Over the years of BentoByte’s existence we have attended quite a few cons. But nothing ever quite compares to that of attending Los Angeles’ own Anime Expo. Every year, thousands of like-minded cosplayers, anime aficionados, and industry folks descend on downtown LA. To be quite frank, for a very good reason! Anime Expo is second to none as far as anime conventions are concerned. They have all the appropriate floor space for cosplayers, the right venues (in quality and quantity), and a healthy does of premieres every single year (courtesy of aforementioned industry).  Let’s dive into a few things about AX 2017 that did and did not work this time around.

Day 0 this year seemed like a breeze. People were able to queue up, get in, get their pass, then get out of dodge. The lines weren’t out of control, not to mention that the weather wasn’t particularly unbearable either. The concept of having a day 0 it seems like an excellent idea to continue for the next coming cons.

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If there is one thing that is completely unbeatable every year at AX, it’s the cosplay. Everyone seems to come out of the woodwork and pull out all the stops. Just to show the sheer size of cosplayers in attendance, I think I met more Denver based cosplayers in the 4 days at AX then I have in my entire career of Denver cons. The entirety of the west coast cosplay community is ever thriving and always in attendance. Not to mention that the areas for photo opportunities are EVERYWHERE. From the main atrium, the side walkway by the Staples center, to LA live, there it is one great opportunity after the next.

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As with every con, there are always going to be snafus here and there. AX is not exception to the rule. It can be a bit difficult to manage the sheer amount of attendees in LA which is why AX has the moniker “line con.” Which, despite the preparations that were made at day 0, day 1 was an incredibly taxing day for  attendees. Some individuals and sources we met had spent up to 5 hours waiting to even get into the con.  Despite all of this though, this only applied to day 1. After a single day of trail and error the con ops team had everything fixed by day 2. Considering this was the biggest complaint we experienced while being there, there could be worse things.

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There is something to be said about the culture of anime cons, they are a lot more fun and geared towards a younger crowd. Anime Expo is the embodiment of this. From after parties, concerts, late night events, and general shenanigans at LA live there is a plenty afoot to do if you are more of a night owl. Neon District was an incredible well organized event that featured artists like Teddyloid, secret headliner Slushii, YUC’e, and ☆Taku Takahashi.

To top it all off, with complete use of the JW Marriott, the facilities are perfect for the con. So what do we think of AX? We love it. It is by far the best anime con in the United States. Despite some of the issues, the enormous access to vendors and premieres is certainly worth the trouble. See you all there next year!

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Patrick Moore

About Patrick Moore

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is a co-founder of BentoByte. He is an audiophile with a predilection for every type of media. He enjoys playing music, going to shows, being active, good beer, going on adventures, and of course gaming and anime.

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