by Tommy Alonso
Let's talk ALA. It met my expectations and way more than just that.
This was my 2nd year of attending Anime Los Angeles. Comparing to my experience last year, this year takes the cake (and not the cake from Portal, hah hah). Last year, we weren't truly able to experience the greatness that this convention was. It was raining that weekend, so we weren't able to see all of the food trucks and cosplayers on set outside, but since it was a clear, sunny weekend, we had it all.
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN!
Anime Los Angeles was held on January 26th (Day 0) through the 29th (Day 3) at the Ontario Convention Center. Yes, the convention near the Ontario Airport. It was a weekend long event that contained all sorts of fun: cosplayers, panelists, singers, foods trucks, and of course, you, the attendees.
Unfortunately, due to work and traffic, we got there that Friday at 8pm. We just grabbed our badges, took a gander at what ALA is all about, and had to leave.
Each of the rooms had panels in them, covering 2 floors of space. Panels covered between many topics, such as voice actors of different anime series, how-to's for cosplaying, and even some 18+ age panels. This convention center has a huge amount of space and the event covered the parking lot area as well as the space around the actual convention center.
Being that it has a huge space, there is definitely one thing that you will notice. There are tons and tons of cosplayers! I swear, wherever you would look, there would be a cosplayer. There were tons of photographers outside of the building where they had their photo sets for cosplayers and there were always cosplay meet ups (such as Final Fantasy, Overwatch, etc.)
Since cosplaying is definitely one of the things I truly enjoy about an anime convention, here are some of the cosplayers that I was able to get some lovely photographs of:
*Unfornately, I wish I was able to get more photographs, but next year, this blog post will be filled with ton of cosplayers. Stay tuned!
Since we are already outside, let's continue off to the food trucks. There was plenty to choose from and depending on the time of day (during that weekend), there were different food options.
Here are the food trucks that we were able to check out:
I've got to try half of the food trucks that weekend and they were all so delicious. I loved the varieties between trucks, so you didn't have to try the same thing from one truck to another. Of course I had my favorites, but that is a whole other topic and blog post.
Right next to the food trucks, were all of the Itasha Cars.
There were a bunch of decked out cars, repping their favorite anime series all over the bodies, as well as having different figures and merchandise in their cars. This was definitely something that I can appreciate, as for I love this lifestyle.
Feel free to check out all of the cars down below:
After checking out all the ITASHA, we headed inside to the exhibit hall. This was the main area were there were tons of vendors, clothing brands, and artists showcasing their work and anime merchandise. There were roughly 84 different booths to check out, so there was a lot to see. If you're like me, you would probably walk slowly through each of the rows one at a time to get a glimpse of all the different artwork and merchandise you can possibly get. It took time to walk the whole thing, so if you want to find out what the con offers, I highly suggest you do the same.
Here are some photos of what we saw inside:
*Unfortunately, I enjoyed the exhibit hall way too much that I am lacking photos as well. Next ALA, I swear!
As for merchandise, these were some of my favorites and most unique to the convention:
WEAPON'S GRADE WAIFU
The Universe of Summer
*Stay tuned for our future blog post and interview with UCHUUSUMMER.
AND HOW CAN I FORGET ABOUT THE RIBBONS?!
The one activity that makes ALA really unique is that they have this HUGE activity with ribbons. I've never seen a convention like this, where you do certain activities in order to get ribbons. I would walk around the convention and see attendees with yards-worth of ribbon. HOW?!
In the photo above, there were some interesting activities I had to do, but alas, they were all so fun! I definitely want to contribute to that next year and create our own! :D
Overall, Anime Los Angeles was such a great weekend! It was fun-filled all the way to the last second. I finally met some people that I've been meaning to meet for some time, made tons of new friends, ate lots of food, and just had a splendid time. If you guys happen to be free next year around this same time period, I highly recommend going to ALA. If it is your first anime convention or your millionth, you will have a blast as much as I did.
Thank you Anime Los Angeles for such a great time and I'm definitely excited for the next year!
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