Every since I started attending conventions 11 years ago, I’ve wanted to go to Anime Expo, which is touted as the biggest anime con in the country. Well, this past weekend I finally got to go, and sadly I feel very let down. Excluding the unfortunate events that made this past weekend one of the worst weekends ever, here’s what I thought about the con.
The dealers room and artist alley were great, but the management of the con was horrible (not quite as bad as Nekocon, but then again AX has way more people). We get there wednesday night to pick up our badges, go inside the convention center and walk to registration only to be told that we need to go back outside and all the way around the building to get in the line. There were NO signs directing anyone. If we had known, we wouldn’t have even come inside.
Well that was just the beginning. At the actual con, there were so many people that the hallways everywhere where packed. I have to say that the Los Angeles convention center is a horrible place for con this size. I mean, you have to expect crowds in the dealer areas, but even in the hallways of the upper floors where the video rooms were there were just people everywhere.
At one point, in a particularly narrow hallway, we came to a block where this group of cosplayers were having their pictures taken by a bunch of photographers. I’ve been the cosplayer in this situation before, and yeah, I’m not gonna bust your balls if you get one or two photos taken and then move on, but they were doing pretty much a whole photoshoot! And this other guy was using his arms to hold people back. Well, Rob got angry and just walked straight through anyway. The guy started yelling at him, “why you gotta be a bitch about it?” and I’m like, “dude, it’s a HALLWAY.” He starts on about how he didn’t say excuse me, despite the fact that he himself was literally holding people back with his arms, when finally some staffers show up and tell them they can’t block the hallways. I wish I had told him not to touch me.
When we did try to watch something in one of the video rooms, it was too full and we couldn’t get in. The only place that didn’t seem to be bursting at the seams with people was the video game hall.
I think next year, I’ll skip AX and make a big fancy ball gown for the Labyrinth of Jareth’s Masquerade Ball that is the same weekend.