So, Anime Expo...
Well, for starters, Los Angeles (although, perhaps it's just the Downtown area) is actually a very nice city~! Very laid-back and pretty wide open for a city--very much unlike New York or Boston over here on the East Coast. Lots and lots of cops, though (who also seem like generally nice people)... That probably explains why that area is so nice.
With that out of the way, as for the convention itself? Meh.
It was definitely the most crowded convention I've ever been in--even more so than Otakon; there were so many people that it became quite annoying, actually, to maneuver myself around and try to find Touhou cosplayers for my latest video. Speaking of Otakon, this trip confirmed that I generally favor it over the "largest anime convention in North America;" it's just all-around a more fun convention, and I always get a sense that people there do things, such as dancing or meetups, because they want to do those things, not because they'd rather do that than wait in MASSIVE lines. Now, don't get me wrong, these are just my observations; I'm not hiding any sort of terrible experience from any of you who might be reading this. Anime Expo isn't a bad convention from my attendee point-of-view, but it did often feel VERY "industry" and shallow, both for obvious reasons (such as the fact that about 80% or more of its panel schedule was taken up by industry panels) and subtle vibes that I couldn't shake...
As for my Artists' Alley experience... Very surprisingly "meh" as well. In terms of sales, we made the same average that we would do at any other convention, but the worrisome part was that much of the Touhou crowd would never make their way past the Dealer's Room and into the Artists' Alley behind it, which makes sense when considering just how absolutely overwhelming that Dealer's Room was and the sheer volume of people certainly didn't make things any better for navigation to the back of the room. Oh, yeah. And did I mention that the Artists' Alley was placed in the back of the room? If I learned anything from Youmacon, it's that doing that only means trouble for the artists. More conventions need to put the Artists' Alley in its own separate room, thank you~!
However, what we confirmed to our benefit in Anime Expo's Artists' Alley was that characters with furry parts, primarily those with just tails and ears, seem to be recognized most at our table when customers come by and they often buy all of them together as a set, even if they're not from the same series; we noticed signs of this at Anime Boston, but it was made especially apparent here. So, we've decided to do more characters that fit that bill for the near-future--characters such as Black Rabbit from Mondaiji, Holo from Spice & Wolf, Ahri from League of Legends, etc. etc. This is not just because of the tread we're seeing in our sales, but also because this opened our eyes to the fact that we need to beef up our selection of non-Touhou characters~! Make it stronger and more appealing to the public~!
Anyway, that about wraps up the general, summarized consensus that myself especially and also my partner had at Anime Expo this year. You can watch two videos I shot and edited from it in the links below:
"Touhou @ Anime Expo 2013" = www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdl_vA…
"Attack on EVA @ Anime Expo 2013!" = www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzm-bK…
Many thanks to everyone here who bought a print from us at this year's Anime Expo, and many thanks to those of you who read through this report~!
P.S.: Nice to finally meet you in person,
; you've continued the trend of Touhou artists that I meet at these cons turning out to be really cool people. It was awesome talking about Touhou doujins with you, and I'm so glad to have won one of your raffles~! Best of wishes for your continuing progress in your doujin manga, Shatter~!
Also, a shout-out to
, who makes for a very good (and very approrpiate) Koishi cosplayer. You can actually see her in my "Touhou @" video listed here~!