Yeah…you all saw what I did there 😉
I love coming up with good blog titles almost as much as I love doing fellow anime blogger interviews! Today’s Sunday Spotlight is an interview with the coveted Animated Andy. He went to Anime Expo a short while ago and I came up with the bright idea to interview him and his experience attending. So here we are my pandas!
If you are not following Andy on social media you can do so right here: Andy’s website is animatedandy.com and his Twitter handle is Animated_Andy. Make sure to hit like on this post and hit that follow button on both my blog and Andy’s blog if you aren’t already following us! 😀
Let’s get down to business peeps!
1. What was it like deciding on going to AX? Was it a sure decision or did you decide to go last minute?
Andy: I decided to go last minute but I honestly wish I had made the decision sooner because there was so much planning that went into it. Once I got there I realized it should have been a no-brainer to go.
2. What was the main reason you wanted to attend AX?
Andy: Anime has been apart of my life since I was a child and continues to play a prominent role in my daily proceedings. However, I never really interacted with the community outside of a few friends from school until this year. Now that I’ve gotten in touch with the anime writer community going to one of the meccas of anime conventions just seemed like the next logical step.
3. Best and worst part of AX this year?
Andy: The best part by far were the people. Sure, there was a ton of entertainment like Artist Alley, the panels, the exhibit halls, the AMV film rooms, etc. but what I took away from the whole experience was how much genuine enjoyment everyone seemed to be having. No one was rude, impatient or obnoxious even though tens of thousands of bodies were in a compact space. Everyone looked like they were having fun and were super enthusiastic about something they loved. The worst part? I suppose the security guards were a bit pushy, but you must be if you’re going to facilitate that much foot traffic. I honestly didn’t mind the crowds so much.
4. If you could change one thing about your trip what would it be?
Andy: I wish I had planned way more in advance. The program is overwhelming, and I underestimated how much ground there was to cover getting from one area to the next plus how early special events would fill up. I also wish I had gone all four days, but my schedule made that unlikely.
5. Do you think AX is outgrowing its venue?
Andy: I think the venue will need an upgrade soon or the convention will have to be relocated. As the industry continues to grow and more people are attracted to this cultural set piece, the organizers will have to make some careful decisions moving forward on how to maintain the spirit of this event while simultaneously expanding it.
6. Did you meet up with anyone from online in real life?
Andy: I didn’t meet any friends from online, but I did have a photo opportunity with some prominent anime YouTubers including Garnt (Gigguk) and Syd (Sydsnap). Both of them are incredibly sweet people. Telling Gigguk to his face that Bakemonogatari will always and forever be better than Nisemonogatari and then have his vehemently debate me on the topic is a highlight in my career as a critic (I have strange priorities…just go with it).
7. Favorite item purchased from AX this year?
Andy: I’ll admit this is the hardest question on the list. I’ll have to give a cop-out answer and say all the posters I bought at Artist Alley. I can’t possibly choose between one of them because they’re all equally adorable/incredible caricatures of some of my favorite characters. Some of the series I bought for included Fruits Basket, Ouran Host High School Club, Sailor Moon and Doki Doki Literature Club.
8. What was your favorite cosplay that you saw?
Andy: Also a tough question because DAMN do people go all-out with their designs at this convention. I’ll go with two of them (or three in this case). One was a couple dressed up as Kiki and Tomo from Kiki’s Delivery Service and were just too precious. The most meme-worthy was a person dressed up as the shopping list/ghost from Spongebob Squarepants.
9. What was your general experience of AX overall?
Andy: I had an unbelievable time. I couldn’t believe how well organized and generally positive this whole weekend was. Like I mentioned before, people were polite and courteous, but also were there to make some incredible memories. I had a huge goofy grin my face the whole time just from being there. I genuinely love seeing other people enjoy something niche, yet resonates with so many. I enjoy seeing this community grow and I hope this event continues to foster this energy for years to come.
10. Lastly…will you be attending AX next year?
Andy: If I’m still living in Southern California, absolutely. This is not a convention worth missing and I hope to go for all of it next year, meet more people, and hopefully actually get to cosplay this time around.
And there you have it folks! A big THANK YOU to Andy for letting me interview you. I always enjoy giving some of the spotlight to my fellow anime peeps. Also Andy was an angel and bought me stuff from AX this year. Looks like I will be getting my goodies in the mail sometime this week. I can’t wait! Again…I can’t thank Andy enough for being an awesome anime friend. You seriously are the best!!! Thank you guys for joining me today. I will catch you all in my next post. Remember to always stay cuddly and kawaii my pandas. MUAH! XOXO
Disclaimer: All imagery, photos, and gifs come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. If I find any links I will always post them (this usually entails fan art or any other work affiliated with an artist).