Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime Expo 2012!

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2012!  This news report covers our trip to Anime Expo 2012 for a huge weekend of anime and manga enjoyment and a whole lot more!  Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California over the weekend of June 29th-July 2nd, Anime Expo 2012 saw lots of attendees ready to party on with a bunch of dedicated artists, live performances, gaming events, cosplay fun, and plenty of opportunities to hang out with fellow anime and manga fans. Our exciting trip to Anime Expo 2012 starts here!  Coverage you can count on, here at Linus Lam Network News!

Highlights: Various live programming events kept the attendees well-covered throughout the weekend. Guests of Honor included Animetal USA, Asaka Morio, Cyril Lumboy, Danny Choo, Ei Aoki, Gallery of Fantastic Art, Hikaru Kondo, Ian Sinclair, Jamie Marchi, Joal McDonald, Kunihiko Hamada, LiSA, Misako Aoki, Monica Rial, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Rikiya Koyama, Ryo Horikawa, Steve Blum, Takuya Tsunoki, Tatsuo Sato, Yuki Kajiura, and Jessica Nigri. Big events included Anime Music Video Contest, Karaoke Contest, Masquerade, AX Dances, Scavenger Hunts, Anime Trivia Shows, Midnight Tea, Concerts, and much more. Panels and Workshops included Aniplex of America, Magic Macabra, Anime News Network, Indie Game Developer, Voice Acting, Otaku Parliamentary, Origins of Anime Fandom, Getting into Animation, AMV 101, Robotech, Cosplayer Chess, Drawing Manga Characters, Gaia Game Show, NIS America, Transformers Ultimate, Space Battleship Yamato Then and Now, Last Comic Standing, AMV Chef, Top 12 AMVs of All Time, Anime Bloggers and Podcasters, Giant Robot Rumble, Shonen Jump, Animation on a Budget, Origami Workshop, Idolmaster Dance Workshop, Old School Anime, Para Para Dance Workshop, Gundam Unicorn Focus, K-Pop 101, Vocaloid the Fan Phenomenom, Japan Exchange and Teaching, and much more.

Cosplay: This year's trip to Anime Expo saw lots of inspired costumes from numerous anime and manga characters and more! Chart-topping displays for this year included characters from Elsword, Black Rock Shooter, Panty and Stocking, Tiger and Bunny, Monster Hunter, Bleach, Madoka Magica, Legend of Korra, My Little Pony, Soul Eater, Vocaloid, Black Butler, Touhou Project, D Gray Man, Pokemon, Dynasty Warriors, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime Expo stock convention archives!
Report: Anime Expo is one of those major events you have to try at least once in your life because it is just an insane trip.  From cosplay to going to panels, getting your favorite artists to draw your characters and attending the anime music videos, AX continues to defy all odds, be it numbers, staff and fan spirit, or just shear determination to go up against anything and everything you can throw at it.  

This year, the 21-year-old AX went up against the world-famous X-Games, also held in Los Angeles on the same weekend, covering the same block, and involving the same hotels.  Traffic was a nightmare, parking garages were filled as early as 9am, streets were blocked off, most X-Games attendees were confused about AX attendees in costume, AX had cut some programs here and there, but for the most part, it survived pretty well.  If attendees didn't know, the X-Games is usually held on the last weekend of July, but because of the Summer Olympics, they had to reschedule to the first weekend to ease logistics and planning.  AX already knew this and did their best to co-exist together rather than be separate.  Probably the best strategy to go with since it was a no-choice scenario, as the old saying goes, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".  After all, AX is already filled with extreme anime fans, why not step up the marketing hooplah?  But rest assured, AX will be A-OK for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015.  2016?  Who knows.

The Exhibit Hall was jam-packed to the brim as usual.  Newest items this year were the Nekomimi ears that fans quickly bought up.  Quite a fascinating gadget; it attaches to your head and scans your brain wave activity and responds with cute little motions, mimicking a cat when it's hungry, sad, happy, or just being weird.  As physical media sales are dwindling, many companies are now jumping onto the online video and manga distribution bandwagon and trumpeting their latest subscription services that offer the latest or most popular anime and manga titles for the American audience.  It's all legit and completely supported by the anime production companies as technology forces us to enter a new age of satiating our digital hunger for anime and manga.  Big companies like Funimation, Viz Media, Bandai Visual, Digital Manga, and CrunchyRoll are believed to succeed with a large existing fanbase as well as a solid foundation with many anime conventions.  Many titles coming out are Panty and Stocking, Inuyasha, Fate/Zero, Bleach and lots more.

Registration was a delightful snap to get through.  We performed two experiments (because we can), one through pre-reg and one through at-con reg.  The pre-reg line took mere seconds to scan the bar-code and zip through to the badge processing and boom!  You are done!  That meant that pre-reg line, however long it was, actually went by really fast in about 1-2 hours or so, depending on how late you showed up on Day Zero or Day One, and by late afternoon, it was a breeze in seconds.  At-con registration had virtually no line and also took mere seconds after entering in your information on the machine and boom!  You are done!  Kudos to the registration team for being on the ball about efficiency.

One of the rare sights you see at most anime conventions is a huge Merchandise booth specially made for selling convention clothes, pins, posters, and such.  AX has always done a really good job on this, paying attention to quirky items like baby Ts, shot glasses, stylish bags, and other super nice things you wouldn't find other conventions doing (except for Dragon-con).  It's these little fashionable things that make the AX Experience that much more pleasant for the Forever AX Fan in all of us.

Four days of AX feels more like a week as convention coverage is a marathon to capture everything and anything one can humanly do from a fan's perspective as well as assisting in costume gatherings for Transformers and Tiger and Bunny.  There is simply no shortage of functions to explore, from the art galleries, the humungous artists alley, and of course, the Exhibit Hall.  If you can nab one of those neat Nekomimi ears, do so; they're pretty cute!  So here's to AX surviving another huge year of insane challenges and cheers and kudos to everyone who helped make it possible.  We'll seeya again next year for our mutual 22nd.

Come check out more cosplay and events photo coverage from our Anime Expo stock convention archives!

Be sure to visit the next Anime Expo!

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