Earlier this month I attended my very first Anime Expo. This was my very first conference in the anime industry. It’s funny that when I worked in the toy industry many moons ago, I had several opportunities to go to Comic-Con. Back then the focus was more on comic books & the toy industry that surrounded those characters. Comic-Con has now evolved into more of a pop culture festival. Sure you still have comic book fans that head down to San Diego. However somewhere along the way, when the Twilight fans emerged in 2010 & stormed Hall H, Comic-Con turned into more of a film fest for big studios/TV meet & greet for television shows. I’m not knocking it, in fact I would love to attend Comic-Con one day! However for people who are really into anime, the Anime Expo (AX) in DTLA is the place to be!
When I arrived on Thursday, which was the first day of AX, you could feel the excitement in the air. I made my way over to the press/media section so that I could collect my badge. All attendees received a goodie bag & a fun Dragon Ball Z crown/headpiece. The goodie bag contained a Anime Expo program, map of the convention hall areas & other assorted items. However I knew that the one item that would score some points from my kiddo was the Dragon Ball Z paper headpiece!
There were SO many cool costumes! I found out that these intricate pieces take months to create, so people are quite proud AND happy to pose for pictures.
Since I had a little bit of time to wait before the Women in Pop Culture panel started, I checked out one of the smaller halls with some merchandise & electronic items in it. It was in this hall that I saw Hello Kitty clothing for sale from Japan LA. Being a big Hello Kitty fan, I had to buy a skirt that I hope to wear at Hello Kitty Con later this October.
Eventually it was time to head over to the Women in Pop Culture panel.
The panel was moderated by Cassandra Peterson (aka Elivera). Rileah Vanderbilt & Clare Grant (from Team Unicorn), singer Noelle Bean & Danielle Vasinova made up the panel. Sho Murase was supposed to be there but wasn’t able to attend. The women talked about pop culture, anime & breaking barriers in the entertainment industry.
Here is a snippet of Rileah giving props to Cassandra Peterson who played Elivra in film & TV.
Singer Noelle Bean also performed her hit Lois Lane. Here’s a clip: http://instagram.com/p/qADtLDiFA8/?modal=true
If you want to hear the song in its entirety, check out this YouTube video:
After the Women in Pop Culture panel, I made my way down to the front to talk briefly with Team Unicorn & Noelle Bean. They graciously agreed to pose for pics.
Then it was time for me to walk the giant showroom. So much merchandise! I knew Hello Kitty would have merch here, but who knew that llamas (or alpacas) would be a thing?!
Cool display of Batman & Superman figures!
Of course I had to stop at a Hello Kitty booth where they were promoting the latest mobile game app.
I walked around a little bit more, but then I was starving so I left to go outside to the food truck area & grabbed a very late lunch. I wasn’t able to go back for the rest of the weekend at Anime Expo (due to work commitments). All in all it was a very cool expo to experience!
Have you been to Anime Expo? How about Comic-Con? Which do you like better & why?
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended Anime Expo as a member of the media. I was under no obligation to write about my experience, but I wanted to share it with my readers. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. My opinions (as always) are 100% my own.