By Michele Brittany, West Coast Correspondent
This past weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the 24th annual Anime Expo was in full swing. One of the gems I found was the Entertainment Hall, which centered on gaming and cosplay. In comparison to the main Exhibition Hall where the vendors, artists and small press was congregated, along with the bulk of the attendees, this hall provided breathing and elbow room after a long day in the main hall.
There were some fun facets to this hall. First, there were several full size sets built for cosplay photo opportunities. Each of the dozen or so sets featured a different theme, such as a spaceship, a graveyard with gargoyles, an Arabian silk tent, a live garden, and a classroom. Many cosplayers congregated in the area while some passed through to the cosplay repair center at the far end of the hall.
Another portion of the hall was set up for all things gaming. Bandai Namco sponsored a free area for video gaming. The VGC Foundation presented a history of video games, spotlighting the progression of gaming consoles as well as a historical timeline. In addition, there were several arcade cabinets of the old favorites, which attendees enjoyed.
There were two other fascinating features to the hall. In one corner of another part of the hall featured statues, a staple byproduct of anime and manga. Studio Trigger and Nendoroid 500 Gallery had several glass cabinets with colorful and elaborate statues on display from all of the favorite shows and books. The statues were just as popular as the rest of the hall and were a visual document of anime and manga. And, in another corner, Chalk Twins was hosting a silent auction of art pieces. I happened upon a chalk artist finishing her large piece for the auction.
I hope they bring this hall back again next year. I'll definitely spend more time in this hall next time!
Event photos were taken by Michele Brittany.
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar and semi-professional photographer and editor of James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (McFarland & Company) as well as the forthcoming book Essays on Space Horror in Films, 1950s – 2000s. Read her reviews and analysis on the spy/espionage and space horror genres via her blogs at Spyfi & Superspies and Space Horror Films. Follow Michele on Twitter: @mcbrittany2014.