anime expo l.a.

…was an eye opening experience!

i have been a past attendee of san diego’s epic comic con and seeing that the anime expo was coming to my neck of the woods, it was only logical that i might want to look in and see what that end of spectrum entailed.  much to my delight and surprise, sunday afternoon was open to all and i was able to walk the floor for free.  there isn’t too much difference in terms of the overall set up.  the content may tend to overlap but where anime attendees excel, is in the variety of costumed characters and the depth of their creativity.

of course there are the gaggle of girls who use this as an excuse to dress in the skimpiest “costumes” but there are a greater amount who go all out with custom props, weaponry, hair and even eyes!  the men are also right in line with some pretty amazing threads.  unless you’re a fan of anime and have intimate knowledge of the characters and story lines, you won’t know who’s who but that won’t stop you from being taken by the overall effect.

what i noticed most, besides the profound youth, was the innocence and warmth of the attendees.  incredibly polite, funny and inclusive, the diversity was vast (yes! there were plenty of brothers and sisters in attendance!) and i’m sure the overall dopamine levels were off the charts.  i’ve posted some of the highlights from the show.  be sure to make it to the bottom as i have saved best costume, in my eyes at least, for last:

jorgen von strangle

attendee shows off amazing ring she picked up at the expo.

fantasy couples were a must.

most of the merchandise were plushies, video and printed media, jewelry, art and so on but i was surprised to see these kick ass steam punk shoes!  brought to you by metropolis alternative, they are a jaw dropping mix of smooth or quilted leathers and tough as nails hardware.  absolutely fierce, i could see them being the fantastic touch to a played down ensemble. sick!

the final costume, as promised, which blew me away, was princess mononoke and her companions.  thankfully the convention hall was air conditioned or other similarly fur clad attendees would have suffered far worse.

and yeah, i found waldo!

conclusion: for four days attendees like the above are treated like rock stars!  they are stopped left and right for photographs so much so, that i’m amazed they are able to explore the event at all.  the best thing was watching the looks on their faces as they interacted and bonded because for that small window of time, they are together in a shared love of fantasy, good vs evil and all things anime!