View Full Version : AM vs. AX?

Luffy XII
07-17-2003, 04:57 AM
Hello everyone, I am really looking forward to AM this year. But I've never been to it b4. I have attended ax for several years and would like to ask some of the more experienced con goers here some info on am.

so can any1 fill me in with the similarities and differences between the two anime conventions? :D thnx in advance

AM Chair
07-17-2003, 08:30 AM
I really don't like making comparisons to AX. Each con has it's own feel, Luffy. We are definitely not the same. AX is a huge mega-people anime con, we are a small and more relaxed type of con. We'd love to see at least 1 quarter of AX's attendance figure (somewhere around 10,000 people) so we can really make this con a high quality yet friendly experience that people have come to know since 2000.

At AM, you'll have more time to see and talk with your friends, meet new ones, and be a little more accessible to the guests than you might at another con. There are no lines, no tickets for the masq, in a setting that is relaxing and just made for great cosplay pics. AX and AM complement each other, not compete.

We'd like to encourage everyone to come over and support us. We're new on the block, and we hope to break the 1000 attendance barrier this year. The more support we get, the better show we will be able put on, with better ideas, more guests, and perhaps a better location than where we are now.

I've just found THE most beautiful hotel / convention center location in Santa Clarita for a future Ani-Magic, but to get it, we have to grow in terms of revenue. And that's up to all of you. If you can help us grow, we promise to provide you all with the best bang for the buck, and still keep our friendly feel that we are famous for.

This is a new goal, and with your help we can reach it together. So bring a new friend or two to the Autumn Dream. We're California's 3rd con now, and we want to be better for you.

Revell Walker
Chairman, AM 2003

07-17-2003, 09:26 AM
Santa Clara! SANTA CLARA! Why not down here! I like it down here! I LIVE DOWN HERE! I know it's not final or anything, but if you do plan on moving the con, do you think it could be a local move.

Anyways, AX to Ani-Magic. How to compare two cons. I can't really tell you much since i haven't gone to AM myself, but from what i hear people tell me that it's a more laid back and relaxed con. ^^

Miaka No Baka
07-17-2003, 12:20 PM
uhh he said santa clarita last time i checked that was still down south ^_^; It wouldn't make any sense to hold 2 anime cons right next door to eachother lol. But yeah ani-magic is good in the fact that if you have friends u only see at cons you can actually sit and kick back with them instead of the quick hi, bye thing that normally happens at cons. It's got more of a summer camp close knit feel to it versus ax's cold industry type feel.

Miaka no Baka

07-17-2003, 02:07 PM
Yeah, comparing Ani-Magic to AX... They're not at all the same type of convention. The only similarities are that they both have panels, a masquerade, anime fans, viewing rooms, and other generic convention things. :p AX is a huge industry con in a convention center, and Ani-Magic is a small, friendly fan-run con in a really nice hotel. o.o I tend to prefer it to AX if only because you get to relax a lot more at Ani-Magic..

07-17-2003, 02:14 PM
There really isn't a lot that AM and AX have in common:

AX - Long lines to get tickets and really crowded
AM - No tickets, poolside and not crowded

AX - A lot of Japanese industry personel that you can't really approach outside of a panel or meet the guests reception
AM - American industry personel, Guests of Honor walking and mingling with the fans with almost no security signing autographs for the fans and voice actors doing lines and voices for the fans. AM has their 1st Japanese GoH this year. I can't remember his name but he created Giant Robo.

Dealers room:
AX - long lines at opening times, crowded and a ton of dealers, bootlegs.
AM - Small and cozy. Not over-crowded with a lot fewer sellers. Prices a bit higher than AX and there are bootlegs.

AX - Rush, rush, rush. Hard to find friends.
AM - Small, relaxed, personable, friendly staff and volunteers. Gamer room that rival my collection. people are nice and it's a great place to meet friends and make new ones.

AX - 3 hotels with events scattered all over the place, lot of walking.
AM - A nice cozy hotel called the Antilope Valley Inn with nowhere near the walking of AX w/ small Japanese garden for photo ops.

I know there there is stuff I forgot but this will give you a better idea of the con comparison.


07-17-2003, 02:15 PM
Joe: the GoH name is Yasuhiro Imagawa :D

07-17-2003, 06:23 PM
Oh Santa Clarita... ^^; Whoops, i thought it read Santa Clara... I guess that's what i get for reading forums w/o any sleep the previous night.... ^^;

Luffy XII
07-18-2003, 09:29 AM
Wow it sounds like AM is a very different con with a fresh and relaxing environment. I would definitely check it out cuz I like what you've all described >:D One of the major things I do regret about AX is that there isn't enough time to talk to lots of other interesting people.

Thanx guys for giving me a brief description of AM! I'll see you guys at the con XD and I'll try to bring my friends too~ hehe

Psychotic Jei
07-18-2003, 02:25 PM
I love Ani-Magic...because its an actual vacation. AX sometimes seems like more work than vacation. I swear I was running around like a madman at AX this year. And every Ani-Magic I swear I spent so much time just lounging someplace. Its nice

07-18-2003, 04:33 PM
Basicly put it this way:

AX is a Ivy Leage school.

AM is a party college.

J/K! But naw, Ani-Magic is a great convention and as most have already said, can't be compaired to AX. AX is like 12 years old now, AM is only in it's 4th year. So it's not much of a fair say. But with it's size, AM makes for a sweet Con.

Some of it's strong points have already been mentioned. I personaly enjoy the con because it's an excuse to see my Con friends again, as well as actualy hang out with them. At the bigger cons, you don't get quality time with them. Either you or them are running around, trying to do this, see that, be in this ect. With AM, (and I mean no offence) there isn't much to do except hang with your pals and have alot of fun.

And for me, that makes this con worth it, esp with how damn affordable it is. It's not even half the price you'd fork out to go to AX. (Taking into account hotel, entrance fee, food, parking, ect)

Ani-Magic is known for being a Cosplayer's Con, because that's the main thing alot of the con-goers do there. It's so laid back in this manner, that it is a Party Con. So come over and chill out with friends. :)

PS: Joe & Ryu - Damn right his name is Yasuhiro Imagawa! Joe you better remember it or I'll jump into some Mr. T cosplay and be your doctor. Prescription: PAIN! Sucka!

Ok Yeah no one forget that Yasuhrio "Jarod's GOD next to Beat Takeshi" Imagawa created Giant Robo and will be there this year. Ok yeah I'm done.

07-23-2003, 08:57 AM
>AM has their first Japanese GOH this year.<

-Joe Boeing

Joe Boeing:

Actually...Yasuhiro Imagawa is not the first Japanese guest for AniMagic.

Mari Ijima, ( The Japanese voice actress for the original Japanese version of Lynn Minmay) was a guest of honor at Animagic back in 2000. She held two mini concerts for the fans on Saturday and Sunday.

The Japanese manga artist, Tomoko Taniguchi was a guest of honor at Animagic in 2001.

07-23-2003, 11:28 AM
Revell, just a thought... Would you honestly like to see 1/4 of AX's attendance at Ani-Magic? I mean, that'd potentially be, what, like 3k-4k people?

The comfort of the con is exactly that it's so small. Having that many people run around would probably ruin a bit of that nice small con atmosphere that we all love about Ani-Magic.

Maybe 1500, but almost certainly not anywhere near 3000. I'd think it'd get too crowded then, right (I suppose that's where the argument for a new location would then have to come in)?

07-23-2003, 03:24 PM
I agree... the reason I love AM is because it's so small and cozy. if it were to be 2 thousaend or 3 thousand it would lose a lot it's charm to me.

I really don't agree with what I'm about to say but I think a lot of people like the way it is now and if it got to big it wouldn't be as much fun. Maybe there should be a cap on how many can attend... bad idea, I know and while I don't like the idea I think that those who have attended the con would hate for it to grow to 3 to 4 thousend people.


07-23-2003, 06:51 PM
From a historical standpoint, anime or sci-fi cons that remains stagnant and don't grow in numbers usually don't last in the convention circuit. A successful convention ALWAYS grows in numbers whether by leaps or bounds or gradually. This is inevitable. Cons that don't grow in numbers and lose money year after year would fold and close it's doors. There has never been an exception to this case, because cons have to show a profit in order to survive the following year and to maintain the convention. NO con can survive for long if they lose money year after year and there is no change in their attendance numbers year after year. Some cons would lose money or be "be in the red" for the first few years, but eventually they start ending up making a profit and "end up in the black". ( There are has been some anime cons that did fold and closed their doors for the past 12 years, so it's never an automatic gurantee that an anime con will always survive.)

A private anime club can afford to limit it's membership and keep their numbers exactly the way they are year after year, and be nostalgic for the way things were. A conventon can't afford to have that luxury if it is to survive. (There is a HUGE difference between an anime club and a convention.)

From a financial standpoint , it is mutually beneficial for the con and the attendees to grow in numbers because it means better hotels, more convention services, more staffers, more Japanese guests, and a bigger location to accomodate the attendees. Many beginning conventions have to run on a very tight budget and are very limited in terms of resources, personnel, and finances. Most small conventions hope that they will eventually break even and make a profit so they can survive the following year. And in order for the small cons to survive year after year, they have to and must grow, either in terms of attendance numbers or financial numbers. Many of the big cons today also started out as a small convention, so in many ways, small conventions are the backbone of the convention circuit. Some people may wish that they could turn back the clock, and want things to remain exactly the way it was for a small con out of nostalgic reasons, but unfortunately, that idea is not really realistic and impractical for financial reasons.

It is unlikely though that the 3000 to 4000 attendance number will be reached overnight for Animagic. ( This is something that may occur 5-10 years down the line and not within a year.) The 3000 attendance mark is a gradual process for most cons, although there has been cases when a few cons would see a 50% jump in numbers within a few years.

It took AX a few years to reach the 3000-4000 number and even AnimeCon 91 ( The ancestor of AX) started with less that 1600 attendees back in 1991. This is not an overnight process, so it is a bit premature for some people to worry that the con will suddenly be swamped with thousands & thousands of people the following year.

The AVI was suitable for Animagic when it first started out back in 2000. However, it obviously has gotten a bit too small for the growing numbers of attendees. At last year's AniMagic, there were people couldn't find enough seats or spaces during the Masquerade and many attendees had to stay in the designated overflow hotels because the AVI simply didn't have enough rooms for them. ( Can you imagine the frustrations if attendees and cosplayers are packed like sardine cans everytime they have to go somewhere and you can't get inside the dealer's room for the whole day because the hotel was too small?)

There is a difference between wanting to stay in the same AVI hotel for nostalgic reasons and being practical and realizing that the AVI hotel has gotten too small. This is why a new & bigger location site is being selected by AniMagic in order to accomodate the growing number of attendees.

AM Chair
07-23-2003, 07:23 PM
Dealers room:
AX - long lines at opening times, crowded and a ton of dealers, bootlegs.
AM - Small and cozy. Not over-crowded with a lot fewer sellers. Prices a bit higher than AX and there are bootlegs.

e [/B][/QUOTE]

Joe, what is it with you and "bootlegs"??? What product is it that you think is a bootleg and what would you like to see prohibited? We're thinking of modifiying the forbidden list next year to attract the more expensive dealers if that's what you want.


07-23-2003, 08:58 PM

There were a couple dealers selling DVDs from Anime Cartoon International and the same company under another name Anime International. Those are bootleg DVDs and a seller (can't remember which" told a attendee that they were official when she asked.

SM and EverAnime are a grey area with me. I also heard that the J-Rock seller was selling mostly bootlegs but as I'm not a J-Rock fan I can't say with any certenty. The J-Rock info was posted on the AM board after the con.

the bootleg .hack//SIGN DVDs were selling for 20-25 bucks when you can go to certin websites I know and buuy them for 13-15 bucks.

I really have no problem but they should be labeled as such because I saw people at the con with their favorite series (happened with Escaflowne TV box) and thought it was official.

I know that AM caters to a younger crowd and they have less money but most of them are ignorant about what is official.

I'm thinking that I might have to hold a panel or something to inform people at AM.


AM Chair
07-24-2003, 12:00 AM
On some points I agree with you. The young ladies in question violated our rule on telling people false information just to close a sale. If this happens again this year inform the dealer head or myself. I'm even thinking of briefing the dealers before we open the doors on Friday.

As AM rachets up it attendance, I am considering changing the hall rules so that we can sell more space to the upscale dealers who have said that they'd love to come sell at AM, but can't compete with bargain basement anime dealer's prices. They can't recover their dealer fees and make a profit in such an environment. If we make a change to the dealer hall rules, that is why we'd do it, not some convuluted sense of "protecting the artists in Japan"

07-24-2003, 01:39 AM
>SM and Evergreen are a gray area for me.<

SM and Evergreen are licensed and authorized companies. They are well established Taiwanese and Hong Kong companies that pays licensing fees to Japanese companies for distribution in Asia. They also negotiate with the Japanese companies for distribution rights. Some of the Japanese anime companies are now hiring Taiwanese companies to produce anime wallscrolls and posters in order to save production costs.

A bootleg copy means that it was copied illegally and sold to the public as an"official" copy.

Just because it came from Taiwan or Hong Kong does not automatically means that it is illegal or that it is a bootleg.

Moon Prince
07-24-2003, 01:57 AM
technically, stuff licsensed for sale in Hong Kong/Taiwan does not mean that it is licensed (legal) to sell in the US... but you are right. It is not what should be considered 'bootleg'

07-24-2003, 05:04 AM
Actually Japanese CD's were originally not intended for sale outside of Japan either. Many of them were intended for sale to the Japanese only. ( That may sounds racist to foreigners, but that is how many of the recording companies view things.)

This is why companies like SM and Evergreen have to buy the licensing & distribution rights for parts of Asia, because the Japanese companies prefers not to sell the original CD's to other Asian countries.

Technically speaking, if you follow the wishes and rules from some of the Japanese recording companies, it's technically illegal if you bought a Japanese CD outside of Japan and bring it outside of Japan. ( However, even the Japanese recording companies know that it's simply impossible to enforce this rule and turns a blind eye instead. They also don't want to offend their future customers within the rapidly growing foreign market. )

Many of the Japanese recording companies have said in the past, that they prefer to have only Japanese buy their CD's, although they know that they can't really stop Americans, Australians, Canadians and Europeans from buying Japanese CD's and taking it out of their country. Some of them have expressed surprise that Americans and non-Asian foreigners would actually buy Japanese CDs and listen to the songs in Japanese instead of English.

The ultimate irony is that there is a huge rapidly growing market in the foreign markets for Japanese CD's. Some of the Japanese companies have realized that there is a potential market outside of Japan for their music and have started to target the foreign markets.

07-24-2003, 10:05 AM
As far as I know SM and EVer Anime sell a lot of CDs while in negotiations for the rights. If I'm proven wrong good. I'll have no more problems with SM and EverAnime.

Anime Cartoon International are out and out bootlegs in which no money what so ever goes to those that made the shows. My family gave me the Kimagure Orange Road box set and they paid 65 bucks for it thinking it was official and on the DVDs it said on several episodes," Made for fans by fans Do not copy or rent". The subbed was a direct copy of my SVHS masters.

They must have been direct copies of SVHS or VHS tapes.

Anime Cartoon International DVDs is also the reason it's nearly impossible to sell official R1 DVDs on ebay.


07-24-2003, 11:19 AM

This thing really changed topics, didn't it...

In all honesty, as long as Revell works hard at trying to get sellers who do sell imported products from Japan, as well as licensed R1 products, I don't care who sells what in the dealer's room. I know where my business is going to go, as does everyone else.

As for the legalities, as I doubt ANY of us are lawyers dealing with international copyright law, I don't think any of us can be sure enough of the legalities of selling any imported products in the United States for certain beyond a reasonable doubt. My preference is still to see options available.

As for the argument of the growth of Ani-Magic, yeah, I know that the con might have to grow larger to stay viable, because of the venue change, and to counter stagnancy. However, if Revell is correct about the numbers he says, then Ani-Magic already does run in the black.

Honestly, though, the one big thing I've always liked about Ani-Magic (as well as many of the attendees who go) is the relatively small con size and feel. It's a lot more like a vacation than a con. My friends and I always joke that Ani-Magic is more like an oversized anime club meeting/retreat than a con. The only other con in CA that might be able to convey the same feeling probably would be RECCACon way up north (at least, for now).

AX was not a vacation. AX was hectic. On certain levels, I enjoy Ani-Magic a lot more than I enjoy Anime Expo, because it's so pleasant there.

AM Chair
07-25-2003, 09:44 AM
What ever happens on the hotel front, don`t worry, `cuz we`ll always be small and intimate, looking for quality over quantity...as long you guys help us make the bottom line.