Do you love anime? If the answer to that is “yes” and you were in Southern California this weekend, I hope you took the time to check out Anime Pasadena at the Pasadena Convention Center. The newly minted anime convention, which took place at the aforementioned Pasadena Convention Center was an intimate affair that did not in any way lack on the activities and special guests. There was cosplay, karaoke, a cosplay contest and even a fashion show to keep all those in attendance entertained. So how does Anime Pasadena stack up when it comes to comic conventions? Let’s talk about it.
Getting Into the Convention
I don’t know if it’s the city of Pasadena or just the layout of the area around the convention center, but it was extremely easy and very accessible to get into the convention. There were several parking garages located around the building and for those who opted for ride share travel, there was an easy drop off right in front of the front doors leading into the convention center.
Ticketing was also a piece of cake as the box office was out in plain site right before you walked in. If you had already gotten your tickets beforehand, you simply walked up, scanned your code and got your wristband and were immediately whisked away to the awesomeness that was Anime Pasadena.
The Pasadena Convention Center is smaller than that found in Anaheim and Los Angeles, however, the organizers of Anime Pasadena made sure to maximize the potential of all the space available. Everywhere you turned there was something new and awesome going on. At the center of it all, the main stage featured live music and was also where the fashion show and cosplay contest took place. There were local and national artists, as always, with their amazing art and craft work for sale and even celebrity guests who were more than happy to take pictures with their fans.
Possibly the most awesome thing I saw on the convention floor was when Jason Paige, the singer of the original Pokemon theme song, got on stage with the band and jammed out to the Pokemon theme song with the energy and vigor of 1986 Bon Jovi. Check out our Instagram page to see exactly what I mean.
Anime Pasadena did few awesome things when it comes to convention refreshments. There weren’t any food trucks, however almost all of the food available at the convention was Asian in origin. On the main convention floor, there were booths giving out Ramen (a personal favorite of this geek) and outside one of the local Pasadena restaurants was serving up authentic Asian cuisine. There was even a panel that was featured that was all about the love of Ramen which shed a lot of history on everyone’s favorite comfort food.
As a huge fan of Anime, the cosplay at this convention was an absolute delight. The time and care that each and every cosplayer put into their work was just a joy to see, especially from the kids. There were full on Saiyan families walking around, living breathing tributes to One Piece and My Hero Academia. I even saw one of the most awesome Whis and Vados cosplays I had ever seen in my life. The cosplay contest was also pretty awesome and I saw the cutest Princess Mononoke costumes on a little girl I had ever seen.
As mentioned before, there were areas where you could get free professional photos taken at the convention, so when you were done posing for everyone else, you could get yourself a souvenir and see how awesome your costume turned out.
This was a small con in terms of how much space it took up, but what Anime Pasadena lacked in square feet it made up deeply with entertainment and awesomness. The look on the children’s faces when you walked through the convention center should be more than enough to tell you how great this event was. There was something there for everyone even if you weren’t that much into anime. This was the perfect convention to go to if you had never been to one and on the same token, was an awesome event for those of us who are seasoned veterans of the convention scene. If you didn’t have a chance to go to Anime Pasadena this year and if you were there this year, I will definitely see you there next year as this convention was simply awesome.
Photos by Monica Duarte