Spacious halls filled with merch such as ceramic mugs featuring your favorite anime gals, lively puppies garbed in ninja clothing, and rows upon rows of vibrant art. What do these eye-catching things have in common? They’re key elements of Downtown Los Angeles’ Anime Expo. Held annually by the SPJA, this massive convention gathers passionate fans of animation for four to five days of fun and excitement. While braving summer heat, some of these adventurous attendees show their nerd pride by wearing anime shirts and others cosplay.
Although the performance aspect is not required, cosplay is the cherished art of stepping into the shoes of beloved characters through costume and acting. Anyone from anywhere can become a cosplayer. Cosplayers who are particularly ambitious pursue fame and monetary rewards by participating in one of AX’s biggest events – the Masquerade. Before an audience of captivated fans, contestants compete to have their craftsmanship recognized by accomplished professionals in the industry. If you’re a wide-eyed night owl, this is one event you must attend at AX.
Music lovers who flock to the iconic venue are always eager to become enthralled by a plethora of AMV’s. Short for anime music videos, these animated videos are submitted by talented editors from across the globe who compete with one another for the prizes offered at the AX AMV Competition. The best part is that all audience members contribute to judging by voting for their top favorites. Those who missed the event because they might have been shopping or snapping some epic photos get a second chance to view the contest during the encore, which is when winners are announced.
Everyone who attends Anime Expo will quickly find something enjoyable to keep them returning for years. From panels about topics such as LGBTQIA+ representation in anime to tabletop gaming that unites gamers of all ages, many adventures await you at Anime Expo in California.
Who will you cosplay as next summer at AX 2020?