Anime Los Angeles 2011: A Convention for Fans, by Fans

On January 7th to the 9th, legions of anime enthusiasts descended upon the LAX Marriott hotel for the volunteer-run convention known as Anime Los Angeles or ALA.  While convention juggernauts such as Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con draws in more numbers it’s conventions such as ALA where I feel much more at home with a relaxing atmosphere (closest thing I get to a vacation these days). Truly a convention by the fans and for the fans.

The first major anime convention in the Southern California area of 2011, AnimeLA offers a variety of events to check out such as an exhibit hall, artist alley, a number of panels, a masquerade, an anime music video competition, a game room, and a karaoke room just to name a few. Highlights this year included a fashion show (featuring EGL, EGA, Decora, Visual Kei, etc), the yearly ribbon hunt, cosplay chess, the pirate-filled rum party, the multitude of cosplay gatherings, and the con suite hospitality of the maids and hosts of the Blue Rose Maid Cafe.

This year’s guests of honor was Patrick Seitz (of Hellsing, World of Warcraft, and Naruto just to name a few) and Taliesin Jaffe (of Beck, Bleach, and Street Fighter IV just to name a few).  Other guests of honor were fan guest of honor Helen McCarthy (Anime! A Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Animation) and artist guest of honor Gina Biggs (Red String) along with toastmaster Tadao Tomomatsu (Mr. Shakes Hands Man).  Live programming this year included Cherry, Kairu, Traci Hines, Lemon Drop Kick, Tanuki Suit Riot, and Toybox.

For the full gallery check out Mad Calamity Photos.

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