Every year for the past 19 years there has been a convention in southern California in the United States based around anime entitled Anime Expo. This is the 20th such event, but this is the first time that I was able to attend the expo. For those just wanting images, here is my photobucket album for the Expo with titles to describe the images. While I served as the person to stay in line, my good friend (and jokingly sidekick) Skorpigeist went around and took pictures of cosplayers. All credit is given to him as well as the wonderful people who were willing to pose for pictures to show off their hard work. Warning! Huge images when you click on them!
On Day 1, we went to grab our badges and got our first taste of Anime Expo. Lines, lines, and more lines awaited us as we got our badges and tickets for the Miku Hatsume concert. We met some interesting people in line, but couldn’t chat much as we both focused on other topics. I was able to meet zaockle, Yumeka, and f0calizer afterwards and then checked out the exhibit hall. My only purchases were the Haruhi-chan/Churuya-san R1 DVDs and the COMPOSITE Ver.Ka Haruhi Robo figure. Skorpigeist broke down and bought one of the loveliest figures I’ve seen: Taiga Aisaka (Final Episode ver.) plus MoonPhase. Following our leave of the exhibit hall, Yumeka, Skorp, and I waited outside to watch the premiere of the dubbed version of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. I’m already set to pre-order it as soon as solicitations are out. The movie was fantastic and while I’d like to say more, I’ve got to leave something to the review! I happened to suffer from some jet lag, so I was out of commission for the rest of the evening.
We were able to walk around and see tons of cosplayers today. The vast majority of pictures were taken this day by Skorp as he went around while I just waited at the Bandai panel line. I hoped to get a poster, but that proved to be unlucky. The Bandai Panel was interesting, but the Q&A was full of dumb questions about the various releases of past Gundum series. We then went to see Miku in concert and got interviewed by Toyota for their marketing of Miku. I finally got a poster, but it was of Miku rather than Haruhi. After waiting two hours to get into the building (we reached our seats literally 5 minutes before the concert started), we got to see Miku’s first big concert in NA.
Simply put, it was amazing. We could barely tell at times that it was a projection on a screen rather than a human. When she went to the opposite side, it was difficult to see her but it was still amazing. I had only heard The World is Mine prior to attending this concert, but I couldn’t tell much difference of other songs due to being live. It was still 90 minutes of 24 amazing songs. If there is a BD released, I will instantly get it.
On our final day, again I waited to get into the exhibit hall to try one final time for a Haruhi poster while Skorp took pictures. After I found out that I wasn’t getting any posters, we went around the booths and picked up more figures. I got a miniature set that included a rare figure of Koizumi while Skorp got Kuroko, Arkawa Under the Sun and two copies of the Serial Experiments Lain artbook. After one final view of cosplayers, we went back and played Tetris to get everything packed. After one of the best meals I’ve ever had at the Curry House, we checked out and sang karaoke with Yumeka, f0calizer, and Jan before leaving L.A.
This was how I felt yesterday and still feel today: this was one of the best trips I’ve taken. I loved being around so many fans that shared the same interests as I did. While I enjoyed waiting in lines, we’ll be getting a premier pass next year to skip the lines and be able to get into events as they open. The additional hour at the exhibit hall will also be nice. We learned a lot for next year and hope to see everyone again!
Random pictures follow: