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Another Successful Anime Expo in 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andres Chavez and Alejandro Chavez   
Thursday, 10 July 2014 01:28

Photo Credit: Alejandro Chavez.

Alex (right), dressed in a new version of “Link” from Hyrule Warriors, and friend are ready to protect the world from evildoers.

Between 75,000 to 100,000 people attended the annual celebration of Anime (Japanese Cartoons) and Manga (Japanese Comic Books) at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The four-day event, Anime Expo 2014, was held from July 3 to July 6.

There were exhibitors selling all manner of Anime related material including dolls ranging in price from a dollar to hundreds of dollars; elaborately constructed robots; samurai swords and other martial arts weaponry, and a huge variety of Japanese comics.

What draws the vast majority of people to the Expo is cosplay, dressing up as Anime character.

As one cosplayer, Alex — who didn’t give a last name — put it, “My girlfriend and I really like going to Cons and hanging out with our friends and dressing up in costumes. Just meeting other cosplayers, they’re really nice people. We’ve made a lot of friends dressing up and meeting other people who like to dress up.”

Photo Credit: Alejandro Chavez.

Adam Stolarz of West Hills brings “Weather Report” to life while Amethyst Salvador of West Hills, channeling “Hermes Costello,” strikes a pose.

Adam Stolarz, from West Hills, is a member of the CSUN Anime Club. His cosplay character is Weather Report from “Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.”

“He is my favorite character from that part of the series. He’s got such a cool style, and a cool ability to control the weather,” Stolarz said. “And he’s searching for things, and he’s searching for his own identity. Which, in a way, I am and we all are.”

His character is not well known, which Stolarz likes because he isn’t stopped every 20 feet to pose for photographs.

“But everyone who does notice goes ‘Oh holy crap, it’s Weather Report!’ and it makes me feel, like, an extra-special connection. Because I know there are people out there that specifically like what I like.”

One of things that draws people specifically to Anime Expo is the friendliness of the crowd.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Chavez.

Paula Silva (left) as “Princess Chibi Usa,” and friend dressed as “Athena,” show off their cosplay costumes.

As Paula Silva, who’s from Orange County, explained it, “I go to Comic Con too, and you don’t see the amount of friendliness that you see here. The people are kind and it’s usually less crowded than Comic Con. You can actually walk around the hall without running into 10,000 people.”

Anime can also lead to romance. Amethyst Salvador, originally from New Mexico and now living in West Hills, explains how she met her boyfriend.

“On Twitter we kind of have our own anime twitter group, and I’d make a lot of anime jokes,” Salvador said. “And one of my jokes got retweeted by someone else, and my nowboyfriend saw that tweet and he started to read my stuff and I guess he liked it, and we kind of took off that way.

“I actually took a trip out here to see him for the first time. So in a way our first meeting was here at Anime Expo.”

Anime Expo is sponsored by the nonprofit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). It’s purpose is to popularize and educate the American public about anime and manga. It also provides a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans.

In addition to Anime Expo, SPJA also produces Project Anime and Anime Conji.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 01:43