July 09, 2012 | 6:27 a.m.
Even with Comic-Con, Botcon, Power Morphicon, Wizard World and Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo all in play, there may not be a convention that matches the costuming originality and gusto of the Anime Expo. There were three masquerade showcases this year, but most of the cosplay warriors pictured above were decked out for the love of their creations. Jay West was on hand to watch the fans flaunt an impressive array of characters derived from comics/manga, movies, TV, pop music and video games (plus original creations) in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center. Anime Expo has already announced that the 2013 edition is scheduled for July 4-7. – Jevon Phillips RECENT AND RELATED: ‘Planetes’: Misfits cleaning up space junk Expo 2012: ‘Martian Successor Nadesico’ is funny ‘Ghost in the Shell’: TV variations on cyberpunk ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ delivers spectacular finish ‘Trigun […]
June 29, 2012 | 2:23 p.m.
Anime Expo, the largest convocation of fans of Japanese animation and manga in the country, is now underway at the Los Angeles Convention Center — more than 125,000 are expected to attend. One of the guests of honor is Tatsuo Sato, the creator of an outrageous TV spoof of anime fan culture called “Martian Successor Nadesico,” which is a bit like inviting the Comic Book Guy from “The Simpsons” to speak at Comic-Con International. The Nadesico is a state-of-the-art space battleship (complete with crew jackets, Ping-Pong tables and vending machines) run by a crew of teenage misfits. When he’s not fighting the invading Jovian Lizards, the series’ unlikely hero, fry cook-turned-combat-pilot Akito Tenkawa, watches reruns of “Gekigangar 3,” a hilarious sendup of early giant robot shows in the “Gigantor” mold. Clips from the show-within-the-show feature a disco theme song, stilted animation, hammy […]
July 05, 2011 | 5:56 p.m.
For a novice, an event like the Anime Expo — which was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center over the weekend — can be overwhelming. First, the range of anime TV programs and movies is incredibly diverse — there are kids with high school problems, groups of people who change into animals of the zodiac and beings with the power to destroy the world. And then there are all these people wandering around dressed as their favorite characters from said alternate realities. Cosplay — short for “costume play” — is a universal experience at fan conventions, whether it’s at a broader-ranging event like the expo and Comic-Con or those geared to more specific fan bases such as Morphicon (focusing on “Power Rangers” lore) and Botcon (“Transformers”). Even if you aren’t otaku, seeing people who’ve spent hours/days/weeks/months working on a […]
June 30, 2011 | 12:10 p.m.
It’s strangely fitting that the biggest guest at the 20th annual Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend won’t physically be present. Japan’s virtual pop star Hatsune Miku — the petite “android diva” created by Crypton Future Media in 2007 through a combination of holography, computer animation and computer-generated vocals — will appear in concert at the Nokia Theatre on Saturday in her first “live” performance in the U.S. Real musicians, including J-pop band Nirgilis, trio Kalafina and actor-singer Vic Mignogna, are also slated to perform as part of the Anime Expo festivities, which run Friday through Monday. But Miku, with her turquoise, ankle-length ponytails, impossibly slim figure and large eyes, perfectly embodies the fantastic creations the convention celebrates: beloved characters who exist only as images on film, computer data or drawings on a printed page. Functioning […]
March 28, 2011 | 10:15 a.m.
REVIEW In Japanese, otaku simply means “you,” but in America, it’s used to describe a fan of Japanese pop culture: anime, manga, video games, J-pop and/or cosplay. American otaku range from casual enthusiasts to hard-core fanatics; the latter are the subject of the eight-part reality series/documentary “America’s Greatest Otaku,” which premiered on Hulu on Feb. 24. Stu Levy, the founder of TokyoPop, a major publisher of manga in the U.S., serves as host, assisted by six college students who are self-proclaimed otaku. Over eight weeks, they visit 20 U.S. cities, observing various aspects of Japanese fandom and interviewing candidates for the title of America’s Greatest Otaku. It’s an uneven series, veering from interesting to just plain silly and superficial. In one of the better sequences, the apprentice reporters visit the Texas headquarters of Funimation, the largest U.S. distributor of anime. After […]