Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Anime Expo visit by Latino Gamer and Gaming Archaeologist

A brief summary of the biggest anime convention in North America
Thanks to Latino Graphics, who subsidized my ticket purchase, I was able to get access to the Anime Expo, North America's largest anime and manga event. Oceans of people dressed up as their favorite video game, anime, or even YouTube character (me and Rafael the Latino Gamer saw a man dressed up as the Nostalgia Critic). Rolls of booths lined up with representatives of stores selling geeky merchandise, as well as independent artists selling their anime illustrations. Previews of video games, discussion panels, and round-the-clock activities kept attendees busy. I certainly didn't regret going and had a blast the whole time.

In this article I will elaborate a bit on my personal experience in the convention, but if you would like to see more pictures that give a bigger picture (pun intended) of the event, feel free to visit other related posts in this website. This year's Anime Expo was especially promoting the new movie Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F'. The badges, which are required to enter the main expositions, had images of Goku, and one side of the hall had a giant, inflatable Shenron the dragon. A car air freshener shaped like a dragon ball was conveniently in every bag that was handed out to all the participants with the dates of the movie's release. In the movie, Frieza comes to earth to get vengeance on Goku, but Vegeta, Krillin, and the rest of the Z Fighters wont make it so easy. It all brought me back to the past to the times in middle school when I would just gleefully anticipate the fight between Frieza and Goku in the classic TV series. Personally, I might just like to see the movie myself for the nostalgia effect of it all.

The convention also featured previews of a new Naruto game and of Red Ash, an original animation, and included guests such as Atsuhiro Iwakami and Ayako Kawasumi. But aside from the promotions and the famous people of the anime industry, it was the regular people who really left an impression. I was walking through the stalls and suddenly a mobile band dished out a memorable Zelda tune as they passed by.

People were wearing the most interesting costumes I have ever seen, such as this one of a man trapped inside a cage and carried around by a gorilla (don't know if that necessarily comes from an anime).

I saw very interesting toys and accessories that are very adorable. Toy swords, baby dragons, funny original cartoon drawings, and the like. I was particularly interested in a stall that featured old games and consoles. The only thing that put me off a bit was that some of the anime drawings featured characters that looked way to racy and way too young. That to me came off as disagreeable. But aside from that, the stalls were filled with wonderful articles that pleasantly surprised me, such as the following Pee Wee Herman doll.

In conclusion, the 2015 Anime Expo gave me a pleasant experience overall. I look forward to going again next year and cosplaying, once more, as a Mexican. Thank you for reading.