Anime Expo Returns to Los Angeles
Lucia Flores and Lorena Flores
July 23, 2014 • 15,407 views
This past Fourth of July weekend, the Anime Expo returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Vendors, artists, and cosplayers (fans in costume) gathered at this annual event produced by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation.
The expo features workshops, panels, and an exhibit hall where attendees can explore the artist alley and browse through various company booths with their latest products on display.
There was lots to do and see for those in attendance. The following is a number of highlights from the expo:
Opening Ceremony – The Opening Ceremony welcomed both Guests of Honor and attendees to Anime Expo 2014. Guests of Honor were introduced one by one to the audience and given an opportunity to give a brief speech. A tradition of the show is to have a Guest of Honor draw in one eye of a clay doll head, which signifies the beginning and end of a journey when the remaining eye is drawn.
Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley – Attendees filled the Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley floor, browsing through new products and shopping for merchandise featuring their favorite characters. Fan Art was also available for purchase, where besides Attack On Titan, Kill La Kill, and other anime, one could spot art relating to Teen Wolf, Marvel, and the DC Universe.
Panels – There were several informative panels at the expo:
“Discussing Diversity in the Geek Community” addressed promoting diversity within the cosplay community and tackled issues regarding cosplay authenticity. The panelist spoke about incidents in which they experienced difficulties while cosplaying.
The “Cosplay Is Not Consent” panel spoke about defining harassment policies at conventions, sexual harassment the panelist themselves experienced, and how it is okay to speak up if you are not comfortable in a situation. Panelists also stressed to the audience that even though they may be dressing up in risqué character costumes, it does not give others a free pass to harass them.
The “Hollywood Turns to Anime: What Was and What’s to Come” Panel discussed how anime has inspired Hollywood and vice-versa. Mentions were made of Astro Boy, Barefoot Gen, Hayao Miyazaki, the Wachowski brothers, The Matrix, Pacific Rim, and Speed Racer, as well as other notable works.
MYTH: Legends of Burlesque & Magic – The show, hosted by Illusionist William Draven and Miss Universe (England) pageant contestant Vixen DeVille, featured dancers and magicians who entertained the crowd with mesmerizing acts.
AMV Contest – The AMV (Anime Music Video) Contest tested the editing skills of entrants who cut video clips from select anime series to the beat of complementary music.
This year’s Anime Expo attendance reached capacity, as the event has grown even more popular through social media outlets. For more information on the next Anime Expo, visit www.anime-expo.org.