Anime Expo Day 3 and Full review of the Event
I have to say that the day started really bad…
I knew that Saturdays always have higher attendance but this was RIDICULES! our hotel was located 12 minutes from the con… it took us almost 2 hours to get from point A to point B due to the high level of traffic JUST TO GET OFF THE EXIT AT PICO BLVD! 2 Freaken hours!!! I though there was an accident or something because at times we were not even moving! This didn’t even happen on day 1 which was the 4th of July, my plan for Saturday was to arrive at the con pay the 20 F***n dollars for the F***n Parking (which at this point was really hitting on my expenses … 60 dollars down) park the car, and start making a line for the Shingeki no Kyojin Panel (Attack on titan) instead I got a lovely view of the back of the convention center…
Once I arrived and calmed myself down ( I was extremely pissed and frustrated) we got in and just walked around the bottom of the south hall trying to chill a bit and saw that the Mirai Mart booth was having a little Japanese stand of with their MoeKana cards, I thought I give it a try, but I lost ;_;
Sigh… I tend to forget how things are written in Hiragana and Katakana, however, I understand more if I hear it, I’m able to listen and speak basic to intermediate Japanese, but with this, I need to go back to Japanese lessons to get my writing and reading to a par >_<
After my disappointment, we headed off to the exhibit hall to see if we can find any merchandise from current animes we were watching, that was our second disappointment… a “sea” of people is cutting it short,t there was a WORLD of people not even walking, they were STOPPING all the time, it was like I would take 3 steps and then a full stop for a few seconds, then 2 steps and full stop, it was horrible, I wasn’t even able to take my time to look through the little booths and shops, I barely saw most of the things that vendors were selling. At one point I felt really dizzy and was out of air due to all the people walking on side of the hall to the other and vice versa, it was a nightmare… the only thing that I would look forward to was relaxing at Lounge 21, but not even that! they had several events planned for that area and they didn’t let us in without a ticket…
We headed out the gaming area and stayed there until the times came for the Kodansha panel I wanted to attend.
At the line for the panel we were lucky to be one of the firsts in line, we go there and I wanted to know specifically about the Sailor Moon art books, their official news was that they had bad new… the books are being delayed and will not be released until 2014 and not this year as they had planned, apparently Naoko is behind schedule and is concentrating more on other things, not so much as pleasing her fans as she use to do many years back, it looks like she’s more into her job now than her fans, that was the official words from the Kodansha Editor giving the panel.
I really wanted to kick this guy’s ass as since I wanted to rant about how bad the Sailor Moon translations were at several points in the manga, turns out that the rumors are true, Kodansha hires freelance translators to translate a whole book in 2 weeks, then they said that the editor reviews the translation makes necessary corrections in 1 week then 2 more weeks to publish, I was outraged! so unprofessional! not only due the translators do crappy work, but the Editor is an idiot! how can they publish something with so many mistakes! I wanted to say that to him when he was taking questions, but how would it help anyways? the last vol. of the manga is set to come out in 5 days, there’s no point in ranting on something that can no longer be revised…
However, once they saw our faces with disappointment, they started to give out “exclusive” stuff to panel attendants.
My compensation for their crappy mistakes?
A keychain I was not able to find at the exhibit hall on sale … (I admit it… I was a little happy for getting it for free) a poster and a pin… thanks Kodansha… but I’m still pissed off.
I can only say that Saturday sucked in 60% and it was cool for 40%…. It left me with much to desire…
Review of Anime Expo in General
This is from someone who has been attending the con for 8 years consecutively, my review is based on my experience this time compared to past years at AX.
Since I don’t want to do a really big review, I’ll give the good, the bad and the ugly.
Being a veteran, AX was starting to get a bit too much for kids, this year they have introduced new programing for +18 and +21 of ages, mostly for programing at night, bringing Hentai GoH, Hentai, ecchi related panels and other topics where they had an age limit, this was something I believe brings new entertainment for people like me who have attended the con since teenagers and are now adults, though a lot of people complained about this new “age limit” programing, I think it’s something different and a good move.
AX introduced the arrival of “food trucks” which is good for a change of the con food that is always bad and expensive, although many complained that it was eve more expensive but “worth it”.
No X Games this year! Last year AX was held the same days as the X games, it was chaos everywhere because streets were closed and 2 opposite crowds collided.
Artist alley had a lot of attention and growing exponentially, lots of cool and awesome art from people and it was not that crowded to walk between booths.
Some Cosplays were very elaborate and well done, there were several cosplayers that looked exactly like the character.
I know this is not something that Anime Expo can regulate, but the parking fees jumped tremendously from last year to now, I clearly remember last year paying 15 dollars per day at the con, this year the rate was 20 dollars, one might think that since the parking rates were so high, not a lot of people would pay for it, but on day 3, the parking was full on every side.
Con staff was poorly managed and had little to no knowledge on the events as per the scheduled, people would walk up to the asking where a certain event was being held and they did not even know how to answer.
Crowd control was non existent, no security at some points, there were many reports that cosplayers were being harassed and bullied and there was no one to stop it.
The halls were overflowing with people to the point of not being able to walk, this was considered a high fire hazard risk, con should have separated booths more so that people could walk.
Panels would start late and end on time, also a lot of panels were capped when people would start making a line, they would told to leave as there was “no space” left even before people would start going in.
Lots of reports came in on day 3 saying that event staff, the ones actually hired to manage areas in the con, were extremely rude, physical and down right nasty, calling people names, pushing them away.
Prices to get into the con were extremely high, they even implemented a penalty for people who lost their badges or would have them stolen . AX charged 45 dollars just to have your badge reprinted, this left a lot of people out of the con because they didn’t have the money to pay for a replacement.
The premiere passes were a joke, even though you paid extra money for the “vip” pass, people were promised discounts to stuff and it was ignored, the only thing that guarantied you was getting into panels without making a line.
Attendees that would report staff for bad behavior or rudeness at Con Operations would be perma banned from AX, 398 cases were reported where they would remove their badges and placed these people on a black list, this was just LACC operations, AX supposedly said that NO ONE could do that, but they have.
Rude staff members would abuse their power and even arrest people without being a police officer as well, telling attendees to “Fuck off” when they would be asked a question.
AX indicated on their facebook to report the staff members that were rude but not a lot of people could do it because the staff memeber did not carry ANY Name tags and they would refuse to give out their names, People did take pictures and video of these staff members, they are yet to give out any info on how the matter is going with the people that were identified.
The staff employees that would be in charge of checking props would lose or even damage attendees belongings, some to keep for themselves and some because they just didn’t like it.
This has nothing to do with Anime Expo Staff or LACC, but it does have to do with the people attending.
A lof of MEN, yes MEN, would not even shower and they would walk around the con stinking like a skunk, AX would do good if they placed a special booth to purchase deodorants and anti antiperspirants. these people make other con goers very very uncomfortable and would create discuss among people walking or being near them.
If you don’t have time to shower, at least cover yourself with a lot of deodorant!
Being that the exhibit hall and the corridors were full, a lot of people would ask cosplayers to “strike a pose” … IN THE MIDDLE OF BUSY HALL!!! how can it in a right mind to ask someone to move just to take a picture where a sea of people is walking. that is just bad Etiquette!! from the person asking and taking the picture as well as the cosplayer agreeing to it in a crowded area where everybody is walking in one direction!
Overall score compared to the last 5 year that AX has been located in the LACC…
2 our of 5 stars
Ax needs to revise how they manage things and take resposability for all the crap that happened this year, from the rudeness to the tardiness and the bad management, and stop being money and power crazed.