I highly recommend Anime Los Angeles to modest thrill seekers, compulsive collectors, costumed fashionistas and anime lovers of all ages.
Six ribbons sounds like a lot, if you’ve never been to Anime Los Angeles.
The fact of the matter is, as a first time attendee, I’m proud of my modest collection of ribbons (pictured above) which pretty accurately sums up my convention experience.
Anime Los Angeles is not a convention where you find a place to camp out and just wait for pictures to be snapped of your fabulous costume, as I was lead to believe. Nor is it an event where your experience is tailored to your panel schedule, or where the Dealer’s room and Artist Alley hours govern your life. Instead it is a massive collection of checkpoints expertly hidden amid the many layers of the convention floor, creating one of the most exciting convention games I’ve ever played: Ribbon Hunting.
“Find the Death Metal Biker Chick,” I was told. “She’s a lady in Goth clothes.” At a convention full of people wearing everything from full body paint to mermaid tails, this is actually harder than it sounds.
I did manage to find her through sheer luck, and ended up with two ribbons just for that. Thank goodness, since I’d been on a mission for the “Rock always beats paper and scissors” ribbon since day one. I scored two more for performing some silly fun tasks involving dice and zombie haiku, and then was sent on my way.
I beat two people at rock-paper-scissors for more ribbons, and listened to someone complain about their life for yet another. I hunted tirelessly for the Pacific Rim “Kaiju Grrroupie” ribbon that managed to elude me, told a great story, hung out with an incredibly awesome Melinda May (Marvel’s: Agents of Shield) cosplayer, saw my Supernatural/Doctor Who/BBC Sherlock group, and joined a Quidditch team- all before bedtime.
Bedtime, I should add, was 3:00am Sunday morning, after earning my “Where’s the Party?” ribbon.
Anime Los Angeles was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year from a convention standpoint, and I highly recommend it to modest thrill seekers, compulsive collectors, costumed fashionistas, and anime lovers of all ages. The Artist Alley was of a very nice quality, the Dealer’s room was small but diverse, and the layout of the con was conducive to all kinds of con experiences.
Apparently, there is a message board that would tell you where/how to get ribbons; but I suggest doing it the hard way. I may not be able to weave a dress out of the ribbons I got (and some people were close to that!) but I earned these ribbons with poise, resolve and a complete lack of self-consciousness. Next year, I may even bring ribbons of my own!
Until next time: Happy Ribbon Hunting!