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Anime Fans Invade Downtown

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, July 06, 2009, at 08:04AM
South Hall Ed Fuentes

Anime Expo 2009 attendees using the LA Convention center South Hall to network and be seen.

Fatigued Sailor Moons and other Anime characters were on reserve super powers Sunday, the last day of the 2009 Anime Expo. It is estimated that over 40,000 attendees paraded in costume, shopped, and attended signings and seminars during the four day anime and manga convention.

This show is becoming one of the largest annual consumer events held at the South Park facility, according to L.A. Convention Center Event Manager Deanna Nakamura. "It's a very cooperative crowd," she added. "The biggest problem we have is people jumping lines."

Downtown hotels benefited from the young fans, some traveling as far away as Japan, who attend with the plan to join night parties with other anime and manga enthusiasts. Even those in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties prefer to stay Downtown for the weekend. "No one wants to miss anything," says Thousand Oaks resident John Lee, who was rooming with friends from Chicago at the Westin Bonaventure.

Anime Expo 2009 also serves as an industry event for The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). Organizers plan to be back at the Los Angeles Convention Center July 1 through July 4, 2010.

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