「Anime Expo 2015」

After attending Anime-Expo for a handful of years, this year’s convention definitely took me by surprise in more than a few ways. With a revamped registration system that had people flying through at the speed of light to providing shade and protection from the sun for those of us secretly attending line-con, I was genuinely impressed with how much effort went into all the logistics. Before jumping into the post though, let me give a big shout out to all the staff and volunteer staff this year. Besides being extremely helpful to anyone who needed assistance, I have to hand it to them for their upstanding behavior and professionalism. Good on you Anime-Expo staff!

What is Anime-Expo?

For those of you out of the loop, Anime-Expo is the largest anime convention held in the US. Held in the Los Angeles Convention Center in sunny downtown Los Angeles, there’s more than enough one can do throughout the four day convention. With hundreds of booths to look through in the exhibition hall to the insane amount of artists showcasing their work in the Artist Alley, you could probably spend your entire time in there and still not get a good glimpse at everything. In addition, there are tons of panels for you to spend your time at. Some hosted by fans, some hosted by industry guests; you’re bound to find something that’ll pique your interest. All the while walking through a sea of fans, most of whom are dressed up as their favorite characters from various anime, games, and movies.

So if any of that sounds interesting to you, why not come check it out next year? Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to register early. The longer you wait, the higher the prices get. (Last year the prices started at $50 for the entire convention and went up to $115 if you tried to register on-site!)

General Experiences

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Closing Thoughts

Everything about this convention is big and I’m glad this year pushed things to the limit. From the guests to the performances, Anime-Expo is definitely offers a unique experience when it comes to an “anime convention”. While I wish it could be a bit longer (that post-con depression has already kicked in) since it went by in the blink of an eye, there was never a moment where I wasn’t thoroughly enjoying myself.

Before closing the post out, let me once again thank all the staff and volunteers for their hard work keeping everything running in the background. Without all of their sweat and effort, a convention like this would probably turn into a total disaster. So next time you see someone rocking a staff badge, why not give them a high-five?

See you guys next convention! Also, Happy Birthday to Me!



Convention Info

  • Date: July 1st thru 4th
  • Location: Los Angeles Convention Center / Downtown Los Angeles
  • Website: animeexpo.org


    “For those of you out of the loop, Anime-Expo is the largest anime convention held in the US.”


    “Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to register early. The longer you wait, the higher the prices get. (Last year the prices started at $50 for the entire convention and went up to $115 if you tried to register on-site!)”


    “But after experiencing Studio Trigger’s panel, I’ve realized just how magical a panel can become”


    “Let me once again thank all the staff and volunteers for their hard work.”


  1. This was my first time going to AX, and I absolutely loved it! Thank god I didn’t line up for autographs, I had no idea the lines were that bad! The only thing I want to point out is the Fate event, specifically the Q and A session. Honestly, that section would been significantly better if that one translator on the left hand side knew how to speak more than broken English, or at the very least they had switched the translator who actually could speak English to the left hand side where the guests (the producer and the Ufotable head) that actually spoke more that EX-CALIBUR! were. That and if we replaced the Ufotable head’s description of the animation process to “watch Shirobako,” it would have at least been bearable, if still boring. Overall though, AX was a blast, and I recommend everyone go there.

    The Big Guy
    1. I don’t know why I did it but for one ticket I was able to get everyone’a autographs + Aimer and Mashiro Ayano so – value!

      I feel you! If you learn Japanese though, you can skip the translators entirely 😀

    2. Well she is one of the reps from Aniplex NA, so shes generally at all the Guest of Honor / Aniplex related panels and events. She was at Koyama’s (Kiritsugu’s voice) in 2012 and at Sakura-Con’s UBW Cour 2 premiere. But yea, it was pretty broken. But also like Takaii points out, knowing Japanese lets you bypass it all.

  2. …a buddy and I maned up and trekked to that line at three in the morning only to find a good 20-30 people still in front of us.

    Jesus, in all likelihood many of those 20-30 people were there long before you, perhaps having spent the entire night waiting. Reminds me of the news reports of folks camping outside of Wal-Mart weeks in advance of Black Friday. I salute you, sir; you are a far more patient person than I- I’m the guy who leaves a restaurant and goes somewhere else if they tell me that there’s more than a 20 minute wait for a table…

    Also, Happy Birthday to Me!

    Oh, and happy birthday, Takaii!

  3. Glad to hear you had a good time this year. I was shocked by how fast the registration was this year. I was used to 3+ hour waits but I literally got my pass without a line at all at day one and thought I cut the line or something!
    Panels have always been a case of going to the right ones and managing expections IMO. I kinda stumbled into the Shounen Jump panel and it had a surprise apperance with Junko Takeuchi. You never know what you’ll get.
    I hope I can see you around next time Takaii! I’ll be working on a Death Gun cosplay if u decide to come back as Kirito!

  4. Thanks for taking so many photos; they’re a nice treat for those of us that really can’t do cons due to distance/cash/time/anxiety issues 🙂

    I particularly like the Warbeast Miko outfit from No Game No Life, the cosplayer/designer really nailed that one.

  5. Man… All these improvements to your con over there has me reminiscin’ the good ol’ times back in ‘012… Man, I’m envious of you Western folk, always gettin’ the good stuff… Well, there’s Anime Festival down in Singapore but then again… I want my country to at least be on the same level… And yes, that country is right across the bridge from Singapore…

    Been to Comiket as well, but Comiket isn’t fun more than it is just one gigantic, body-breaking in-your-face commercial event… Yeah, been there last year winter… Oh boy…

    All this really makes me yearn for that day I finally set foot on U.S soil just for a great time an anime/manga convention… Are you ready wallet?

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  6. My sister and I were the first to start the autograph line on Day 1, and we got there at 2:30am. A reporter from ABC came to check us out around 4 am and they were interviewing some of the cosplayers in line live on TV at 5:30. By 7am or so when she tried to do another report live at the front of the line, she tried to hype us up to show some energy beforehand, but we were all half-asleep when her report started. I felt kind of bad for her. xD

    Anyway, we got to the line at 5:30am the two days after that and were able to get our tikets, but I know that some people at least on Saturday were in line since 11pm. I’m not quite to that level of LineCon yet!

    That said, I think the autograph line was absolutely one of my favorite policies of the whole convention. My sister and I were able to get about 14 autographs as a result with almost no stress (though almost no sleep either!).

      1. Haha, love the sketch! Clannad is one of the ones we missed!

        One of our favorites was from Kumiko’s voice actress Tomoyo Kurosawa (Hibike! Euphonium). We asked her to sign the last line of the anime (“Our song continues!”), and she recognized it right away! [link] We were so happy that Pony Canyon let us chat with her a bit and ask for personalized messages.

        Also when we went to Miki Yoshikawa, author of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, we found out exactly what a mangaka is capable of. This is her signature: [link]. It’s much bigger than it looks, and she completed the main part of it with a Sharpie in about 4 seconds! It was so unexpected after the other autographs we’d gotten, and we were super impressed!

      2. Dude, I was in line solely for Aimer and Ayano on Saturday which they kinda messed up by grouping all of the UBW guests together. So those of us stood in line on the other side of the hall being clueless as to where our guests went. Turns out ..as my buddy and you shown…some were lucky to get all 7 autographs with one fell swoop on that day when they went to get autographs for Kawasumi, Hikaru Kondo, and Co.!!!

        I observed how Miki Yoshikawa as I was standing in another line as well as seeing some of her autographs, I secretly regret not getting hers as well.

    1. Otakon seems to be getting some pretty high level Japanese guests these past couple of years anyways (Hayami Saori, Home Made Kazoku, TMR, Tomokazu Seki, Romi Paku, etc), so its not all that bad. AX is big and all but if you are in it for the guests then Otakon is pretty comparable. If you arent, then AX is the place to be.

  7. I have to say i was impressed with this year’s AX, last year it was kind of a in a lot of ways. I was actually very torn on whether i wanted to go this year or not. In the end i went because i had bought a premier pass for this year during the con last year, so figured might as well.

    I am definitely glad i decided to go, this year unlike other years i did feel like people were improving things from day to day. They would identify problems and usually fix them by the next day. Perfect example of this was the whole +18 wrist bands, in the past they would simply check ID if you did not have the wristband, but this year they decided not to do that, and at the same time, they failed to really announce where to get them, which was kind of a problem if you were in line for a 18+ panel and did not know to get the wristband. Later during the con i did see they had posted people in multiple entrances checking IDs and passing out the 18+ wristbands, in order to prevent the issue the night before with people not having a wristband but being of age. The big issue this year was things were not labelled well and with the rescheduling of events, it got a little crazy. So hopefully in the past, they will have more TVs playing the day’s schedule at the convention.

    Also, many of the panels i went to were also pretty fun. A couple of the Ponycan panels were better than i expected them to be.

    People were definitely better trained as well and actually had an idea of what was going on, where lines were supposed to start and where to direct people. While there were still a few issues, it was far better than a year ago. The hallways were usually less crowded with people sitting around in line, and there weren’t multiple lines for the same event either.
    Also, i have to admit the Wagakki concert blew me away, i had never heard of them, but after the concert i had to buy their CD, which is something i rarely do.

    1. Wait you where the one that had that lego key blade? I was a staffer that was asking about it on the outside walk-bridge, got some good pictures too, thank you for that. You did such a great job on it.

  8. Reg was great this year, but man that same system that allows for faster reg hurt Main Event ticketing staff. Day 0 and 1 was very very bad, chaos is all I can say. So the question for staff is, will we do this again?

    Seeing how everyone enjoyed AX, looks like it will be my 8th year as staff next year.

  9. Premiere Badge isn’t worth it. Lines went super smoothly this year, so “skipping” the line isn’t that big a deal. Also, the 1 hour headstart into the Exhibit Hall doesn’t mean squat when they let you in and there are already people in line ahead of you with Exhibitor Hall badges. That’s just BS. I told the managers about it, but they just waved it off saying there’s nothing they can do about it. Those people with Exhibit Hall badges just buy up the rare figures from GSC Booth, and then resale at their own booth for 2x the price. Not paying $350 next year for a Premiere Badge (it’s sold out anyways ¬.¬).

    Other than that though, everything went smoothly this year. There’s lots of space in the Exhibit Hall too (they expanded it). Wish they spaced Artist Alley similarly though, that was crowded.

  10. I came 50% to just see Kawasumi Ayako with the other 50% wanting to see Aimer perform live

    ME TOO!Me TOO!! I was lucky that I got dead center first row for that special showing. And when Kawasumi did fans’ favorite quotes, I practically fan-squealed. I loved Aimer’s performance and that said, I was a bit disappointed with Ayano’s.

    If you really want something, make sure to think about what would be ridiculous and go a little further than that.

    My buddy and I learn the hard way as well on the first day by showing up to the line at 5ish in morning. So….yeah…we became one of those crazies. SORRY!!! I really wanted all those autographs!

    Wanna ask…did you meet Junko Takeuchi or Yoko Takahashi.. the lesser advertised Guests?

  11. I laughed at FANEXPO’s Premiere Badges. They call their top on the VIP at a whooping $525CAN before tax. That be rent bitches and it still sells out.

    They still have the basic Premiere badge but i only got it as a cosplayer for the Priority Entrance. It comes with nothing else I really need.

  12. So have you seen Aimer’s face? She seems to always wear suglasses. Is she blind maybe? Here in Japan if you buy her new limited edition album in Tsutaya, you might win a ticket to her closed event in September. I REALLY wanna go, but I will be on a school trip on that day D: Talk about unfortunate. Going to Aimer’s live was probably one of the primary things I wanted to do when I came to Japan.

    1. I got into the guaranteed autograph line on Day 1 for Aimer. She was wearing a face mask and glasses and she didnt say much during the signing. She did get through everyone, even the standby line though, which was pretty cool. Her live during the fate event was also really dim, much like all of her performances.

  13. This was my first year at AX and overall I loved every bit of it. I was a little bummed that I wasn’t able to get premier especially after hearing how long lines were supposed to be but after picking up my badge in literally a second on Day 0 and experiencing the rest of the con just fine I’m not too upset now. If anything I would have liked to skip lines for panels but I didn’t go to many of those lol

    I loved the MomoClo concert and the Love Live Endless Parade Event, my friends made it so much more exciting and hype too !

    If there were any cons to me it was that getting autographs were the true linecon (it sucked for me since I wasn’t in a hotel but traveled with a friend who lived 45 minutes away). I would have liked to meet particular guests for the autograph signings but you had to practically camp out for the big ones like the UBW staff.

    Overall I loved it and plan on returning next year.

  14. Personally, this year’s AX felt like it was all time spent in autograph lines. Got to the con at 6:45 on Day 1 and the line already reached from the West Hall’s entrance to the underpass under the Concourse Hall. Still lucked out with an Aimer autograph. Not so much for Kawasumi Ayako’s since the staff cut the entire standby line for after only 30 mins, so much for being 17/50 on standby. And all you people are crazy, got there at 5:30am on Day 3 and the line was already in the hundreds which was pretty demoralizing. Lucked out though since the UBW group and Kawasumi got through all the standby’s, fortunately enough.


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