This year's Anime LA convention will be remembered for many things. Some of them are good. Some
of them are bad. Once again, this convention grew at an incredible rate. It was very close to reaching
its attendance cap of 1800 and there were more out-of -state attendees than in previous years. The
masquerade has grown into a first-class competition. There were an impressive number of entries with
outstanding costumes and performances. To accommodate all of its members, the convention used all
of the hotel's function space for the first time. Everything was bigger. There were more attendees,
more dealer's, more musical performances, larger video and gaming rooms.
On the downside there was the weather. The rain and cold put a damper on a lot of outdoor activities.
Most of all, the enforcement of badges and "keep clear" zones drew a lot of anger. It seemed that
wherever you were, you could either see or year some poor fan getting yelled at for either not having
their badge in a highly visible place or standing where they shouldn't be. There are many accounts of
attendees being followed and harassed by convention staff. This con will also be known for being the
first convention to eject Kevin Lillard, a man who inspired me and many others to start websites like this
one. All of this has angered fans to a level that I have never seen before and hopefully, will never see
again. This con took great pride in being a fan-friendly event. This year, that image was shattered.
So, what about next year? Having attended all three years of this convention, I'm willing to give this
event the benefit of the doubt. This year was an abnormality. Two good conventions out of three isn't
bad. Next year, I plan to be in Burbank to see the new venue and hopefully, a bigger and better Anime
LA will be created from the lessons learned at this year's convention. I still believe in this convention. I
know it can do better. I don't want to take it off my schedule, but what happened at this year's
convention must never be repeated.
See you next year,