Here and gone is another exciting anime convention, and this time it’s North America’s largest anime convention, Anime Expo. We had a fantastic time this year. For us, everything went smoothly, but this was not the case for everyone.
If you were lucky enough to get your badge on day 0 or day -1, then you probably had no problem having an easy time to enjoy the convention. Those who came on the first day of the convention were hit with an extreme case of line con. We’ve heard from several people that some attendees who came early to get their badges, didn’t even get into the con till 6-8 hours later. This was an unfortunate hiccup for those who lined up that day.
While lines are a pain, they are a necessary evil for conventions. Especially conventions that host over 100,000 attendees. Lines are everywhere, and while we didn’t wait long in line to get in the convention, we waited plenty long to get into panels, screenings, and to meet guests.
For those of you who don’t know, Anime Expo runs more like a trade show and takes full advantage of L.A.’s sprawling convention space. When you go into the exhibition hall for the first time, you are met with two things: A crap ton of people and large extravagant booths.
The exhibition hall ( as AX refers to their dealer’s hall) is aptly named and can be quite overwhelming. While all the usual suspects are present ( Viz, Sentai, Aniplex, Funimation, Epiccosplay, Arda Wigs), there are also a tremendous number of other dealers, including an airsoft company, Bandai Namco has separate booths for their toy and game divisions, and Nis America is always present. And if the approximately 400 vendors is not enough, the sheer size of the displays is enough to take anyone’s breath away. Luckily, the hall is quite large and while space can be tight, the walkways are not impassable.
Anime Expo is one of three sites that hosts the Anisong World Matsuri, which will be at Otakon for this first time in 2017. It was two nights of concerts. The first, was entitles Super Kawaii live and featured Aqours, JUNNA and Minori Suzuki from Walküre, THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, and Wake Up, Girls！As you can see these are all idol groups with several idol anime groups participating. This was actually held day zero before the official start of the convention. All the performances were lovely.
The second Anisong Matsuri concert was Saturday evening and included ALI PROJECT, angela, GARNiDELiA, Konomi Suzuki, Mashiro Ayano, and Minori Chihara. All of the performances were amazing. The entire experience was mind blowing and we really enjoyed the fact that we got to listen to so many different artists, some of whom we would not have seen in a solo concert. And hearing Minori Chihara sing the opening to Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and angela sing the opening to K and Fafner was truly epic.
We went to a slew of panels, in fact, we spent most of Saturday in Industry Panels, hearing about Viz, Sentai, and Yen Press’ new releases as well as a few more. We know that all of the information is available on twitter as soon as it is said in the panel, but there’s definitely something fantastic about hearing it directly from the media companies. Especially as some of them have giveaways or are just really dynamic presenters. We’re looking at you, Viz! (wink, wink)
And the screenings at AX never fail to disappoint, as long as you can get into the room. And Anime Expo 2017 was no different. We had the privilege of seeing world premiere screenings of Welcome to the Ballroom and The Ancient Magus’ Bride . All we can say is that if you have been looking forward to either of these shows, you will not be disappointed. They are beautiful. And incredibly faithful to the manga. Some things were changed, just due to a different medium, but they are both incredibly faithful to the manga. I hope everyone enjoys them when the come out. Welcome to the Ballroom of course airs on Anime Strike on July 7th, but if you cannot wait for The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Crunchyroll is having a movie night at the end of July when they will show the first three episodes around the country. Pretty exciting stuff.
That’s about all we have time/energy to write for today because we have to travel. Stay ready for our second post about AX, where we will talk about guests and haul 🙂