Anime Expo 2016: Exhausted Yet Ecstatic

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Back in the fall of 2015 when my sister Linnea and I first got into anime, I heard about Anime Expo. We’d only ever been to Wondercon and wanted to try out some more conventions, and we LOVED anime, so I got us tickets for all four days, July 1-4, and when I got parking I reserved our spots till midnight for each day. I severely underestimated how exhausting a convention can be. Still, looking back on it now that it’s over I’m glad we did the full convention at least once. At the end of my first Anime Expo, here are my pros and cons:

Pros

Amazing cosplay, a wide variety of merchandise from manga to anime to plushies to figurines, tons of fascinating panels and premieres and an excellent Artists’ Alley. The two things I love most about going to conventions are cosplay and shopping. I was delighted to find both in plenty at Anime Expo. It’s great to see amazing cosplays of your favorite characters, and it’s also fun to keep a running tally of how many cosplays of one character you see. This year Linnea and I bet a foot massage on who we’d see more cosplays of: Lucy or Erza from Fairy Tail. Lucy (and I) won with 17. Erza was close with 13 though.

Cons

The lines at Anime Expo are awful. When we arrived the first day, there was a mob of people outside the LA Convention Center, and many didn’t even know what the line they were standing in was for. After walking all the way to the other side of the Convention Center, we waited an hour just to get our badges to get inside.

Lines for panels and premieres aren’t any better. We tried to get into three different premieres during our four days at Anime Expo and missed all of them. Part of this was due to the huge numbers of people at Anime Expo, but what was really bad was that NONE of the event staff we talked to ever knew where or when lines were forming, not even the Information Booth. When we did receive information it was faulty. This was an aggravating, repeated experience for us that eventually led us to give up on seeing any panels this year. Maybe next year we’ll have the know how to finally make our way into our first anime premiere.

Overall…

I would definitely suggest Anime Expo for anyone with a love of anime or manga, especially if you live near Los Angeles. You’re sure to have a great time at Anime Expo whether you go for one day or four, and it’s great to be amongst fellow fans of the shows and stories you love. Look at the convention schedule early on and prioritize only one or two events for each day because the wait time to get in is so long. Bring cash (many artists in Artists’ Alley don’t accept cards) and water bottles because the sheer number of people there makes it impossible for the AC to do its job thoroughly. At the end of it all I’m exhausted but ecstatic at my many purchases, photos and fond memories. We’ll definitely be going back next year!

And now, our first round of anime cosplay photos!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Great Legend of Zelda cosplay. Love the Link in the jar!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

These cosplays of Kyogre and Rayquaza were AMAZING. Brings all the Pokemon nostalgia back.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

More stunning Pokemon cosplay, this time Garchomp and Charizard.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Loot Anime had a cosplay of their mascot: so kawaii!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

This was one of our favorite cosplays: so relatable to any Pokemon trainer!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

One Punch Man has blown up in popularity since its release in 2015, so we saw quite a few Saitamas.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Link strikes an epic pose as he prepares to defeat his mighty enemies.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Deadman Wonderland’s Wretched Egg. I tried out this anime, but it was SO violent.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Yona of the Dawn, voted the Sexiest Woman in Anime by Anime America.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Five of the seven main characters in Rokka no Yuusha (Braves of the Six Flowers). A great anime – I highly recommend it!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

As always, Yukine is unimpressed with Yato’s shenanigans in Noragami.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Such a beautiful Kiki’s Delivery Service cosplay. I just love it.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Tokyo Ghoul twins Nashiro and Krona Yasuhisa, as creepy and beautiful as this anime.

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

We ran after this Diane from The Seven Deadly Sins to get her photo. Worth it!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Another kickass heroine – Yang from RWBY. Love her!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Of course I have to include a photo of my favorite dynamic duo- Ladybug and Chat Noir!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Love to see cosplay of the classics- Maka and Death the Kid from Soul Eater!

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

Anime Expo 2016. Photo Credit: Linnea Aasland

And lastly, an absolutely stunning cosplay of male and female Samui/Corrin from Fire Emblem Fates!

Hope you guys enjoyed the pics! Which one was your favorite? What cosplay do you wish you saw more of? Expect more pics next week!
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