Fans, cosplayers, and guests from all over packed the Los Angeles Convention Center at this years Anime Expo. Know. To everyone as AX, the event was held from July 5th to July 8th with July 4th being preview night. AX this year was more about trial and error. The newest and biggest thing this year is the RFID encrypted badges where you are able to “tap” to enter the convention. This really helps with long lines in the the sweltering heat over 100 degrees.
The Society of the Promotion of Japanese Animation announced that there were 110,000 unique attendees! There were more than 524 exhibitors (which I went through them all).
The most eagerly anticipated event at this years Expo was the world premiere of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. The premier included guest appearances by Daiki Yamashita and Justin Briner, the Japanese and English voices of Deku. On top of the biggest anticipated world premiere there were about 20 other world premieres included what I’ve been waiting for, Attack on Titan Season 3.
Concerts are always the biggest attraction at Anime Expo. Anisong World Matsuri performed three massive nights of concerts for the fans featuring 9 Global acts This includes Aimer, AKB48 Team 8, THE IDOLM@ASTER CINDERELLA GIRLS, i☆Ris, Yuki Kajiura, May’n, Shoko Nakagawa and Sanketsu-girl Sayuri. In addition, Aqours performed their first-ever full concert in the United States.
m-flo presents OTAQUEST LIVE powered by LDH USA with the legendary hip hop trio m-flo, superstar collective PKCZ®, and world renowned producer Yasutaka Nakata were joined by fan favorites including Crystal Kay, Teddyloid, YUC’e, Hachioji P, and Masayoshi Iimori.
For some fans, like myself, meeting guests was the biggest attraction of the Expo. There were over 150 guest and industry appearances, guest of honor, performers, and voice actors. One of the guest of honors included Go Nagai. He is the creator of one of my favorite anime series Cutey Honey. However, the biggest point of the day was meeting Estelle. She is a an amazing singing but also the voice of Garnet from Steven Universe! Most fan know her first as voice actor and if they know her music, it is only “American Boy”. Her actually first single was “star”. The rest of the cast of Steven Universe was also in attendance to sign autographs, take selfies with adoring fans.
Part of the Japanese culture includes j-fashion. The biggest event is the fashion collaboration with Fickle Wish, ACDC Rag, Menherachan with design and styling by Rimma Doi. That was held on Friday in Petree Hall. Afterwards was the Harajuku meetup with collaboration of ACDC Rag. I had the pleasure of meeting Bisuko Ezaki, official artist of Menhera. I, not only preordered the limited edition Menhera t-shirt and pin. I also got my Menhera art fan book signed as well. In addition, in Kentia Hall was the Tokyo Rock Brand Hypercore as well as Listen Flavor pop-up ship. I got the chance to meet the designer Hisacy who even drew a caricature of me (in my cosplay). It was an excellent day for j-fashion.
For my cosplay, on day 1 I ended up wearing Harajuku fashion, for day 2 I was Rogue (1980’s comic version), on day 3 I was Kitana from Suicide Squad, and on day 4 I was Domino from Deadpool 2.
Overall, Anime Expo was awesome not just me but for the attendees as well. Memories were well made. 🌙