This year we got to attend Anime Impulse, which is the first major anime convention of the year. Dating back to the forgotten ages of 2016, Anime Impulse has been welcoming anime fans and con enthusiasts ever since. We were excited to see whether or not this convention would do well with the rain forecasted. Luckily fans were ready to get their groove on and there were many people gathering to join in the fun.
It sets the bar for every major and large-scale anime event. So, was the fictional bar set high or was it a fairly low hurdle?
What We Liked
When cosplayers and normal attendees entered the building they were met with a small glimpse of what could be found at the convention. Further inside there were four massive areas where people could explore, shop and mingle. The Food Court was located in the center so it could be easily accessed for hungry attendees. Some highlights of the food court were Dim Sum and Hawaiian honey cones.
The first area was where the vendors were placed with lots of stands of amazing art and cute items to purchase. One of the biggest things in the area was a stage where several dance numbers were performed. People sitting down to rest could enjoy the show with the ample amount of seating surrounding the stage. Most seemed to be enjoying the show with a visible smile on their face. Next to the stage there was a map of all the vendor stands which was a very convenient addition.
The second main area was the one where we spent the most time. There were even more booths this time, with a wider array of things to purchase. Weapon vendors, DND related items, and some more adult products as well.. The lighting and atmosphere made it a good place to hangout as well as look for cosplayers to ask for photos and talk to. Section 2 was where I made contact with a familiar face MTSSUGARR, the artist who specializes in wholesome characters with weaponry. Viewing her art is always a treat.
In the third area we found a cool Boba Shop. Section 3 was for Artist Alley and had a few well known English VA’s. Unfortunately the area had a lot of leaks from the rain. .Voices such as Zeno Robinson (Hawks form “My Hero Academia”,) and Mark Whitten (Rengoku from “Demon Slayer”). We ran into APUREBEAR who was a contestant for Artist of the year. APUREBEAR has some nice art of Genshin Impact characters and Pokémon.
In the fourth area they had loud music and people hanging out.The final section of the con was the sort of DJ area housing your loud music and people having a good time.
The Issues This Year
Rain was rampant when we attended, causing cosplayers and regular attendees to enter with soaked socks and really wet clothes. Because of this, we recommend packing an umbrella with you when you plan for Anime Impulse. As long as it’s in January in California it’s good to be prepared.
We also had a bit of a hard time finding the way into the convention. At the same time as Anime Impulse was going on there happened to be another event going on. The culture festival was going on right next door to Impulse leading some people to believe that the festival was where it’s at. There were no signs to mitigate this, leaving some trying to find the area with staff not really trying to show people the right way unless they were asked directly.
The last issue was the confusion with parking. Anime Impulse told attendees that they were to arrive at gate 9 which was fine for those who were parking, but for drop offs such as myself and several others it was much less clear. We recommend specifying which type of attendee you are to the person giving directions so that they can route you to the right location. Ours happened to be Gate 1 which turned out to just be the “entrance” to the con. This led to some mild confusion among attendees.
Make sure you check out Anime Impulse next year and pack an umbrella! Just in case.