Anime Expo 2018 (Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In)

Thank GOODNESS it’s Anime Sunday!!!!

It has been AWHILE!

I missed it.

From August to this moment RIGHT NOW… A lot was going on.

What a ride.

All the while, I’ve been enjoying some anime here and there, reading through blog posts, keeping the spirit alive. Fighting the good fight.

Y’know.

And now, at the precipice of Anime Sunday’s FIRST anniversary… all I could think was “I’m not really getting my money’s worth!”

Hahaha, SO, I did some soul searching and decided… “I’m gonna start getting my money’s worth!”

And that is EXACTLY what I intend to do…

Startiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing NOW:

I suppose this spiritual renaissance was born from the hype of the upcoming behemoth of an event, an event which needs no introduction, an event so SINISTER so VILE so NOTORIOUS that it strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of nerds everywhere…

Let’s give a big round of applause for………

*DRUM ROLL*

ANIME EXPO BABY!!!!!

Oh man! When I graduated high school me and my close pals, well brothers in arms really, all decided that we would kick off adult hood by being kids again! In 2012 we all decided to go to Anime Expo for the 4 day extravaganza.

It was AWESOME. We went in 2012, we went in 2013, we went in 2014, we WENT in 2015, YOU KNOW WE WENT IN 2016, we did NOT go in 2017 😦

We were all dealing with job and life and financial inconvenience all at the same time and decided we would go back with a vengeance in 2018… and I’ll be DAMNED to HELL if we do not make good on that.

2012 was an interesting year to get on board. It was the last year RIGHT before the exponential increase in attendance. I guess that Toonami generation all gained their independence and ability to drive and have a job and blow money on an Expo all at the same time lol.

I remember that first year, while it was pretty active, one could still navigate the exhibition halls without all the peril of being lost in an abyss of nerds. We managed to hit ALL the big events and some side events in one day. We squeezed every drop of fun out of that first experience.

But then 2013 came…. holy crap! There were A LOT of people. We still managed to see a lot of fun panels but there was decidedly twice the amount of standing around in lines.

By 2014, it was abominable. Don’t get me wrong! I love fan fair but the facility was simply not prepared for such a substantial growth in attendance. We saw MAYBE one or two panels a day and had to make some tough sacrifices. The waiting lines were downright hostile, showing up hours before the event in order to have some decent seating or get in at all and much of that waiting was done in the sun. We all got cooked alive. Suffice to say, after that year we had, by necessity, become seasoned veterans.

2015, we were decked out in bandanas and balaclava and hats and sunglasses NO SUN COULD TOUCH OUR MORTAL FLESH AS WE HUNKERED DOWN IN THE URBAN DESERT OF CONCRETE, METAL, AND SWEATY FLEECE DONNING COSPLAYERS(hats off to those true fans, wearing costumes in that heat takes dedication). We still only saw maybe one or two major panels a day but now our skin wasn’t falling off in sun burnt loaves at the end of it all.

2016, the year that has now gone down in our social circle as V-Day. Parasol/umbrella/tents now ran the entire gauntlet of the line. No one was left to fend for themselves in the sun. Shade and bounty was afforded to all of us mere mortals. The experience, both cheap and practical, was divine. And all it took was a few hundred thousand complaints across two years to achieve!

Every year had it’s highlights.

Seeing the Makoto Shinkai Garden of Words or whatever was pretty fun. Concerts, fashion shows, talent shows, nerdy night club, masquerade, the hentai panel was hilarious, voice actor panels, the artist gallery, game room, the fun made up games we played in line to pass the time and keep up morale, the fun conversations with fans, the cosplay, eating strange food, meandering around L.A. and just enjoying being with friends and completely forgetting about work and life and responsibility for a few days. From the 6 hour drive up to the 6 hour drive back, every part of that journey is a magical and sacred experience for me. All us pals and my lady all boxed up in one hotel room and smushed in the car bickering about leg room. I’m pumped…

In 2016 we saw the world premier of “Your Name” with GREAT seats and a few thousand other Makoto Shinkai fans all screaming like school girls when, unlike in 5 centimeters per second, they finally reunite! The catharsis…

It was great and set the bar really high, to know I experienced that with so many other people first and then it went on to become a phenomenon!

So now in 2018, more responsible and adult like than ever… I can’t WAIT to be a kid and head to L.A. for Anime Expo with my lady, four of my best pals, and one of their uncles who is a big nerd and been with us since the beginning! 4 days of bliss.

And a reminder of how wonderful an outlet like anime can be, and how wonderful writing about it is and how rewarded I feel to have an agency in it’s fan base through my participation in the chaos.

Hopefully this post is more than a wild hair, I’d love to set aside some time for this once a week like the good ol’ days and mull over what the content of my post will be week to week. All the same, feels good to put something up.

So until next time, have a good one!

-AniSun

4 thoughts on “Anime Expo 2018 (Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In)

  1. omg, that’s exactly how the cons at my area evolved too. It started as a decent con for geeks, blew up and more people came and the special thing between me and my friends are now being shared by a lot of people brought in by the hype.
    But recently, I attended a con, and it felt liek the old days. I hope it does to you too 🙂

    Like

    1. Lol, I am really looking forward to it. There seems to be a good mix of veterans who have been going for years that complain about the long lines and talk about the good ol’ days(myself) and then a bunch of super hyper young optimistic whipper snappers with their unending energy! I love the chaos though haha

      Like

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