I don’t think I need to describe Anime Expo for the Sixth time in a row, but as to whether or not I can call it the San Diego Comic Con / Comic-Con International of Anime is well earned this time around. A lot of changes happened this year along with the staff apparently. One of the biggest thing attendees noticed was the move of the Artist Alley from its usual location inside of the Exhibit Hall into the…what is the Kentia Hall? The indoor parking lot with barely any Air Conditioning? I gathered that the Exhibit Hall didn’t actually use the space that Artist Alley used to occupy. Nor was the Photography / Video Game Entertainment Hall filled to capacity (in terms of booths and area used. I think the worst part is that one really does need a badge to enter their baggage-check lines, something that wasn’t there during WonderCon this year. Oh, and no one without a badge was allowed inside, so anyone who wanted to purchase / pick-up a badge had to go all the way to the South Hall from the outside (so the JW / Luxe hotel advantage was nullified). I have to wonder how many people at the con had suffered heat stroke / exhaustion as a result of all these “necessary changes”.
Sad to say that the problems didn’t end there. In attendance were a lot of cosplay guests which would of course bring a lot of photographers and vidographers. Of course, many of them, particularly the videographers, were rather rude to everyone, their peers, me, and even some of the cosplayers they were photographing. I’ve had several videographers barge in and take clients right in front of me (again). I’ve also had a couple of photographers insult the cosplayer I am friends with or working with right in front of me. Somehow, this whole con was more about me resisting the urge to not leave people in a bloody mess.
Did I regret going? No, I’ve had a few cosplay shoots arranged and met a few new people…hopefully future clients for shoots. However, this con is still far from my first choice. IF I had to compare, Fanime 2016 (which I rated poorly) was much better than Anime Expo and one I’d rather go to even if I had to fly out to it. Honestly, if it weren’t for a select group of people like Dokitude, PolarBearSeatBabySeals, and a couple of others, this con would be an absolute zero…something I wish I had to endure the sweltering temperatures.
The bottom line: The ONLY reason one should go is the special guests from Japan. Otherwise, I’d highly recommend other conventions. They may be smaller, but you’ll have a much better time than deal with TSA: The Anime Convention.
– Con was designed to lock down, Apple-style, rather than put the needs of the con-goers. I have to wonder what the hospital bills total up to.
– Bullied by Staff AND by the locals / famous shooters.
PS: Locking people out is a dick move. I hope they’re ready for the cleaning bill….to say nothing about all the ambulances they probably needs for those who fell from heat stroke.
I’ll be going over what happened to me personally with some of the more…famous photographers and videographers in the next report.