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It’s more than Sailor Moon

Anime Expo takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center June 29 - July 2

Posted: June 15, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: June 15, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Anime Expo comes to the L. A. Convention Center June 29 - July 2

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For fans of anime, Japanese animation, it's been a year of dreaming, sketching, sewing and crafting the perfect costume to pay homage to their favorite anime character.

Attendees to the 21st annual Anime Expo, to be held June 29 - July 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, will still see participants dressed up as Sailor Moon, the first widely popular anime character in the United States, but they'll also see hundreds of fans dressed in a huge variety of costumes. Many will be carrying a variety of homemade props as well, including fanciful weapons.

Anime Expo, known as AX to fans, is North America's largest anime and manga celebration.

A few of the popular characters recreated at Anime Expo by fans involved in "cosplay" (costume play) include: Natsu Dragneel and Gray Fullbuster from "Fairy Tail"; Inuyasha from "Inuyasha"; Edward Elric from "Fullmetal Alchemist"; Hikaru and Karou Hitachinn (twins) from "Ouran High School Host Club"; and Maaka Albarn and Soul Eater from "Soul Eater."

Cosplayers can be found offering photo opportunities outside and inside the convention center. Many are eager to pose for photographers and will enact scenes from their favorite anime programs for attendees to view.

Followers of anime and manga (Japanese graphic novels), are usually young adults in their teens and 20s.
There are dozens of genres of anime, some with adult themes.

The most popular animes are action, adventure, demons, fantasy, romance, magic, mecha (giant robots), military and vampires.

Among the most popular anime series are "Fairy Tail," "Puella Magi Madoka Magica," "Fullmetal Alchemist," "Soul Eater" and "Sailor Moon."

In addition to cosplay, Anime Expo gives fans the opportunity to meet and greet some of the most famous anime, manga and musical artists in the business. Many of the expo's special guests hail from Japan, the birthplace of anime.
Announced Guests of Honors include composer Yuki Kajiura/"FictionJunction;" anime-inspired heavy metal band Animetal USA; Culture Japan's Danny Choo; Fate/Zero" creative team Hikaru Konda, Ei Aoki and Rikiya Koyama; Madhouse creative team Asaka Morio, Kunihiko Hamada and Takuya Tsunoki; animation director Tatsuo Sato; voice actors Ryo Horikawa, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, Steve Blum, Joel McDonald and Ian Sinclair; Japanese pop star LiSA, Lolita fashion designer Cyril Lumboy, Lolita model Misako Aoki; Tokyo-based Gallery of Fantastic Art and popular cosplayer Jessica Nigri.

The exhibit hall at Anime Expo offers fans the chance to shop for all manner of DVD sets, manga, costumes, props and art.

Attendees can visit Artist's Alley, where all manner of anime is created and sold by established and up and coming visual artists.

The Anime Expo Art Show is another popular event. Unlike the Artist's Alley, the Art Show is where artists can place their more intricate works, large pieces, small pieces of ‘two-d' and ‘three-d' art, and detailed models. The Art Show also encompasses the Modeling Contest, a popular contest where models - handmade, painted and arranged - can be entered to win prizes.

This year's Anime Expo will feature several special events including a concert by Animetal USA at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. Tickets are $10 to $30.

Also on Friday - at 9 p.m. - is the popular Anime Music Video screening. Attendees can watch the submitted videos and vote for their favorites. Tickets are free, but tickets go fast. The ticket distribution will be held Friday.

Yuki Kajiura/FictionJunction will perform 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Tickets are $20 to $40.

Lisa will perform 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1. Tickets are $20 to $40.

The popular Masquerade Contest will be held at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 1. Tickets are $10 to $30.

The four day Anime Expo convention will run noon to 6 p.m. Friday, June 29; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 2.

To attend Anime Expo, a four-day badge costs $70 now through June 28. The price goes up to $75 on the first day of the expo.

Two day passes are $65 and $70. One day passes are $40 and $45.

The Los Angeles Convention Center is located at 1201 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 90015. Parking and traffic information: Radio Station 1630 AM.

If you don't want to drive, you can take the Metrolink to downtown Union Station and connect to the Metro Rail Blue Line via the Red Line from Union Station. The Metro Rail Blue Line connects with all Metro Rail and stops on Flower at Pico (Pico Station), directly across from the Los Angeles Convention Center. To get to Union Station, you transfer to the Red or Purple Lines at 7th Street. The Red Line from North Hollywood also connects at the 7th Street station to the Blue Line.
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