Anime Expo 2003: Day One

Day One: Discovering Drunken Master

I got an early start on the day, after speaking with Thomas about getting into the exhibit hall before everyone else. A mutual acquaintance of mine, Hugo, runs Paradigm Entertainment, and he needed some assistance with setting up his booth. I’ve worked in the exhibit hall at Anime Expo before, several times. In 99, with Jody, we sat in the exhibit hall pretty much the entire convention. It was actually the most fun I’d had that year, mostly due to the fact that Jody and I would just release a year’s worth of attitude on people coming up to the booth by totally fucking with their minds. Anyway, I wanted a head start on the exhibit hall, and not wanting to have to wait in the huge-ass line that usually forms before the hall opens on the first day.

Thomas and I moved heavy boxes between the U-Haul outside the convention center and the booth. Now, ordinarily, this isn’t much of a problem, but AX decided to not allow dollies or handtrucks inside the center, so all we could do was to bring the handtruck to the entrance and then offload it by hand and then walk the football field length to the booth within the Hall. Luckily, though, we only had to make three trips and after that, it was pretty much just putting manga into protective baggies for the rest of the morning until they opened up the hall. There were two other girls that were there in the booth, and we just sort of took our cues from them, since they were direct (paid) employees and I was just looking for early entry into the hall in exchange for manual labor.

After the hall opened, though, my feet were absolutely killing me. Thomas and I walked around, looking for a particular dealer (*cough* J-List *cough*), then we stopped by Drunken Master. Drunken Master is a dealer in HK Cinema, as well as a nice selection of Japanese movies, though they didn’t have the one Esumi Makiko film I was looking for. I ended up buying Shaolin Soccer, 2009 Lost Memories, Time and Tide, Battle Royale Special Edition, The Returner, Dummy Mommy without a Baby, and Fulltime Killer. Did I go a little overboard? Not really. Turns out that since I was helping out an exhibitor, I got the 25% discount on everything at their store, so for a little less than $140, I walked out with eight import movies, which is a great deal! But right then, my feet really started hurting and we decided to abandon ship and return to the room and watch some of the bounty I had won.

Room service was pretty much the preferred method of getting food today. I think I ordered five bowls of popcorn shrimp from the menu, and blew about $150 in room service charges for just myself. Todd, Jody, and Timmy alternated their time between the Hall and some of the Video Rooms (Timmy got himself some loot; he picked up an Ein plushie, and a huge Love Hina poster), but Dave, Thomas, and I holed up in the room watching Shaolin Soccer, The Returner, and Dummy Mommy without a Baby. Shaolin Soccer had us pissing ourselves with laughter, because it was just so damn funny. The Returner was an awesome Japanese sci-fi flick. I’ve seen Dummy Mommy four times, now; the other two guys seemed to not appreciate it as much as the other movies I picked up, but then, Shaolin Soccer is a tough act to follow, considering the nature of the two comedies.

Tomorrow is the Anime Music Video awards, which I’m planning on using my ticket voucher for. Oh, that’s right. I forgot to talk about the ticket vouchers. This year, as an incentive to pre-register and book a sponsor hotel early, AX offered AMV and Masquerade tickets. As we had four adults registered to the room, we got four vouchers to use on either the AMV Contest or the Masquerade. Now, I’ve never been big into the cosplay scene, so I’m going to pass on Masquerade and hang out at the AMV Contest until it ends, which will probably be around 1am Saturday morning.

At the end of the day, though, we all pretty much passed out while watching a movie we ordered through the hotel’s entertainment system. I woke up three hours later with a severe case of heartburn and so did Dave. So, at about four in the morning, we both walked down to the front desk and asked if they might have something to help us out. We were looking for Pepto, Pepcid, anything that would make the hurting stop. What happened was, we ended up having to pull the Cruiser out of valet parking and drive over to the nearest 7-11, where I bought the very last Pepcid on the shelf. Lucky! Anyway, Timmy took the opportunity to go to Video 3 and watch Lupin the Third TV for an hour, and I’m sort of waiting for him to return while also waiting for my Pepcid to kick in. I’ll end this here and move on to Day Two when it happens.

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