Welcome to Anime Expo, the biggest J-subculture convention in the United States!
Greetings Netizens of the world and welcome to Anime Expo 2017! Every year seems to get more and more packed with goodness; but with it, more and more crowded! This year had an overall unique attendance of 115,726 people including the Pre-Show night! Going up 17% from 2016, the total turnstile attendance was 357,178!
Anime Expo shows no sign of slowing down. With the expansion into the JW Marriott, the pre-show night, and 800+ hours of programming, you would have to create Shadow Jutsu clones of yourself to be able to see everything! Anisong World Matsuri made a strong return with popular idol groups from Japan and various other artists performing on stage for over two nights! AX also hosted an EDM concert, Neon District, where famous DJs in the J-subculture world spun the tables til the wee hours of the morning. World premieres and U.S. premieres of highly anticipated anime were also on the books. Parties, celebrations, & anniversaries among the anime world – such as Hatsune Miku’s 10th-anniversary dance celebration – were in full effect during the long weekend! My point is this: this convention was a haven of J-culture sensory overload!
So with the insane legions of crowds, Anime Expo took the initiative to distribute passes on-site two days before the official day. Technically, that means there was a Day -1. I decided to pick up my press badge on Day Zero in order to catch the first Anisong Concert and the pre-show nights at the 21 & Up lounge – featuring a live DJ, drinks, & dance! Welcome to the place where J-culture enthusiasts can geek out in their cosplays & let loose on the dance floor!
Voice of the Cosplayers
My final two days at the convention were filled with panels & cosplay interviews. I cannot stress enough that it is no longer the convention that keeps me coming back. Instead, it’s the community. The Industry panels are intriguing, the endless events and programming are fun to attend, but they are so overcrowded with apocalyptic lines that it’s hard to enjoy.
So what keeps people coming back to this chaotic battlefield of a convention? The community, of course! This isn’t my opinion, entirely – view the videos below to hear the voice of the cosplayers!
Until next time!
It was quite the enjoyable ride seeing the anime industry show off its latest works and hearing straight from the production studio presidents, animators, writers, producers, etc.! Being here, without a doubt, creates the sense of belonging for fans of the J-subculture. Even if social norm don’t, there is a social norm among AX that says “we get it” and “we are here because of it”! If you haven’t been to Anime Expo but plan on doing so, it is like taking a full fledged vacation. Be sure to plan out your budget and choose your events among the programming schedule wisely. The phrase, “So much to do, so little time” fits this event perfectly.
A big shoutout to all the amazing people I met that made my visit a memorable one. And to the event staff for keeping things in order (relatively ;P ) despite the raucous crowds. I hope to meet you all again, soon!
Full event pictures link below!