Anime Expo is a 4 day event that is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center that celebrates all things anime. ALL THINGS!
There were not enough hours in the day to see everything. It was just so many things going on at once. When entering the main lobby of the convention center you are greeted by an ocean of anime fans. Everyone was friendly. The first thing to catch my eye in the crowd was a giant inflatable Shenron from the Dragon Ball series. So I did what any anime fan would do, I made a wish. As I turned around after taking a picture of Shenron I was amazed by how quickly my wish came true because right in front of me was someone cosplayingas Kung Fury (the greatest movie ever!)and I just had to ask for a picture. I want to mention the best part about these conventions is the COSPLAY!!! I saw so many awesome costumes, some of which were not exclusive to anime.
A few honorable mentions I saw were Oogie Boogie from a Nightmare before Christmas, SamusAran from Metroid, Raphael from TMNT, and Alex Louis Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist. I couldn’t possible list every cosplay I saw. Just know that they were amazing!
The doors finally opened up to the exhibitor’s hall where hundreds of venders were peddling their wares. They had shirts, action figures, statues, plush toys, replica weapons…if you can think of anything anime related you could find it there. I walked around the exhibitor’s hall for at least 4 hours just looking at all the stuff. With each lap I made I found something else I wanted to buy. Where else but Anime Expo can you find an Action Bastard Plush toy from the show Crayon Shin-Chan? Also at the exhibitor’s hall was a voice over booth put together by the Bang Zoom production company where you can do your own voice over in a short anime scene. I thought that was pretty cool!
At the moment my legs decided that they had enough, I made my way to the other end of the convention center to sit in on a couple of panels/ AMV showings. I didn’t know that the lines for these were somewhere else in the building (that’s how big this event is) and there were some panels I couldn’t get into due to them being over capacity (that’s how big this event is). They even had karaoke going on pretty much all day. I consider myself to be a karaoke enthusiast but the set lists were mostly theme songs from animes I’ve never heard of (and they were all in Japanese) and I didn’t see any Weird Al songs. Bummer.
The main event for Saturday at Anime Expo was the Masquerade. It’s their cosplay contest that allows people not only to show off their cosplaying skills but is also judged on their performances. I wanted to take pictures but there was so much glare from the lights that it was impossible for my camera to take any quality pictures from where I was sitting. If I could choose two performances that made my night they would be the 10 foot tall used Gundam commercial and the pokemon battle/wedding proposal. And yes. It was SUPER EFFECTIVE! I had to end my night at Anime Expo after the Masquerade due to a mixture of exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition.
For just being at Anime Expo for only one day I have already decided to go next year. It is not an event where you can experience everything in one day. I got lost so many times. So if you want to see some of the best cosplay and anime merchandise, go to Anime Expo. It may be a culture shock to some, but to others….it’s life!
For a full gallery of my pictures from the AX expo, please CLICK HERE