Anime Expo 2016

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Suicide Squad, Love Live, comic book characters, and several mashups crowed the Los Angeles Convention Center for this year’s 25th anniversary of Anime Expo. This is marked my third year attending and things get interesting each year I attend.

Visitors navigated their way through the convention center in full cosplay or just as fans to take pictures. For me, I was the cosplayer. I took less pictures this year and the ones I took are more detailed one so I can edit them semi-professionally. Anime Expo ran from July 1st to July 4th. and provides one of the best people-watching experiences you can have in the city of Los Angeles — and that’s without even having to pay to go inside.

Anime Expo is a big deal for cosplayers, fans, artist, enthusiasts, etc. For me, I grew up watching 90’s anime, video games, and comics, such as Sailor Moon, Gundam, DBZ, Akira, Marvel, DC comics, Super Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, etc. This year, I focused on more individuals seeing me as a cosplayer, but a graphic designer. I have to get myself out there and be noticed.

For day one, I was Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul. The outfit was quite simple. The mask was an essential piece to the entire cosplay. For that day, I had a photoshoot with Ivotron at 11pm, a Tokyo Ghoul Gathering at 2:30, and another photoshoot with Nick Nack Photography at 4pm.

On day two, I was Dark Link from The Legend of Zelda. It was mainly for The Legend of Zelda gathering held at 11pm. Before that, I was able to get some quick shots by Gil Riego Photography. Afterwards, I changed into my Storm cosplay for a photoshoot with Nick Nack Photography at 2pm and a Marvel gathering at 4:30pm.

On day three, I was Harley Quinn. I have done this cosplay before, but now I wore the white face and did actually makeup. Not only that, they loved the huge mallet prop I made using cardboard, a curtain rod, and duct tape. I had a photoshoot with Mugen Concepts at 11 and Nick Nack Photography at 2pm. Afterwards, I changed into my Harajuku outfit for the fashion meetup.

Most of my time during the day at AX was photoshoots and gatherings. As far as the exhibit hall, it was very crowded. I had the chance to walk through twice, but not for very long. I bought a few things. I always seem to buy some art supplies and a t-shirt. I did finally get an AX t-shirt. Most of the money was spent on food. Subway was my breakfast, and throughout the day there were less expensive choices to eat than buying in the convention center, such as food at Little Tokyo. I even had a Japanese steamed bun for the first time.

I personally had a great time. It was like a mini vacation from the real world for a couple of days. Of course, every convention has their issues. I had no real issues as far as lines. A lot of people there did, however. My suggestion is that you pick up your badge (if you can) on day 0 after 2pm. That is when the line moves the quickest. The day of the convention, go through West Hall entrence, it is quicker instead of going through the main entrance. If you are picking up your badge on day 1, come early. They open at 7am normally. Lastly, always make friends. Here is why? I made several friends at AX2015 due to a scam situation. With that being said, we book hotels together. Meaning, I do not have to commute to LA back and forth like I did in 2014. It makes the overall hotel experience cheaper and more interesting.

The biggest thing I notice is the diversity. I loved how there were a lot more black and African American individuals this year (volunteering and attending). As a person of color, we shouldn’t be afraid to learn more culture, cosplay, and just be a nerd.

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Click Here for some photos.

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