Anime Expo this year was an all around disaster. It went from being my favorite con just a few years ago, to not knowing if I will ever go back. Honestly, most of the people I talked to felt much the same way. The convention has just gotten too big. But wait, let me just start at the beginning.
LA is about an hour from my house. The drive up was fine, with just a few patches of traffic here and there. We made it into LA in about an hour. Then it took another hour to get off the freeway. We spent the entire time on a one mile stretch, if it was even that long. Traffic around the convention center was terrible. We had one person try to cut the line after we’d spent so long waiting patiently like the rest of the con goers. This guy got into a verbal fight with us, claiming he wasn’t trying to cut. Okay, buddy. Whatever you say. We didn’t let him in regardless.
Parking was fairly easy, but the spot wasn’t the best. We found out later that the amount of parking had been reduced because the artist alley was moved into the downstairs garage (more on that later).
When we finally parked, and got dressed, and walked a few blocks to the con center, we saw the line for registration and decided not to wait three hours in the hot sun. Instead we wanted to go into the lobby, something which we’ve never had issue with if we didn’t have a badge. This year they checked at the door. Then we saw the second verbal fight of the day between a patron and a guard. The patron was upset because he said he saw people getting trampled, the crowds were too big, and there was no fire marshal on hand. I have to agree the crowds were dangerously packed.
After a tour around the outside of the building we went upstairs and in through an unguarded door. By this time it was almost three hours since we’d left home and the first bathroom break we were able to take. I can’t imaging coming to the con only to be told to wait another three hours in line before being allowed to go inside to use the restroom.
Anyways, we ghosted for a while, got pictures, took pictures, the usual. It was fine, mildly fun.
Eventually, once the crowds died down, we went and picked up the badges.
Tried going into the artist alley, which as I said before was downstairs in the parking garage. It was soooo humid and stuffy in there, and we were only there for fifteen minutes! I feel bad for the artists and their helpers who stayed there all day.
Overall the convention was not fun. I don’t know if I will be going back.