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The BL LA trip part 2

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Friday, or, the Real AX Souls Starts Here

Picking up where I left off, at approximately 6am I took a place in the LLLís couch beside Nico and joined the Love Live viewing for roughly two hours. Around 8am I got up and asked mAc if heíd give me a lift to our apt so I could shower and change, since I had kind of slept on a bathroom floor and felt a bit gross. mAc took pity on my soul and gave me a lift.

I spent about 15 minutes taking a cold shower in the room, interestingly to me this was the first and last time Iíd have the apt all to myself. After drinking some water and eating a banana I got myself an uber to AX and set out for the first battle of many.

A rather personal aside, I had told Lianru Iíd get her a Suwabe autograph while Reiu would get her an Eir Aoi autograph. By getting so smashed that I literally passed out and lost all memory of the previous night I actually massively fucked this up, but apparently while I was dying I asked I3uster to fulfill my duty for me, as one brother to another. I would later learn that people had apparently camped out for the line way ahead of time and getting the ticket was actually close to impossible even if I had gone according to my schedule which hadnít factored in my own inability to stop drinking.

Lian if youíre reading my blogs Iím sorry. I actually feel so bad.

Okay back to business.

It must have been between 9 and 10am that I got to the convention center and the guys were already inside, at the entertainment hall. I spent about 20 or 30 minutes outside in line to actually enter the con, which I spent talking to random people in line because congoers are actually social or something. One funny anecdote was that I had talked to a fighting game player a few weeks prior to coming to LA and he told me heíd be at AX setting up Melty on Friday, so Iíd brought my stick to play. While I was in line a guy I vaguely recognized walked past me carrying a monitor, but before the thought occurred to me he was already out of earshot or the safe zone to leave my spot in line. I pulled out my phone and tweeted him and sure enough it was him.

Fugg :dd

Anyway I got in and got my first actual taste of AX. Going up the stairs and finding a map I also took the chance to snap a picture of the main entrance and the crowd from above.

Spoiler:


A bit of walking and I found myself at the entertainment hall, where I hooked back up with some of the guys from the apt. I donít feel like describing everything in there so Iíll just post some pictures.

The last picture is the Love Live Loft occupant Iíve been calling Nico






The hyperweeb anime swag cars were pretty fucking cool, Frantic took a fair few pictures of them for us before his camera died, which is why I only have the Kancollemobile. There were also setups for PCs and console games in one large stretch of the room where Iíd later show up to for playing fightan games.

To be completely honest with you right now most of this day is a blur up until 5 or 6pm. The most vivid memory I have is of us going to the artistís alley at the same time the dealerís room was opening, which was actually sick. I recorded a bit of it but I have brain problems and recorded vertically, so forgive me.

Actually I canít even find the video so get rekt.

But basically they had two setups with massive ass drums being beaten like everyone entering the dealerís room was marching down a warpath.

But basically this whole day we did nothing but roam around and look at shit, see where things were, and wait until the dinner.

The BL dinner.

The BL dinner with like 28 people.

Wait hold the fuck up I found the dealer room warpath video.



Back to the dinner. We (myself, Petri, Kyokushi and some Mewarmo) reserved and kind of organized a nearly 30 man dinner of the BL people and the loosely BL-related people (friends of BLers). A lot of the guys who showed up are super scant posters, or outright donít post anymore but are dinosaur-like relics of an ancient era. It was a bit messy just deciding what place to go to, which was a process we went through about a week beforehand.

We needed a place that was nearby so everyone could get to it easily, a place that could fit our group, and a place that wasnít unreasonable or shitty. Ultimately, I made the executive decision to ignore the Ďunreasonable or shittyí criteria and reserved a nearby slightly pricy Italian place because the hour we had agreed on for dinner was their happy hour, and I was planning on drinking a fuckton during dinner. That seemed like a much less attractive prospect after the previous night though so I just had water, since I was honestly dehydrated beyond healthy levels and am one thirsty motha fucka (hahaha thirsty get it).

We initially got there with a group of about nine or so, but more filtered in as time passed. Before I knew it I looked down the length of the table and we had basically filled every seat. At this point I was more worried about how weíd handle paying this than anything, so I donít think I focused on a lot. I remember going down the menu with Petri, as well as telling MHX that Iíd cover his meal, and Petri offered to do that with me.

one picture of mostly everyone except some late arrivals and also me/I3uster/Nico


Nico drinking intensely


So I remember lots of people ordering pizza, Petri and I both got pasta, Nico got I think it was a cut of lamb in a peppercorn sauce with spinach or something, so obviously there were jokes about that. Everyone who had pizza said it was great. My pasta was alright. Petriís was actually better. But who cares about food lol letís get to the good part.

Sadly I donít have the pictures Noodleknight took from the end of the table of literally everyone except himself, nor do I have the actual godlike video of what I will now describe.

So when we got up to take the picture, plenty of people had to stand so that everyone would be in it. Before this Theo had actually shown up (fossilized bear mod, forgotten to time and taken from us by sufficient velocity) and stood with the taller guys in the back. Someone jokingly started the Star Spangled Banner, and for some reason instead of ending it at ďoh say can you seeĒ some people actually continued the song (I blame Frantic, and also myself for being a Fran enabler) and somehow this ended with about 30 people singing the national anthem together at the top of their lungs.

Seeing the magic moment being birthed Noodle switched to recording instead of taking pictures, and all the time I took nervous glances at the restaurant staff to see if they werenít getting pissed off at us filling the place with the sound of patriotism, but fortunately they were all having a hearty laugh at our bullshit.

With the entire anthem taken care of we all sat down and the great trial began.

Paying.

I was resolved to go down the table and individually take money from every person one by one, and had actually begun securing money from my end of the table when I stood up and saw actual Money Man mAc Chaos just sitting at the center of the table counting stacks of cash which he had already begun collecting. One of the unsung heroes, that IRL admin, and you could see his moneypot handling skills from years of FGC at work as he slapped those wads of cash into the table. The entire payment ordeal was something I was dreading but with great strength mAc erased that fear and I just dropped off my end of the tableís money for him to add to the pot.

Now the dinner was over, time for the single most important panel at AX. Zun.

Petri, Bloble and I literally rushed out of the restaurant as soon as we were certain the payment was taken care of and powered through the crowds to get back to the venue, then went on the hunt for the proper place to line up for the Touhou panel. After a bit of scrambling and asking around we found the right line (AX could do a better job of making sure people know where to stand but eh) and managed to get into the second loop of the line, in other words, guaranteed to get into the panel. Joining us was MHX and uh, shit I canít remember, but I stood beside MHX and Bloble in the line. It was here that we entered the vortex of Zun.

There was an online schedule on the guidebook app as well as a magazine handed out to every attendee with a schedule. The two didnít agree on the time for the Touhou panel, nor did they agree which was actually Zunís panel and which was the panel for some other Touhou doujin game creators who were sanctioned by Zun. The entire line was full of people nervously sharing what they had heard about the panel, if Zun would be there, if he wouldnít, etc. Even the staff working the line didnít know the truth of the matter, which only made people more nervous.

Some people began pulling up Zunís twitter, and realized he was across the fucking street just a little while ago getting beer at Hooters. Then Zun posted a picture of the room the panel would be in, making people even more confused, because now official word was getting out that Zun would NOT be at this panel, but at the NEXT panel, which would also be Touhou.

So we made a decision to enter the first panel, wait to see if it was Zun, and if not weíd exit early and dash to the line for the next one, effectively making ourselves first in line and guaranteed perfect seats.

The time came and we entered the panel room, and at one point freaking Tang and Frantic just appeared in the panel room. Who knows how. We never saw them in the line. For a moment things seemed dire as there werenít familiar faces sitting up above us, but suddenly and unexpectedly a man wearing an iconic hat and with a glass of beer walked up and took a seat.

At this time the translator for the panel informed us to ignore Zun as this wasnít his panel, and that he was just here to watch.

So then Zun pulled out his phone and took some pics of the room, then proceeded to sip on his beer as the panel proceeded normally. The room burst out in laughter when, upon emptying his glass Zun lowered it under the elongated podium thing I canít think of the word for, out of everyoneís sight, then brought it back up, refilled and ready to resume sipping.

Anyway that panel was kinda cool and they showed us some new games coming out which actually looked surprisingly good. As soon as it was over though Bloble, Petri, Frantic and I literally dashed out the door and ran to where the line for the Zun proper panel would be. We made a good run and got there fast enough to be in the first loop of the line, once more guaranteeing our entry. Plenty of people in the line showed up faster and faster, and soon enough the line was pretty much maxed. Lots of people in the line were browsing the /jp/ thread for the panel on their phones, and from our overhead vantage point Petri and I could actually easily see who was and wasnít in there. It was one of the more surreal experiences of my life, to post in a thread anonymously while surrounded by so many other people doing the same.

We actually walked past somebody who read one of Petriís posts aloud to his own friends. Weird moment.

Anyway we got into Zunís panel and it was great, in an unexpected way. Nachos and Mooncake magically appeared in our row, and at some point so did MissingMandible.

one man, one universe





Most of the questions asked were about the creation of the games and the thought process behind things, which Zun gave lots of thoughtful answers to. Most interesting was when he explained the role mathematics plays in laying the groundwork and creating boundaries in a medium where he has effectively no creative limit, but needs to find some sort of limit or hard rules to work with, or an answer to a question about design.

The Q&A was kind of hit and miss. One shitter with a Trump hat made an ebin Trump politic question repainted with Touhou terms, another guy tried to ask a question in Japanese and got BTFO because Zun couldnít understand any of his Japanese. The Q&A topped off with the last man to ask a question pulling a beer out of nowhere and asking if he could pay tribute, much to the annoyance of the AX staff handing out the mic to the audience, as alcohol in the convention center was very against the rules, despite the fact that Zun was drinking beer nonstop the whole time.

After that it was pretty late, so we left the panel in high spirits despite how sleepy everyone was. In fact, one man was so tired that he actually dozed off during the second panel.

Naturally it was fucking Frantic.

sleepy boy


After we woke him up midpanel he very maturely used the power of IRL shitposting to keep himself awake for the rest of the day, like how kids pretend to be hyper and energetic to stay awake past bedtime. You have no idea how many Bane quotes Frantic uttered in those last two hours of the night.

Updated July 15th, 2016 at 08:26 PM by Spinach

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Comments

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  1. Lycodrake's Avatar
    But who was phone?
  2. SeiKeo's Avatar
  3. Petrikow's Avatar
    "who are these people"
  4. Marmadillo's Avatar
    the one on the left looks like a serial killer, i think i've seen the one on the right in some soap grandma was watching
  5. Five_X's Avatar
    Who all was there, anyhow?
  6. Strange_One's Avatar
    Hurley? Another trip off the island?
  7. Cruor's Avatar
    Five: I'd write out a list of who is who but uhh, I actually don't know which one is Noodle/RK/Banquo/WM/Demonblooded/etc.
  8. Cruor's Avatar
    Edited on request!
    Updated July 17th, 2016 at 08:33 PM by Cruor
  9. mAc Chaos's Avatar
    With the entire anthem taken care of we all sat down and the great trial began.

    Paying.

    I was resolved to go down the table and individually take money from every person one by one, and had actually begun securing money from my end of the table when I stood up and saw actual Money Man mAc Chaos just sitting at the center of the table counting stacks of cash which he had already begun collecting. One of the unsung heroes, that IRL admin, and you could see his moneypot handling skills from years of FGC at work as he slapped those wads of cash into the table. The entire payment ordeal was something I was dreading but with great strength mAc erased that fear and I just dropped off my end of the tableís money for him to add to the pot.
    I was worried about that too, normally it's a trainwreck just trying to get 8 to 10 people to pay, and it was like 30+ this time. Luckily nobody was too particular about exactly how much they paid.
  10. mewarmo990's Avatar
    you're mistaken I was never there who are these people
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