Going to Anime Expo for 2015 was my first Anime Expo ever. I've been to other anime conventions before such as my small hometown conventions of Mechacon and Louisianime and a big Texas convention called Akon. Akon is the biggest anime convention I've been to before going to Anime Expo. Anime Expo is held in the Los Angeles Convention Center in California, and is known to be the biggest anime convention in North America. It's highly appraised and is compared to San Diego Comic Con in the anime world.
So what was my opinion on Anime Expo? It was okay.
It was extremely crowded. I felt like I was cattle being herded. I had no choice but to go in the direction of the crowd. Not only that but the crowd effected my perception of where I had to be. There were people everywhere! Especially against the walls of the inside of the convention center. They had me thinking they were waiting for a panel since they were by panel rooms, but apparently they were just resting. Yep, if people weren't walking around they made a nice spot for themselves on the floor. Not just the anime convention, but the city itself. Los Angeles is just too crowded with too many cars and too many people. I felt suffocated. My husband was complaining about his bubble being invaded. We were definitely ready to go home by the second to last day of the convention.
I got to meet the industry. I'm really into anime and manga and I follow the company's news all the time to find out what series they're licensing. The big names that were at Anime Expo 2015 were Funimation, Viz, Aniplex, and even Tokyopop made an appearance. This was probably my favorite part of the convention. I got to hear the first of any news and got to see sneak peeks of clips before anyone else. And their booths! Oh those booths. They were more like presentation stands. They were showing clips from their popular anime and had their merchandise in glass cases for everyone to see. If you found something you liked you could buy it then and there. If you weren't interested in buying anything you could always obtain a free poster from them. I think I got more free stuff than actual bought items from the convention.
It had a rough start. On day 1 they didn't open the doors at the scheduled time, or at least that was being said in line. Once I got in the convention my husband and I knew what we wanted to do. We were there to see panels. We probably spent our first hour of the convention trying to find the stupid line for one panel. None of the convention center staff members knew what we were talking about and then the volunteers were always telling us to ask someone else. From crowd chatter we found out panel lines were outside the convention center due to code. The lines were color coded by tape but volunteers still didn't know about what line was for what. My husband and I figured out on our own that one side of the convention center were lines for main events while the other side was for live programming which is what we were looking for. As the next day rolled around the volunteer workers finally got the hang of the line situation but by that time we already figured it out ourselves.
So my overall experience was fine, nothing amazing. As you can tell my favorite part was the industry. I do recommend people go to Anime Expo if you've never went just to get that experience. I don't regret going. But personally I don't think I'll be going back to Anime Expo again. I rather stay at smaller conventions like Mechacon and Akon. I plan to go to more conventions in my life, so I'll be dipping my feet into new conventions all over the country.
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