There can only be one world to describe Anime Expo: overwhelming.
Anime Expo is Southern California premiere convention for anime fans. Spanning over four days, this behemoth of a convention covers almost every single thing that can make the heartbeat of an anime fan beat faster. There was Jpop, Kpop, cosplay backgrounds, sing-alongs, card games, PC games, Tekken, a fashion show, karaoke, a huge exhibit hall containing items that already broke my wallet when I walked in, and fields of cosplay. Anime expo didn’t just cover Anime; it also covered video games, movies, comics, music, and books.
About 100,000 people showed up to Anime Expo last week. So it was no wonder that this correspondent immediately fell ill and had to take a week to recover. Was it worth the con crud? About 90% yes. That 10% is reserved for the ridiculous crush of people. People were every where. The corridors between the convention halls were packed, people scrambled for spots to rest their weary feet against every wall and balcony, and the outside was a labyrinth of lines for panels or food trucks. It would take about twenty minutes just to traverse through the corridors so it was no wonder that I was only able to experience about 1% of the whole convention.
Even though I was only able to experience a small portion of the convention, that portion was still chock full of experiences. One thing for certain, there is a huge difference between a comic convention (i.e. Comikaze, Wondercon) and Anime Expo. There is more of a sense of gathering and community during Anime Expo. Even though the spaces were narrow during the exhibit hall, no one rushed or pushed. Almost everyone was willing to peruse booths and admire swords. Many spots of the convention were large gatherings of friends, cosplayers, or break dancers. There was a great sense of camaraderie and ease even during the crowded moments. Most likely this is due to anime still being a sort of niche and enclosed fandom. It is easier to find your kin who shares the same love of obscure or unknown anime during this expo. The high pitched squeals and secret language around me gave it away.
Overall, it was a super fun convention to attend. It was easy to get swept up into the happiness and secure cocoon of those who also love the same anime as you. The only embarrassing part for me was that I have been way out of touch with anime. The most current anime that I have been following is Assassination Classroom ( a dark comedy anime regarding an alien tentacled creature who is un-killable demands to teach a class with one caveat: the students must kill him or the world ends; only in anime). The anime closest to my heart are Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Fruits Basket, and Ouran High School Host Club. All of which are considered classics. So the best way to bring me up to speed was to talk to the cosplayers themselves (see video below) See the video below for the interviews and general fun. There will be a couple more videos on way, so look forward to those too!