Anime Expo 2011

Anime Expo is the event this nerd has been looking forward to. It’s my Gold Star on the calendar. And this AX didn’t disappoint at all. There was a lot of shakiness this year because a new and competing AMSquared. It was scheduled the same time as AX and was priced at FREE for all who attended, which looked good compared to the $40-60 price tag of AX. But contrary to popular idea, AX had record attendance, in a time of depression, which not only squashed rumors of the convention moving, but also brought up conversation of an extended Los Angeles Convention Center contract. They are currently finishing a 10 year contract. The convention was full of keynote speakers and a digital celeb concert thrown by Miku of Project Diva, a breakthrough game on the (supposedly) dieing PSP. But for true anime fans, the guests are just a plus. The real excitement is in the interaction. There’s something about AX that makes a usually reclusive group become social. Otakus all over gather and discuss over a shared love. This AX was no different. There were plenty of Crowd Central events such as AMV contests, Cosplay contests, Cosplay Theme Meet-Ups, and Peer to Peer debates, which even I was a part of. The friendships made there are instant and there’s a judge-free feel to the event in total. And for the Otaku looking to party, there’s a rave every night from Day 0 to Day 3. Most of all AX tries to make itself accessible. There’s a shuttle that runs 24 hours a day and events during 22 hours of the day, with a break from 6 am to 8 am. The expo is a definite Go-To for any anime lover, and with the widening acceptance of anime, it looks like things will only get better.

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