The walking tour of Anime Expo!
They always tell you to save up your hard earned dollars for Anime Expo. Let me tell you – Anime Expo’s dealers hall can be dangerous to your wallet. However, you’ll find a lot of dealers who only make Anime Expo their one stop. You can find fandom fashion, replicas of weapons (great for cosplay), convention exclusive merch and deals, selfies with Prinny’s, figures galore, cosplay wigs, cosplay and j-fashion, etc. Of course, they had my latest obsession – rubber keychain stamps for ita bags! They even had dedicated booths selling these knick knacks. So you’re definitely going to want to take a look around to see what you want to spend your money on.
I was on a quest for Azur Lane merchandise. Azur Lane is a gacha game based on World War II ships. This was the first time they would have a presence at any fandom events. The lines were insanely long to get merch at the main booth. I ended up taking home a few keychains for future ita bags based off the British Royal Navy. They also had cosplay models representing ships from the game. I came out on top. Not only I got merch of my favorite ship girls, but I also got to test out the upcoming console game, Azur Lane: Crosswave.
West Hall had their entertainment hall. There’s not much in terms of shopping here, but you can get selfies with Viz’s Sailor Moon cosplay team, play the collectible card game from Fate Grand Order, etc. The best part was going to the Entertainment Hall later in the evening because it wasn’t so crowded. We were cosplaying from My Hero Academia just frolicking around the selfie dioramas. It was cool when another My Hero Academia cosplay group invited us to be a part of their classroom shoot. Sometimes going to parts of the con later in the day has payoff. We were able to see everything without hassle in West Hall in less than two hours just taking our time and taking all the selfies.
Artist Alley is a lot more chaotic. If you have any sense of claustrophobia or are prone to panic attacks, avoid the Artist Alley completely. I feel they really sardine you in here. I think I would be okay if the Artist Alley was held in a larger hotel ballroom just so people have more breathing room. I barely got to see the whole alley. However, I do follow my favorite artists on their social media. Many of them had their display names showing where they will be in the alley so I can make a bee line towards their booth so I’m not dilly dallying too much. Following favorite artists and knowing where they will be will save you wicked time!