What a way to kick off the new decade! Anime Los Angeles was a non-stop party. It was the type of convention that allowed attendees to make up their own fun from collecting ribbons or just hanging out by the poolside. ALA garnered many positive comments on Internet forums as being THE place to be in California for the January 8 – 10 weekend. The event attracted Bay Area locals to travel down to the small, yet fan friendly convention.
There are many positive aspects of Anime Los Angeles. The key to any successful convention is location. This includes restaurants within proximity, scenic spots for photos and gatherings, comfortable lodgings, and access to an airport. Last year, a major complaint was the lack of cellular service. There was some improvement to that respect depending on the service. For AT&T users (Jared and myself), we were in business. However, contacting Deb and Stan (T-Mobile) was a pain. However, Anime Los Angeles is fortunate to have the LAX Marriott hotel secured until 2012. Palm trees, happy hour, Starbucks, and an airport shuttle – one cannot go wrong. The LAX Marriott felt like a vacation resort for attendees. The most popular hot spot would have been the hot tub. Deb and I were about to jump in post-masquerade, but reports by Stan confirmed the hot tub turned into a weenie roast.
The main events ran very well. As a masquerade participant, things were well organized backstage. The show was able to start on time and finish at a decent hour. I am very pleased with this stress free masquerade that was organized by Lindsday Tallman. The contestants were well behaved and I did not feel any diva auras from any of the contestants. Everyone was very friendly to talk to. By the end of the show, we were all very supportive of one another, cheering on each other as we were on stage. Masquerade means different things to cosplayers be it competition or just an excuse to act like an idiot on stage. To me, it’s about the whole theatrical process from making the costumes and writing the sketch, getting to know skilled costumers, and finally showing off on stage.
The guests of honor were great people to get to know throughout the weekend. Scarlet Rhapsody was humbled to do a panel with Bekka the Alice (Convention War Stories). We are forever grateful for this experience. The Spoony Bards were wonderful to interview and film throughout the weekend. Many thanks to Stephen Poon for setting this all up, despite the fact that ALA lacks a press department. It would have been much more helpful if ALA had a room that we could use to film interviews, but we had to use an empty hallway later on Sunday after closing ceremonies. Much apologies to Kyle Hebert. We did want to interview the voice of Gohan and Aizen, but things were really crazy. For future reference, a press department would be helpful in scheduling and arranging interviews for guests of honor.
I am very pleased that our panels went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, there were problems with Amateur Voice Acting. No one told me that I was given 10:00 to 10:50. We had a 15 minute delay because of technical difficulties. Not to mention, the “Five Minute Warning Guy” gave us three minutes instead of five. However, I am very pleased with the attendance for Amateur Voice Acting, How Fandom Got Me Into College, and Convention War Stories. I have never done three panels in one convention, and I certainly would not mind being a panelist again. Many thanks to Pearl for setting up our panels. We would love to do this again for 2011.
As program participants, Deb, Stan, Jared, and I had biographies in the program guide. There was even a section for our autographs. Albert joked if anyone had asked me for my autograph.
However, though I knew many people on staff, there really is not a distinctive staff badge apart from the regular attendee badge. The only way to tell if someone was on staff was if they had the staff ribbon attached to their badge. At times, this can be difficult to identify with the naked eye. Most major cons have a staff badge apart from the regular attendee badge. As Anime Los Angeles is growing, it would be helpful to have visible identification should an attendeee need assistance.
Overall, I am very happy that Anime Los Angeles delivered the Californian anime community another awesome convention. Though I had mixed feelings prior attending Anime Los Angeles, those anxieties were lifted once the weekend started. I am very happy that this convention has grown out of its shell over the past few years and that it continues to attract newcomers. Mucho gracias to Carolyn Ayton for providing the results of the winners for the AMV and masquerade contests.
More importantly, I am very thankful to the Scarlet Rhapsody team for helping this make an epic weekend! See you at the next great big Californian adventure!
If you have any questions about the report or just want to say "hi," feel free to send me an email at v @ scarlet-rhapsody.com.
And the Spoony Bards have given me reason to travel back to Chicago for Anime Central. It’s 2077 miles to Chicago, we got frequent flyer miles, half a box of pocky, it’s winter and I’m cosplaying. Hit it.
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