Introduction and Exhibit Hall (Images 1-20)This is a gallery of some of the neat things in the Exhibit Hall in the Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall as well as some of the big events going on at Anime Expo 2014. Starting off, we're taking a look at the booths and exhibitors on the floor. Be sure to check out the rest of the Legit Reviews Anime Expo 2014 coverage. Anime Expo 2014 – Part 1: A Quick Live Look Anime Expo 2014 – Part 2: Panels, Exhibits and Cool Things Anime Expo 2014 – Part 3: Next-Level Cosplays Realize that the type of exhibits are vastly different from those at CES, E3, and PAX in that Anime Expo booths are much smaller and most are actually selling goods much in the way of street vendors or a swap meet. The few booths that are promoting a brand are purely putting on a show for fans.
Exhibit Hall (Images 21-40)
Exhibit Hall (Images 41-55)
Riot Games' League of Legends BoothRiot Games made their first Anime Expo appearance in acknowledgement that many League of Legends players enjoy anime. There was no merchandise being sold, but the booth packed a small stage for fan events such as cosplay events and trivia games. This was one of if not the most popular attraction in the Anime Expo 2014 Exhibit Hall due to a combination of the game's popularity and the skin code giveaways Riot was conducting just by talking to booth staff. A replica of Leona's Zenith Blade makes an appearance at the west entrance of the booth. On one of the outside walls of the League of Legends booth was a whiteboard where fans could pick up a marker from the floor and doodle. The other side of the whiteboard wall and another outside wall were dedicated to fan artwork from around the world.
Artist AlleyOn the far side of the Exhibit Hall is a section set aside for independent artists to sell and promote their work.
Open Gaming Area at Entertainment HallThe West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center was divided into two completely separate sections: the Main Events Stage and the Entertainment Hall. The Entertainment Hall is further divided into sections for photography backdrops, a cosplay repair station sponsored by League of Legends, a autograph section, and a large opening gaming area. The opening gaming area is further subdivided into an arcade, table top gaming, PC LAN, and console LAN.
Main Stage Event: KILL la KILL Special EventThe KILL la KILL main stage event was easily the hottest event of AX 2014 having sold out all 3500 seats, but which could be taken somewhat literally considering the line snaked outside under the 90 degree Los Angeles sun and it took about 20 minutes to walk through the line. Most of the cosplayers weren't dressed for the heat and so it was tough out there. This event was a combination of a private screening of the premiere of the KILL la KILL English dub, a guest panel with the KILL la KILL crew from Japan, and a concert by Eir Aoi who sings the first opening song in the series.
English Dub Premiere Private ScreeningThe Special Event show began with special showing of the first Kill la Kill episode in the English dub. Easily the best part of this portion of the show was feeling the crowd's enthusiasm for the characters. The first episode appearances of Ryuko Matoi, Mr. Mikisugi after he slicks his hair back, and Nonon Jakuzure the only female member of the Three Star Elite Four garnered the loudest cheers from the audience.
Guest PanelFrom left to right:
- Ami Koshimizu – Voice of Ryuko Matoi
- Ryoka Yuzuki – Voice of Satsuki Kiryuin
- Kazuki Nakashima – Scriptwriter
- Yousuke Toba - Producer
- SUSHIO – Animation Director
Eir Aoi ConcertPrivate Press Panel: Ami Koshimizu and Ryoka Yuzuki – Voices of Ryuko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuin Right after the KILL la Kill Special Event, members of the press were invited to a private panel with Ami Koshimizu and Ryoka Yuzuki, respectively the voice actresses of show lead characters Ryuko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuin. Since the panel had been rescheduled to that evening instead of that morning, Koshimizu and Yuzuki were still wearing the stage costumes from the event and requested that press not take photographs and video. Behind the closed doors, Koshimizu and Yuzuki some hard hitting questions from the press that revealed an even more personal and humanly personality to the two voice actresses. This was in contrast to the more rigid Q&A session put forth during the Special Event Panel where the most common preselected questions from the fans were asked. At the private panel, press members were impressed and almost surprised by Koshimizu and Yuzuki's charming warm and bubbly demeanor.
Private Press Panel: Tasha and Doremi of Spiral CatsSpiral Cats is perhaps the most recognized team of professional cosplayers. Based in South Korea, a group of friends led by Tasha formed an organization that used cosplay to promote gaming. Their most notable projects have been for some of the most popular PC games around world including Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, League of Legends, and DOTA 2. The Spiral Cats team is composed of full-time team cosplayers and several guest cosplayers. Doremi is the newest addition to the full-time Spiral Cats lineup and she and team leader Tasha were in Los Angeles for Anime Expo 2014 as guests of honor. Here's some of what they shared during the AX private press panel about cosplaying, PC gaming, and Spiral Cats.
- Tasha's favorite PC game right now is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
- Her favorite characters to cosplay as are Kerrigan (Starcraft II) and Nidalee (League of Legends)
- Can't wait to go to Disneyland. Took a notice to the love for Disney at AX 2014 after seeing a number of Frozen cosplayers.
- Has eaten at In-n-Out Burgers because that's a thing in California
- Designing the costume and props are the most important aspect of the whole cosplay. Tasha pays special attention to the colors and the scale of the props with regards to viewing distance.
- Doremi's favorite PC game right now is League of Legends.
- Also loves mobile gaming and currently playing LoveLive! the most. Doremi also added that unlike most girls and women in Korea who fill their phones with pictures, she loads her phones with games.
- Her favorite characters to cosplay as are Generation Ahri (League of Legends) and Jaina Proudmoore (World of Warcraft)
- Wants to eat all the delicious food she's encountered on her first time in Los Angeles
- Like Tasha, Doremi agrees that the design phase is the most important aspect of cosplaying. However, she pays special attention to the hairdressing.
Other PanelsPrivate Press Panel: English Dub Cast of Original Sailor Moon Series From left to right:
- John Stocker – Voice Director
- Ron Rubin – Artemis the cat
- Susan Roman – Sailor Jupiter
- Linda Ballantyne – Sailor Moon
- Katie Griffin – Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus
- Karen Bernstein – Sailor Mercury
- Mary Long – Molly Baker
- Toby Proctor – Tuxedo Mask
Private Press Panel: Eir Aoi