Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Problems of Anime Expo 2016

We've been covering Anime Expo a long time and seen it change and evolve over the years. This was probably the largest attendance on record, yet there were many problems that an organization, the SPJA, that has been doing the same convention for twenty-five years shouldn't have allowed. We only mention these problems so that hopefully they can be fixed. We're giving you a list of the problems of Anime Expo 2016.

-Mega 64 and Toonami Panels

Two events really got to us at at AX, the Mega 64 Panel and the Toonami Panel. It has nothing to do on the part of the panelists, but how AX managed the panels.

Mega 64's panel started late and had to end early. As we waited with other press and premiere badge holders we wondered what was taking so long to let in any regular attendees. After 10-15 minutes regular fans were allowed in already past the time the panel was suppose to start.

Another concern was why the panel was moved to a smaller venue, the Mega 64 panel usually brings in a big crowd and has the large Live Programming 1 room. This year, it all changed with a room that probably could hold about 1/3 of the regular amount of fans for Mega 64.

Toonami's panel had technology issues. Fans were heart-broken when they weren't allowed to see the first five minutes of a dubbed One-Punch Man promised by the panel. The DVD player apparently lost power along side the mics. Towards the end of the panel fans had to yell out there questions to the panel's guests. Mics would cut in and out before just not working. One of the panelists said out loud, "Don't blame us, it's AX's fault."

-Artist Alley Was Cramped

Artist Alley now has its on hall, but somehow it's still cramped? In what might have been the strangest part of AX plans was the little amount of spacing between artist alley booths. Table-top gaming and autograph sessions shared the same floor and had way to much room. Why give 600 booths a whole new floor, but make them feel as cramped as they usually do?

-Ticketed events

We're unsure why One-Punch Man Matsuri was allowed. It's one thing for a full musical event to be ticketed for an idol band, but it's a bad precedent for future AX panels when the showing of a dubbed episode costs extra money. When an average fan pays so much just to attend AX and then has to pay another $35-$45, on top of that for one panel we question the interest of those involved. Premieres should never be at an extra cost to fans.

What we did fine interesting was how orderly an easy the event was to get into compared to other panels, we had assigned seats. A simple scan of our tickets and we were in, no line, no fuss. Why can't every panel, be that simple?


Yet again, registration for attendees was an amazing wait time. For those who had already paid for their badges we heard of two hour wait times to just get inside. And we mean inside, though there were sections covered to bask out the sun, the line stretched far enough to still be underneath it. Saturday, usually the biggest day, was supposedly the worst for entry.

In this day and age it's seems strange that no other system could exist to get people in who have already paid. Premiere badge holders get theirs shipped and in the past you could pick up your badge if you placed an order at your local comic shop or anime store, not a bad idea. Something has to be done for future fans.

Many people with extra cash just register at AX because of the faster wait time to get in.


In general, they just seem like they need to hand out tickets for panels, with paper or digitally. It's nonsense with current technology and just human decency to make people wait instead of enjoying walking the show floor or going to another panel.

Line caps need to start a lot earlier too. People can be waiting for hours and not make it in. We see more than enough staff to get head counts and start guessing how many people can fit into rooms.

-Maps, Where's Video Room 1?

We were amazed so many attendees made it to Video Room 1 as it's not displayed on any map included in this year's guide. We only found it because of attending previous AX conventions. Video Room 1 was outside of the LA Convention Center and within the JW Marriot Hotel. To get to it you had to go to the hotel lobby, unlike years before where you could just go through the bottom floor of the meeting and ballroom area and ride an escalator up to it.

-Prizes and Merch

To pick up special items you had to both find and wait the prize booth located with no signs in the Entertainment Hall. All the way in the back of the Entertainment Hall and run by two people, when we checked it out. Why would only two people be allowed to run a booth that needs more hands to give out different items?

The Cowboy Bebop gift had a controversy as it didn't arrive until the last day of AX, this may have led to huge congestion at the prize booth with three days wasted.

Some of the hats the were shown off online and in the guide never arrived for AX merch booth for purchase.

We hope some major changes happen to AX next year.