That is the main hall of the Phoenix Convention Center, in the main building. It's lined with restaurants with overpriced food that tastes like cardboard. Now, as you may have noticed, that picture was taken on the first day of the convention, Thursday. But don't get your hopes up, this is not an organized and detailed entry on my misadventures at the con, since being that organized goes against my nature. Taking pictures also goes against my nature, so I apologize for the apparent lack of those, despite me having a clear idea that I was taking them like there wasn't a tomorrow. Anyways, moving on . . .

So, the first day was dull, as always. I mean, it's the day everybody uses to get familiarized with the area, and set up their hotel rooms if they booked some. I can't say I did anything too exciting, either. I met this one party of seemingly cool people, and decided to hang out with them. Unfortunately, one of their party members got lost, and thus, we had to wait for him, or look around nearby. Apparently, looking around for him in the con area was a bad idea, but anybody who's ever been to events like these knows that you're bound to run into each other. Eventually, he found us, and they left basically right after that. It was barely 8:00 pm, and I wasn't at all tired, and had nothing to do. I eventually settled in going to the Anime Karaoke panel in the Hyatt, which was fun and happy until they ran out of stuff to butcher, and decided to rap instead. I didn't wait until the first song was over before I left, and went next door to the movie screenings.

Has anyone here seen King Of Thorn? I sorta walked into the panel towards the end of the movie, and things seemed rather . . . confusing. It seemed interesting and all, and I definitely hope that everything that was going on was explained throughout the first half of the movie that I missed or something, because the ending half really seemed "WTF?" without context. After the panel ended, I checked the programming, realized there was nothing going on, and headed home.

Yupp, that's Bumblebee, from Transformers. The parking area in front of the main entrance was filled with various cars from movies and pop culture, and I figured I should take pictures. Also, I confirmed that dubstep is indeed alien speak, and can't help but wonder if we're in good terms with our extraterrestrial overlords, since I'm pretty sure somewhere along the line, someone said something they shouldn't have unintentionally.

Yes, the engine cover actually glowed.

And I really hope this goes without mention, but I am not at all a qualified photographer.

Am I the only that hopes that those badass NVGs are in that supplies case?

Of course there's a Tardis Truck :I

Now, this day, I figured I should take a pack with me to carry my stuff and all, for convenience, you know? Well, to my surprise, they were searching any type of bag before allowing entry into the convention center. At first, I figured that it was all due to the recent bombings in Boston, and went along with it. However, I soon found out from word-of-mouth that this was actually in order to prevent a plausible attack on Homestuck cosplayers. You see, some Facebook group decided to post how they were going to assault, tar and feather any Homestuck cosplayers they encountered. I really have no way of verifying the legitimacy of the claim, and would've settled for "Oh, it's 'cause of the bombs" as an answer, but really? This is why we can't have nice things, this is exactly why. And I started to recall several con war stories about cosplayer rivalry and animosity, when suddenly,when checking my bag, they found a knife . . .

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See, I just took one of my hiking packs without really going through it since I usually clean them after the trek, and I figured it was probably empty. I collect knives, and try to have one with me for utility purposes at all times. I have two in my car, a few for hiking and camping, and various laying around at my house in places like the garage, the attic, my backyard, and such. So, I threw in my program, my 3DS case, chargers and a Gatorade bottle without caring, and now I was being questioned about my intentions. It really doesn't seem like a big deal, considering how there's actually cosplayers who take their real firearms as props and get them peace-bonded, but I guess it was due to my non-cosplay appearance, and how it seemed I was trying to smuggle it in, since I didn't even mention having it with me. But, I explained it to them, went back to my car and dropped it off. Lesson learned, but still, it was a rather embarrassing procedure.

The chainsaw moved and could cut through cardboard :O

I'm really sorry about the quality level, since you can't appreciate the eyebrow thing he had going. I don't even watch One Piece, but I knew this Sanji cosplay was awesome.

Speaking of Silent Hill, best Heather cosplay ever.

There was also a pretty cool Dom, but he seemed really pissed and bothered by something. Something about a wife, I think. . .

As I said before, I'm not good at this . . .

Oh god, the lighting. It really doesn't do the costume justice.

This is probably one of the most awesome Steampunk pieces I've seen. Oh, and the costume's nice too.

Dat helmet . . .

I think it was the only Borderlands cosplay there too . . .

There were quite a few Elizabeths, but this couple was the only one with a Booker, so I gave them more points for that.

Pirate-ninjas!

Technically still a pirate-ninja! ARGH DESU!

I found this awesome site where they actually tell you how to make Japanese armor the old-fashioned way, and I hope to eventually do something like this.

Yay! The only Fire Emblem cosplay in the whole con.

Now, these are all great costumes and all, but I still think . . .

. . . This, was the best costume in the con. I regret not getting video, but she even had the whole three-digit hand thing going on, and the jaw moved, and it glowed and everything.

The vendor hall of the con was always packed, and they sold basically anything you might ever want from pop culture . . . well, almost everything. See, I felt like a hipster the whole time because I never found merchandize for the series I loved. No airsoft Dominators, no HCLI caps, no Oopas, no nothing. But they did have stuff for costumes, simple props and other stuff. Like these Steampunk guns.

And, although it was just for display, they had these mechs out there.

They also had a Lego city, but it was always too crowded, and thus, I couldn't get a lot of pictures.

And, when I say "crowded", I mean crowded. You could easily lose people in there, and well, that takes me to my "Interesting Con Experience Number 1". So, I was just going through the vendor hall, checking out all the awesome figures (Which I neglected to take pictures of . . .), and contemplating buying one of those pillows with a scantily-clad female anime character to send it over to my best friend just to mess around with him, when suddenly I was tapped on my shoulder. I turn around and see this chick who says "You know, you're pretty cute", and then randomly kisses me and runs away . . . I'm still not sure what to think of the people who attends cons, really. I mean, I don't mind, she was pretty cute actually, so I have no issue with that, but still, the hell? I never saw her again, though.

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Anyways, onto "Interesting Con Experience Number 2"! Has anybody here ever heard of an anime called Chuunibyou? I went to a panel there, hoping to see something Persona related, since that's what the panel description promised, and found out that it was actually just about people going there and sharing their "chuunibyou" stories. For those unfamiliar, the word is basically meant to describe something like "8th Grader Syndrome", where you basically act like a little kid and spazz out to your imagination and all that. So, the panelist dude starts telling this one story about the time he and his brother fought each other with wiffle bats, and how he got in trouble for beating up his little brother. Then, one of the crowd members raised their hand, and said the most important eleven words in the history of that panel; "We got kicked out of a room for having lightsaber duels". They just happened to have a few lightsabers with them, and we had MP3s and a sound system, and a whole room to ourselves . . . So, we pushed all the chairs back, turned off the lights, played epic battle music, set up rules, and had our own lightsaber fight club. Holy. Fucking. Shit. That. Panel. Was. The. Most. Amazing. Panel. Ever. I gladly jumped in line, picked up a lightsaber, bashed the hell out of like, four other dudes, and had the most fun I've had in a convention ever. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I was pretty good. I survived three formal rounds with almost flawless victories, hit another guy square in the jaw, actually knocked out this other dude down and saw him groan in pain, and only got disqualified because I stepped out of bounds once. It probably helped that I've actually had experience with sword and knife fights (They had short lightsabers that couldn't be held in two hands comfortably), and I guess it showed, since after the panel, various people congratulated me when I ran into them at other places. I only got hit potentially lethally once, and that was during this epic double kill thingy. I still got the point since I hit first, but the punk managed to hit my sides. Other than that, no other blows ever landed on me, and I can honestly say I was disappointed by this. I mean, the other guys were larger than me, yet I wiped the floor with them. I didn't even get a bruise or anything as a trophy, which really sucks. What's the point of fighting if you don't have the scars to prove it, right? Anyways, the party ended pretty fast though, since one of the lightsabers actually broke, and they decided they didn't want to risk another $70 or so. . .

The rest of the convention was great too, but nothing can possibly shadow the sheer epic-ness of that fight club. Too bad I can't record video on a crappy iPod while dishing out servings of whup-ass, though xD Nah, I'm not the type to brag about anything, so moving on. I didn't buy a lot of stuff this time, since there's a few games I want to buy on launch date soon. But I did get this sweet Persona 4 poster, and Rise figurine ^^

I honestly would've liked a Chie better, though. I wasted most of my money on food, since there's this amazing restaurant nearby the convention center, and I decided to eat there for lunch and dinner daily while there. I had some of the con food, but the pizza was disgusting, all dry and soggy and stuff, and I simply couldn't resist having a nice steak instead.

There were a few things I would've liked to have gone to, like the King Of The Otaku panel, since I won a neat mousepad there last year. Unfortunately, I missed it. And, I also missed out on having my P4 box being autographed by Kanji's English VA. Too bad I slept in that day . . . The rave was ok. The room was way too small for the amount of people attending. It was held in the Renaissance building of the Hyatt complex, and the line to get in exceeded 600 people, and actually went around the building once. Once I got in, it was a bit disappointing. It got too crowded too fast, and the stench of sweaty people and the choice of music actually annoyed me this time, not to mention it being a total sausage fest. Thus, I left within half an hour, and headed back home, to my glorious metal and clean house. When the temperature is at a daily 100 F in the shade, and the air is dry, and you spent the entire time at a con, going up and down the various floors, running, walking, dancing, fighting, there really aren't words to describe how amazing it feels to take a nice cold shower.