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8th July
written by Andrew Evans

We attended Anime Expo for the first time this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We drove down from SF on Thursday evening, and got in to the Kawada Hotel at an even 2:00am. The Kawada did not make for the most comfortable lodgings (when they say a 2-person bedroom, those two people better be pretty damn close), but we nevertheless passed out by 3:30 or so.

I spent Friday afternoon walking around the con, photographing cosplayers and generally trying to stay awake. It was a blast, though – there were some tremendously awesome costumes in the large south hall of the convention center, and the arcade game-room was open to all with some excellent rhythm, fighting, and shoot-em-up arcade games.

Friday night we attended the launch party for, an awesome anime blog and community site. Their con review is posted here. The party was held at a place in LA Live called the Farm, and was, to use the technical term, totally ballin’. After that we hit up a party with mutual friends Supa Pirate Booty Hunt, which was hilarious and fun. Held at a karaoke bar in Little Tokyo, we went ’till about midnight having beer, discussing the con and making idiots of ourselves. Great times. Called it a night shortly after.

Saturday we hit the con in earnest – made three passes through the football-field-sized Artist’s Alley and Dealer’s Room, checking out booths from Aksys Games, NIS America, Funimation, and some fantastic cosplay shops. We went to a few panels, including AMV Iron Chef (though we didn’t stay and watch the “chefs” compose AMV’s for THREE HOURS – we did catch the end of it for some good music videos) and the “how to get started in animation” panel, which had some pretty high-up Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon folks explaining how they got into the field. Console gaming room was tight, with the same games as the arcade but free (BlazBlue, SFIV, Rock Band, some Cave shoot-em-up).

Saturday night was partying with a few friends and doing nothing too specific – finding parties and meeting up with friends proved to be quite a challenge due to the huge distances involved. The shuttle routes, double-Mariott’s, and spread of locations made it require significant commitment to go anywhere Saturday night. Next year, we’ll be planning all that out in advance.

Sunday, I took the day off to hit the beach, which was a total Bro-fest. July 4th in LA? Who’d have guessed? The rest of the CC crew hit the con, but it apparently shut down by 3 or so. Shortly after we high-tailed it back to SF.

All in all a great weekend – this con might be a little too huge for its own good, but with a proper plan of attack, next year will be much less challenging. Pics below!

Like the pics above? See more on our Facebook Page or on agius’ Flickr Photoset!