Fans are fans. Fanatical about … whatever they’re fanatical about (click above photo to see more). The subject of choice this past weekend in Los Angeles was the Anime Expo, a celebration of anime, manga, music and cosplay. The Japanese-style of art and characterizations dominated the exhibition floor space of the convention center. Vendors sold clothing, toys, accessories like swords and blue wigs, and even things for those friends of yours who are bastards. Video games, like the new Tentsuko vs. Capcom (more on that below) and others also enticed conventioneers. But, for many of those attending, the most colorful and attractive part of the convention was the parade of sometimes familiar, mostly imaginative costumed characters — and theskill that comes along with creating their masterpieces. they even boasted other talents like playing the theme song to their favorite Final Fantasy game on a violin!
Comic-Con is great, and Hero Complex plans to be there this year, but this is/was a different animal.
With movies of all genres, television shows ranging from “Mythbusters” to “Heroes,” fan films, a masquerade, and more, San Diego’s gathering can be overwhelming and sprawling in terms of people, themes and events for attendees.
The Anime Expo seemed more … focused. Anime Expo also had a masquerade, a huge artists’ alley (which included Potatobuns!) and other displays in common with Comic-Con, but whether you dress up or not, there’s a recognition of work or a recognition of character that it seems most people acknowledge. Not just a point and giggle, but an admiration. Simply put, the mostly no-frills event is more fan-friendly and accessible than Comic-Con. Of course, 44,000 people as opposed to 125,000 obviously has a little to do with that. But those 44,000 at AX get into it.
Here’s a quick clip I got of the Tentsuko vs. Capcom game. I like the way the characters enlarge when they’re about to do super moves.
— Jevon Phillips
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