Video games and RPGs in particular are a huge source of inspiration for Costume Play, more commonly known as cosplay. Los Angeles is unique in that area has two big events, three if you include the somewhat nearby San Diego’s Comic Con, that serve as showcases. The first of which, AM2 was held this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. AM2 or AM Squared takes its name from its focus on anime, manga and music. AM2 is only in its second year of existence, at least as a full-fledged convention but, is already differentiating itself from the Anime Expo.
This year, with the help of sponsors like Gamefly, AM2 was able secure a number of high profile anime, manga and gaming personalities. Andrea Libman well known for her voice work on Dragon Ball and Tara Strong, whose list of video game characters she’s voiced is much too long for this column, sat in on panels and offered meet and greet sessions. Where Comic Con and to a lesser extent the Anime Expo are more commercial affairs, AM2 offers serious anime, manga and particularly cosplay fans workshops, panels and real opportunities to revel in their crafts.
The three day event, last year ran concurrent with the Anime Expo, which no doubt affected attendance, despite the bargain price. AM2 is a free event although passports with priority seating at panels and session among other perks are for sale. Don’t get the idea that it’s all conference rooms filled with socially inept nerds though there is plenty of fun to be had. From concerts to video game tournaments and spontaneous dancing in the entryways there is something for even those that don’t know what Animaid is, though it’s a good place to find out. Cosplayers and anime and manga fans looking for more than a place to buy all of their collectibles should plan next year’s trip to AM2.
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Check out the next page for a Cosplay gallery from AM2 2012
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