PopLurker Convention Coverage: Anime Pasadena 2018

By Loryn Stone

 

PopLurker was not granted Press Access for Anime Pasadena, but we still wanted to do a review for this first-year convention because we love NerdBot.

 

Over the weekend, PopLurker attended Anime Pasadena, a one-day anime convention hosted by NerdBot Media, an up-and-coming media company in their third year. PopLurker is friendly with Nerdbot on a personal level and we were exceedingly proud of them for pulling this fun, exciting event together. While NerdBot has another one-day convention, NerdBot-Con, this was their first anime-centric convention. The event was held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

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My date was waiting for me when I arrived.

The organization of the event was great and getting into the actual expo did not take long at all. The line was quick and entry was streamlined. It was so nice seeing all of the NerdBot media staff like Scuba Steph and editor Kurt Broz coming together to take tickets, stand security at the door, host panels, and bustle around to make sure that events were smoothly executed. There was a bag and weapons check station too, which might sound frivolous to discuss, but it’s actually a big deal and really important on-site.

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Lower-level crowd shots at Anime Pasadena 2018
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Upper-level crowd shots at Anime Pasadena 2018

In the big picture, Anime Pasadena was a small convention. That said, it was bursting at the seams. The upper level of the convention center hosted endless amounts of panels, from Sailor Moon to Dragon Ball to voice acting with PopLurker buddy Robbie Daymond. We attended the Sailor Moon panel hosting by the adorably charismatic Tiffie Starchild and attendees were treated to a Q&A session with well-known local cosplayer Jimmy Sherfy  as well as new Viz Media dub actresses Amanda C. Miller (Sailor Jupiter) and Christine Cabanos (Sailor Saturn). While the panel didn’t do the deep-dive us PopLurker writers would have wanted (we’re Oldtaku, the Pandora’s Box runs deep), everyone involved had a great time and it was nice to see all the cosplayers showing off their gear.

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In The Name of the Moon Panel at Anime Pasadena 
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Christine Cabanos, Amanda Miller, and Jimmy Sherfy
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Jimmy Sherfy and Tiffie Starchild at the Sailor Moon Panel

Speaking of cosplayers, the convention had lots of local artists showing off their gear. In addition to PopLurker staff dressed up as The Three Lights from Sailor Stars (the final season of Sailor Moon), we saw Master Roshi, Utena, and other classic characters. The Los Angeles cosplay scene is tightknit, so there was no shortage of people we recognized.

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Sailor Starlights, Stage on!
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For the revolution of the world!
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Serg as Ichigo Kurasaki from Bleach. Surgeflex on Instagram

The lower level of the convention center had a huge main stage where Jason Paige (video linked), the singer of the original American Pokemon theme, was rocking the floor with said theme song.

Video courtesy of JoeGoldfish Gaming, PopLurker did not capture this awesome moment.

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Josh Workman’s Creations of PSG Pro Shop Garage
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Josh Workman’s Creations of PSG Pro Shop Garage
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Amazing work from Vinnie’s FX Studio
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Heezart booth at Anime Pasadena
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Starlights in the wild from Kit and Kat Designs
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Art of Dave: Pin & Keys in the Artist’s Alley at Anime Pasadena
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Does this backdrop come as shower curtains and bed sheets, please?

But no convention would be complete without discussing the vendor halls and artist’s alley. While it was so much fun seeing everyone’s handmade crafts and art, it didn’t seem like the Anime Pasadena crowd was really out to go shopping. Of all the booths available, the lowest number was that of vendors selling prefabricated merchandise. Meaning, the majority of the booths contained crafts. The stand-out booth that got all my money belonged to Toy-Zilla, which isn’t a surprise to local robot and animation memorabilia collectors who have visited their store in Alhambra, California.  Otherwise, there were a few booths with movie props and figurines, a few scattered Gundam model kits and Funko Pops, but crafts and handmade items reigned supreme at Anime Pasadena.

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Sorry cupcake- not for that price. Our love wasn’t meant to be.

Overall, from our perspective, Anime Pasadena was a great success. It was a fun, cozy little convention filled with local people who wanted to have a good time in a safe and friendly environment. I (the eternal bargain and weird-finds hunter) left with a rare and obscure animation cell for a great price, which always makes me happy. We can’t wait for NerdBot Con in September and are excited to see how Anime Pasadena continues to grow.

Well done, and cheers to you, Nerdbot Media.

 

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