Located in Southern California in the small wonderful city of Pasadena, there is a very popular convention called Anime Pasadena. AP (for short) is in its 4th year and is a great location for cosplayers and artists to connect. This year I was able to attend, and enjoyed seeing all of the voice actors behind my favorite shows. The convention was packed and the line went around the block.
My friends and I arrived at the convention with high hopes. We got into the area around noon when trying to find parking turned out to be one of the greatest challenges. Most of the areas were occupied by that time. Pro-tip for next time, get there early! When circling the convention we saw that the amount of people waiting to get badges and go inside was a fairly significant amount. Spanning from the convention center entrance to a light and around the corner.
The crowd of people at the convention was interesting. There were many familiar cosplays and it felt almost as if I knew them. The cosplayers were amazing, everyone was respectful and nice. Remember that cosplay does not mean consent, and to always ask before you take pictures of any wonderful cosplayers.
After getting our badges we entered straight into the Vendor Hall. Unfortunately the first booth I laid my eyes on was a rather lewd store from the good folks of Zettai Ryouiki Studios. Being an anime convention, you’re bound to see one or two of these float about. A little more walking around led us over to a few voice actors. The “Death Note” cast was stationed along the same wall, and amassed a crowd.
Making the way to the Artist Alley was interesting. It seemed that the entire mood shifted from the Vendor Hall which was a more gloomy atmosphere. Artist Alley had a much brighter tone. The area for artists was huge. There were lot’s of vendors, amazing art, and cosplayers to look at.
After a few booths we ran into a MTSUGARR’s booth, which happens to house some funny yet great sticker art. Including but not limited to angry Nezuko with a gun, and Kirby with a knife. A snippet of the interview goes as follows “Boothing has always been a dream of mine. This is my 14th/15th con, and I encourage anyone who wants to do it to do so.” Shout out to them, make sure to check out their Twitter and store here.
Another good sport and one of my personal favorite booths would be the great artists and people at Uber Loot. They sell wood workings and carvings of popular scenes, as well as coasters. Fledgling from the “big three” works(Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece) to some smaller anime. They had nearly everything. They said, “ In cons in general, I just love everyone’s energy. It’s like the only place, not the only place but everyone comes together and like everyone likes the same things so you know everyone has something in common. This con in particular is a little more organized. A lot of it is really smooth, yeah it’s just can’t complain.”
I got to interview the amazing Medic from Team Fortress 2 who said that he felt more popular and comfortable at AP. People all around seemed to be having a great time.
The Not Great
There were only a few complaints that I heard when talking to the attendees, cosplayers and vendors. The same Medic cosplayer I interviewed told me that he wished there were more resting spots with chairs. Though the staff at the convention center didn’t seem to mind wall leaning/sitting, more chairs and a dedicated space to rest would have been nice. Maybe something to consider for next year. Food was also a little hard to come by and was pretty expensive if you bought it on site. Many people had to leave the convention to go looking for food and some of the vendors and artists got hangry not being able to leave their table. I would recommend anyone who does get a table at AP to bring snacks and munchies. And again, there were issues with parking so if you vend please try and get there early as well. Overall there really wasn’t much to complain about.
A 8/10 rating for Anime Pasadena attendees!