Event Guide: Southern California Anime Conventions of Summer 2012

Are you ready for a summer of anime fun? Cue the Rocky training montage of energetic, heroic music! Anime convention season is fast approaching on the sunny west coast.

Cons are a fun places where both hardcore fans & newbies can feel at home, and get more familiar with the anime industry in general. You can dress in costume, meet your favorite J-pop star, attend panels or ogle anime figures in the exhibit hall. Not to mention the cool swag.

Don’t miss out! Here are the Southern California anime conventions of Summer 2012:

AM2 (June 15-17 2012):

AM2 2012 Events.


AM2 2012 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. In 2010, this convention began as  a one-day mini event during Anime Expo (AX).  In 2011 it grew to 8000+ attendees. For a fledgling convention, AM2 left many fans pleased due to its strong guest list of some of Japan’s biggest names in music and fashion in 2011. Due to this event being smaller, and the fact that the dates competed with AX in 2011, this event was good for a more intimate and up close experience.

As per the AM2 official website:

Current AM2 Official Guests of Honor include Putumayo, Andrea Libman, Quinton Flynn and Toshihiro Kawamoto.
Attendees can avoid the anticipated huge lines at autographs, premiere screenings, workshops, main events, concerts and panels by purchasing a Passport fast pass for the event. The Passport fast pass will also provide holders with premier seating options at Main Events and at Concert events as well as major discounts with theme parks (including Disneyland and the grand opening of Cars Land, Knotts Berry Farm, etc.), retailers and local restaurants. Bypass the lines and get your Passport today and experience the difference!
AM2 Premieres, screenings and exclusive screenings include ACE ATTORNEY, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: THE STAR OF MILOS, KAIBUTSU-KUN THE MOVIE, KAIJI 2 and more!

To attend AniMaid Café or Host Club all attendees MUST purchase a Ticket to the event (different from convention passport). This is not a free event. There will be 100 tickets per hour. All tickets will be sold on am2con.com and any left over tickets will be sold at convention before the show.

Pros: In 2011, a solid guest list for a newcomer convention. Orderly and well maintained lines for all events. Friendly con-goers & a laid back vibe amongst attendees. Excellent live entertainment. Also…It’s FREE.

Cons: A small dealer’s hall of 15-20 vendors(*expected to change with ANN sponsorship). Not enough signage around convention center, and some events seemed  scattered from each other in terms of distance. Expensive parking.

Anime Expo (June 29-July 2, 2012):

Anime Expo 2012.


Anime Expo 2012 is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) and its surrounding area. For a convention exclusively consisting of Japanese Animation, AX is the most renowned in the United States. A household name among anime fans, annual attendance at this event is global. Each year, the crowd swells to 45,000+ fans. To put this into perspective, the next largest con, Otakon (on the Eastern coast of the U.S.), is half its size.

Pros: The best guests of the anime industry are here. The place to be for announcements on new anime & figure releases. A unparallelled costume contest with a $10,000USD prize. An excellent Anime Music Video competition. Notable music artists often have large concerts here.

Cons: If you are claustrophobic, you may not like the traffic jam crowds. No Hatsune Miku concert this year…qq. Events and panels can have a painful wait time. If you aren’t a planner, you may miss out on some events, as they require advanced purchase.

AX website Information:

Guests of honor include LiSA, Steve Blum, Jamie Marchi, &  Danny Choo as Master of Ceremonies.

Comic-Con (July 12-15):


Founded in 1970 by a group of San Diegans, San Diego Comic-Con International (Comic-Con) is a celebration of comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television. Basically, any kind of cult entertainment is included here. Due to the amount of celebrity surrounding this event, it is next to impossible to get tickets unless they are bought from a previous year by an attendee (tickets are sold for the subsequent year at the convention of the present year).

To give you an idea of how annoying tickets were: I tried to obtain Comic-Con tickets online last year,  seconds after they went up for sale. Despite being in a “guaranteed” place in the queue on two separate occasions, their official website crashed both times.

Comic-Con International 2012 will again offer a complete schedule of Anime for your viewing pleasure! Check back as we get closer to the event for the schedule. – Comic-Con 2012 anime webpage

Pros: A veritable encyclopedia of celebrities, special guests (not all related to anime). Merchandise exclusives (such as Figuarts Dragon Ball Z Gohan). A good amount of cosplay.

Cons: Poor website hosting: Comic-Con’s website crashed on 2 separate occasions during ticket sales last year (Like many other fans, despite a great spot on the queue both times, I couldn’t take it a 3rd time, and am unable to attend).

About Anne's Anime Blog

I am an astronomical anime fan. I enjoy watching it, collecting figures & merchandise, assembling models, and attending conventions. California burrito glutton. Let's be friends:)

Posted on May 11, 2012, in Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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