Anime on DVD (Mania.com)
Anime On DVD LA / SoCal Gathering Report
Date: September 17, 2000
Location: Little Tokyo (near downtown LA)
Synopsis: On hot and sunny Sunday afternoon, a group of adventurous anime fanatics decided to invade Little Tokyo and take no hostages... What happened? Read on to find out! Our party's adventure begins inside Mitsuwa Market, where several people gathered in front of Asahiya Bookstore. By 12:00, there was about a dozen or so people waiting in front of the bookstore. People made quick introductions to try to break the ice (I'm sure some people were nervous, I sure was ^_^). After a mere 10 minutes, someone broke out a digital camera. Picture time! FYI, several more people showed up after the below picture was taken (click on the images for bigger versions). Here's some nicks / names going from left to right:
Back row -- Adam, Wanderer, ?, Scarrow (Shawn), Rod Su, Taku, Asuma, ?.
Front row -- Ladycat, go-daigo (Jim), wolve (Jason), ?
After about another 5 minutes, more people showed up, some got bored and jumped inside Asahiya for a quick look. By 12:20, we were ready for lunch. So we headed for Curry House in Weller Court, a nice Japanese restaurant that specializes in, well, curry! To ensure latecomers wouldn't miss out, we left behind a trail of trusty post-its (Express.com ones to be specific, why would we use anything else? ^_^). Our fearless compatriot, go-daigo, strategically placed several stickies that would hopefully lead stragglers to Curry House. Unfortunately, it turns out the stickies were useless!! Damn... next time we'll bring a huge stack of Express post-its! :-) Curry House was a bit crowed when we arrived, a waiter told us that we would need to wait 30 minutes for a table. At this point our "little" group had grown to about 17-18 people. Since Kinokuniya Bookstores was right next door, we decided it was much more pratical to step inside the store rather than wait under the hot sun. Kinokuniya carries a variety of anime goodies including books, videos, cds. Quite a number of people bought books there. Slowly but surely, people trickled back to the restaurant. The food was pretty good, some of the best curry I've ever had. Unfortunately, no one took pictures of the food (so I can't taunt you readers), although you can see a bit of what's left on my Katsu Curry plate in one of the pics below. Anyways, here's some pics that were taken inside the restaurant. Some names again, going from top to bottom...
Left row -- Ladycat, Wanderer, ?
Right row -- ?, ?, ?, ?
Left -- Lauren Wei (Rod Su's cousin, who helped with these pictures)
Middle -- tenton (Tim)
Right -- ?
Hey, where the hell is Rod?! Oh wait, there he is. :)
Left -- tenton (Tim)
Middle -- ?
Right -- Rod Su
Mmmm... that curry hit the spot...
Going from bottom left and clockwise --
go-daigo (Jim), Scarrow (Shawn, hiding behind go-daigo's head), Adam, wolve (Jason Y.), HPMMB (Lucan, wolve's friend)
As you can see by the above pics, we ended up sitting at different tables. Probably like many Japanese restaurants in Little Tokyo, tables were limited in size so we just sat wherever we could find space. During lunch we talked about many things, some not even anime related. Topics at my table included personal backgrounds, work, and anime dvds (i.e. how much we spend on 'em, production delays..."what, that's not out yet?!"). We spent about 30 - 40 minutes inside of Curry House. Once we stepped outside under the blazing sun, we took some more photos.
The line-up again. Going from left to right...
Back row: ?, HPMMB (Lucan D.), ?, ?, Taku, Asuma, Scarrow (Shawn), ? , Adam, ?, Rod Su
Front row: wolve (Jason Y.), LadyCat, ?, go-daigo (Jim), ?, tenton (Tim), Wanderer
Here's a shot of the same people but with bit of shuffling and zoom. Going from left to right...
Back row: Taku, Asuma, Scarrow (Shawn), ?, Adam, ?, Rod Su
Middle row: ? (the girl on the left), ?, go-daigo (Jim), ?, tenton (Tim), Wanderer
Front row: ?, wolve (Jason Y.), Ladycat, HPMMB (Lucan D.)
So our stomachs were filled with curry, and we were ready to shop again (in other words: burn more money on anime goods ^_^). We headed back to Kinokuniya. Some people bought stuff, I didn't though. I ended browsing through a recent issue of Newtype, while chatting with go-daigo and my buddy HPMMB. After some 20-30 minutes, we headed out again. What next for our group of adventurers? Bunkado became the next target, which is more of a Japanese cultural store, but has some anime stuff. This place should be renamed "Import LDs galore", cause they have tons of them. Most people kept their wallets firmly closed and simply drooled over the many LDs. I'm not surprised considering the prices were a bit high, and DVDs are our staple. However, one brave individual (who shall remain anonymous) slapped down some cash for a nice "On Your Mark" LD. Mmmm...can you say Miyazaki? :) After spending a good amount of time at Bunkado, we headed out again and walked to Little Tokyo Village. We walked around and stopped by Nippon Book Co. This store carries a small but decent sized amount of anime goods, mostly books, cds, and trinkets. More money was spent on books and magazines, again not mine (and I felt like splurging too). After leaving Nippon Book Co., we headed back to Mitsuwa. Our #s had dropped to 8-10, people had left throughout our trek in Little Tokyo. The remaining survivors went back to Asahiya Bookstore, where I was determined to find Maaya Sakamoto's newest single. But alas, lady luck was not on my side. :( More books and cds were purchased, one person bought Cowboy Bebop OST1 (Yoko Kanno goodness). Even more disturbing, it is believed that someone bought a VHS tape. Yes, you read that right. No, you don't need to have your eyes examined. Who was the individual that bought this abomination? Well, that will forever be a secret. What? You must know? Forget it my friend, you are best off not knowing. You wouldn't be able to handle the truth... er something... All right, all right... I give up. It was I who bought the VHS! Are you happy now?!? But you see, it was simply a collector's item part of Megumi Hayashibara's "Vintage A" album. So ha! ;-) So our wallets were slightly emptier and it was time to go home for the rest of us. In conclusion, I had fun meeting various people that frequent the Anime On DVD site, even if they lurk in the forums most of the time. We definitetly have to get together again. :) If any of you want to contact me, you can reach me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can usually find me in the AODVD IRC chat room in the evenings. Hope you enjoyed this "little" report! :)