Adore You, L.A.

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Anime Expo 2023

Adore You, L.A.

Welcome fellow adventurers! My name is Christina and I have been exploring the city of Los Angeles for over 15 years now. But despite all that time, I feel like there’s still so much left to uncover and discover in this amazing city! Continue Reading →

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Hey there, fellow anime enthusiasts! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already well-acquainted with the magic of Anime Expo. But for those who are yet to embark on this incredible adventure, let me take you on a whirlwind tour of one of the most colossal celebrations of Japanese pop culture in North America.

Introduction: A Celebration of All Things Anime

Anime Expo, fondly known as AX, isn’t just a convention; it’s an experience. Born in 1992, it has grown to become an annual pilgrimage for fans and industry experts alike. This extravaganza of Japanese animation, popular art, entertainment, music, fashion, and video games draws fans not only from the United States but from all corners of the globe. In 2023, AX welcomed over 392,000 attendees through its turnstiles, making it the ultimate hub for anime aficionados.

The sheer production value and enormity of this convention never ceases to amaze me. The convention sprawls across multiple halls, each offering a unique slice of anime heaven. Trust me; one day isn’t nearly enough to explore it all. It’s like stepping into a realm where your favorite anime series come to life.

Logistics: Where, When, and How Much?

Anime Expo finds its home in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, California, specifically at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It usually spans several days, and tickets vary depending on which days you plan to attend. A 1-Day pass for Saturday or Sunday costs $80, while Monday and Tuesday are a bit cheaper at $70 and $50, respectively. If you’ve got little anime enthusiasts in tow (aged 6-13 years), their pass is just $40. For those who want the full AX experience, the 4-Day pass is a steal at $145.

Next year’s dates are already posted! Get your time off approved for July 4-7th 2024. Keep track of updates on the Anime Expo website.

Now, onto the logistics of getting there and staying fueled throughout the day. Parking options include the South Hall parking garage, the West Hall parking garage, and the Venice Parking Garage, all located at the Los Angeles Convention Center. But here’s a pro tip: there are numerous private lots nearby offering safe parking at about the same rate as the convention lots, and they’re often less crowded.

As for sustenance, you won’t go hungry. Within the convention center, you’ll find an array of food options to satisfy your cravings. Keep an eye out for the food trucks parked on the premises, adding a delicious twist to your culinary adventure.

Exhibit Hall: A Shopper’s Paradise

The Exhibit Hall is where your anime shopping spree dreams come true. With over 400 vendors, this is a shopaholic’s haven. Not only can you snag the latest manga volumes and action figures, but leading anime, manga, gaming, and fashion companies also preview upcoming releases and connect with fans at their industry booths. These booths are a visual spectacle themselves, adorned with huge colorful screens, free swag, and opportunities to try out new releases. And let’s not forget the life-sized statues of your favorite characters that dot the landscape. It’s a collector’s paradise with plenty of chances to grab exclusive pieces for your treasure trove.

Kentia Hall – Artists’ Alley: Where Art Comes to Life

Kentia Hall, often referred to as Artists’ Alley, is an entirely different experience. Housing over 550+ artists, it’s a haven for art enthusiasts and collectors. But be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart. Located in a parking garage, the air is thick with creativity and a slight smell of exhaust. Some aisles are so packed that you’ll find yourself moving at a snail’s pace, but it’s all part of the experience.

Here, you’ll discover an awe-inspiring array of artwork, crafted by talented individuals from around the world. From Pokémon to The Little Mermaid, from One Piece (excited for the Netflix release!) to Sailor Moon, the diversity of art on display is mind-boggling. You’ll find something unique that tugs at your heartstrings, whether you’re into intricate fan art or original creations.

Entertainment Hall: Where the Fun Never Ends

Now, let’s venture into the heart of the convention – the Entertainment Hall. This place has it all, and you’ll want to allocate a significant chunk of your time to explore its offerings.

First up is the Gaming Section: Located at the center of the Entertainment Hall, Anime Expo’s gaming area is a gamer’s paradise. With over 60 free-to-play gaming stations featuring a variety of games, it’s a place to connect with fellow players and immerse yourself in both single-player and multi-player adventures. Whether you’re into classic titles or unfamiliar gems, there’s something for everyone.

Tabletop Gaming Area: If board games and card games are more your style, the Tabletop Gaming Area is your playground. Gather around tables and dive into the latest board games, card games, dice games, and paper-and-pencil RPGs. Tournaments are a regular feature here, ranging from casual, small-scale competitions to larger, more intense showdowns.

Cosplay Repair Station: Cosplayers, fear not! AX has you covered with a dedicated cosplay repair station in the Entertainment Hall. AX Volunteers are on standby to answer questions and assist with finding the right item to fix up your cosplay. It’s a free service, and you’ll also find changing rooms to ensure you look your absolute best when you step back onto the convention floor.

Photo Sets: Want to capture your cosplay in all its glory? Look no further than the professionally built photo sets in the Entertainment Hall. With over 10 sets to choose from, you can strike a pose against backdrops that match your character’s world. Whether you prefer serene cherry blossom settings or the hustle and bustle of a classroom, there’s a perfect spot for your photoshoot.

A screenshot from the video.

Community Stage: The Community Stage is a hub of excitement, showcasing a diverse range of talented performers throughout the weekend. From local singers to bands, it’s a stage where you can witness incredible performances. And if you’re a performer yourself, you can even apply for a spot on the stage via the Anime Expo website.

Experiential Exhibitor Spaces: Beyond shopping, the Entertainment Hall offers experiential exhibitor spaces that take you on unique and immersive adventures. Whether it’s interactive exhibits or striking photo opportunities with your favorite characters, you’ll find more than just merchandise here.

Fate/Grand Order: Cosmos in the Lostbelt

But wait, there’s more!

Anime Expo isn’t just about shopping and entertainment; it’s about creating a complete experience. Beyond the bustling halls and exhibition spaces, you’ll discover a Beer Garden, Butler and Maid cafes, the Manga Lounge, Lounge 21, Karaoke, and my personal favorite, the Quiet Room. This spacious sanctuary is designed for those moments when you need to escape the convention chaos, offering chairs, tables, large bean bags, couches, and a soothing ambiance with gentle music and water sound effects. It’s the perfect place to recharge and catch your breath.

If you’re curious about what this extraordinary event looks like, you’re in luck. I’ve recorded walking tour videos for both 2022 and 2023, uploaded to my YouTube channel. It’s a sneak peek into the immersive world of Anime Expo, and I invite you to check it out when you have a moment.

So, fellow anime aficionados, I hope this whirlwind tour has piqued your interest and excitement for Anime Expo 2023. With its grandeur, diversity, and unparalleled celebrations of all things anime, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss. Grab your tickets, prepare your cosplay, and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating world of Japanese pop culture. I’ll see you there, and until then, keep the anime spirit alive!

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