Anime Expo Los Angeles Convention 2012 Report

Well, another Anime Expo has come and gone. The dust has settled, tattered craft foam and fabrics have been broomed off the floors of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and as my aunt says, I’m done “seeing the weird people.” For now.

I brandished my complimentary press pass to anyone wearing a red polo, which granted me access to the red carpet photographer’s rope, a delightful interview with Japanese Vocaloid composer, Deadball-P, and a splendid sit-down chat with my cosplay heroine, Yaya Han.

Field Report: Anime Expo 2012 Los Angeles, California

And while the number of events were far too numerous for any one person to cover, I was able to attend the AMV Contest, the “Mirai no Neiro” Vocaloid Panel, a bit of Danny Choo’s Panel, and the Opening Ceremonies on Day 0. 

Opening Ceremonies

“One of the things I really enjoy about AX is meeting the attendees… This is my third year back at AX. I think it’s a fantastic venue for spreading anime pop culture… You come here and make new friends and new comrades who share your same passions for anime before you leave.” – Danny Choo

The OC were hosted by a casual clothes-wearing Danny Choo and some woman I didn’t know because she was far less otaku. Danny’s Mirai Suenaga.

Danny Choo at Opening Ceremonies

Danny Choo at Opening Ceremonies

This was my first time attending the Opening Ceremonies , and they were… okay? Really not all that exciting. They used Hall G’s massive stage and broadcast feeds of close-ups on two big projection screens. Guests of Honor (GOH) would come on stage, say a few words to get the crowd pumped, and then walk off. I believe the desired effect was to keep everyone cheering by doing big showy intro’s for each GOH, but the pacing was just too awkward and slow. Awkward turtles and other awkward animals all around.

Anime Expo 2012 Day 3 Drama

On Day 3 around evening time, word spread like wildfire that a group of police officers were on the convention floors because of an alleged kidnapping of a young girl. My friends and I heard this news between 10:00-11:00 PM, Sunday night. That same night, Anime Expo staff responded on Facebook and their official site with this statement:

“We want to respond to rumors of an alleged kidnapping. We heard that rumor too, and SPJA director-level staff responded. As it turned out, people thought a friend was missing. However, the person was located at her home, and she simply had gone home without telling her friends. Rumors sometimes spiral as they are passed from one person to another. Thankfully, to the best of our understanding, the person is safely at home and she went home herself.”

It was quite a relief to hear that statement. But let this be a reminder to all of us who attend cons- we come into these events and dive into a population of over 50,000 people inside a colossal building with hundreds of rooms and corridors. And we dress ourselves up… basically like human candy.

We look like giant Starburst pieces and bags of Skittles in our cosplay. And sickos and pyschos and creepers are real. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Danny Choo’s Panel

The Dancing Stormtrooper held his panel in Petree Hall on Saturday to an impressive number of attendees. Once again, Danny caused a lot of lol’s with his slideshow of motivation, with talk about how we should follow our dreams, or turn into ants and red pandas. Ants because we follow along a line and do what we’re supposed to. Red pandas because we roll around and eat and sleep and not much more. He talked a bit about his most recent investment and project, his Japanese language learning materials which include chibi Mirai characters.