Anime Expo 2011 Convention Report
Anime Expo, some considered it the best anime convention in the United States, others deem it possibly the biggest. Those who have been to Anime Expo multiple times, consider it home. For me it was the my 2nd time going to Anime Expo and my expectations of the convention were already high since Anime Expo is the most attended anime convention in the United States. What I experienced in those 4 days, not only met my expectations, but it also excelled even higher then what I expected. I got so much good stuff out of Anime Expo: the gatherings were great, the panels were awesome, the cosplays were elite status, and it hosted the biggest dealers’ hall I have ever been in!
Gatherings to me are fun to attend as it gives me a good opportunity to take photos of other cosplayers, and normally at anime conventions gatherings are just as fun as hanging out with friends. It's not the best experience ever but still fun. I went to a few gatherings at Anime Expo this year and I’ve got to say, they are the most organized and fun gatherings I have ever been to. With the exception of one gathering, that was poorly organized, all the ones I went were exciting. There were no horsing around, gatherings were well controlled, everyone took photos without any problems, and we all had fun. When I went to the Valve gathering, which was the most fun I have ever had in a gathering at one time, and being a part of the gathering does make things more fun as a cosplayer then from a photographers stand point. The one gathering that was very unorganized was the Vocaloid gathering, but to their credit they were handling a huge group that was there for the Miku concert this year.
I made it a goal for myself to check out more panels this year. So with that in mind, I went to as many as I could and all the panels I went to were really impressive. There were times where I was sitting in the rear and had to lean over to see what was on screen, but luckly that was not the case all the time for me. The panels I went to check out were: Fakku Q & A, Fakku: What hentai's to look for, Highschool of the Dead screening and commentary afterward's with the creators of the show, Mega 64, Last Comic Standing, and closing ceremonies. There were probably a few I didn't list but overall all the panels I went to were very well done. It was really an excuse for me to rest and sit down after the non-stop walking from one end of the convention to the other. All the panels were handled greatly, there were no hiccups, everything ran as it should and there were always a lot of people going to these panels. The only thing that I had a problem with was that all the panels started late: 20 to 45 minutes late.
Last time I was at Anime Expo was in 2008 and when I first entered the dealer's hall I was amazed on the sheer size of the room. Four years later, it's still the biggest dealers hall I have ever set foot in, booths as the eye can see, figurines, models, manga, and wigs. Whatever you wanted, it was there! However, at the same time, there was plenty of room to walk around. I liked the placement of the artists’ alley: to the back of the dealers’ hall to the north side of it. Also, in far left side of the room was where the autographs were being held. Big name companies represented NicoNico, Bandai, and countless other video game and anime companies. I said it back then and I say it again, you can easily spend $1,000 in that hall and still want more.
For the rest of the convention I experienced, it was all superb! Cosplayers were cool to hang with and have a conversation with. I like how Anime Expo put roach couches next to the convention this year and by far this was best idea for a anime convention. Also one more point to add, getting food for $3 vs. food in the convention that would have been around $10 was bar none the best initiative Anime Expo did for food. Overall I had a great time this year at Anime Expo. My only two regrets I didn't get to attend the Miku concert and to the dance. Aside from that everything else was fun and awesome and can't wait for next year.