Anime Impulse 2017
by Eric Farrales
My policy for Anime conventions is that I attend depending on the guests and if my friends are also along for the ride. Anime Impulse took place in Pomona which is a little farther down from Los Angeles. Another event that was happening at the same time was Asian American Expo which had a lot of food stands and contests to win free stuff and it was very convenient for attendees to get food during the convention.
As stated above, the guest line-up was stacked enough to be worth the price: cosplayers Ely and Rinnie Riot, and voice actor Gaku Space who did the voice talent of Genji from “Overwatch.” I was hoping the convention would be packed and that the lines would be long. When I finally got to the venue, it wasn’t as crowded as I expected, disregarding the vendors setting up for Asian American Expo. My friends and I were able to go inside the buildings before the time they were supposed to open, in which the dealers were still setting up their booths and getting ready for the crazy weekend. In order to make use of my time, I went around the venue and took numerous photos.
When it got close to opening time, I went inside the main building to get a few of my purchases and went around looking for the booths of the cosplayers that I wanted to meet. For the con-goers that have attended J-Pop Summit in San Francisco, the venue was somewhat similar since the performing stage and various seller booths were all in one building.
N O M U S I C B O Y S
However, Anime Impulse lacked music guests because the music lineup got cancelled last minute. Some of the cosplayer guests had their own booth, which I found easier and less of a hassle, but most used the meet and greet booth.There were scheduled times and lines tend to be much longer since each meet and greet lasted for about 30 minutes per guest. For the cosplayers that used this booth, I lined up pretty early to make sure I got the prints I wanted and took a picture with them instead of wasting valuable time.
Some of the cosplayers had their own booth and it allowed me to go any time since they manned their stations all day. A cool thing about the guest booths was that you didn’t have to necessarily buy their merchandise to get a picture with them. It was more fair for attendees that didn’t carry much cash and showed that the guests want to interact with the attendees regardless.
Another option was to find the cosplayers or guests by chance around the convention which was pretty easy since the venue was pretty small. I hit the jackpot when my friends and I saw Gaku Space and also Jonny Cruz, who was the voice talent for Lucio from the same game. As for the guest panels and cosplay masquerade, they were all on the main stage, also located in the main building which made it easier for attendees to see and access.
Ready, Set, Shoot
There was another building that had the otaku-designed cars and extra seller booths which took up at least half of the space. The other half had more food vendors which were part of Asian American Expo. The venue also had a few food trucks which were good and at a decent price since there weren’t any restaurants within walking distance.
After getting to meet the guests and buying my merchandise, I spent most of my time going around the venue with my friends and since I plan on doing cosplay photo shoots at future conventions, I seized the chance to acquire some experience by assisting in them. The locations for photo shoots were in good areas such as small bridges, grassy areas and even spacious areas that were perfect. At one part of the venue, there were many buildings that looked deserted, but probably for staging during certain events, which were perfect for photographers to create certain scenes.
Overall, I would say Anime Impulse was very lax but had a lot to offer such as the simplified meet and greet, and everything was in one building instead of having panels and events in different buildings which could have caused confusion to attendees visiting from out of the city. It was a great event to help start 2017 on a good note. I am willing to attend Anime Impulse again next year and I highly recommend anyone who enjoys going to anime conventions to give Anime Impulse a try next year.