type of merchandise were placed, etc, that was really insightful. When we were setting up, a few of the other exhibitors were there too. You can tell that some of them went all out for booth décor. Fake grass, extremely cute plushies (not for sale), quirky quotes, etc. Gotta say man, definitely A for booth aesthetics.

Day 1 of SMASH

I loved how honest and friendly Aussies or the visitors were. They were forthright and if they are just looking with no intention of buying, they would tell you right away if you ask (or even if you don’t ask, some of them will say it upfront). We are totally cool with that because, at least, we know what we can help them with.

And if they are just looking around, we try to engage them in some small talk. Such as asking them what/who caught their attention. If I happen to know the character they mentioned, I’ll try to continue the conversation.

But dangz, most of the time I am like … huh? And in my brain, I’m like holy sh*t I have no idea what series he is talking about … And my eyes would look over to Komicer and hoped he sensed my plea to jump in and rescue the conversation. We try to do that if we can; otherwise, it might mean we losing a potential fan and/or friend.

I must say: Komicer and Desti know loads of information about most titles, be it games or anime. I remembered on the second day when towards the end of the day, I spammed Komicer with identity questions of the cosplayers that walk past our booth.

Day 2 of SMASH

I tried my best to stick to my merchandise budget but failed big time the moment I checked out Sakimi-chan‘s booth. I wanna slap myself for overspending but when I see my prints, I just melt away since some of them are up on my walls. Especially, the Deku print I bought from Sakimi-chan is just hanging over my bed. hehehehehehehhehe

During SMASH, we met some of Desti’s friends too. I like how passionate she is about Miku. Whenever a Miku fan came over, she would have a conversation with them. I was just sitting beside her and I can totally feel her excitement. It was as though happiness was oozing out from inside her. It was really interesting. And I can not thank her enough for waking me up every single morning we were there. If it was not for her, I am very sure we would turn up late for SMASH. So huge thanks to Desti.

During SMASH, I got to meet a few really talented artists such as Chuinny, Saowee, etc. Chuinny was really friendly and very approachable. I am so glad that she didn’t mind me bombarding her with loads of questions about booths, merchandise and many, many small talk during SMASH.

Another really talented artist was Saowee. She was from Philippines and it was her first time boothing at SMASH too. I really liked her style. I was attracted by the Blue mage she did and I bought it right away without hesitation. I just love it so much. The colors, the sketchy lines, the aesthetics she gave her characters. I wanted to buy a traditional sketch from her but it was already reserved for another visitor (awwwwwww). She was just so sweet and really amicable. She even gave me a free print on Sunday when I went to bid her farewell!! When she gave it to me, I remembered I was like shouting inside my head with joy because it was totally unexpected. I even asked her if she was sure about it and she said yeah, it is okay.

She just ended my SMASH experience with many multitudes of awesomeness.

Some photos of places we visited


So there you have it. Both our artists have had a rather excitable time at the respective overseas conventions they attended. Such fresh, wide-eyed wonder to everything new compared to the rest of us with more experience in overseas convention. It was fun indirectly experiencing the conventions anew.

Hopefully, we will expand our reach further and head out to new conventions in the future. A convention in another part of USA, Australia or even Europe will be interesting!