Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime Expo 2014!
 

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2014!  This news report covers our trip to Anime Expo 2014 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 July 3-6, Anime Expo 2014 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 2014 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 abec, Ami Koshimizu, Danny Choo, Spiral Cats, Eiko Tanaka, Eir Aoi, Eru Matsumoto, Gen Urobuchi, John Stocker, Karen Bernstein, Katie Griffin, Kazuki Nakashima, Kazumi Miki, Keiji Inafune, Kimura U, Kyle Herbert, Linda Ballantyne, Mary Long, Masahiko Minami, Masakazu Morita, Reki Kawahara, Ron Rubin, Ryoka Yuzuki, Sean Danconia, Sonya Belousova, Stephanie Morgenstern, Susan Roman, SUSHIO, Toby Proctor, Uki Satake, Vic Mignogna, Yoshiki Sakurai, Yousuke Toba, and Yuktaka Yamamoto.  Main events included Cosplay Chess, Masquerade, Anime Music Video Contest, Karaoke Contest, Lounge 21, Maid Cafe, Last Comic Standing, Who's Line is it Anime?, Cosplay Swimsuit Contest, 2014 Geekie Awards, Anime Scavenger Hunt, rePlay Symphony of Heroes, SPJA Charity Auction, and much more.  Panels and Workshops included Brief History of Fandoms, Anime Music Videos 101, Anime and Feminism, Cosplay Armor Making, Anime Journalism, Building Your Own Tachikoma, Parent's Guide to Anime Expo, Giant Robot Rumble, Wearing Skimpy Costumes, Voice Actor's Studio, Anime and Manga Symposium, Polymer Clay Jewelry, SFX Makeup for Cosplay, Stunt Fighting 101, Taiko Drumming, Dos and Don'ts of Fanfiction, Advanced Gunpla Building, Anime News Network, Cosplay Music Videos, Diversity in the Geek Community, Disnefy Your Anime, Hetalia, Humanity and the Future in Anime, My Little Pony, Origami, Perfect Idol, Production IG, Resurrecting the Arcade Experience, Robotech, Sentai Filmworks, Old School Anime, IdolMa@ster, Video Game AMVs Countdown, Copic Markers, Cosplay Makeup, Cosplay Wrestling Federation, Crossplay 101, Dungeon Master, Fan Communities Around the World, Garage Kit Building, Japanese History, GAIA Online, Shojo Beat, Strablazers 2199, Super Art Fight, Touhou Trivia Tea Party, Dramatical Murder, Ponies Anthology, and 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 Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan, Saint Seiya, Final Fantasy, Kill la Kill, Magi, Magica Madoka, League of Legends, Dangan Ronpa, Evangelion, RWBY, Trigun, Vocaloid, Gurran Lagaan, Kiriko no Basket, Sword Art Online, Dynasty Warriors, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime Expo stock convention archives!
Report: Anime Expo's Registration system suffered an unexpected setback this year as it buckled under the weight of a growing attendance.  A Head Registration staffer explained that the total number of processing machines had increased by 20% and even more staffers had been employed to process an expected increase of 10-20% growth. Unfortunately, printing machine problems and a larger influx of people trying to get into the event overloaded the vaunted system causing massive long lines with average wait times lasting far more than the typical 3-4 hours. Extended emergency hours were employed for Thursday night until midnight and Friday opened at 8am instead of 9am last year. Tents were erected outside to protect the fans from the blazing heat and staffers offered water throughout the lines. Reports of lines being cut off caused angry attendees to place much of the blame on both overworked Registration and Security staff putting AX into a PR nightmare. Fortunately, by middle of Friday afternoon, the lines had better flow control and Registration machines were cranking out the weekend-only attendees as quickly as possible. Staffers were generally very nice and courteous about keeping crowds from forming around the Registration area and clearing the hallways for impending heavy foot traffic. Daily rounds around the halls provided a lot of opportunities to ask attendees how their Registration experience went and most seem to be fairly understanding while others profusely groaned about the explosion in growth and lack of LACC resources to accommodate everything. 

Despite the growing pains, Anime Expo enjoyed a vast sea of exciting debuts and special guests that appealed to all fans once again proving that AX is still king of the anime convention industry. The entire English voice cast of Sailor Moon Crystal celebrated the return of original Sailor Moon TV series and the new Sailor Moon Crystal TV series on Viz Media. Daisuki brought out all of the Kill la Kill cast, an English dub premiere and full concert with Japanese seiyuu Eir Aoi performing the opening theme song. RPG card gaming included Krosmaster Arena, Kanzume Goddess, and Tanto Cuore. New e-gaming areas in the West Hall included Project Diva F and League of Legends.  Also notable were the Guinness World Record attempt for most Sailor Moon cosplayers in attendance, South Korean professional cosplayers Spiral Cats and America's Vampy Bit Me doling out signed prints for their international fans, Yaya Han teaming up with cosplay buddies to play tribute to the new Saint Seiya Legend of Sanctuary movie, and much more.

A trip into South Hall's Exhibit Hall saw notable exhibitors like Hulu, Bang Zoom Entertainment, Riot Games, Atlus, Funimation, BlueFin, and NIS America. Large and colorful commercial displays surrounded the front areas featuring Dangan Ronpa, Disgaea 4 and Persona 3 from AniPlex, Sailor Crystal and Sailor Moon original TV series from Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Skip Beat, and Shugo Chara from Crunchy Roll, Dragonball Z, Kill la Kill, and Sword Art Online 2 from Daisuki.net, Blade and Soul, Super Sonico, and Short Peace by Sentai Filmworks and Gundam Build Fighters and Yamato models and more PVC figurines from Banpresto, Good Smile, Hobby Japan, and Amakuni. Loads of Alpacas, anime plushies, cosplay wigs, KPop, and fan art from Frozen, Kill la Kill, and Sailor Moon were huge hits.

Inside the South Hall's entrance area, booths from Oculus featured the new Virtual Reality headgear for attendees to experience, Culture Japan from Danny Choo featuring his line of dollfies with signature orange cosplay outfits, and Airsoft seems to be on the rise with a real HUMMVee parked at Evike.com. Free 24-hour shuttle service between the LACC South Hall and selected official AX hotels for all AX badge holders operated from 7am Wednesday Day Zero until 7am Monday Day Five. Inside the West Hall, Entertainment Hall combined Gaming and Cosplay into an even bigger and better experience. New and improved cosplay sets included a pink lolita bedroom, traditional Japanese garden, gated city street walk, traditional Japanese house, creepy graveyard, Arabian bedroom, science fiction backdrop and more. Cosplay photo booths by Cosplay Photographers offered plenty of great services as well as bigger tables for PFAFF, Pollard's, and Husqvarna sewing machines. A Cospitality Suite sponsored by League of Legends offered more workspaces, changing rooms, and cosplay repair tools frequently used the entire weekend.

Crowded and packed as it was, my 23rd annual attendance of Anime Expo was still enjoyable and I was able to take a look back at how remarkably well the AX brand has kept up throughout all these years.  It didn't take much for me to wander into the AX Merchandise store and pick up a few AX-branded items for keepsakes.  AX is clearly one of my favorite vacation spots to attend.  I look forward to observe how the Registration system will accommodate next year's attendance and of course seeing new faces and running into longtime veterans.

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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