Fandom makes its presence known at Anime Expo. Though critics of Anime Expo have angrily typed, “AX is trade show!” or “AX is industry only!” I digress. Expression of fandom through art, cosplay, or interactive events is ever so present at Anime Expo. Fandom is celebrated in unique ways.
Example, Cosplay Wrestling Federation is a cross pollination of wrestling and anime fans. This year was the first year that this major cosplay event took place in a larger room. The event took place in a JW Marriott Ballroom normally used for industry Q&A. The event is not physical wrestling, but has cosplayers playing their favorite characters as if they were cutting a promotional. They would go on stage and monologue why they are worthy of the title of Anime Expo Annihilation. As a side note, this was our copy editor’s first bout in Cosplay Wrestling Federation as King Gilgamesh.
Some of the events highlights included the reigning title holder, Skeletor, a literal burrito, Al Gore, Billy Mays, Date, Mario, Pipi and Popo, among others. Folks cheered their favorites and booed the villains. This was a great way to start off Anime Expo. As soon as the event was over, we got to see fireworks from downtown Los Angeles in celebration of Fourth of July.
The most popular fandoms presented at Anime Expo will always be the latest and most hyped anime of the current season. My Hero Academia remains strong. You could not walk a few feet and not see an All Might, Midoriya, or Froppy. The hype train for the super hero manga series remain strong and is not going anywhere anytime soon. In terms of complex cosplays, I saw a lot of elaborate Fate cosplayers that not only had their respective weapons, but even much more elaborate props! An Iskander came out on a chariot to the Fate cosplayer meet up. Of course, idols is always going to be in season so as long as Anime Expo keeps the idol hype train going. There were plenty of Aqours cosplayers from Love Live Sunshine.