Drawing more than 350,000 plus attendees literally from across the world, Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in North America and it once again welcomes the most passionate fans of Japanese pop culture to the Los Angeles Convention Center July 4-7, pre-show night being July 3rd. Anime Expo is currently in its 28th year featuring new exclusives, anime films, fashion, video games, manga, concerts, exhibition all combined to give the fans an unforgettable experience of anime and Japanese pop culture.
The line up for AX 2019 did not disappoint and will kept them engaged though out the weekend. From the exclusive screening of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back –Evolution and the impressive works from world-renowned composer Yoshihiro Ike, to crowd favorites like the Fashion Show and all of the fabulous cosplay, “we encourage AX 2019 attendees to sample it all – creating many amazing and lasting memories,” said Ray Chiang, CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, AX’s organizer.
AX this year had over 400 exhibitors, 19 premieres, over 500 artists, and hundred of hours of programming. There is something for everyone. AX also featured four days and nights of awesome panel discussions, live performances, and special appearances.
On day one, the line to enter the convention center was over a block long around the Staples Center. Most waited up to 2 hours in line. There were only two major entrances.
One of the most talked about and popular events is the Anime Expo Fashion Show, which was held on July 5th in Petree Hall from 12:30-3pm. Japan is home to many of the most cutting-edge, fashion-forward trends in the world. AX takes pride in showcasing and introducing a variety of designers and their creations to the American market. This years designers include: h. NAOTO, Acryl CANDY, HYPLAND, amnesiA¶menesiA, Metamorphose and Hot Topic. In addition, in The Annex attendees are able to meet and get an autograph or photo from the designers and models, and shop each brand’s offerings. I had the pleasure and honor of modeling for one of my favorite Japanese h.Naoto.
Anime Expo always embraced cosplay. The AX Masquerade is really the celebration of style, cosplay and performance competition with history of more than 20 years. AX Masquerade and World Cosplay Summit USA finals was held on Saturday, July 6 at 8pm at the main events hall B of LACC. Masters of Ceremonies Zach and Jim returned to bring their combined energy as hosts for AX Masquerade and the World Cosplay Summit USA Finals. The Corps Dance Crew also returned as featured performers. Congratulations to the Masquerade winners.
What is an AX without tons of music. From all the DJ’s, dances, AMV’s and love concerts, it would not be Anime Expo without music-related events to choose from. This year there were two musts: Yoshohiro Ike Anime Soundtrack World. This international debut concert by legendary composer and musician Yoshihiro Ike awed the audience with his most recognized music and being the most in Japan, having worked on more than 100 titles in the last 20 years. Aqours makes a return appearance with LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE. Probably the most music event at AX!
What would be an anime convention without cosplay? Walking around Anime Expo inside or outside is an awesome visual because you will see the most creative and talented cosplayers and amazing cosplay.
Overall, I still enjoy Anime Expo. You always meet new people and make new friends. I think the issues with the lines will always be a problem and the fan experience still needs improvement. However, the last couple of years I have saw improvements in Anime Expo as whole. Despite the overcrowding, I recommend still attending Anime Expo at least once to experience the massive celebration of Japanese Pop Culture. Next years Anime Expo will be July 2-5, 2020.
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