Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Anime LA 2013!

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2013!  This news report covers our trip to Anime LA 2013 for a huge weekend of anime and manga enjoyment and a whole lot more!  Held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Los Angeles, California over the weekend of January 4-6, Anime LA 2013 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 LA 2013 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 Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Richard Epcar, Meri Davis and Tadao Tomomatsu.  Main Events included Cosplay Chess, Scavneger Hunt, Fashion Show, Rum Party, Masquerade, Anime Music Videos Contest, Gothic Mad Tea Party, Band performances, Dances, and much more.  Panels and Workshops included World of Warcraft, Mochi Crafte, Who Wants to be a Voice Actor?, KPop Name that Tune, Ballroom Dance Lessons, Podcasting, Advanced Cosplay, Props and Accessories, Comics and Manga for Noobs, Art of ADR, Advanced Sewing Techniques, Comedy Workshop, Convention Story Time, Gangnam Style Dance Workshop, My Little Pony, Project Cosplay, Starlight Ball, Touhou Project, Visually Stunning Anime, Sera Myu: Live Action Sailor Moon Musicals, Rise of KPop Rookies, DokiDoki Maid Cafe, Getting Published in Comics, Banzai Arcade, Diversity in the Cosplay Community, Otaku Speed Dating, Anime Pajama Party, Maid Cafe Express, Anime Fandom Before the Internet, Shonen Fight Club, Animation Workshop, Producing Japanese Hardcore Music, Cosplay makeup for Guys and Girls, Figure Collecting, Hetalia World Conference, Best rencent Anime, Online Voice Acting, Vocaloid Fan Phenomenon, Taco Party, Video Game Voice Acting, Makeup 101, Dark Side of Magical Girls, Cosplayer Networking, Kendo, Ball-Jointed Dolls, Art Submissions Portfolio, Voicing Audio Books, Cosplay Social Media and Marketing, and much more.
Cosplay: This year's trip to Anime LA saw lots of inspired costumes from numerous anime and manga characters and more! Chart-topping displays for this year included characters from Magi, Sword Art Online, Legend of Korra, Kuroko no Basket, My Little Pony, Vocaloid, Black Butler, Sailor Moon, Tiger and Bunny, Madoka Magika, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Gintama, and much more!
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Anime LA stock convention archives!
Report: Squeezing roughly 4000 people into the LAX Marriott hotel was a big job for Anime LA this year.  No small task considering that it started from a pokey little effort at the Air-Tel hotel in Van Nuys in January 2005 with rather ominous stormy clouds and a sleepy Friday night.  It had more trouble attracting and keeping fans due to the that old miserable location.  Now that it's under the spotlight for attracting a larger and larger crowd every year, Anime LA faces an undesirable obstacle with capping attendance at 4000 because of crowding issues, a victim of its own popularity now that its current home has a really nice poolside hangout, a great choice of Guests of Honor, a larger menu of interesting panels and workshops, and enough room for artists and dealers to come together at the start of the year.

Registration was a quick trip but curiously both pre-registration and at-con registration lines were combined into one.  That really didn't make any sense since most conventions offer pre-registration not only to save money but also to save time (well, sometimes) by going through a supposedly faster line because it's just picking up your badge and there is no cash handling that slows down the system.  For a test, I already pre-reg'd a badge and bought one on-site for a friend and found out that all registration staffers had multi-duties to register both pre-reg and at-con, so it worked out nicely in the end.  I still question why the lines were not split up though because there was plenty of room for that.  Other than the line issue, staffers were very friendly and courteous with pleasantries exchanged and I was off on my way to cover the convention weekend.  The program book is really nice, too, informative and well-laid out with good descriptions of all the events and panels, hotel maps, and explanations about convention etiquette and collecting cute little ribbons for your badges.

As far as weather conditions, being at the LAX Marriott seemed to be blessing and a curse.  It's just such a nice area because of the sunny and warm weather but that lures in plenty of attendees who want to bask in the same glow.  Anime LA needs to think about how to deal with this ever-growing surge in popularity.  More and more people want to be a part of the Anime LA experience.  It would probably be a good idea to simply move to the much larger LAX Hilton next door, currently home to PMX every November.

If Anime LA is your idea of a party to begin the anime convention season, then the well-packed Rum Party, Taco Party, and Mad Tea Party were probably your best bets to attend as well as Game Shows and other interesting nighttime activities.  All the convention staples were really well-attended, panels and workshops, maid cafes, lounges, gaming rooms, video rooms, and yes, even karaoke!  Traversing through the halls to hit the dealers room or the artists alley was never a problem with appropriately-sized aisles and double-doors to direct the flow of traffic in and out of rooms.  For cosplayers and photographers, the poolside was obviously the best area for photoshoots and cosplay gatherings as well as the front of the hotel and behind the artists alley.  A few groups did shoots at the next door LAX Hilton without any problems as well.  It's nice to see collections of printed photos of cosplayers decorated all over the walls of the convention area as well as beanbag chairs and couches to relax in and around the function areas.  I haven't seen any other convention do that.

Despite any small panic attacks about overcrowding or hallway traffic issues, hotel security and convention staffers appeared to take it in stride.  Many hotel employees just watched the crowds to make sure foot traffic ran smoothly and no one was going around causing a major commotion.  Con staffers were dutifully checking badges at specific "badge zones" such as the poolside area and downstairs for dealers and artists alley.  I want emphasize how nice the staffers were because I've seen a couple security staffers go out of their way to peacebond props with wristbands that matched the color of the prop handle so it wouldn't show up in photoshoots.  The forever furry-eared Chaz could be seen occasionally wandering around fighting fires that we shouldn't know about, and that's probably a good thing. All in all, a pretty good Anime LA and I look forward to attending the next one.

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

Be sure to visit the next Anime LA!

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