AX 2022 Post-Con Thoughts

Almost two months has passed since the Anime Expo Summer 2022. (It’s late I know I’m sorry). Many already want 2023 to happen, while others anticipate the mini-convention happening in November. I would like to give my thoughts and anticipations for the future.

While I did initially go to Anime Expo expecting a slow year, which in fact, it was. The previous two years were solely online due to the world events that have occurred during the past two years. First of all, I did not expect a high number of attendees this year. I had the debate of it being slightly less because of health concerns and the lack of Japanese guests and official events. However, I neglect the fact that Anime’s popularity also exploded in the past few years and a lack of estimation as I do not attend conventions besides Anime Expo. Of course, it also created some issues, especially in lines and areas where nobody could move in the crowd.

Fortunately, I didn’t experience much of the cluttered masses of people. However, I always wondered if AX actually advertised their other entrances. Besides the South and West main entrance, there’s the West side entrance. I entered through there all 4 days and didn’t wait as much as I thought I would. I waited about 30 minutes to get in, and the other days, despite arriving later than usual (~9:50 am), there was practically little to no line. 

I also talked to a few friends on discord, and they mentioned some hidden entrances you could get in, but others said it was for premier fans only. One of those entrances is the backside garage line behind the convention center at West Hall. I remember going there and was told it was for premier fans only. But there’s no indication that the line is only for premier fans. In addition, the line isn’t even advertised on the map they distributed. Either I missed crucial information, or it was not communicated enough among staff and volunteers

Another big concern is the Artist Alley, one of the three Anime Expo main attractions located below the Exhibit Hall in the South Hall. In addition to occasionally having too many attendees at once, there was a massive accumulation of CO2 in the area. With a lack of proper ventilation, it poses an enormous issue.

With the exhibit hall being a heavy attraction, one main concern lies in the bottom left corner of the exhibit hall, specifically the MiHoYo and Yostar booths. With both booths being very popular yet very close to each other, I believe it’s an oversight or an underestimation of how many attendees would actually visit both booths. Both booths became very crowded throughout the entirety of Anime Expo which made visiting either and nearby booths a challenge.

Of course, I don’t want to make this post primarily negative. Overall, I still did enjoy the general experience at the Anime Expo. I especially enjoyed the cosplay meetups. From what I’ve seen, the cosplay looks pretty diverse. I’ve seen some popular ones, such as Genshin, Demon Slayer, Chainsaw Man, and Spy x Family. I don’t believe there was one dominant franchise, which made the general experience much more refreshing.

(This is normally where I post some cosplay pictures, but I feel too lazy as a lot of them I took are good. Plus, not sure why videos don’t work)

Out of nowhere, Anime Expo announced a lite convention in Ontario, California. While it is an interesting move, we don’t know anything about it at the time of writing other than it being a two-day convention on November 12 and 13. While I plan on attending this event, I hope it will be a positive experience. 

Overall, Anime Expo 2022 was a slow year in terms of overall activities. I didn’t expect Anime Expo to run the event perfectly after being unable to do so for the past 2 years. Hopefully, Anime Expo will learn from these mistakes and make next year a more enjoyable experience.

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