It was announced that KLabs, the people behind the online mobile game Love Live! School Idol Festival, was going to be at the convention. Not too long before the announcement I learned of Love Live! because I started watching the anime. I knew it had a fan base. Unfortunately, I had no idea how HUGE the fan base was.
On Friday, I was casually browsing around the Dealers Room to see what the vendors had to offer. Around early afternoon, I reached the KLabs booth and asked about the products they were selling. To my astonishment, the merchandise was sold out within the first hour of the opening! There was nothing left to buy that day. That’s when I knew how extremely popular Love Live! was.
So…I knew what I had to do the next day…although, I don’t call myself a hardcore fan, I like it enough to line up an hour before the Dealers Room with the hardcore ones. The things we do to get the “at the convention” merchandise. I kept myself occupied by playing the Love Live! mobile game I downloaded the day before and talked to the people around me. One was actually on line to go to the KLabs booth too.
It was getting close to 10 am and the line started to move. Well, to diminish the lines excitement of actually going in, we were suddenly told that CrunchyRoll premium members could go in first and the line had to back up. Well, this caused the line to look chaotic and the situation was quite disorganized.
I understand that Crunchyroll premium members received certain benefits at the convention like getting into the Dealers Room slightly earlier than others, but why would you have the ENTIRE line of people move forward? If there’s a 100 people behind me, how do you expect ME to back up if those 100 people don’t back up? So, yeah, all of us in the front were standing together like sardines, because we couldn’t block the walkway nor could we back up. Someone should have announced to the attendees on line for Crunchyroll Premium members to get off and walk to the door to get in first. Probably would have been more organized that way without the concerns of blocking the walkway.
All right, so after that sardine experience, I finally got in and walked as fast as I could to get on line for the KLab booth. When closing in on the booth, I noticed the side door was opened! Well, if I knew about that door opening, I would have lined up there instead. Too late now! There was quite a line already…I was waiting on the line in front of the booth next to KLabs. So I was far.
At some point we were told to wrap the line around the booth. I ended up being in front of the Cards display curtain. An attendee approached those waiting by the curtain and said “you guys are not going to get anything.” Something tells me she tried the day before with not much success. Well, I didn’t listen, because I woke up early for this and I wanted something. Anything.
I waited for more than hour to get inside the booth. Then finally it was my turn to approach the merchandise counter. It was a limit of 3 for each product. Well, good thing I was stubborn about staying on line, because I brought stuff! HAHA! I went back to the hotel with my goodies and after opening my blind boxes, I wanted more.
On Sunday, yes, I woke up early again, but this time I lined up at the side door. When it opened, I was able to line up MUCH closer to the booth entrance. I was next to the Love Live!competition table. Unfortunately, my plan failed. At 10:10 am (yeah I looked at my watch), we were told the booth was sold out! I couldn’t believe it! Did they not bring enough for today? So those of us on the line were lucky enough to at least get the last of their bags with Love Live! on it. Well…I was the last one to get the bag and I ran back to my hotel room. lol!
So, Sunday, I went browsing around the Dealers Room and my friends saw a sign on a board at the Klabs booth. Apparently, there was an online site for the stuff they were selling. Now, I’m sure you can figure out what’s going through my mind at this discovery. I checked out the site and well, the prices were slightly, VERY slightly higher for what I brought. However, some things, like the blind boxes were not in the online shop. It seems that in the end, I had to wake up early to get what I wanted.
After this adventure, at least I was able to get something for my waking up early ambition. I can only guess how far into the line was the last merchandise sold on Saturday. I can only wonder how long the people behind THAT person waited with hopes to acquire something to take home with them. If we get lucky, maybe the booth will appear at another convention and some of us can get another chance. Happy Love Live!
© 2016 Linda Thai
Photography by Linda Thai
For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook