seems that every year I go to Anime Expo something bad happens to me.
I have gotten sick, nearly gotten into several fights, had car trouble,
was nearly hit by several cars, and have had panic attacks. This con
is usually called my bad luck con because bad things usually happen.
Oddly enough this year nothing bad happened to me. I am rather surprised
by this, but I am glad that I could come back from AX with a smile on
my face. This year felt different from other years and that is a good
thing for once.
One aspect of the convention that was the same as previous years is
the sheer amount of people posting online about how bad the con will
be prior to it even starting. Anime Expo is the only convention that
I have attended where the attendees really seem to want to hate the
con before they even attend. This seems very foolish to me as I cannot
understand why people would go to this convention if they are pre-disposed
to hate the event. If you do not like AX then do not pay to go. In fact,
do not go at all. I am tired of the haters who seem to hate AX only
for the sake of hating the convention. I do not know where these people
come from or why they would pay money to go to an event they hate, but
at least they are attending and supporting this convention.
Overall, there were many great things about Anime Expo this year. Some
of these things were within the control of the convention and some were
not. Outside of convention control was the nice weather. It was not
nearly as hot this year as it was last year and the refreshing breeze
made the weekend much more enjoyable for me. Also I have gotten much
more used to the set up of the LACC which made navigation much easier
for me, for the most part. Staying with my brother was also a plus as
I did not have to worry about taking the shuttles.
The first part of the convention that was done right this year was the
ease of getting into the registration area and the speed at which everything
was going. As always there were long lines, but they flowed much better
than previous years. Secondly, the room set up felt more natural this
time with live programming rooms being placed in better locations for
entry. Third, the use of the Nokia Theater was a great addition due
to the large area it provides for concerts and events. Fourth, the guest
line up was very strong this year featuring many popular Japanese guests
including anime producers, mangaka, and voice actors. In addition the
idea of giving priority signing tickets to those who went to the panels
was also a great idea. Fifth, the security seemed very professional
and did their jobs very well. This may have upset attendees trying to
break the rules, but those who follow the rules have nothing to complain
about in this regard. Things were run very well this year, especially
considering the amount of staff shuffling that occurred prior to the
As much good as there was this year there were also several problems
that need to be addressed for next year. The first is the set up for
the dealer hall. The room had a very odd set up this year. Booths on
the right side seemed closer than those on the left side then add in
the artist alley and autograph line and things can get pretty crazy.
It also felt like there were fewer vendors this year, though I am not
certain that is true. The hall could be made roomier by putting autographs
and the artist alley in other rooms. Also it would be nice to see a
bigger variety of vendors next year because it felt like I was seeing
the same booth over and over.
second issue is that the shuttles were not very reliable. Granted I
did not need to use them, I still heard many complaints and my team
found it easier and faster to walk to some destinations. Not sure how
this can be realistically fixed. LA traffic is a nightmare and many
hotels are not very close to the convention center making quick roundtrips
not very likely. The shuttle service will be a constant problem for
the foreseeable future unless a workable solution can be developed.
the lack of the ballroom dance is a bit of a downer. It was a fun event
for many years and I would like to see it make a comeback. The fourth
problem was the programming rooms were not very well marked this year.
This was a problem I had last year, but this year the rooms seemed easier
to find. Still there should be big signs pointing out the rooms and
I should not have to find a room based on following a long line of people.
Finally, although the arcade was well done I heard that on day three
the coin machine was out of quarters. This is a minor problem that was
caused by the success of the arcade. Adding a means to monitor the machines
to prevent this from happening again would be a good idea.
I enjoyed my Anime Expo experience. I had fun at the concert, I enjoyed
all the panels I attended, and the social side of the con was pretty
good too. I know that there are many people taking about how much they
hate AX, but it feels that they do that for the sake of doing that.
Just as people love some conventions no matter how banal or poorly run
they are, people hate Anime Expo no matter how much fun they have at
the con. I feel the staff should not take offense to this, but rather
continue to make Anime Expo the best convention they can.
Before I go, I would like to extend my thanks to Miguel, Ryan, Matt,
Trumby, and the Bay Area crew it was great hanging out with you guys.
I also want to thank the Anime Expo staff for helping me get registration
squared away. Thanks to Mark Perez for his hospitality. Finally, thanks
to my brother Keven for housing and transport during the convention.
As per usual I end this report with my list and if you have any comments
or complaints be sure not to e-mail me at: Jared (at) Scarlet-Rhapsody.com.
Until next time give my love to America, the greatest country in the
1. I was born ready!
2 Iím the best at what I do!
3 Iím the dragon, bitch!
4 Happy hour snack time.
5 Regret not getting that Reno figure.
6 Wonder if I should have hit day fourÖ
7 Hey I know you!
8 Nice hanging with you Miguel.
9 Déjà vuÖ
10 Iím healthy!
11A cool breeze can make all the difference.
12 I like the industry side of this con.
13 Anime fansÖ
14 I think I should have eaten better.
15 WaitÖ I didnít pick up those swimsuit figures eitherÖ
17 Another year without Aion, I think Iíll just cancel the project.
19 Another day 2 headache.
19. RE: 18 Ė Iím seeing a pattern here.
20. Letís dance until we canít remember why we were dancing.
21. Those stupid horns!
22. Two Words: Yoko Kanno!
23. One cosplay a day, I like that rule.
24. I also like roaming solo.
25. Made some PokeWalker friends.
26. Seriously, why didnít I go after those figures?
27. Finally, a con with interesting panels!
28. I didnít have to take the shuttles, suckers!
29. Note to self: Get a courier bag.
30. Still playing catch up with real life.
31. Finally, I want to work on AMVs again!
32. To hell with the haters.
33. Thanks for the help Keven!
34. Yuu Asakawa has great English.
35. Most AX attendees do not.
36. If you ask a question in Japanese you better be from Japan!!
37. Attitude determines everything!
38. Next cosplay: that Rick Hunter wannabe from Macross Frontier.
39. First Expo Iíve gone to unarmed in a very long time.
40. No rude photographers, thatís a nice change.
41. No facts about 41, just happy I did a long list again.
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