The first convention of the year! Anime Los Angeles (ALA) returned again…bigger than ever — celebrating its 18th anniversary! Can’t you believe it?! This convention is best known for its massive cosplay and those whom ultimately want to shrink away from the mayhem of Anime Expo. ALA used to be at Ontario Convention Center but now at the Long Beach Convention center from January 5-8th.
Since moving to Southern California in 2013, I have been in attendance of ALA since then with exception of 2019. The atmosphere of the convention is a community of anime fans with activities and events held at both the convention center and Doubletree by Hilton hotel, which included this years fashion show. Also there are plenty of hotels around the convention center to accommodate the guests all within walking distance.
Ribbon collecting is what ALA is most known for. Some attend ALA solely for ribbon hunting instead of the cosplay. I am always impressed by the dedication of the attendees over the years I have attended. One of the most popular anime/manga represented by cosplayers this year was Chainsaw Man. The hit manga was adapted into anime that premiered on Crunchyroll on October 12, 2022, with the English dub following shortly after on October 25, 2022!
The culture of gaming is continuing to grow as well as conventions adjusting to the vast variety of the community. Fan can attend panels that include idols and guests, time with your favorite voice actors and even controversial topics on race, discrimination, the POC community and the 18+ crowd.
Lots of famed industry professionals, including Mamoru Yokota and Kenji Yokoyama that were brought on as Guests of Honor (Yokota even wrestled with a cosplayer during a panel). In addition, Program Hosts Andrew Alandy and Anne Yatco were also featured as exclusive participants to host panels. The traveling Arcane Maid Cafe that was in the exhibit hall room #124 also made its appearance in which it set up a small cafe with a menu included!
Let’s talk about the fashion show! He fashion this year was indeed the main highlight (at least for me). I was behind the scenes (due to sinuses/hayfever) but check out my friend Ivan and his photos from the fashion show on his Flickr account!
The designers this year included: Natashia Miyazaki Los Angeles, Kristin Costa, Creators Guild, M.RAGE | ASTRAL SYSTEMS, RONOVA (rō-nō-vä), VENIA Los Angeles, House of Ryura, & Miss Alphabet. Hair was done by the TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy & makeup was done by Mia Valdez Beauty
Anime Los Angeles is one of the more memorable conventions of the California con scene, and it has not showed any signs of slowing down. Tickets for Anime Los Angeles 2024 have yet to be announced, but you can follow their official Twitter account for regular updates and staying in the loop.