As Culture of Gaming grows, our ability to bring our readers better coverage of gaming, anime, and comic book events grows with it. Recently, the staff of Anime Los Angeles was kind of enough to give us press access to cover this year’s anime con located in Ontario, California. As it stands, Anime Los Angeles 2020 was an amazing event that I would recommend anyone to attend; even against bigger venues like AX. ALA2020 felt massive but still maintains a welcoming community vibe among anime fans, content creators, industry reps, and voice actors.
What impressed me about ALA2020 other than its community is the variety of fun and informational panels. Fans could attend panels that included idol concerts, time with your favorite voice actors, controversial topics for an 18+ only crowd, or making your own cosplay armor. Within a four day span, you could sample tons of information both as a fan or someone who wants to know more about the industry of anime production. All while navigating the stellar community events and cosplay gatherings within the halls and outside the convention center. One community-building aspect definitely got its claws in me, and in a form, I would have never guessed. Ribbons!
The Ribbon Game
Every convention that is a big enough fosters a community-building trend or collectible game. Several cons love creating exclusive convention merch, and in the case of Transformers/Star Wars toys, they create unique collectible toys. PAX and other gaming conventions love the pins and will give out pins for fans to trade among themselves. Before Sony pulled the plug on PlayStation Experience, you could collect a series of trading cards at each booth for either participating in the demo of a game or through other means. At ALA2020, it’s all about the Ribbons!
This is the 16th Anime Los Angeles con held in Southern California, and there is an entire ribbon collection aspect that is unique to this con alone. People have been collecting and trading for ribbons for years, creating a community of ribbon traders. You can earn ribbons, sell ribbons, trade ribbons, or create your own. Even some of the voice actors we interviewed at ALA2020 love trading ribbons. Collecting tons of ribbons is both fun and helps foster a positive anime community. While also creating a reason to come back for more and foster new friendship among anime lovers.
The Guests & Performances
Anime Los Angeles continues its tradition of having an engaging line up of guests from all around the anime industry. One of the highlights being the first US performance of J-Rock band BRATS. They played to a packed house of devoted anime fans who couldn’t help but want more of their music. Just with this performance alone was worth the trip, anime fans are no strangers to stellar rock tracks in anime and kudos for the opening act by FEMM. Anime Los Angeles getting a big exclusive band like BRATS, shows the care and love from the volunteer staff that always aims to make each convention better than the last.
Whether your an old Macross anime fan or a fan of newer anime series, each level of fandom is covered by a diverse lineup of guests holding panels and autograph sessions. Here are some of the interviews we have lined up and coming soon on Culture of Gaming:
If your an anime fan and AX is simply just a line-fest, I highly recommend attending Anime Los Angeles instead. The staff at ALA spends an exuberant amount of time, making sure the convention is fun for fans of all ages and a welcoming community. I attended a panel held by some of the top heads running the con, and its clear to anyone that this staff loves tweaking and improving elements of each convention for its fans foremost.
Don’t forget to check out my interview with voice actors Sean Chiplock, Brianna Knickerbocker, and Laura Post For more great interviews, reviews, editorials, and news stay tuned to CultureOfGaming.com or check us out on OpenCritic.com.