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Unread 12-27-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
Evil Bishounen
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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I've been to Anime LA every year so far, so I'll answer your questions based on my experience.

Originally Posted by stiffkick80 View Post
I can see it's not exclusively Anime, lots of groups for other stuff, but is the Dealer Hall and main convention site worth it if one does not know much about Anime?
The theme of the convention is anime, and this makes up the majority of the content. The dealer's hall mostly consists of booths selling anime-themed merchandise. There are a couple exceptions - there's one booth that usually attends selling steampunk accessories, jewelry, and craft or fantasy-themed odds and ends. There may also be a lolita fashion-themed booth or a weapons booth, though the weapons booth sells a lot of anime/game weapon replicas as well as more generic sword stuff.

As far as programming goes, your best bet is to just check the ALA Events page ( ) and see what you might be interested in. The Live Programming page lists all the panels and workshops that will be going on each day. There is a significant amount of content that isn't specifically anime-themed.

It seems like the cool stuff is happening at the pool area of the hotel.
Well, sort of. The pool area and courtyard is where a lot of the cosplayers choose to hang out, so it's also where a lot of themed cosplay gatherings and cosplay photography tends to happen. The con suite also overlooks the courtyard.

However, there is much more to the con than just the hanging out in the pool area. There are small concerts, topic panels, the masquerade, dances, games, and other events that happen throughout the Marriott property - most of the programming takes place indoors. Some cosplay gathering groups choose to meet up in areas other than the courtyard, as well.

Can one get to the pool area without buying a badge for ALA, or is that 'frowned' upon?
That is ghosting. It is definitely frowned upon and it could get you kicked out. ALA staff (including the head of the con) has stated here that this year the con has the entire hotel to itself; the courtyard/pool area is considered managed "con space" and they will be checking badges. If you want to test the con out, you could buy a one-day badge and go for just that day.

On a personal note, based on the average anime congoer, would one of my current (Simpsons) costumes be relatively popular, or should I try out my new 9th Doctor cosplay?
Doctor Who seems to have a definite following among anime con fans and would probably be more well-received.

The bottom line is that the crowd at ALA is very relaxed and no one's going to give you crap for wearing a non-anime costume, if that's what you're afraid of. There's always some people that cosplay other stuff at ALA (right now, Homestuck and humanized My Little Pony seem to be the most popular non-anime things to make an appearance), so you won't be a lone duck in that respect.

If you're more concerned with how much attention you'll get, just keep in mind that since this is an anime con, most people there are into anime and related genres (video games, sentai/tokusatsu, etc). That's the kind of stuff people expect to see, and a good portion of the attendee demographic just isn't into content outside of that sphere. So, the level of "popularity" your costumes get is kind of a shot in the dark and it may or may not be as high as it is at Comic-con.
FF9 cosplay? Hit me up!

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