Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime Expo 2015!
 

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2015!  This news report covers our trip to Anime Expo 2015 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 2-5, Anime Expo 2015 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 2015 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 Aimer, Amanda Miller, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Ayako Kawasumi, Ben Diskin, Cherami Leigh, Ossan, Chris Ayres, Christopher Sabat, Cristina Vee, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Danny Choo, Eiko Tanaka, h.Naoto, Hikaru Kondo, Sandy Fox, Sean Schemmel, Shunichi Nakamura, Stephanie Sheh, Takahiro Miura, Thomas Romain, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Tomonori Sudo, Tomoyo Kurosawa, WagakkiBand, Yoh Yoshinari, Yoko Takkashi, Yoshifumi Yarimizu, Yuichi Fukushima, Yumiri Hanamori, and the Try Guys from Buzzfeed. Digital influecers included Dodger, HappiLeeErin and Octopimp. Cosplay Senpais included Aicosu, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Chubear, Dustbunny, Futange, Garnet Runestar, Kiba the Cosplay Corgi, Vampy Bit Me, and Wind of the Stars.  Main events included Cosplay Contest Masquerade, Cosplay Chess, AX Dance nights, Anime Music Video Showcase, Fashion Shows, Karaoke and more.  Panels and workshops included Art of Animation, Critical Approaches to Anime and Manga, Anime and Manga in the Classroom, Anime News Network, League of Legends Community, Parent's Guide to Anime, Anime Anonymous, Complete Guide to Creating Comics, Taiko Demo and Workshop, Fanfiction, How to Survive Your First Convention, Late Comedy Show Workshop, Stunt Fighting 101, ParaPara Dancing Workshop, Shuffle Workshop, Hentai Worth Watching, Gaia Online, Music of Yoko Kanno, Polymer Clay 101, Cosplay Photoshop, Discovering Japan, Fan Film 101, Introducing Your Friends to Anime, Otaku Parliamentary, Creating Manga Characters, Best of AMV Hell, Copic Marker Essentials, Cosplay and Costume Design, Anime Clubs, World of Weapons, Gundam Model Building, Cosplay Armor Making, AX Photo Scavenger Hunt, Digital Coloring and Lettering, Cosplay Research, Cosplay Wrestling Federation, JPop Battles, KPop Battles, JET Program, Anime Journalism, 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 Love Live, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Kantai Collection, Ikemen, Touken Ranbu, Sakizou, Tokyo Ghoul, Dragonball Z, Vocaloid, League of Legends, RWBY, Magi, Magic Knights Rayearth, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime Expo stock convention archives!
Report: This year's Anime Expo 2015 marks my 24th attendance and it looks like it got off to a pretty good start culminating with a record-breaking amount of convention photos compared to AX's galleries in years past. The show has increased in attendance while making use of new convention function spaces and keeping fans happy with more of what they like: guests, gaming, cosplay, artists, and exhibitors.

Basic needs were top priority for AX this year. Pre-registration badge pickup was a blast with a new EventBrite system that did away with those pesky sometimes-malfunctioning label machines, onsite keyboard verification, and badge calling queues. Now it's all online pre-reg, a one-stop process of scanning your printout with barcode, pick up your badge and go! The experience was lightening fast and had an immediate effect on the humongous lines seen from past years. Registration hours were also expanded earlier and later to make up for any possible function that could go wrong as well as accommodating attendees who needed extra time to find parking and get in line to pick up their badges. Super A+ for that effort and I'm sure it'll be a huge boon for future growth years. I also picked up a more expensive Premier Fan Badge this year to try out the extra benefits attached to it: mailed in, swag bag, special Premier Fan lounge access, and early bird entry into Exhibit Hall and other main events. Not bad for those who feel they deserve to be treated like royalty for their longtime commitment to AX and can afford such luxuries. Hotels were filling up pretty fast this year as AX grows in popularity. I skipped my usual Sheraton and opted for the always popular Westin Bonaventure and found it quite pleasing with a convenient parking structure right across the street. Regular shuttle bus service for all of AX's surrounding hotels remained unchanged. Convention Center parking for both South and West Halls remained unchanged and still cost $20/day.

Most of the South Hall function spaces for AX appeared unchanged with a couple new additions around and below. Tabletop gaming arena's free games, tournaments and game demos were located in the lower Kentia Hall, promoting games like Krosmaster, Tanto Cuore, and Future card Buddy Fight. This area was also used for Autograph lines which useds to take up a lot of space in West Hall. Front and center in the South Hall were the AX Merchandise Booth and Danny Choo's Culture Japan booth. Inside the Exhibit Hall, we saw the usual huge array of big industry booths like Atlus Games, Animate, Kinokuniya, Good Smile, Bang Zoom!, Sentai Filmworks, Daisuki, Bandai Namco, Funimation, Pony Canyon, Japan Al, Hulu, AniPlex, Viz Media, and more. Plenty of new booths featured fashion items, figurines, and new plushies. Bandai Namco displayed new Naruto games, Viz Media featured Sailor Moon and Tokyo Ghoul, Daisuki had new God Eater and Concrete Revolution, with Parasyte from Toonami. Toei Animation showed its animation history since 1956 including works like Dragonball Z and One Piece. Additional booths seen included Chain Chronicle and Brave Frontier, Rilakkuma from San-X and Japan LA, Persona 5 from Sony's Playstation, and more. Artists in Artists Alley displayed works inspired from Sailor Moon, Tokyo Ghoul, Touken Ranbu, Jojo's Bizarre Adventures, Love Live, Attack on Titan and more.

The West Hall function spaces appeared mostly untouched with a few new additions to the popular Entertainment Hall. Along with the usual assortment of video console and e-gaming machines, I saw lots of new Nenderoid display cases, video games history display showcasing consoles throughout the years from Sony, Nintendo, Atari, Microsoft, Sega, Intellivision, TurboGraphx, and more. The cosplay area had a few more photo areas to choose from including Japanese cherry blossom temple and gardens, forest, cemetery, urban street, Arabian bedroom, science fiction, sports bleachers, classroom, ballpit, Cospix photo booth, and more. PFFAF promoted its usual Hsuqvarna Viking sewing machines and along the back was the trusty cosplay repair area. Locations for the Maid Cafe and Manga Lounge remained unchanged and had a fairly large following throughout the weekend. Video rooms had been spread out to the JW Marriott and the AX Dance and Lounge 21 remained unchanged in between South and West Hall. 

Anime Expo really pulled out all the stops this year to hopefully appease most fans. Registration aside, the expansion of unused areas seemed to do well to accommodate the growing crowds so we'll see how that goes for next year. I look forward to attending AX 2016 as well as my 25th year. Maybe I'll get a free anniversary pin or something.

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

Be sure to visit the next Anime Expo!