Anime Expo 2012 Impressions

Anime Expo 2012 has officially drawn to a close and everyone has gone home after 4 days of cosplay, events, anime, gatherings, and artwork. We took a ton of pictures of great cosplay and of the many happenings that went down over the past weekend.


Day 0 and Day 1:

Day 0 was just standard preregistration and hotel check in. Arriving in Downtown L.A. at around 3, I made my way over to the convention center to pick up my badge. This is where things kind of get off to a bit of a rocky start. The press pick-up line and the artist lines were having some trouble processing badges for some reason, and it led to lines not moving and some disgruntled media personal. After sorting that out and getting my badge, my friends and I wandered around taking some pictures, including three very cool cars with some nice anime decal. At night we went back to our hotel, had a few relaxing moments, then went to bed to wake up early for the official first day of con.


Day 1 is when things kicked off for reals. Badges in hand, we got on our courtesy shuttles from our hotels and headed straight to con. Getting there a bit early, I took the opportunity to walk around and talk to some of the con goers waiting eagerly for the convention to kick-off. Many come from all over the country, some from other parts of the world, all to share in one of the biggest Anime conventions there is. After the doors opened, I spent the majority of day 1 walking around the exhibit hall and looking at the neat wares they had for sale. Vendors brought their goods and sold them for special reduced convention prices, selling figures, cards, dvds, mangas, games, and more.

After sobbing in the bathroom for a good 30 minutes at my relative poverty and my inability to purchase any of the really, really cool things I saw for sale, I went back out checked out artists alley. I saw some truly fantastic artwork, and had the ability to meet the artists behind them. They were all really nice people who enjoyed what they did. One of my friends was in artists alley, and after spending some time checking his, and other artwork for sale, I made my way over to the Aksys booth. There they were getting ready for Agarest 2, had Runner 2 on demo, and a bullet hell game whose name escaped me all weekend.  There I met up with some personal friends and played Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend (on sale now!) with some of the many convention goers/ fans of the game.

After playing for a bit, I made my way around some more. A short while later it was time for Aniplex’s press panel with the director of Fate/Zero and others discussing the anime. Here they answered questions about the anime creative process, citing American action movies as points of inspiration, and discussed how enjoyable it was to work with the author to make a great anime.

After the press panel, I made my way back to the hall one last time for the night to play some games in the console. Unfortunately, this is where my second run-in with staff went awry. While playing fighting games, my friends and I brought our own stick to use. Some other players wanted to use one too. However, when we asked for one, the staff said that they couldn’t lend out sticks so close to closing (it was around 11:00, according to the schedule it was supposed to close at 12:00, we got kicked out at 11:30). It wouldn’t be so bad, that’s fairly understandable, but when a few other con goers insisted that we’d take good care of it, one senior staff member responded with “If you really wanted to use a stick you would have brought one.” Despite the horrible un-professionalism that very statement vomited into the air and into our faces, I understand that a lot of these guys are unpaid. Still, if you’re going to sign up for something, try not to be such a douchebag about it. Overall, the console gaming room was ran great, and I encountered no further problems. Champ did a great job providing set-ups and running the many tournaments. Just that one guy working there was kind of a dick.


Day 2:

On Saturday, I spent a majority of my day wandering around. I attended a few different cosplay gatherings, and got to see a great many cosplayers from all sorts of different series. A more relaxed day for me as I simply walked around and looked at the sights and sounds, I used this day to plan my big day 3. I played some BlazBlue at Aksys’ booth, and played some more games in the console room again. I met up with friends and stood in line to see some voice actors like Steve Blum. All in all, it was a nice, slower paced day. At night my friends and I went to the AX dance to enjoy ourselves in a party atmosphere. It was fun, but the dance was a little too cramped, a little too dark, and a little too without a bar area for my tastes. At like 2 the dance was over and we walked home to get some sleep.


Day 3:

Day 3 was my busiest day for sure. After an exhausting but fun night, I went to the convention hall to participate in the BlazBlue tournament sponsored by Aksys. The prize was a very nice Noel figure from Queen’s Blade, and I fought hard to get it. I did very well, making it all the way up to semi-finals. Unfortunately, I dropped a game winning confirm and ended up losing both the round, the momentum, and ultimately the match. After my depressing defeat, I talked to some of the players before making my way around the hall once more. I spoke to a few people walking around, took some more pictures, and went to some more cosplay gatherings to observe. At night, I attended the Fakku! Q&A and their Hentai Worth Watching panel. Both were hilarious, as Jacob and Mike are hilarious guys. Even if the content was mostly graphic, it was a lot of fun and very funny, and the Hentai Worth Watching panel was my favorite part of the event, simply because I laughed so hard so many times. Afterwords, I went home for one last night of fun with my friends.


Day 4:

With the majority of everything behind me, I bid farewell to the convention hall one last time. I had a lot of fun, but unfortunately some personal things had me going home a bit early. I will probably attend next year, and this time I’ll bring money to buy things. Overall, I think AX is a definite must for any passionate anime fan, or even a burgeoning enthusiast, as you can meet people with similar interests, learn more about your favorite animes, and enjoy a great time in L.A.

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