The Panels. Oh God, the panels. Where do I begin?
I went to a panel about the best materials to make armour (and other similar items) and holy crap I need to become more talented so I can start making stuff. The main material they discussed was called WORBLA and holy hell, it was amazing what those ladies could make out of it. Between Axziom and Ryosuki wanting N7 armour, and me drooling at the thought of making my own Star Wars armour, I just have to start doing this. Because Lord only knows I need another expensive hobby.
Went to a panel about Chinese Hanfu clothing that was incredibly informative. I had no idea that essentially everyone in the fucking world was wrong when they talked about Historic Chinese clothing design. It was good to file that away with Kimono facts, because that's the kind of nerd/clothing designer just for funzies that I am.
Went to a panel on maintaining your collection (display, weeding, safety, etc.) and it yo-yoed from being semi-useful to not so much. It was an interesting idea for a panel though, and I'm sorry it didn't quite work out. Maybe try again next year.
And as for panels I wanted to see, but didn't get to - they had a Pro-Bending Demonstration/most likely tutorial much like the Air/Fire/Water Bending Panel I attended last year. Would have liked to go to that, but sadly, the timing didn't line up with the
other activities we were looking at in buildings further away. I'm sure it was cool though.
And there was a Naughty Origami Panel that I missed that I was sooooo disappointed to miss. We were numbers 130 (and onwards) in the line and the room could only hold 120. They cut the line off pretty much right in front of me. Le sob. So we ducked into a panel on Korrasami which I think was good - but they had a lot of talking happening from the audience and they didn't bother to give the audience microphones at each turn, so I think I missed a lot.
But still. Panels were a win this year.
Now for the "lose" moments.
Let's start with how the majority (not all, but many) of the dealer's room shops were gleefully ripping people off left and right. We were seeing raised prices from a range of 20 to 50% above what you could get for the merchandise normally. And FUCK that. I managed to find a few places that were selling at normal rates, and bought books from them. I bought two DVD's that I super overpaid for but that I wanted oh-so badly that I paid anyways. But man did I feel stupid about it.
And then I looked for the Figma Guyver figure that I also wanted and found it for $100, a price that nearly had me choking on my own spit. Ryosuki was able to talk them down to $85 for me, but that was still more than I could bear paying, so I walked. 30 minutes later, I found it at another booth with only a 15% mark-up on the price and considered myself so lucky that I bought it on the spot.
They were a-gouging us. Not cool. I came home with a sizeable amount of the money I'd taken with me, because it just wasn't worth it. And that HURT, because shopping is my absolute fave thing to do at AN.
Staff were also a little on the rude side this year. I get that they were trying to keep the incredible excess of attendees in line, but I don't think I've ever been yelled at more by people for nothing, or next to goddamn nothing.
We had to wait for Ryosuki to get a replacement badge, since hers was missing the holographic part and we didn't want anyone to think it was faked. Got yelled at for hanging around, not blocking anything or anyone.
They told us to get moving, but failed to mention that we had to follow a specific route to get to the door. Got yelled at for failing to follow route we didn't know about.
Ryosuki paused at door, trying to manage paperwork that she'd been given when she received her badge. Got yelled at for stopping at door. (Not blocking anyone/thing, just stopped.)
We lined up to go into a panel, but failed to line up in the manner that was not explained to us. Got yelled at. We lined up correctly, but were blocking a door that was not supposed to be used for entry/exit to a panel room. Got yelled at.
(And this one wasn't us, but it was observed.) People who stopped at the water station tables to get water were yelled at for stopping (in the halls where the tables were set up to give people water) to get water. Go figure.
Kinda feels like warning signs. I stopped going to Fan Expo for similar reasons (well, those and the fact that it no longer catered to my Fandoms). I hope this isn't the beginning of the end of my attendance to this con. I've been with it since the beginning, and I'd hate to have to walk away.
Shopping sucked, but I still came away with some goodies.
Citrus vol. 1-2
Yukarism vol. 1-2
Ceres Celestial Legend vol. 1-4
Demon from Afar vol. 1-2
Ranma 1/2 omnibus vol. 3-5
Gakuen Heaven Endou
This Boy Caught a Merman OVA
Sunday without God Series
Boba Fett Mythosaur Dogtags
Figma Guyver Figure
Origami Crane Lapis Lazuli Earrings
So successful con, but I think in the future I'm going to have rethink about what my main draw to the convention will be. I guess I shouldn't be looking at it as a major shopping opportunity. Maybe it is time to jump back into cosplaying.