Anime Expo 2016
July 1-4, 2016
Los Angeles Convention Center
July 14, 2016
by James Vallesteros
Photos by jamesvallesteros.com
For most part of the country, Americans spend the Fourth of July weekend with family in their backyards cooking up tasty BBQ items. In a certain part of Los Angeles, thousands of people stockpile the Convention Center on Figueroa Street to celebrate the nation’s largest Anime Convention, Anime Expo. Hitting a record breaking 100,000+ Unique and 305,000 Turnstile attendance, 2016 marked its first year to reach such phenomenal numbers.
Bringing guests from all over the world, Anime Expo, which is organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, attracted fans all over the country. Filling up the West and South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, attendees were treated to a heap of entertainment and cosplays along with the intense Japanese Culture inspired vendors, artists, and exhibitors. In order to accommodate this event’s growth, the Kentia Hall parking garage was converted to the Artist Alley. There was a lot to experience during this extravagant weekend and attendees were able to immerse themselves throughout four days.
@minibobafett as Sora from Disney/Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts 3 Video Game
One of the prominent changes made this year were to stop non-badge holders from entering the South Hall lobby area. In past Anime Expo’s, the lobby area was open to all and only the exhibit floor required badges. With the recent shootings in Orlando and Dallas just weeks prior to AX, it was necessary to enforce it. On a side note, many attendees were standing in zig-zag lines outside of the convention center to pick up their badges on Day 1. Some complained about wasting over two hours in line which could have been used to spend time inside the exhibit floor. Many attendees are open to the idea of having badges sent to their homes prior to the event to save themselves from standing hours in line in the hot July Los Angeles weather