By Michele Brittany, West Coast Correspondent
North America's largest Anime Expo was back in Los Angeles this weekend for its 24th year. Taking up the entire Los Angeles Convention Center, talent from around the world come each year the first week of July to celebrate all things anime, manga and popular Japanese culture. The Anime Expo provides attendees the opportunity to learn and immerse oneself into anime (cartoons) and manga (graphic novels read right to left) which may be less familiar than the video games and fashions often mixed in a comic con experience.
The main exhibition hall housed all of the vendors, artist alley and small press booths and tables. In the vendor area, attendees could visit Funimation Productions, Bandai Namco Games America, Aksys Games Localization, CAPCOM, VIZ Media, ATLUS, Crunchyroll, Pony Canyon, and many many more with all of the latest and upcoming video games and anime.
Of course, no con or expo is complete without the cosplayer – from amateur to professional. Many individuals were dressed in Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan, Naruto, Street Fighter, and Kill la Kill girls as well as many homegrown characters. In every case, the costumes were colorful and bright, much like the expo itself.
Other events throughout the convention included informative panels, karaoke, anime music videos, competitions, and nightly concerts. In addition, there was a separate Entertainment Hall that including gaming and cosplay sets, which I'll cover in a separate article.
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.