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Anime Expo 2016


「Anime Expo 2016」

Photos Courtesy of Takaii & Xumbra

Anime Expo 2016!

Even though I wasn’t able to enjoy the convention for its entirety (I was up in Northern California for most than half because of family related things), what I was there for was simply amazing. Luckily I also had Guardian Enzo, Xumbra, and Jig there to cover things in my steed (their impressions down below!).

Takaii’s General Impressions

Having been around the anime convention scene for a while now, I can safely say that this year’s Anime-Expo was one of the best. Jam packed to the max with literally everything a con-goer would be looking for be it people or merchandise, it’s entirely possible you wouldn’t be able to see everything you wanted to without hustling a bit. Starting with the basics though, one of the biggest changes compared to previous Anime-Expos at the Los Angeles Convention Center was the separation of Artist Alley and Dealer’s Hall. For the uninitiated, Anime-Expo’s Dealer’s Hall and Artist Alley are, to put it simply, gigantic. With booths for as far as the eye can see, it’s entirely possible you could get lost looking for your favorite shows before you even realized it. Getting back on track though, it was definitely a little strange having the two in separate places. Traditionally held side-by-side on the upper floor, the Artist Alley was moved downstairs this year in favor of expanding the Dealer’s Hall. Overall it felt pretty nice to not have my attention split between decided whether or not to go to the “official” merchandise side versus going to the cooler or more unique artist’s side.

That said, there was one big issue with the Artist Alley being held downstairs. And that my friends, would have to be the horribly hot temperatures combined with tons of bodies being crammed side-by-side with made the whole area feel like a hot swampy mess. And that’s apparently on the days where management decided to crank up the air conditioning after getting enough complaints about the whole thing. And while I’m not here to attack anyone since there’s always going to be growing pains for a convention this large, especially when they try something new, I have to give props to the artists and their booth buddies for enduring the rough environment. I was down there for maybe an hour and a half and never have I wanted to strip all my clothes off more than I did after exiting.

If you want some additional reading from someone who actually sat through all of that and still managed to stay positive while giving some constructive criticism, check out this little blurb here. (No, I don’t know this person and just caught the write up from a friend. It’s a good read though.)

My Quick Thoughts

As I said earlier, I wasn’t actually able to experience most of this Anime-Expo since I was gone for three out of the four days. Which is a damn shame because of all the huge names that were there (Aquors, Flow, Aoi Eir, Suwabe Junichi, ZUN, and Kato Kazue just to name a few). That said, I still managed to live vicariously through all my friends who really embraced this year’s con culture. From seeing pictures of the amazing AniMatsuri Japan Super Live which had like a billion artists performing to some “illegally” filmed videos of Flow and OLDCODEX from battle of the bands, I think it really says something about how fun a convention is when you can have almost as much fun as the people who were there.

In terms of convention staff and what not, everyone was just as friendly and helpful if not more so than previous years. While I can’t say for sure, it feels like management has taken steps to make the process of experiencing the con a much more enjoyable one. I also appreciated the extra security both from the convention itself and from more frequent citing of police. Because with all the crazy things that have been happening throughout the year, the last thing we need is some horrible incident to happen during one of the biggest conventions. And before I forget, I have to give a huge shout out to the convention for actually providing awnings outside for all the people who pre-registered for their badges. That simple gesture probably made everyone in that line so much happier that they probably forgot about just how god damn long that line was (it did move pretty quickly on most of the days from what I heard though).

Closing Thoughts

I always have this fear that Anime-Expo is going to stop being the cool and awesome con that I remember it as. Amazingly, it’s still going strong and seems to get better and better each and every year. This year in particular, it felt like we had so many different things to do that there just wasn’t enough time to squeeze it all in. Luckily, there are some rumors flying around that the convention might add one more day to its schedule next year. And while I’m not sure how that’d work logistically since ending on July 4th allowed people who regular jobs to actually attend, if the rumor is true they have an entire year to figure that one out.

Anyways, I’ll catch you guys next year (hopefully) and I apologize in advance for the smaller number of pictures. Have a great one and I’ll see you around in the other posts!

P.S. It’s my birthday today! Haha. I think I managed to put out an AX post on my birthday a few years ago too lmao.




Enzo’s Impressions

The easiest thing for me to do after my first trip to Anime Expo would be to complain about the management. And since it’s the elephant in the room, I guess I have to acknowledge it. Yes, the way this con is run is terrible – it’s like something from a Lovecraft story. I’ve been to many like-sized events in both the U.S. and Japan, and while the latter may be an unfair standard, even the U.S. cons have generally been much better in terms of line management and communication. Staff is a mix of affable volunteers who know nothing, and genuine DBs who seem drunk on power. And no one seems to know the policy as regards press (which is clearly posted on the A/X website).

Still, even taking all that into account A/X is a great event. There’s a ton of top-shelf programming and an unbelievable guest list. I wish they didn’t cram 98% of the really good stuff into Saturday and Sunday, because that forced me to miss several things I really wanted to see due to scheduling conflicts, while Friday and Sunday had almost nothing I wanted to attend. But in a matter of two days I saw a Shinkai world premiere with the director in the hall (sneaking around in the dark to gauge reactions), heard from the founders of P.A. Works and Bones, and interviewed two of my heroes from FLCL. Not even A/X mismanagement can tarnish that for me.

It was also great seeing just how passionate American fans still are for anime. Attendance was over 100K for the four days, and while that still pales next to Comiket (500,000 in three) it’s impressive. And the sheer scope of Artist’s Alley makes me believe that the U.S. could support a full-on Comiket style event, either in conjunction with A/X or as a standalone. I’ll definitely plan to be back, with a few lessons I learned this year tucked under my belt.




Xumbra’s Impressions

This was the most fun I’ve ever had at Anime Expo! I got to meet up with lots of friends, both new and old, and experienced so many things.

The biggest highlight for me was seeing ZUN, the creator of the Touhou Project. As a fan of doujin music, I’m just awestruck by seeing not just seeing him, but Yuro and JYUNYA, the creators of Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet and Touhou Genso Wanderer. Hearing their thoughts on Japanese and Western fans, Touhou, and game development was interesting, and as expected ZUN had a cup of beer ginger ale with him.

Another highlight was the watching the premiere of Makoto Shinkai’s your name. True to Shinkai’s work, there’s plenty of scenery porn, the characters were likeable, and everything in the story was tied together neatly. I enjoyed this more than Garden of Words, and as much as I want to talk about it with my friends anything I say will probably ruin the story. Please watch this, it’s amazing.

The other things that come to mind are the Overwatch cosplay meetup (sitting in the sun for an hour, the things I do for my fandom), watching the first two episodes of Mob Psycho 100, and ultimately missing out on the Japan Super Live concert, despite buying tickets for it. Thank you unannounced family plans.

But some things can be improved. For example, picking up my press badge was difficult, as I was directed all over the place before I (ran into Enzo and) finally got where I needed to be. And there were times when I had to help a friend line up for a panel, and it wasn’t obvious where the line for the panel was. You might think the line would be next to the room, but in some cases you’ll have to go down the stairs, walk through the food court, take a right to go outside, cross the bridge, head down the stairs to the left, and then find the line under the tent! I knew all of this because I’ve been to Anime Expo before, but my friend visiting for the first time didn’t. And while I’m not an artist, I’ve heard that the lack of air conditioning in the Artist Alley was a big deal.

But overall, Anime Expo was fun, and I would totally go again.

 

 

Convention Info

  • Date: July 1st thru 4th
  • Location: Los Angeles Convention Center / Los Angeles, CA USA
  • Website: http://www.anime-expo.org/


  •  

    2017 Information

  • Date: July 1st thru 4th
  • Location: Los Angeles Convention Center / Los Angeles, CA USA
  • Website: http://www.anime-expo.org/


  •  

    “Luckily I also had Guardian Enzo, Xumbra, and Jig there to cover things in my steed…”

     

    “the Artist Alley was moved downstairs this year in favor of expanding the Dealer’s Hall.”

     

    “… made the whole area feel like a hot swampy mess”

     

    “growing pains for a convention this large, especially when they try something new, I have to give props to the artists and their booth buddies for enduring the rough environment.”

     

    “I also appreciated the extra security both from the convention itself and from more frequent citing of police..”

     

    “The easiest thing for me to do after my first trip to Anime Expo would be to complain about the management. And since it’s the elephant in the room, I guess I have to acknowledge it.”

     

    “There’s a ton of top-shelf programming and an unbelievable guest list. I wish they didn’t cram 98% of the really good stuff into Saturday and Sunday…”

     

    “And the sheer scope of Artist’s Alley makes me believe that the U.S. could support a full-on Comiket style event”

     

    “This was the most fun I’ve ever had at Anime Expo! I got to meet up with lots of friends, both new and old, and experienced so many things.”

     

    “The biggest highlight for me was seeing ZUN, the creator of the Touhou Project. As a fan of doujin music, I’m just awestruck by seeing not just seeing him, but Yuro and JYUNYA…”

     

    “But overall, Anime Expo was fun, and I would totally go again.”

July 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm
48 comments »
  • July 8, 2016 at 2:13 pmCherrie

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAKAII <3
    Sending tons of hugs and kisses your way! Wish I could’ve been there too, it would’ve been nice to grab tea again =)

    • July 8, 2016 at 2:17 pmTakaii

      <3

    • July 8, 2016 at 4:34 pmCroos

      Noted on this.

    • July 8, 2016 at 7:02 pmNishizawa Mihashi

      July 9th eh Takaii? Alright bruh, noted.

  • July 8, 2016 at 2:30 pmK

    Kimi no na wa was a masterpiece. Their isn’t another movie that I want to watch again so soon as much as this one. The concerts were a blast too. Getting big names like t.m.Revolution, Flow, JAM Project, and Sphere all for this AX, they really broke the bank. Their is absolutely no way they can top this next year.

    • July 8, 2016 at 3:02 pmTakaii

      I feel you. I can’t help but think we’ve hit the top of the bell curve.
      I hope I’m wrong.

    • July 8, 2016 at 8:33 pmBakapooru

      Well… this year was the 25th anniversary so they might have tried to go all out. Actually, bought my pass when they were first available because I was expecting a HUGE show and I got it. To put things in perspective, I’ve only attended AX twice before: 2002 and 2012.

      • July 10, 2016 at 2:32 amK

        I did read something about that. How we should expect a lighter load next year. I have to say, 2010 was pretty hefty too, in terms of Japanese guests. Seiyuu, singers, bands, pop groups, left and right.

    • July 8, 2016 at 8:37 pmBakapooru

      Regarding the Shinkai movie, I thought it was great while watching it. After I walked out of the hall, I was re-living it in my head and I found two plot holes that bugged me. I’m not sure if I would buy the disk when it comes out now.

  • July 8, 2016 at 2:51 pmChromeNova

    Great to see you guys enjoyed the Anime Expo experience overall! It was my second year going there, dressed up as Yato from Noragami, and Frosted Ezreal from League. If there’s one thing I regret, it’s not being able to see all the panels I wanted to, missing out on the Lia concert and Love Live Aquors panel, and a few more. And man was it packed this year, I can only imagine how packed Comiket was. I spent the majority of the time checking out Exhibit hall or taking pictures with other cosplayers. A few hiccups aside, it was a great time, and I’m looking forward to the 5 day convention next year as announced in their farewell ceremony.

    • July 8, 2016 at 3:03 pmTakaii

      DAMN. I was Original Ezreal.

      We should have taken a selfie together ):

      • July 9, 2016 at 2:05 pmChromeNova

        Oh darn, I think I did see an original Ezreal but I was walking somewhere else with my group, that might of been you! :X I saw a few debonair ezreals and other frosted ezreals at the cosplay gatherings, but very few original ezreals suprisingly, aha.

      • July 10, 2016 at 3:31 amTakaii

        Next time then, haha.

        If you saw this though, it was me.

  • July 8, 2016 at 2:56 pmPetit

    Ugh. There’s always those annoying few who wear Disney or DreamWorks costumes instead of anime-related ones…
    If I wanted to see Disney costumes, I would be at Disneyland.

    • July 9, 2016 at 3:40 amWorldwidedepp

      where is it written down that “Cosplay” is anime only? it’s Costume Play. Even Game characters like from HALO are Cosplayers

      • July 10, 2016 at 6:25 pmpetit

        Wait. Why do things have to be written down before they are acknowledged? People have standards and expectations, many of which are unspoken and unwritten. Besides, this isn’t the cosplay expo. This is an anime expo.

      • July 10, 2016 at 9:12 pmWorldwidedepp

      • July 11, 2016 at 2:07 pmpetit

        Why are you asking me to sue someone?

  • July 8, 2016 at 3:27 pmVision33r

    Too expensive, forcing you to buy packages to see this and that. I’m not paying so much just to see goofy cosplayers. I want to see real people from the anime industry from Japan not some American no talent voices.

    • July 8, 2016 at 3:59 pmSigh-chan

      Luckily people as rude as you wouldn’t leave your house for AX in the first place.

      • July 9, 2016 at 11:23 amVision33r

        It’s very likely that my 1st anime con was way before you were born. I’ve been to many more than most people here have. Today anime con is a huge money grab no longer for fans like in Japan where they have free appearances by special guests.

    • July 9, 2016 at 3:53 amLyfe

      Love or hate them, you should probably realize that American VAs have quite a large following. Dubs are kinda popular. Sure, I wouldn’t watch them unless I had absolutely no choice but you know..

      • July 9, 2016 at 11:21 amVision33r

        Dubs are for slow readers and people who still can’t accept listening to a foreign language. The US VAs have a limited following not the same as in Japan where they are treated like Idols. You can’t compare to seiyuus, many are great singers and actors.

      • July 9, 2016 at 11:37 amLyfe

        Who said I was comparing? I’m not reliant on dubs or subs for my anime. But even so, there’s no denying that there are a lot of people out there who like dubs. The pros and cons are irrelevant of either are irrelevant to me.

    • July 11, 2016 at 12:01 amMary

      American VAs are hugely popular at every con I go to. Your likes != everyone else’s. I agree they should have more guests, but guests are nearly last on my list of reasons to go to a con.

    • July 11, 2016 at 2:16 pmAnchen

      I think the only paid events were concerts. Everything else was included in the basic ticket, albeit with lines. So if your main goal was to see panels with people like trigger or flcl or Your Name or things like that there’s no reason to buy any of the packages. Does it kinda suck that it costs extra for the concerts if you were interested in them, yeah, but a ton of cons don’t even have that option so I dunno if it’s that big a deal. And I mean if you want to see people from the actual Japanese industry anime expo is one of the few that will get you multiple at one con. Even otakon usually only has like 2-3 guests from Japan and it’s the second biggest anime con in the us.

  • July 8, 2016 at 3:31 pmZephyr

    Wish I could’ve gone.

    Shinkai, Baldr Sky, Key, Alice in Dissonance, JAM Project… etc.

    Missed out big time on my end. =[

  • July 8, 2016 at 4:14 pmMisa

    I was always volunteering for AX in the past, so it was interesting to go as an attendee after 8 years. I finally got to meet Shinkai, though at the expense of missing out on the premiere.

    I applaud the management’s efforts in security presence at such a big con; rhere were also required background checks for the volunteers this year (iirc, only recommended for artists/panelists).

  • July 8, 2016 at 4:19 pmzztop

    Did anyone get to see the special guests like Sano Nami and Arakawa Naoshi? What were they like?

  • July 8, 2016 at 4:33 pmCroos

    Wait! It’s already this time of year again!?

  • July 8, 2016 at 5:24 pmXRaider927

    I’ve seen those itashas on facebook(including that s13 240sx and that canadian version of the honda civic fd known as the acura csx)and they’re pretty appeared every single expo and even a meet somewhere across not just california….

    • July 8, 2016 at 5:37 pmXRaider927

      almost forgot that red angel beats itasha is a nissan skyline r32 and YES!! it’s now legal to import one since the car is now past the 25-year rule….but in california be careful to import one…. ‘coz the system is giving you a hard time

  • July 8, 2016 at 7:07 pmNishizawa Mihashi

    Dang, wish I could even go there to begin with. Seems like fun x9000. Well, I mean, the conventions in Malaysia are pretty damned fun too but we just don’t have the funding to do what you guys could in 12,000 years. *Tameiki* D:

    I hope they surprise us with something crazy for this year’s Comic Fiesta though. :)

    BTW, how much do entry passes to Anime Expo even cost anyway? Heard it’s like 30 bucks for a day or something?

  • July 8, 2016 at 8:14 pmQuervo

    Wow. That Hisoka cosplay was spot on. He definitely nailed that smile.

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:36 pmNoS Anime

    Do you guys go as press? I saw one reference but I didn’t know if this was across the board.

    • July 9, 2016 at 12:34 pmXumbra

      Yup, we all did!

  • July 8, 2016 at 11:08 pmIncognito

    Did you guys manage to get some good loot from AX?

    Anyway…

    - “Joestarbucks.” I see what you did there… (NIIIICE! Heeheehee…)
    - “Here comes a special boy!”
    - Did you happen to take a look at the other side of that trash bin? I’m curious to know who else was posted on that. (Give a complete list–character and series–if you must.) Seeing Louise, Haruhi, Kirino, Asuna and Hestia on that damn thing put a smile on my face as I consider those *bleep*s to be 2D prima donnas. (I stuff my face with chimichangas…) *record needle scratch* Wait, Azu-nyan’s there?! Unforgivable!

    • July 9, 2016 at 3:11 amNishizawa Mihashi

      Me and a bunch of guys saw this one big-ass industrial style garbage bin that’s actually still pretty filthy and on top of it was Nico’s name lulz. It was at a convention though, and that on top of a panel suggesting people not to get too salty about other people calling your waifu trash. Talk about getting burned lawl.

      • July 9, 2016 at 4:37 amIncognito

        Seriously, how and where did this whole “Your waifu is trash/s**t” thing get started anyway?

      • July 9, 2016 at 12:41 pmXumbra

        As far as I know, the “your waifu is trash” thing has existed for awhile, but the first instance of cosplay I’m aware of was at Anime Expo last year.

        By the way, on the last day of the con I saw someone dressed as a garbage bin, but instead of “your waifu” it was “your husbando” with pictures of guys.

    • July 9, 2016 at 8:16 amNishizawa Mihashi

      Gee, I wonder which side of the planet that came from :D We just picked it up. ZING!

  • July 9, 2016 at 3:38 amWorldwidedepp

    This heating air in small space problem, are always every year here at Gamescom in germany, so many bodies can create heat, and no really working AC. So AX i can feel your “heat”

  • July 10, 2016 at 10:54 amGoukenslay

    Just remember this http://imgur.com/qOLxxUO

  • July 10, 2016 at 4:43 pmKarmafan

    Speaking of Anime:

    BTW… Last night while watching Hunter X Hunter on Adult Swim they showed an advertisement for NEXT Sat night (7/16). In place of Samurai Champloo (that finished last night) they are gonna begin showing One Punch Man. So if anyone did not get to see OPM when it aired originally you can catch it on CN’s Adult Swim at 12:00AM. Most likely it will be dubbed instead of subbed but still a great anime to watch.