Anime Los Angeles: A Fun Convention At A New Location
Anime Los Angeles made huge new strides this year after moving away from the LAX Marriott to the Ontario Convention Center. While the environment makes it feel like a new convention, it’s for the better. The convention center is incredibly spacious, allowing the convention to happily grow into its new home. Also, the convention center is partly made of glass walls, which are perfect for photoshoots for cosplayers. Despite the rainy Sunday, Saturday had an overcast light against the glass walls and became a playground of photo shoots happening inside and outside; you could feel the excitement of great photo shoots happening even if you weren’t a cosplayer or photographer. The newly found energy felt great, especially for cosplay photo shoots and gatherings.
Another great upgrade was the huge room for both the artist alley and vendors hall. Rather than having one in front of the other, they were placed next to each other, the best set up to make everyone happy. One side did not overshadow the other. The room also was the location for the costume gallery and autograph sessions. Also in the very back were tables to sit and take a break and there was still plenty of room to grow for everything.
A pleasant surprise was how the volunteer staff and security treated the guests. It’s understandable we can be a different breed of guests, but everyone treated us with respect and courtesy. Even the staff working the Starbucks right in the middle of the main hallway who saw the most foot traffic took every order with pleasantness. The convention staff was also very courteous as well. They were always ready to assist whenever someone needed help with anything. Even if it wasn’t in their department they made the attempt to help out and have an answer ready for the attendee.
Perhaps one of the few things retained the same size was the masquerade, but there were plenty of open seats and in time I’m sure attendance will grow just like the rest of the convention. The entries were very entertaining, and the entries that entered for craftsmanship really stepped up their game. So many entries were so visually stunning no matter what category they were in. I’m also glad they were able to keep their MC, Tadao Tomomatsu, for the event; he never fails to keep a crowd happy no matter the situation.
When you wanted a break from the hustle and bustle of the convention center, the hotels hosting some of the other events were the perfect place to go. The Radisson had the karaoke room, gaming room, and the con suite. People were genuinely enjoying themselves in this more chill atmosphere and it felt nice. The con suite also doubled in size from the previous location and accommodated new people attending the convention. I imagine providing all that food was not the easiest task, but they made it work no problem.
I look forward to seeing the growth of this convention and hopefully getting more pictures against the beautiful glass walls. Anime Los Angeles really knocked it out of the park, and I think the best is yet to come.