Hey there! This is Chocozumo with his first Convention Review, starting off with an event that has been on my wishlist for years: Anime Los Angeles! I could talk all day about how greatly lit the venue is for photography, but let’s cut to the main attraction, ribbon collecting!
Actually – let’s take a step back before throwing ourselves in. Anime Los Angeles (ALA) is an annual convention taking place in Ontario, California. Located at the Ontario Convention Center and an extremely short distance from the Ontario International Airport and a number of hotels, ALA proves to be a conveniently placed location, suited for dressing up in fantasy costumes and walking next door to get to the action!
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Where was I? Ribbons? Ribbons. Ribbons are the life, blood, and spirit that makes this small-sized convention so unique. Attendees, panelists, and staff alike will create custom ribbons to attach to your badge, showcasing your ability to talk to strangers and take on miscellaneous feats of might and mind! For some of the ribbons I’ve received, my [Equivalent Exchange] Ribbon was received by naming all seven sins from Full Metal Alchemist, while my [“EXPLOSION”] Ribbon was earned by yelling out the most powerful Arch-Mage spell, EX-PULOOOOOOOSION!!!
For amenities, a good number of food trucks were positioned outside the convention hall, featuring mostly Asian foods such as bento, boba, and sushi! I was personally pleased with a Bulgogi Burrito; all the flavor in a convenient and familiar wrapping! If food truck pricing wasn’t your taste, other restaurants such as In and Out and Denny’s were in walking distance, and only a short drive or ride-share included many more options!
Events that headlined the nights of ALA included the dress-code Formal Dance, the Fashion Show, Battle of the Bands, and the Masquerade! I was fortunate enough to catch the most impressive half-time show I’ve ever witnessed at the Masquerade when the Corps Dance Crew blew the crowd away with their Boku no Hero Academia themed dance!
Overall, Anime Los Angeles was a fantastic convention: great venue, convenient location, aesthetic spots for shooting cosplay, good food selection, and — did I mention the aesthetic locations? This is a con that I was happy to finally attend, and will absolutely put effort into attending next year!